Small business owners are almost consistently pushed towards marketing online and spending money on PPC and SEO. While these are useful, people tend to forget that most small business are hyper-local, traditional brick and mortar establishments. For such businesses, ignoring real-world marketing or offline marketing isn’t a good idea. So how does a business owner increase their local reach and bolster their online presence at the same time?
The answer to that dilemma is to host events and promote it online. This particular strategy has worked well for several traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. Here are some ways to do it.
1. Interact with the Customers
One of the best advantages of hosting events is that you can interact with your potential customers face-to-face. This is especially vital when you’re a start-up and don’t have much influence. Established businesses can take advantage of their existing customer base to expand their reach. The goal here is to get real-time customer engagement.
For example, if you’re a business that sells bicycles, you can organize a race for children. Such an event is usually appealing to customers and they’ll turn up with their children for the event. You can interact with your potential customers directly, have them proudly share their children’s achievements, and promote the entire event online. You’ll establish a very solid presence through such events.
2. Think of What You Want to Achieve
It’s very important to think about what you want to achieve when you plan the event. Do you want to promote a particular product? Are you interested in promoting your business? Do you want to get new customers, or remind old one of your presence? During the planning stage, outline your goals clearly and think of ways you can achieve them. If you do that, you’ll have a clear idea about how to proceed.
3. Plan the Right Event
Not all events are successful and this is mostly because you’ve not chosen the right kind of event to promote your business. Take a look at the example we quoted earlier. A bicycle retailer hosted a bicycle race. The event was very relevant to their business. They store might even supply the bikes for the race, which allows customers to experience the product and see it in action. The event also had a positive cause as it promoted the overall health of children and outdoor activity. Another positive note was that it brought the family together and created good memories.
This event would endear your business to parents because you provided them with the platform where they could enjoy themselves. They’ll do most of the promotion for you, by tweeting, posting pictures on Facebook, etc. You can carry out some promotion from your end as well.
If your event is noteworthy enough, the press might notice it without your interference, and publish a piece on it. But it’s not a good idea to wait for chance. Instead, invite the press yourself. Send them a small, detailed invite with a personal touch to ensure that they know that you’re hosting an event.