Six Unique Ways to Get Local Customers to your Small Business
For years, small business owners have been following the same procedure. They open a business and they put an ad in the yellow pages, which worked well for years. Many small business owners even made the name of their business start with an "A" so their business would be at the beginning of their category. Business owners that have been spending a large portion or all of their advertising budget on yellow page ads to get local customers have noticed that they are receiving fewer and fewer calls from people looking for their products and services.
Another strategy that many small business owners use to get local customers to their business is to place print ads in their local newspapers. The problem with this type of advertising is that many consumers do not read the newspaper anymore. They get their news online and from local news websites. Advertising in local newspapers can also use up a great portion of the small business advertising budget because an average ad campaign is only effective if the ads are seen consistently, week after week. An average newspaper ad is normally in the $200 to $300 per week range and effectiveness is hard to track.
Yellow page ads are paid for and printed and cannot be changed until the next yearly printing. Newspaper ads are normally placed for a period of four to six weeks before the small business owner sees results. Then after that time they can change the ad if they feel they are not able to get the local customers they expected from the ad.
When small business owners use online technology that is available today, they can easily replace yellow page and newspaper advertising campaigns. Using technology for advertising campaigns to get local customers can also be more efficient because of real time statistics that are available with most online campaigns. If real time statistics are not available, statistics from the day before are normally available. Having the power to create advertising campaigns and immediately check the results can greatly increase small business success.
The first online strategy a small business needs to implement to get local customers, completely for free, is to set up or claim their local listing with the top search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. This important online strategy can be completed in less than 30 minutes for each search engine. Less than 7% of small businesses have taken advantage of this free strategy. On average, the small business can expect between eight to ten new prospects each and every month depending upon their industry.
The second way that a small business can get local customers to find their business when searching for local products and services is to write and submit a press release to any of the online press release websites. This is a free strategy that any business that wants to attract local customers should implement. Plus, for a small fee the press release site will offer additional services like sending the press release to the local media. A well written press release containing keywords that people are searching for can rank on page one of the local search results pages.
The third unique way to get local customers is to find another small business in their same geographical area that does not sell any competing products or services but does have the same type of clients, and trade website links. Each small business can put a banner ad or text link to the other company and they can share each other's customer base. This strategy alone can quickly increase a small businesses income.
The fourth, and very effective, online strategy to get local customers is to increase the small businesses Alexa ranking with an Alexa Boosting package. This can drive hundreds of online visitors to the small business website. When a small business has a better Alexa ranking it will be easier to get other local businesses to trade links, which will also increase the small business websites vertical traffic.
The fifth way to get local customers is to create an IP Unique campaign that can target online traffic by category. This type of campaign will also bring online traffic from outside the small businesses local geographical area, which will help raise the Alexa ranking of the website. Small business websites with more traffic and a better Alexa rank will increase the value of the website and make it easier to attract advertisers that want to place ads on the small business website to create additional income streams for the small business.
The sixth unique way for a small business to get local customers is to run a contest and make one of the small businesses popular products or services the prize. The small business can either offer one high value prize or numerous smaller value prizes or both, whatever makes the most sense for the business. Contests that create buzz and interaction from customers work very well to get local customers. An example of a successful contest would be for the small business to have customers upload an image of the customer using one of the small businesses products to Facebook. Then the customers can have their friends tag the small business in the photo. The photo with the most tags for the small business will be chosen as the winner. This type of campaign offers the interaction that consumers in today's marketplace are looking for. Plus it can go viral, providing the small business with many more customers.
An easy way for a small business to get local customers is to implement one of the above strategies every week. Then by the end of six weeks all the strategies will be up and running, bringing the small business lots of new local customers. After each of the strategies has been in place, the small business can concentrate on the ones that are providing the most local customers.