If you are starting like us a new business, try launching thru Social networking.
Local Store Marketing-made easy
Local Store Marketing re Social Networks
Small to medium businesses need to get onto the power and economic efficiency of Social Networking and the power and ease of using the internet for ‘viral’ marketing campaigns.
Collating e-mail addresses between using professional bloggers (type Professional Bloggers into Google see what you get) to hiring of students, teenagers or your unit managers the process is simple and effective and of course legal.
LSM (Local Store Marketing) through the web approach is very powerful and is a better / wiser spend than printing of flyers, vouchers, ads in local papers or the church magazine…certainly more effective than waiting for the New Beer launch with the same old Point of Sale if you’re a pub or adding yet another A Frame to a cluttered high street or road side campaign…
If £100 could get me 20 hours of Local Store Marketing per week, could I really not afford to do it?…
Finding blog sites is easy, some will work, getting recognised or mentioned here, encourages the hits on your web site (you need to have one!) Subtle mention is better than down right corporate spill, which will be spotted, so example “ whilst sitting enjoying a pint in the Dog N Duck at Evesham, I was thinking about my tired feet so was wondering what advice as a reflxologist you can give me”…
Some blogs have thousands of readers, a keen community and see the author as an expert. Getting your company on these blogs will result in a lot of traffic to your website.
Search for your subject in Google and add the word 'blog' to the request. Try searching with and without quotes to see the difference in the results. You can also try different variations on your search such as,
a. Reflexology blog
b. Foot massage blog
c. Foot rub blog
Be creative and you should end up with a good list of potential blogs. What you are looking for is bloggers who have been writing content for over a year posting articles at a steady rate such as once a week. Good blog should have a healthy list of comments from the readers and good debates going on about the posts. If you find a good blog go into the ‘about’ section of the blogs and look for the author’s contact details.
Another good tool to find blogs about your topic is to use Google’s blog search tool.
You can sort the results by relevance or date. Above the blog search results it will give you a list of blogs it thinks are most relevant. If Google thinks that the blog is relevant then it usually is popular and will have a good amount of readers.
Technorati (www.technorati.com) is a good resource for finding high traffic blogs related to your topic. Technorati visits millions of blogs each day and checks for updates to add to its index.
Now the simplest and cheapest route is via e-mail addresses, these you can harvest by the thousand via the internet, here are the easy steps for FREE, other than your time…or hire a student or young Mum and they can do it in their own time, this is a 24/7 activity to suit any ones time table, work from home Mum’s are a great idea, late night students love to earn money or free food or drink this way!
At a mere £5.00 an hour, in that time a good person with average IT skills can harvest 100 to 150 e-mail addresses from local sources…
If you have a University or College near you, go to their web site, hunt around for faculty or staff details and up will pop personal e-mail addresses for each of the faculty, maybe specific departments , in Leeds University that would be over 3000 e-mail addresses alone! They will in the Education sector all look like this : John.firstname.lastname@example.org
Drop them a simple e-mail, keep it very simple, the “Subject” section embedded in the e-mail should not be complicated as it could get blocked or filtered if attachments are added, simply say Hello or Drop by…add in the content of the e-mail the offer, often attachments are never opened in fear of viruses or again blocked centrally (you will find this to in a great many company and local business e-mail addresses) SPAM is what they are attempting to stop remember..
“Glass of wine on us this Thursday when you buy our Hot Pot for a fiver…circulate this offer to friends and family just like confetti if you like, after all they have networks too, as do your employees and local suppliers, change the colour of the words and add Thanks from Frank or Sue or Ta from the Dog n Duck at Evesham…remember busy people have 3- 6 seconds to scan this offer.
Be aware that redemption is not necessary a pre requisite to printing off your e-mail offer, you could request this, but traffic flow will be reduced by up-to 70+%, as many University or Companies ban the copy or printing off of ‘junk’ mail…so offer the freebie with proof of Company Idea or a simple code word...mention the word Dog and get the free wine with meal ordered.
Using the internet can reap thousand of local addresses, go to YELL.COM, type in Solicitors in your area, many will have a web address or enquires@, info@, sales@ simply invite them in with a unique offer. You can harvest the actual address and send them a flyer or use an e-mail address for later offers or sales campaigns.
In a Search engine of your choice, type in Associations, Clubs, Sporting Clubs, Airplane Enthusiasts in your town or area, up will come loads and loads of different organisations, with that to quite often the entire committee members e-mail addresses will pop up too!
Try Churches, Industry, Manufacturers, Consultants, Advisors, Personal Trainers, Media, Printers, Cross Dressers, the list is endless. Astro- physicists to Zoologists!
Moral Issues- If the e-mailed recipient asks to be removed from your database, you must oblige then simply reply saying, “ will do immediate, please drop by for a Free glass of wine on me for the inconvenience caused, simply print off this e-mail and bring it by” (never miss a chance to gain a customer, disgruntled or otherwise) Besides they may circulate it to a few hundred friends to P you off, they think, but to your advantage surely, gets you those customers…
To be effective understand these rules:
1. Redemption levels on any e-mail or voucher campaign are always less than 1% (1 in every 100) just ask McDonalds. A Good e-mail campaign can get you above 4%, in the brand WRAPID, a small Fast Food operation with limited budgets, see www.wrapid.com, they get 6% with their viral marketing, but they have been at it a while.
2. Learn what works or does not…trial and error here.
3. Cleansing e-mail returns are very necessary
4. Discipline yourselves to get 40-50 e-mails out daily
5. Only hit the database once a month, maximum 15 offers per year
6. Business card collection at site is paramount, these contain mailing addresses and of course new e-mail addresses.
7. Retain a day time e-mailer and a night timer, they will find different sources of information.
8. If you are e-mailing Hikers or 60+ year old associations like Bowls Club, match the offer, i.e. Lunch/Weekend for Bowlers and Hikers, but Rugby Clubs or Car Enthusiasts could be early evening…experiment its almost free!
9. Suggest you collect Birthday info too if you can, day and month only please, create your own Birthday Club capture, simply add info re e-mail address and birth-date onto a calendar and mail offers off 2 weeks prior to the persons birthday, great way to build local customers…
10. Monitor what works, not always via redemptions, but if business slowly improves….worth the effort.
Simple Web site rules
o Your site maybe only one page, pictures are better than words.
o Make sure the pictures of your pub or restaurant, café, bakery are with customers in them, people like to associate with ‘their tribe’- my kinda of place…
o When do the hits on your web site come? - after 9pm, this may show you who is interested, after 10pm normally indicates an under 30 year old clientele.
o 55+ age profile highest users of broadband and social comment sites.
o Get your self, your site onto YOUTUBE, MYSPACE and social chat lines, check out www.guttereats.co.uk as an example…
o 1 in 5 e-mails need not always be an offer, share a local antidote, offer the ‘meeting space’ for Free (to associations)share a recipe...
o Perhaps cross promote with another business, “ if Shopping in Classic Shoes, bring your receipt in and get a £1.00 off your sandwich?
o Attack the big boys too- Bring in your Subway receipts and we will give you X, or bring in any fast food coupon/voucher and we will give you Y
o Show us your company or association access or membership card and we will give you X..…log how many you get, this will help to show what works….
o A Frames a problem re planning permission?- well if you are on the high street, simply get a good artist or good employee with hand writing skills ,go chalk in different colour on the pavement your daily offer (dry days only or water resistant chalk) Big chalk offer on the pavement pointing to your pub…gets attention and does not break planning rules!
Go for it, if you want to discuss or offer views contact