In these tough economic times, you must pinch every penny. Marketing is one of the toughest areas for a business. You need to set a budget for marketing. It is important as it is more or less a gamble whether or not you will receive a healthy return on your investment.
More and more small businesses are putting effort into developing a brand identity. But brand identity with their communities by involving them in their marketing tactics. You will for sure want the community to market your business.
Using the community to market your business, you are both saving money. Also, you are reaching out to the community in a manner that reflects positively on you as an establishment.
Here are five great ways to have the community help you market your business. Using these tips will help you ensure a more significant return on your marketing investments:
1. Reach Out to the Local Schools
If you are looking for ways to market your business, local schools can be a good starting point for you.
The local high school or college will always have an organization or two looking to throw a fundraiser. Allow them to use your parking lot or other grounds to host these fundraisers. Offer discounts for winners of contests and really try to get involved in the event. These events will go a long way towards sustaining a healthy amount of business and keeping up good relations with the community.
2. Parade Floats to Market Your Business
Using a parade to market your business is another useful way to bring additional visibility to your company. Every town has some parade, whether for a holiday, homecoming, or other celebration.
Make an effort to not only enter a float in the parade but be competitive to win using your business niche. These types of events usually get mass media coverage. If you were to win a prize in the parade, you would be announced in the media. In such a way you will gain even more exposure for your business. Get the employees together and use the construction of the float as a team-building activity.
3. Custom Apparel and Utensils
Many say branded clothing and promotional items are so overdone nowadays. Still, the truth is, when done correctly, they can be an enormous help in taking your business to the next level. The problem is too many white T-shirts with a simple brand name or logo in the middle. Use branded clothing but add a little flavor to it, such as a quotable phrase or even just company color.
Don’t go nuts handing out free customized T-shirts that cost you $30 for a piece to make. Allow those who are already consistent customers to rep the brand around town with some unique branded apparel. Using things like pens, cups, or koozies tend to be more cost-effective. They are cost-effective because it is something people will routinely use. Different than a generic shirt that may just get left in the closet all year long.
4. Sponsor a Local Sports Team to Market Your Business
Businesses come and go, but the school spirit never completely dies. Show the community that you are invested in them by sponsoring a sports team or other competitive organization. This doesn’t even have to be a professional team. As stated above, reaching out to the local schools can cement you as a key brand in the community. Having your brand consistently shown as events with the guaranteed gathering like these will help you market your business to other locals and establish a consistent customer base.
5. Social Media
Over 18% of the time, people are using the internet today. They are also using social media. So, social media is a great place to start marketing your business.
As a business, it is a form of networking that must be a part of your marketing strategy. Add or follow the popular organizations around town as well as the people. Use your social media page to let people know what discounts are being given, what events are being held, and any other happenings for the business.
As economic times get tougher, it will become more important for businesses to find clever and cost-effective ways to market themselves. What are some ideas you can think of that might help one become a go-to business in a community for that particular niche?