The name of the game in promoting your business is keeping costs low and maintaining a high level of efficacy for each campaign. A smart and effective campaign does not have to cost a lot. There are many strategies new or small businesses use to get their name out to the local community, and the results vary. But the bottom line is you can keep that bottom line low and still generate new business with these easy and effective marketing ideas.
1. You Scratch My Back, I Scratch Yours
Remember the days before the world ran on money and credit? Neither do we, but the bartering world can be revived when it comes to local businesses marketing one another. You don’t have to rely only on paying the local paper to run a business card sized ad; you can advertise another local business at your place, and have them do the same thing. For example, if you are a ramen noodle restaurant, encourage your patrons to go to the nearby FroYo place. The Frozen Yogurt joint can tip others off to your excellent ramen. No money, and you both build community and get new regular customers.
2. The Only Thing More Important is Very Important
It’s just human nature that if someone calls you a VIP, or a “Very Important Person,” you’re going to think they’re right. It doesn’t matter that the term VIP is overused, it appeals to the basest of human emotions: a superiority complex. If you make a certain group of people VIP at your establishment, that will encourage them to use your services or eat your food more often. Maybe contact a nearby business with 200+ employees and have them be VIP’s with the very flash of their employee badge. They’ll love the attention and fabricated importance, which means more money for you.
3. Rewarding Rewards
People love fun and games and they like earning points and steps toward redeeming things for free things. You may have noticed the recent rage where grocery stores let you earn fuel points for 10c off a gallon of gas. It’s brilliant, because you will absolutely go to that one super market exclusively and almost never go to that store’s rival, because you are racking up the points. No matter your business, you can employ the same system. You can use a buy 9 get one free, or a points system, whatever works for your business. Giving a little bit away for free always helps you in the long term.
4. Give an Inch, Take a Mile
It may seem gimmicky and insincere, but supporting charitable institutions is always beneficial for you and the community. It’s a win-win situation for all involved, so find a local charity with a great public event coming up, and let them know you want to be a supporter. You are going to get your name out there to a whole new group of people while building goodwill among the members of the community who already know you, and those who don’t. It isn’t pandering to the public, you are donating and contributing to a worthy cause that does help others, does build community, and also helps your business gross. Everybody wins!
Creative marketing ideas like these can cost little but help a lot. Try them and see!