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Small business owners still rely on local advertising to reach new customers and grow their revenue. Technology has brought about new types of local marketing, but the traditional methods still apply. Word of mouth is the oldest form of local marketing, and print ads are one of the most traditional methods used. Businesses often market to a local audience through broadcasting, either through local radio or television. New technologies that involve local marketing include social media and mobile phone marketing.
Word of mouth works as a local advertising strategy by simply telling people about a business. Owners can have their employees, friends, or family members tell others about the business and recommend it. Small business owners often develop a script, sometimes called an elevator pitch, to tell strangers about the business in a very short period of time and use it at every opportunity. Companies can also send representatives to trade shows, fairs, and other local events to pass out materials and tell potential customers about the business.
Marketing through print is a very common form of local advertising. A small business owner can print his or her own marketing materials, including business cards, to pass out to others as well as flyers that can be posted on message boards in grocery stores and other public places. Businesses often purchase print advertisements in local newspapers, trade magazines, and other publications. Another form of print advertising often involves writing press releases about events related to a business and faxing or emailing the information to local media outlets.
Radio and television stations are often used for local advertising. Business owners can purchase air time on stations and usually have 30- or 60-second commercials produced to promote their products or services. When a business owner knows the types of customers the ads are most likely to reach, he or she can usually purchase advertising space during programs that those customers are likely to listen to or watch, such as the local news programs.
Local advertising through new technologies can take several forms. Business owners often take advantage of free listings for businesses online and create social media pages to market to loyal customers. Strategies can include offering discounts or sales to people who sign up for a company’s online newsletter. Small businesses can also market themselves by purchasing banner ads on the pages of local blogs, chambers of commerce, and other types of websites. Mobile phone marketing is a relatively new strategy, and businesses are starting to use audio and video ads through smartphones to market themselves to customers.