There is a plethora of cost effective marketing strategies which small businesses can take on without costing them an arm or a leg. Potential leads or future customers are readily available in the local environment for local small businesses to survive as well as to thrive in the local marketplace before expanding internationally.
Traditional marketing options
The yellow pages used to be very popular with consumers seeking the best of local businesses with the telephone and mass media as favored traditional marketing options for small businesses. However, the yellow pages must be updated regularly with hundreds of new business enterprises cropping up in the market every year, while mass media advertising such as TV, radio and local newspapers cost businesses a bomb.
Many small businesses did door-to-door marketing with flyers, brochures and leaflets which were ineffective with a high cost for printing and paper. Environmentalists frown on this mode of marketing with the huge volume of paper used without generating a good return on the business. Cold calls were made to interest local consumers as charges were considered reasonable, but the response to such marketing option was very cold.
With the emergence of the Internet, many small businesses are jumping onto its bandwagon to manipulate its plethora of cost effective marketing features even in the local neighborhood environment.
New marketing tool
The Internet has proven to be an excellent marketing platform for small businesses to source for future customers or potential leads with its myriad of resources and channels such as social media networks, blog spots and websites. Local online marketing for small local businesses can be very successful and cost effective to reach the masses efficiently. The small business that manipulates the Internet would stand out of the crowd with a potential to grow and expand quickly and powerfully.
Niche customers can be targeted on the Internet as there are plenty of specific areas to target at for any small local business. Local area targets are much faster and cheaper than broad searches. Targeted customers in that local area can identify the small local business using online map searches, online yellow pages, mobile phones and PDAs. More web traffic can be drawn to the web business site for a higher conversion rate, which benefits the bottom line of the local business. There is a place for local business advertising, especially for small local businesses that require a specific demography to kick start their business operations to be established.
Search Engine Optimization
Small business marketing plans today include search engine optimization even for local businesses to draw more web traffic as well as a source for potential leads. The Internet provides a myriad of online marketing tools that can benefit small businesses of any industry. It is important to attract new customers for business sustenance and growth. An attractive website would be one of the tools to lure more web consumers to view the company’s offerings, especially if the web business site is optimized. This would garner a stronger page rank status by popular search engines which enables web consumers to visit the business site more readily than if it were on subsequent pages of the search engines’ SERPs.
SEO can work effectively with most local online marketing strategies such as social media networking or Pay-per-Click advertising. SEO is a very dynamic tool which small business owners can implement to secure more benefits such as target online prospects effectively, generate quality leads, drive more traffic to sites and gain more web presence. An optimized website is beneficial to the small business enterprise with better SERP results. Most potential customers are able to find the small business website and check out its range of products and services easily to make a purchase online if eCommerce features are incorporated.
Local market benefits
There are good reasons to choose a local market to boost the local small business. A local market can vouch for the small local business if the products and services are satisfactory. The local market is the best testing ground for a small business to survive and make it on bigger shores. It can be a springboard for the local small business to enjoy international acclaim; if the small local business can succeed with a local market, it has a high chance of succeeding in another perhaps bigger market. Hence, the local market forms one of the best platforms for the small business to be established and gain the necessary respect from the local community which can serve to praise the local business if excellent products and services are offered.
Touching base with the right local market allows the local consumers to get to know the business entity better and support its operations. Most local consumers tend to be more supportive of their local enterprises to help keep the local economy vibrant. This is also an incentive for the local business to raise its standards of quality in products and services. The local market can increase the small business’s national presence if it is successful with the local environment. A well established local business in its neighborhood can hope to secure the available local resources to expand its outreach beyond the local shores to make a better impact.
Local businesses can target other local businesses in the neighborhood to rally support and assistance. Franchised businesses and local retailers make great local supports with their secured circle of customers that may be interested in the small business offerings. Local business events and promotional happenings can be organized with neighborhood stores to establish the local small business.
It is cheaper to advertise at local markets than international ones until the local business has sufficient funds and resources as well as confidence to compete in the bigger markets. There are plenty of potential local customers in the neighborhood such as local community colleges, community centers, apartment complexes, government agencies and local schools where diverse groups of potential customers await the local business. The younger generations should not be sidelined as they would soon become the future customers of local businesses.