Loco For Local: Marketing Your Business Without the Paid Ads

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Without large budgets for paid advertisements, a sizable workforce, a dedicated content creator, or a surplus of free time outside the daily operations of your organization (going once…going twice…), marketing for your small business can be difficult.

However without our local farmers’ markets, privately owned coffee shops or independent handyman services, there would be little to no investment into our own communities. Hannah would have nowhere to sell her hand-crafted, sustainably-sourced jewelry. Chester’s farm wouldn’t provide our families with fresh meats and vegetables. Plus, there would be an even greater carbon footprint upon our earth…which is why we’re Loco for Local!

In this blog post, we’re sharing some tips to help market your small, local businesses. Hint: these are all organic methods of SEO, which means NO paid ads.

A New Kind of Storefront: The Website

Even before COVID-19, having your store located on that busy street in the center of town or booking that ticket to the local networking event were no longer the monopoly kings on business revenue and brand awareness. Just like a visit to your store may determine whether someone buys your cakes, your ‘just-in’ shoes, or arranges a sofa delivery, your website is now also a place for this same conversation and decision-making to happen.

You must ensure sure it is cleaned, updated and monitored, just like you would your stores, restaurants and offices.

A New Teen Queen: The Social Life

Sixteen years may not sound very long, however it’s enough time for this new ‘Teen Queen’ to come on the scene and change the core components of your marketing strategies…Sixteen years ago, there was no Facebook, Instagram, and certainly no TikTok (“what’s that?” we hear you ask…that’s the sound of a missed marketing opportunity!).

In order to stay on top of social and all the latest platforms – because it’s not as easy as our children make it look – you need to pre-schedule content and have an expert on hand who can show you how to navigate your social platforms if you don’t already know how, as well as keep you up-to-date with all the latest trends. It’s also a good idea to develop your own hashtag, ask for contributions from your local community (because you don’t have to do it all alone), and engage with users via commenting and ‘liking’.

A New Perspective (And Possibly One of Our Favourites): The Blog

Do you ever turn on the news or flick through your feed and suffer deja-vu? In a world where it seems like every topic of conversation and new idea has already been done (at least one hundred times before), it can be hard to find a new way to position your product, or share your concept.

Hello, let me introduce you to: The Blog!

Blogging is a great channel to find the space to stand out. Why? Because writing a good blog article is hard. There is no beautiful Canva template to magic a punchy opening line or WordPress block to make each key message flow seamlessly – which is what makes blogs even more valuable. It also puts you in control of your own content instead of an algorithm (which shows content based on presumed interests etc).

And yes, blogs do take a lot more time than a social post. However, they give your business the opportunity to not only gain followers, but also effective conversion, organic ranking on search engines like Google, as well as keep visitors on your page longer. Ultimately, getting to know more about who you are.

Now that is not to presume the two do not need each other…All we are saying is, never underestimate the power of a good blog!

A New(s) Letter: The Info Update

Quite literally, a letter to your clients, your newsletter may well be one of the most well-read communication pieces for your business, so make it count! It is a great way to give updates on everything going on inside your company: new team members, new products, new blog posts, new events and new inspirations.

But remember, your newsletter is great for engaging prospect clients. However, it’s primary role is to maintain relationships with your existing ones.

We suggest you set up a monthly (or weekly, depending on capacity), day and time for consistency. Choose a day for optimum readership. Make a bullet-point list ahead of time for each newsletter’s content. And if your mailing list doesn’t reflect the amount of clients your business sees, then perhaps it’s time to get that campaign going to get people to sign up!

A New Personal Touch: The Email

Different to a newsletter, personalized emails are a great way to send a more individualized message. Think of it like a one-on-one conversation rather than a group chat. It gives you the opportunity to get to know each other better without all the noise.

You can skip the labored hours building a segmented mailing list. You can skip the OH NO! moment when you find out your merge fields sent an email with the opening line Hello [First Name]. And you can build a personal relationship revealing the humans behind your brand, which is why emails are particularly great for prospecting.

Whether it’s an introduction to who you are or a follow-up after a phone call, emails remain an assured way to reach people in their own time. However, we do not condone ten unrequited, ubiquitous emails – and neither does most legislation – because no one wants to digest spam for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! So use your emails wisely and politely; please and thank you.

We hope this information helps small businesses understand some key elements of great digital marketing. For any help with some reliable campaign strategies or creating content, please send us a message and we’ll be happy to share some further insight.

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