Hey there! If you’re reading this, odds are you’re a local business owner who’s tired of watching money evaporate faster than ice in the Sahara. You’re searching for that golden ticket, a marketing strategy that actually delivers without draining your bank account.
So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get ready to wrestle with the 800-pound gorilla in the room: Guerilla Marketing. Yes, it’s 2023, and this age-old beast still packs quite a punch. Now, if you think guerilla marketing is about donning a gorilla suit and waving a sign outside your store, hold your horses (or gorillas). There’s more to it than that, and today we’ll expose the top no- or low-cost strategies to truly make your local business roar. And, no, this isn’t some rehashed, overcooked spaghetti of information you’ve read a thousand times. This is fresh, juicy steak.
- Localized Content is King, Queen, and the Whole Deck of Cards
It’s time to think like a local and act like a local. Pro Tip: Infuse your blog posts, newsletters, social media, and even product descriptions with local references. If you’re a restaurant owner in San Francisco, how about a blog on the “10 Best Picnic Spots in San Francisco,” accompanied by a pre-packaged picnic basket meal deal? Remember, familiarity breeds trust, and local content is as familiar as it gets. It’s easy, free, and fosters a deep connection with your community.
- Partnerships are Worth More than Gold
Reach out to non-competing local businesses and forge symbiotic relationships. For instance, if you run a fitness studio, partner with a local health food store for cross-promotions. Host joint events, offer exclusive discounts for each other’s customers. The cost? A bit of your time and a lot of shared success.
- Conquer the Local Search War
Do I even need to tell you that having a Google My Business profile is no longer optional? But having a profile isn’t enough. Your Google My Business profile is your digital storefront. Make it attractive and informative. Invest some time in learning basic SEO tactics to optimize your profile. The result? Your business pops up when locals search for services like yours. It’s your direct line to the customers right in your neighborhood and it’s practically free, save for a bit of time and effort.
- Customers: Your Brand Ambassadors
What’s better than a marketing campaign? A marketing campaign that costs you nothing! Encourage your customers to spread the word about your business. Implement a referral program where customers receive discounts or special perks when they bring new customers. A cafe could offer a “Bring-a-Friend Friday” where the customer and their friend both get a 15% discount. Word-of-mouth marketing is free and has a conversion rate no paid ad can match!
- Use Social Media Locally, Not Globally
Don’t just post content on social media; post content that matters to your local community. Stay hyper-active and hyper-local on social media. Partner with local influencers, engage with local hashtags, and support local causes. For example, if there’s a charity run in your town, promote it, participate in it, and offer special discounts for participants at your business. Your community will remember your involvement and goodwill.
- Events and Workshops: Go Beyond Selling (Image sent on skype)
Imagine you run a local gardening center. Why not go the extra mile and host a free workshop on “Creating Your Own Kitchen Herb Garden”? You could hold this in-store, for a hands-on experience, or even online, to reach a broader audience. During the workshop, share invaluable tips, show off your unique products, and interact with your customers. Make it a fun, educational, and engaging experience.
People are more likely to purchase from someone they view as an expert rather than just a seller. Hosting workshops gives you a platform to showcase your expertise and passion. And you know what the best part is? It’s practically free! Aside from the time you invest, the return could be substantial – more traffic, more sales, and a stronger reputation in your community.
- Viral Video Challenges
It’s 2023, and viral video challenges are still very much a thing. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram are perfect for this. If you’re a pizza place, create a fun pizza-tossing challenge. If you’re a book store, a “book balance challenge” can be a real hit. Your customers have fun, your brand gets promoted, and it doesn’t cost you a dime.
In the end, the essence of Gorilla—err, Guerilla—Marketing in 2023 remains the same: be creative, stand out, and make your customers feel valued. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, it shouldn’t. All it takes is a bit of creativity, effort, and a dash of “can do” to get business booming.
Just remember, in the jungle of local business, it’s not the lion that’s king, but the smart, resourceful gorilla. So, what are you waiting for? Start swinging!