What are the best marketing practices for small retailers in 2012? Reports are cautiously optimistic for the economy in 2012, but who has extra money for a big marketing budget? Marketing your business is so important to make 2012 a better year, so here are some ideas on how to do it without breaking the bank.
Use your phone to find innovative ways to get the word out about your business. Call the advertising departments of local newspapers and magazines and ask for their editorial calendar. That way you have a free listing of all of the topics and special sections for the year and should give you ideas about when and how they can spotlight you and your business. Invite a reporter for lunch and ask how you can help them with ideas to write about, then tell them about how your business helps the community or trends you see.
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Contact local TV stations to see if your business would be a good fit for feature pieces on morning shows or weekend shows. Be sure to pitch yourself as an expert in your field.
Write how-to articles for newsletters in the community or start a blog. Many blog sites are free and you can then use existing email lists to let your customers know about it, or use social networking like facebook or twitter to get the word out. Social networking is a great way to get the word out about your business. Just be smart about how you use it and don’t turn people off by being overly aggressive. Use small giveaways in your store or online to attract repeat buyers or as a reward for customers who give you referrals.
Join a local small business networking group. Find businesses that are complementary to yours and work together to market each other. For instance, a florist, seamstress, photographer and caterer can all work together to market wedding services. These networking groups can range from formal and expensive with lots of rules to lighter feeling with lots of different people, pick the style that works best for your business by visiting a few before joining any one.