Marketing in today’s world has changed in a great many ways, hasn’t it? We have television advertisements and radio jingles just like we did decades ago, but we also have direct-to-customer targeted ads gathered from cookies and stored data on the internet, personalized notifications sent straight to phones, email blasts, and more. Everything is effective in its own way (if it weren’t, it wouldn’t exist), but there are some blank spaces here and there in the physical world, spots where the digital realm took over.
What’s missing? What’s different?
Boots-on-the-ground, feet-on-the-street, in-person marketing.
A lot of businesses and entrepreneurs have made the extreme shift to digital marketing – which is a great idea (after all, Promotion LA is a digital marketing agency, so we know the importance). But they’ve stepped back from marketing campaigns and tactics that happen in the flesh. Fostering connections is more difficult through a screen, and it always will be. You can get customers, sure, but there’s no reason to potentially exclude a whole other potential customer base!
Let’s look at these 5 ways to market your business in person. We’re sure you’ll resonate with these in-person marketing ideas – and best of all, your creativity will flow, and you’ll be inspired to try something similar, yet make it wholly your own.
Get the Right Signs
Anyone on foot needs to know that your business is there. You might have a window display, a logo on the door, or something hanging in front, but without a proper sign, your business won’t attract the eye. We’re visual people, and our eyes are drawn to certain things, whether they’re colors that are out of place (think of the bright yellow arches we all know so well or the red and white bulls-eye) or billboards that loom over everything.
You don’t need a giant billboard near the highway, but a decently-sized sign outside your business can work wonders. Take, for example, how the sign below can make customers laugh and share it on their social media.
If you’d rather not use a sandwich sign because you’re not a deli or coffee shop, you can look into a sign positioned above your door so that both pedestrians on the side and occupants in cars can spot it with ease. Movie theater signs are set up this way so you can read them without difficulty.
Use Flyers and Business Cards
Flyers are almost purely used to catch the eye of pedestrians since you need to be up close to read them. You can place flyers in locations you know there’s a lot of foot traffic and a lot of interest. For example, if you’re looking to advertise the beginning of open mic nights at your coffee shop, you can hang flyers in music stores, libraries, and on college campuses.
As for business cards, a lot of people make the mistake of simply handing out their cards to anyone. This is the fastest way to have your card get thrown in the garbage. Instead, try handing them out in spots where you can have a small conversation with people who might be interested in your business. You can also talk with some business owners and see if they’ll be open to you leaving your cards on their desks. For instance, some gyms don’t stock any nutritious drinks or snacks – if you run a small company that specializes in veggie juices, protein shakes, and healthy snacks, you could strike up a conversation about keeping some business cards in the gym.
People are more likely to act on their interest when they see that you’re making the effort yourself!
Utilize Influencers or Well-Known Figures
Customers like to follow other recommendations, so when they see that one of their favorite personalities is shopping at your business, they’ll be interested in seeing what the rave is all about. However, that’s still attracting customers digitally, so how do you bring in people in person?
When you have a personality present, set up a sign to let people know who’s there. They’ll be more likely to stop and listen, shop, ask for a photo, or talk more about your business. Of course, you can also have the person post an update to alert their following to come out, and you might just see a small explosion of customers that day!
Host In-Store Events
As great as it is to have personalities appear in your store, it’s also worth considering holding events at your store. Do you run a small winery? Tastings! Do you own an independent book store? Signings and readings! Do you operate an arts and crafts shop? Kid’s night!
The type of event you can hold is always going to depend on your business niche, but you have to let your creativity shine through. When there are events happening, people in the area will want to stop by and check it out, especially if your business is on a prime thoroughfare that sees a lot of foot traffic. You should, of course, advertise these events digitally as well as physically to reach the broadest audience possible. In-person marketing is best paired with every other strategy, after all.
Reach Your Local Community
Speaking of people in the area, have you thought of how to reach locals? If your business is small but offers services that are usually only attainable outside of the area, you have to grab the attention of those in proximity.
Take, for example, a music repair shop versus a big company. The big company will have longer wait times and a longer hold on instruments, and it generally won’t be nestled somewhere residential. Musicians may have urgent needs; a show over the weekend, a recording session that night. The local store can do the rush job because they’re close by. Of course, they also have to do an amazing job, or they won’t have customers at all – but that’s true for every business, isn’t it?
What can you do to reach your local community? You can sponsor events (local restaurants sometimes sponsor small school events or charity fundraisers), host gatherings (a free class or seminar), and be an active member in other areas (attend social events or partner with other businesses). Locals tend to support locals – do your part and you’re sure to reap the benefits.
Ready for the Next Step?
In-person marketing is still an effective tool in today’s world, but digital marketing is equally as important! Promotion LA proudly handles the marketing services of a number of stores, shops, and eateries in Los Angeles, and our efforts have contributed to the growth of many small businesses. Our reviews can tell you what you need to know, but if you’re ready to take the next step in marketing your business, reach out to us today. We’ll set up a consultation with you to discuss your business, your plans, your future, and your goals.
Let’s grow together and make every plan a reality!