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Grow Your Local Customer Base: 3 Small Business Advertising Tactics that Work

If you own a small or medium-sized business and are looking to grow your customer base, look no further than your own backyard. Not only do many consumers prefer to support their communities by dealing with businesses that have a local presence, but buying locally is also a growing trend!

For these reasons and more, there is an opportunity to establish a stronghold in your local community, and there are plenty of ways to do that using tried-and-true small business advertising tactics. Tapping into your local market also means more chances for positive word-of-mouth and additional growth within the community. Read on for three ways to grow your local customer base efficiently and effectively with print marketing and a little bit of elbow grease.

1) Send a Postcard Mailing to Local Customers

What's the first step to growing your business locally? Making potential customers aware of your presence. One of the best ways to do that is to send a postcard mailing to people in your community - one of the most effective forms of direct marketing. Stick to a 25-mile radius for best results - you may even want to refine your radius further if you have the data to make a sound decision. Rent or purchase a list of names and addresses from a mailing list provider, come up with a creative offer or promotion, and hire a writer and designer to create your postcards. Make a bold statement, keep the messaging simple, and don't forget to include contact information and a clear call-to-action. The postcards work as a marketing piece as well as an advertisement so cover all your bases. That said, as long as your offer is appealing and you make it easy for customers to redeem, you're bound to get a few bites - and hopefully some conversions.

2) Leave Your Business Cards, Marketing Flyers, and Custom Brochures in Local Businesses

Establishing relationships with other local businesses is one of the best small business advertising tactics and a great way to increase your visibility in the community. Do some research to identify local businesses that complement yours. If you are a printing services company that handles jobs for small businesses, perhaps you want to partner with a website development firm that handles the same type of clientele. Once you've found a partner or two, arrange to leave your business cards, marketing flyers, and custom brochures in their lobby, and do the same for them. You could even offer a discount to customers who use both of your services if your partner(s) are amenable to it. The opportunities for cross-promotion are limitless.

3) Get Involved with Non Profit Organizations - and Put Their Logo on Your Flyers

Want to meet potential customers face-to-face and give them a reason to remember you? Getting involved in local charities and non profit organizations is a great way to do that. Giving back to your community is a surefire way to establish a positive reputation and build camaraderie among potential customers. Find a cause you truly care about - make it authentic. Then donate your time, offer to host an event at your location if you have a brick-and-mortar shop, or run a promotion where you donate a percentage of sales to a charity for a specified length of time. Get the word out with flyers and postcards and you're one step closer to building a solid presence in your neighborhood - and don't forget to put their logo on the flyers. It helps brand your business as one that truly cares.