Is there more you could be doing to bring footfall into your print shop? The short answer is, yes, there probably is. You may be implementing some of these techniques already as part of your established marketing strategy but there are just so many that we thought we’d compile a list so you can see if you’re missing something. From small, simple tasks that you could easily add into your daily routine to long-term projects that you’ll need to budget for, here are 20 different local marketing tactics to help you become the first choice for print in your community.
1. Make Your Location Clear on Your Website
It sounds so obvious but you wouldn’t believe how many local businesses miss this out. Get your address on your homepage and make it obvious. Simply having your address on your homepage will do wonders for your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) because Google, and other search engines, will count it as important information. Just be sure to keep it as text rather than as part of an image so that the tools they use to assess a website’s relevancy can see it.
When you type in something along the lines of; “Hairdressers in Sheffield”, Google brings up results like you can see in the image below. What you can see in this image is one paid-for advert and then three local businesses from the Google My Business database. Now, putting your company details into Google My Business doesn’t guarantee that your business will be one of the three to come up, especially if there are a few prints shops in your area, but we can guarantee that if you don’t put your details in, you definitely won’t come up.
3. Sign Up to Online Business Directories
Like Google My Business, online directories are databases for companies to sign up to but these won’t necessarily bring your company up on the first page of a google search. They are still great sources of information which people use to find local businesses. Sites like Yell, Yelp, and Thompson Local are good places to start but you should sign up to as many as you can.
In case you weren’t aware, Groupon is a site which people can register to and receive notifications on bargains in their area. So, if you have an offer on, you don’t need to wait for customers to walk past your store and see the poster in the window, you can advertise it on Groupon and several people in your area will automatically hear about it. Be careful with your budgeting though because Groupon do ask for commission.
5. Use Local Hashtags on Social Media
Use location-specific hashtags to join in with an online community full of potential customers near you. Comment on local events and news, get your name out there, and then when people come to need some print, they’ll think of you.
6. Target Your Social Media Posts
Nobody wants to waste their valuable marketing budget on paying for adverts that won’t do any good. Thankfully, social media adverts come with the ability to ‘target’ your ads. You set the parameters of your target audience according to age, location, interests, occupation etc… and the website will only show it to those who fit within those boundaries.
7. Follow Other Local Business on Social Media
Show your support for small companies like you by following them on social media and engaging with their posts. This will at least make them aware of your company if they weren’t before and it could also encourage them to try out your service for themselves especially if you target companies that will have a need for print such as the restaurant down the road.
8. Ask for Reviews
3rd party reviews always hold more weight than anything you say about your own business. Make it part of your standard practice to send follow-up emails to customers, pointing them in the direction of your listing on Google or the other business directories you’ve signed on to. Not everyone will respond but some might and that’s enough.
9. Incorporate Positive Reviews in Your Marketing
Reviews don’t have to just sit there waiting for people to read them. Have a root around the reviews you’ve received and spread the good ones around. Post them on social media, use them in your next advertising campaign, or put a poster up in your shop window.
10. Give Reviews Back
Build up a good relationship with other businesses near you by giving them good reviews on their Google listing. This shows your support and may encourage them to support you in return by coming to you for their future print needs.
11. Take Part in Community Events
You can book stalls at most local fairs and bring out samples of your products. Do some research on the audience and tailor your samples to their potential needs. Make your stall even more attractive with a competition where the winner gets a discount off their next order with you.
12. Host a Community Event
No street markets scheduled to take place near you? Don’t worry, you can make your own! It doesn’t have to be a big event. You could make it specifically for local graphic designers and give a discount to anyone attending. That way you’re helping others find business and encouraging them to come to you when they need their work printing.
13. Sponsor a Local Group
Form a long-term relationship with a group who might need a little help funding themselves. If you have a university in your town, societies would be a fantastic opportunity. University societies need a lot of print and if you sponsor one you could have your name and logo printed on every poster, flyer, and roller banner that they need. Plus, once one society has heard of you, the others will likely come to you as well.
14. Collaborate with another Small Business
As long as both parties benefit, you can arrange this however you like. For example, you could swap discount vouchers to hand out with any sale so that any customer of yours will be directed to their company and vice versa. If you can collaborate with a complementary business such as a graphic designer you’ll be adding value to your customers at the same time.
15. Put On Workshops
Diversify your service by offering something a little different. With all your expertise in print and design for print, you could hold monthly workshops for people in your area. Or, if you don’t fancy doing the teaching yourself, think about getting someone in from a different area of design each time.
16. Get Your Name in Local Newspapers
Here’s a way you can instantly target your locals. Send press releases out to your local newspapers every now and then if you’ve got something special going on. For instance, if you’re taking up any of the community tips we’ve mentioned already.
17. Have an Advert on the Local Radio Station
Again, this is another method that automatically targets people nearby but this takes more time and effort and can be quite expensive. This is something you would have to plan thoroughly and budget for as you may need to outsource an advertising agency to ensure that it is of a high enough quality. However, remember that 90% of the UK’s population tune into the radio every week so, if you can afford to, it could deliver great results.
18. Create a Referral Discount Scheme
Referral discount schemes mean that existing customers can get a bonus for bringing in new customers. This encourages people to talk about your shop and spread the word. Be sure to ask new clients where they heard about you so that you can reward the right customer.
19. