Traditional Small Business Advertising Isn’t Dead Yet

Posted on by Ivana S. Taylor

Don’t Forget the Tried and True

In our increasingly digital age it’s easy to forget that there are ways to market and advertise your business that don’t involve the web.  In a recent presentation by the Founder of Meylah (a local ecommerce platform for small business) 80% of all small business revenue actually comes from LOCAL customers! And that means that you have to be accessible to a local audience. Fake coupons with Scissors

Recently, I was talking to a client that lived in Middletown, Delaware.  As we were going through his marketing options, we got to talking about some of the traditional marketing tools that seem to have fallen out of favor.  The more we started talking, the more some of these options seemed to be good for him.  So I’m sharing some of our conversation with you.

Press Releases

This blog recently featured an article on all of the reasons that you should be writing and submitting press releases for your business. In this article we talked about the benefit of online press releases. It’s important that you send your press releases out the old fashioned way as well. Fax or email them to journalists for your local media. Drop them off with your chamber of commerce. You never know who will take notice. Let’s use the town of Middletown, Delaware as an example. In a smaller market like that, sending press releases directly to the people you know need them will get you a much better response than if you simply waited and hoped for the Middletown media to stumble across your web release.

Phone Books and Local Directories

When you travel, what’s the first thing you do after you check in to your hotel? You flip through the phone book! Everybody does this. It’s the best way to get a feel for the town that you’re visiting. They are also still very helpful for finding businesses that might not yet be online or for tracking down the services you need when you don’t have access to the web. For instance, (continuing the Middletown example) let’s say that you forgot to charge your phone before you left your house in Middletown and find yourself in need of a doctor, you can stop anywhere and ask to see that business’s phone book or the local directory and find the address and phone number for the Middletown hospital with just a few page flips.

Flyers

Going door to door with flyers is time consuming but it is one of the best ways to make sure that your information actually gets into people’s hands. In smaller markets like Middletown, door to door flyer distribution is rare so you know you’ll grab lots of attention. In larger markets like Detroit, flyer distribution is more common but it is still done (just make sure you follow the city’s rules for leaving things on people’s doorsteps). You can also post your flyers on community bulletin boards and on utility poles around town to maximize your exposure.

Coupons

Just because Groupon has gotten big, doesn’t mean that traditional coupons don’t work.  Local businesses can really attract new clients by exploring their coupon options.  A lot of people say that coupons don’t work.  I’d say that often it’s the offer and the way it’s expressed that doesn’t work.  You can really get creative with coupons by partnering up with other local businesses and creating a group offer to your local community.

Even if you don’t live in a market like Middeltown’s, you can still put these marketing methods to good use. What are some of the other traditional marketing methods that you’ve eschewed because they seem “old fashioned” that you can try in your local area?

 

Name: Ivana S. Taylor

Email: ivana@diymarketers.com

Website: http://diymarketers.com

About: Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers.com – an online marketing publication that provides marketing strategies that help entrepreneurs and business owners get and keep profitable customers. She is the DIY Marketing expert and book editor for Small Business Trends and a contributing author to AMEX Open Forum. Her strategic consulting firm, Third Force specializes in helping companies find their best customers and be the one they choose – regardless of price. Ivana is the co-author of Excel for Marketing Managers. You can find her on Twitter as @DIYMarketers.

  • ALine Accessories

    Truthfully I love the flyer idea…even with an ecommerce based business this seems like it would effectively drive traffic to one’s website.