Your existing web site should be optimized for search by adding
unique quality content (that includes your search keywords) so the
search engines can find the pages and visitors can learn from the
Today's internet visitors are smart and know that they can find quality information on the internet. Your web site can be the place where people come to learn about your specialty. Visitors will trust and buy from you because they know that you are the expert in your field. You have become the expert in their eyes, because of the amount of quality content on the web site.
ONLINE NETWORKING TO DRIVE TRAFFIC
Create and maintain a blog and other networking sites (squidoo.com, facebook, linkedin.com, etc.), creating a web of links that direct visitors to your site where we capture their contact information and keep building relationships with visitors until they become customers. You need to manage your presence on the internet. That is much better than creating a site and just leaving it up to chance, waiting to see if someone finds your site or not.
GOOGLE PAID SEACH CAMPAIGN
You can set up a Google AdWords campaign, which is paying for targeted traffic to your site. This process gets you on the first page of Google immediately where people can see your offerings. this can be inexpensive depending on your budget. However, we recommend a budget amount of $100-500/month.
With an interest list generator on your web site, you can gather
contact information from people who have visited your site. You
then use that information and distribute an email newsletter to
your potential customers. You must provide great content so that
your readers can't wait for the next installment! Your newsletter
can contain industry news and articles we later post to your site
TRACKING AND ANALYSIS
It is very important to track all marketing efforts to see what works and what doesn't. This is not only especially important for web campaigns, but easy to do. You can track every single visitor to your site. You will know where they went, what they looked at, how long they spent on each page. There needs to be constant improvement in the marketing message and tracking is vital to this.
YOUTH TEAM SPONSORSHIPS
Sponsoring community amateur sports teams, I.e. Little League, AYSO Soccer Teams, girls softball teams… Spectators see your company name on all the children's backs and you get to sponsor the pizza lunch at the end of the season. Great networking and photo taking opportunity. They usually give you a plaque of thanks and you can get the newspaper there for a photo. This sponsorship gives great pr opportunities.
SCHOOL SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Place an ad in the local Theater Programs. Place an ad in any local Event Programs. Place ads in school sporting schedules, club programs, any opportunity to get in front of the public. You can even put a banner on the sports fields of local high schools for less than you think.
START A SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Start a scholarship fund for students going to college to study in your field. Scholarships can cover tuition, books, be for a certain dollar amount. You decide. Awarding the scholarships is very newsworthy and begs for a press release, increasing your exposure in the community.
CREATE/SPONSOR A CHARITABLE EVENT
Sponsor an existing event, or even create your own charitable event that can be hosted annually and include other members of the business community. A 10K run for cancer, annual food drive for Christmas are just some of the ideas for a charity event.
COMMUNITY BASED MARKETING
A press release should be written up every time you do something newsworthy in the community. People in the local community, your potential customers, read the local paper and after time, will remember your name and community involvement. After a while you can create a relationship with the reporters in your area. remember, they are people too. Treat them nicely and if your story matches their needs, you will probably get published.
You can initiate a site sign or lawn sign advertising program. Site signs are simple plastic sleeves emblazoned with your business name, logo and promotional message that you fit on top of a preformed wire stand that is pushed easily into the ground. This program is very inexpensive to implement. Have clients/customers place one of these signs on their lawns or in their windows.
COMMUNITY NOTICE BOARDS
Anyone on a tight budget should regard community notice boards as a free and valuable source for advertising. Design a business flier complete with the description of your product/service, what it will do for them & how to get a hold of you. Place the flyers in the following locations: Supermarkets, convenience stores, public libraries, community colleges, universities, & high schools, Coin laundries & dry cleaners, Auto Service Stations, Community Centers, Fitness Centers, Public Markets, Sports complex, Churches and club or association buildings…Be sure to use a telephone tear-away system on the bottom of the fliers so interested parties can take the number and call once they get home.
PLACE-MATS FOR LOCAL RESTAURANTS
Strike a deal with a local busy restaurant to supply them with free paper place-mats in exchange for exclusive advertising of your business on the place-mats. 11”X17” B&W bulk place-mats will cost in the range of three cents each. The restaurant receives free place-mats, saving them money and you get much needed advertising. If the restaurant serves 200 customers a day, this will give you exclusive exposure to six thousand people a month for less than $200.
Place an ad in the local schools newspapers (Local Community Colleges & Universities).
LOCAL CASH REGISTER RECEIPTS
This is a way to get your advertisement into the hands of local shoppers. A part of a thorough marketing mix, not especially effective alone.
LOCAL CHURCH PROGRAMS
Place ads in the local Church Newsletters
DONATE BOOKS TO THE LIBRARY
Purchase books and magazines that are relevant to your business. Next, put stickers inside the front cover of the books. The stickers should tell about your business and promote it by saying what you do, and what you sell. Once the stickers are inside, donate the books to local libraries. Assuming the book is on loan from the library only 250 days a year and remains in the inventory for 5 years, then your $10 “book ad” could potentially be seen by more than 1,000 people who are interested in your services because the books are relevant to your business.
