The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series


Marketing Tips for Promoting Your Offline Local Business
by STC Staff Writer

Marketing your bricks and mortar store is easier than you think. There are many ways to market it offline in order to start driving more people into your store to buy.

Increasing Awareness

People can’t do business with you if they don’t even know you exist. If you are a new store, increasing awareness to get people in the door will be your first and most important job.

You have rent and utilities to pay, and need to make sure you earn enough profits to cover everything from your first month onward.

Marketing offline doesn’t have to be expensive, but you do need to factor in some time and money for it each month. Here are some of the best methods.

The Local Newspaper

Local newspapers have classified ads in all different sizes, organized in sections. You could run a conventional ad with words and your URL. You could also create a QR code at one of the free QR code creation websites.

Create a special URL at your website, then add it to the QR code creator so you can measure the success of your ad.

Offer an Interview and Be a Free Resource

Some newspapers will offer their (big or regular) advertisers the chance to be interviewed, and/or put in some editorial content. For example, if you’ve just opened a new restaurant in the area, they might interview you about your inspiration for the place, include a sample menu, and so on.

Once you’ve been open for a while, you could announce each new seasonal menu and a buyer’s guide on what to look for in the farmer’s market, for example. You might also offer them free content such as recipes and cooking tips.

All of this does take time, but the free content helps keep you in the public eye and most local journalists will be happy they don’t have to work so hard to meet their deadlines every week.

Local Radio and TV

Your work for the local paper will usually open up doors for you to the local radio and TV stations. They often look at the local papers to get ideas for announcements and programming.

Radio stations also offer a talking newspaper for the blind, with the top stories and best content read aloud and recorded, and then made into tapes that are delivered to people who would otherwise not be able to read the news by themselves.

You can also put in a call to a TV or radio producer about a feature idea you have. Using the restaurant as an example, you could offer cooking hints and tips, or even a live demonstration on TV.

If you are launching your own cookbook, this would be a must. And if you offer a free recipe from the book, they could put it on their website and in their social media, for even more marketing opportunities for you.

Postcard and Flyer Marketing

As the name suggests, postcard marketing is all about creating an attractive postcard that you can mail, drop in people’s mailboxes, or use as a handout at your counter or your market stall.

Postcards can be printed on both sides, include coupons or discounts, and generally serve as a calling card to try to get people into your establishment.

There are a number of inexpensive services that will print a gorgeous full-color postcard online. You can also buy mailing lists based on your zip code and nearby ones, and the service will take the list and do the mailing for you.

Flyers are similar, except you would not mail them. Print them up on your printer, copy them, and hand them out, stick them up, or get a helper to put them in people’s mailboxes.

The Local online craigslist, Pennysaver, or similar free Classifieds Newspaper

A craigslist can be very effective, and free to promote your offline business. The Pennysaver or similar Valpak is usually a monthly advertising pack about the size of a regular envelope, in which you get a slip of paper to print an ad on. You can use both sides and offer time-sensitive deals and coupons.

Or the Pennysaver or similar classifieds newspaper may be in a magazine format full of both classified, and display ads, often very low priced, but can be quite effective for promoting your business.

Social Media Marketing

Facebook, Instagran, Twitter, Linkedin, and other Social Media Sites can be a strong vehicle in promoting you local business.  They give you free exposure.

To utilize them most effectively, you’ll need to build up a strong local following, turning them into supporters for your business.

Use some or all of these offline marketing methods to get people into your store.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

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