Small Business Saturday is just a few weeks away, and that means it's time to get cracking on your plan to attract droves of customers this holiday season. Just think: You could double, maybe even triple holiday profits by employing just a few hyper-local marketing strategies. Here's how to cash in.
Advertise in a neighborhood newsletter
When Jeremy and Natalie Gregg opened a law office in Dallas, Texas, in 2009, they placed ads in the newsletters of affluent communities—and struck gold.
“Hyper-local marketing is all about the relationship and trust level you have with your customer, so when you advertise in a neighborhood newsletter, it might be read by only 400 people, but the people who see it will feel like they are getting advice from a friend,” says Jeremy Gregg.
An extra bonus is the potential ROI.
"We are talking about a $50 expense for a year, and when we got even one case out of it, it was an exponential return," he says. "Natalie was also soon known as the neighborhood attorney."
Use daily deal sites wisely
Daily deal sites are getting a lot of negative attention these days, primarily because businesses are falling victim to the one-and-done strategy employed by so many users (customers visiting once to use a coupon and never coming back).
Matt Allen, owner of Virginia Auto Service in Phoenix, Arizona, suggests a solution.
“My trick is to raise the price and instead of offering one oil change, I offer three oil changes; the first introduces them to our service, they come back for the next two and by the fourth time they need something, we have a relationship and they think of us first,” he says.
Collaborate with noncompetiting businesses
Look at your client base. Where else do they shop? If you are a florist, chances are they frequent the women’s clothing boutique down the street. Gregg recommends identifying noncompeting businesses that attract the same type of customers and working together with them.
“If you can’t afford a radio spot, for example, pool your money for a bigger spot; or if you are both in the same shopping center, hold a cross promotional event,” he offers.
Hold a contest
Everyone loves a competition. Set up a contest for your business and you are sure to attract engaged customers.
“If you are an ice cream shop, advertise on social media that you are having an ice cream eating contest; after the contest, put the video up on YouTube and on your site—[you] never know, you might even get some media attention,” says Gregg.
Partner with a local charity
Nonprofits can add tremendous publicity to a small business. Call up a local charity and offer to donate a portion of your profits, ask them to advertise the promotion to their network and do the same to yours, advises Gregg. Then watch the customers pour in.