Another method is to have plastic covers made, those similar to the protection sleeves that go over telephone directories. The covers can be printed with your business name, logo and message, basically your advertisement. Once this is done, make arrangements with local professionals such as lawyers, doctors and accountants (CPA’s) to stock their waiting rooms with current magazines. Of course, the magazines you stock for free are the ones with your advertisement over the cover. Change the magazines monthly. Remember to target your market by where you place the magazines.
COMMUNITY-BASED SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NETWORKING
Networking with other business owners can work magic for your business. After you join your local chamber, you can expand to others if you want or need to. You can also design and deploy your advertising brochure at the meetings.
ADVERTISE IN CHAMBER LITERATURE
Most chambers have newsletter that go out to members. You can advertise in these. They also have mailing lists available to purchase and direct mail campaigns can be sent to chamber members this way as well.
PRESENTATIONS AND SEMINARS
Speak to local organizations. This is a low-key opportunity to
speak in front of Optimist Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Soroptimist (Women’s
Club), Kiwanis Club, any men's or women’s clubs or any Chamber of
Commerce meetings. Remember, getting the word out about your business
is the name of the game.
Prepare and present a seminar to local people to show people you are the expert in your niche. Use creative methods to "get the word out" about seminar. Can be repeated monthly or quarterly in different locations. Sometimes these seminars are presented with lunch or dinner which is an extra expense.
Create and conduct a free seminar for local small business owners teaching them the ins and outs of your industry. You could team up with another local business services company to create more perceived value for attendees and split the costs.
You can place brochures at chamber meetings and mixers. They can
be used as a self mailer for a direct mail campaign. It will give
your business philosophy and services so people get to know you
and your business.
Come up with a catchy phrase or give customers a reason to put it on their car and you can have many mobile mini-billboards roaming around your city.
LOCAL AND REGIONAL NEWSPAPER ADS
Newspaper is still a good way to stay on top of peoples' minds. Not as good as other methods used individually, but can round out a good marketing mix.
Companies can advertise in both local magazines like "Inland Empire magazine" or in regional editions of national magazines like "People" or "Newsweek." Depending on the target market, this may or may not be a cost-effective advertising method.
Create a script and call small business owners, asking about their
needs. Saying you are taking a survey is a good way to get in the
door. Hire a student who can say they are a student "doing research
for a report (to you)" and you will get many more responses. Then
use that information to craft your next marketing piece.
You can hire trained sales people who will go door-to-door as a representative of your company, taking surveys, generating sales, getting contacts, delivering fliers, what ever you need them to do. Less expensive and easier than hiring a full time sales person, this is an easy way to test a product or idea.
DIRECT MAIL LISTS
List of new businesses, list of all businesses - many different
types of lists can be purchased. Lists can be filtered by size of
business, number of employees, revenue, and more. This is why knowing
who your target market is is so important. The idea is to get more
customers that are just like your current best customers.
You can create a self mailing brochure, postcard or card series, Audio CD with a presentation, DVD with video presentation, and more. Things to keep in mind with mailers: costs include design, printing, postage, and mailing house services.
You pay everyday people to have their cars covered with advertisements for your business. The host car, van, SUV or truck is completely wrapped in an advertisement for your business. This can be accomplished with vinyl Mylar. Auto Wraps have programs available starting at about $500 a month.
Billboards can be a highly effective means of advertising your
business. They do require a 12 month commitment and can run as little
as $4,000 month.
WALL BILLBOARD AT A LOCAL MALL
Place an ad in the local malls. There are kiosks to place ads in, or you can “rent” part of a wall that is not being used to place your advertisement on.
You can arrange to pay a mobile billboard to carry your advertisement around the community. They can drive around your area all day or stop at prearranged locations such as large shopping centers. They can also pass out fliers (Additional fee). Price doesn't include production of posters.
Mobile billboard ads boost name recognition 15 times greater than any other form of advertising. Product Acceptance and Research, Inc.
It is estimated that one mobile billboard truck can make over 1,500,000 million Impressions per month when targeted to a DMA (Designated Marketing Area) of More than 5 million people- thats a CPM (Cost per Thousand) of six dollars based on a two month campaign. (Simmons Market Research)
CABLE TELEVISION ADVERTISING
You can advertise on cable television for less than you think. You can create a 30 second templated commercial and decide on the media buy. Because the cable television is divided up by market it is easy to select the geographic area you want to target - large or small. (A recent search found a customized template based ad, 500 spots spread out over a month on a dozen cable channels = $2500)
ADDITIONAL CABLE PROVIDER CHANNELS
There are also Cable channels now that have been created by the cable companies that provide additional outlets for businesses. Some that are available are charter's Medical channel, religion channel and real estate video tour channels. There might be one for your business as well.
DVD THAT TELLS YOUR STORY
You can create a DVD that tells the story of your business. It can be a recording of your presentation. You can give it away to seminar attendees, to people that ask for it on your web site or as a direct mail piece.
WE CAN HELP
IDEABOX Marketing & Design wishes you well in your marketing efforts.
We have the resources to help you carry out any of the marketing
methods listed here. We chose these because most of them can be
utilized without too much cost. If you want an appointment to discuss
how we can help you roll out your marketing plan, please call us
at (951) 212-4080 or use our contact
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