How can you ensure that your business stands out locally?
The good news is that it doesn’t require a lot of money. In real terms the answer to the question is to market yourself effectively, but let’s look first at the real reason why you might want to. It’s because of the:
For every business, large or small, there is a genuine need to use marketing. The reason for this? Well, you can have the greatest product or service in the world but unless people know about it, you’ll be the best kept secret!
More importantly is the thought that if yours was the only business of its kind in the area, and you were able to meet demand, matched your capacity there would be no need to stand out from the rest.
Many businesses will say that word of mouth is their greatest marketing asset, and in many ways this is the best advertising. Personal recommendations are ultra-trustworthy, and continue spreading the word, which is nice. But if your business is young, or you don’t have enough satisfied customers to sing your praises yet, winning new business will need to be achieved another way.
So here are 4 easy steps when it comes to ensuring that your business stands out from the local crowd:
- Decide who you want to attract as a customer
- Identify the best place to communicate with them
- Find the best method of communicating with them
- Define what you want to say
Sound simple doesn’t it?
Deciding who you want to attract will automatically dictate the where and the how, but let’s deal with that in a moment. Let’s pinpoint the ‘who’ first.
If you are a landscape gardener it’s likely that you will want to attract anyone with a large garden or building project. Make it in an affluent area too because they are more likely to need your services and be willing and able to afford them. If however you are a jobbing gardener, it stands to reason that most people with a garden will potentially be in need of and able to afford your services.
The best place?
The landscape gardener needs to communicate in a place that is frequented by those affluent garden owners, so advertising in a newspaper that is read by anyone with a garden isn’t as effective as it could be. We need to think about where our potential customers go, what they do and how we can interrupt them in a positive way to get on their radar and grab their attention and interest.
The best method?
Method and place thankfully go together rather well. It would be nice if it was as simple as just picking a marketing method and giving it a go, but stand-out is best achieved effectively. You can spend some money and run an advert in or on a variety of advertising formats, including:
- The local paper
- Leaflet drops
- Roundabout signage
- Ticket gateways at the railway station
- The local radio station
- Online banners
- Search Engine Optimisation and Search Engine Marketing for your website
- Fuel nozzle advertising at petrol stations
- Car park tickets
- Car park barriers
What would our landscape gardener choose? What’s the best method for her? It stands to reason that the local paper might be too broad in its coverage, not arriving on enough of the right doorsteps. Leaflet dropping might be a better idea because at least she can precisely target the area and even properties that she thinks are right for her business. What about an advert at the local upmarket garden centre?
What you want to say
The important thing here is that your message is clear, simple and gives your potential customer a reason to act. Make them an offer, do a special deal or, and this is the important bit, tell them about why your business is different to or better than the competition. Ideally this benefit (or Unique Selling Point) will be one that is important to them.
The choice for you and your business is all about if you spend money and where. To make your hard earned coin an investment and not a cost, it pays to go beneath the surface and understand why any marketing or advertising product will work for your business. It pays not to go on gut instinct, but to research the real value of whatever media you are considering. Go on Google and search before you buy; get advice from a reputable source – and you’ll get much better bang for your buck.
If you would like some help or advice on ensuring that your business stands out locally, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you some input, absolutely free!
- Greg Anyon
- Local Business
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