Attention all brick-and-mortar business owners! Are you tired of being stuck in the same old grind, watching the same customers come and go, day after day? Or even worse… no customers at all? Fear not, because I have been in your exact shoes before. While it can be frustrating, with some fresh ideas and some persistence, I can assure you that driving traffic to your business IS doable. So, put down that “Help Wanted” sign and listen closely, because I’m about to share 12 ways to bring a flood of new faces to your doorstep without breaking the bank.
One quick note before we dive in. In our experience, we’ve found that sometimes the more simple, less costly marketing ideas can be far more effective than grandiose marketing strategies. The key with each of these is to be consistent with each one. I personally know how easy it is to try something once and put it to the wayside when it doesn’t work the first time. This outlook will not get you far. I encourage you to get started by committing to at least a couple of the ideas below AND stay consistent with them for 6 weeks. That right.. no giving up after just 2 weeks! Alright my friend, let’s rev up that engine and get those customers rolling in.
- Utilize social media: Choose at least one platform such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and go ALL in. You can post daily, go live, run a giveaway, post in the stories, join or follow local groups, comment and engage with your followers. This list goes on… Many business owners will post on social media a couple times a month and mark it off the to-do list. Instead of this mindset, I want you to go ALL in on one platform and see what it does for your business.
- Encourage customer reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews on popular platforms such as Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor to improve your visibility and attract new customers. Consistently gaining positive reviews can significantly boost your SEO. Try offering an incentive to customers who leave a review such as a discount on their next visit.
- Host events: Host events, such as open houses, workshops, or happy hours, to bring people into your store and create buzz. Invite other vendors and have them promote the event to their audiences. Don’t forget to promote the event on event sites such as Meetup or Eventbrite.
- Collaborate with other businesses: Partner with other local businesses to cross-promote each other’s services and products. There are many ways to do this, but one way is to take flyers, samples, or coupons to the other business to pass out and vise versa. Another way is to cross-promote to one another’s social followings and email lists. To ensure success, make certain the business you are partnering with has a similar target market as yours.
- Participate in community events: Participate in local community events and festivals to increase brand awareness and reach new customers. Local events are a great opportunity to get in front of a large audience. Don’t forget to pass out samples, flyers, or coupons!
- Offer loyalty programs: Offer customers a loyalty program to incentivize repeat visits and encourage referrals. This has been our best tool for increasing our customer return rate. Not to mention, it is a great way to collect customer data for email and text campaigns.
- Optimize your website: Optimize your website for search engines to improve your visibility and attract more organic traffic. Just because you have a physical storefront doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus on your online presence. Utilizing SEO best practices or a solid SEO company will ensure you are at the top of every search when customers research online.
- Use email marketing: Use CONSISTENT email marketing to build a relationship with your customers and stay top of mind.
- Utilize Yard Signs or Visible Signage: From the sidewalk to the street, signage can be a great, low-cost way to grab attention and drive traffic.
- Participate in local networking events: Attend local networking events to make connections and promote your business. This is a great way to build partnerships for cross promotions, as well as build your brand image.
- Partner with influencers: Partner with influencers in your local market to reach new audiences and promote your products. Find local people or brands with large followings and have them use your products and services and share about it.
- Utilize community boards: Utilize community boards, such as those in coffee shops and grocery stores, to post flyers and promotional materials to reach new customers. Keep flyers on hand to post them on boards as you find them.
Driving traffic to your brick-and-mortar business doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. By utilizing these low cost or free strategies, you can reach new customers, increase brand awareness, and ultimately grow your business. So don’t be afraid to get creative, think outside the box, and try new things. Whether it’s hosting events, utilizing social media, or partnering with other businesses, there are endless possibilities for boosting traffic to your store. Remember, the key is consistency. Commit to a few new marketing ideas and commit to it for 6 weeks. With a little effort and the right approach, you’ll be well on your way to attracting more customers. I can’t wait to hear about your success.
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