Unless you’re a proven destination business for your community, there’s a good chance that you’ve tried a few outside marketing ideas already. Having prospects get a glimpse of what you can offer them is often the motivating factor that causes a prospect to become a lead and then eventually a customer. Starting the sales funnel comes through these proven ideas that will give your business some added exposure in the outdoors.
It all begins with your ability to be relevant. If your marketing efforts are relevant and consistent across the board to what you do, then you’ll be sending a mixed message to those who might be interested in the journey of your sales funnel. A confused customer is one that won’t open up their wallet! From your website to your outside marketing, speak the same message.
Great Outside Marketing Ideas
1. Get Published
There’s more prestige in being published by a major publication than a blog. Speak with your local media outlets and talk with local magazines about how your business might be able to contribute to their content in some way. If you can get published, you’ll have a lot of free local press that will be interested in what you have to say because someone else found your content valuable enough to publish in print.
2. Be Smarter About Content
Your good content can always be re-used in some way. This is especially true if you’re getting less than 100 hits on a blog post. A popular method of repurposing content is to create an ebook out of a series of blog posts and then give that away for free through a squeeze page. Content could also become a webinar, a video marketing script, or even a guest blog post.
3. Article Marketing Is Picking Up Steam
You need good links to build up your online search reputation, so writing articles that contain links back to your website can provide you the boost you might need. They’ll need to be unique articles, not spun ones, and getting onto blogs is often better than article mills.
4. Share Helpful Tips
Ebooks are often used to get email addresses because they have a lot of specific value that people need. What is an email address when you’ve got helpful tips to share that can be used immediately? Then take those email addresses and share even more value with minimal sales links and you’ll have a great outside marketing idea.
5. Network Every Day
Outside networking is the life blood of any business on a budget. Every person you meet throughout the day is someone with whom you can network. You can even begin building networks through your prospects and customers! Don’t waste any interaction you have.
6. Spark the Relationship
If you know when your customer’s birthdays or anniversaries are or if you’ve got a holiday coming up and a lot of customer addresses, then take the time to send out some cards. A handwritten note that thanks someone for their business goes a long ways toward sparking a relationship between you and that customer and you may just find some additional business headed your way.
Instead of donating time or money to local charities, try donating excess inventory that you have so that you get additional community exposure. You won’t have to take the tax penalty for the inventory, the value can be written off when your taxes are itemized, and you’ll get a lot of brand awareness in places that you normally wouldn’t receive.
8. Be a Sample Specialist
Samples of what you provide are an excellent way to show people what you can do. Offering samples in your store or business, even of the services you can provide, will provide proof of your value. Get out into public spaces for more sampling opportunities, park in front of a busy store if they’ll allow you to do so, and just hand out samples and information with a smile.
9. Buy a Tent
Trade shows and farmer’s markets provide a lot of community exposure on a 1-to-1 level that you want for marketing. Go buy a tent, rent a space for a few days, and then make your products or services look as valuable as possible.
10. Provide a VIP Experience
Let your loyal customers have a better shopping experience by giving them the VIP treatment in some way. This can be done through extended hours, either early or late, or bonus perks that they can receive when they come into shop. It can even be something as simple as an exclusive discount upon checkout if you wish. As long as it is exclusive to your VIP program, you’ll be set.
11. Host a Fundraiser
Your local school programs and non-profits are constantly running fundraisers to meet their budgets. By offering your location as a fundraising hub, you’ll not only show that you’re involved with your local community, you’re also ready to lend a helping hand when needed. That’s good karma for your brand awareness!
12. Get Your Inventory Out There
If you’ve got a sidewalk outside of your store then you’ve got an easy way to market your items. Just set your inventory outside so people can take a look at it. Make sure you keep an eye on your items, however, because sometimes they tend to walk away!
13. Give Demonstrations
If your business involves a special skill, then offer regular demonstrations of this skill in your store and at special events so people can see the good work you do. Whether you can lay flagstone down like a pro or you’re a weaving genius, the details of your work will often spur people into investing into your skills because that’s where your real value lies.
14. Have an Open House
Sometimes people just don’t come in because you’re location isn’t ultra-convenient. Have an open house to attract these fence-sitters by increasing the value to make up for their perceived inconvenience. Offer freebies, mingle with everyone, and the good time that people have will often spur sales.
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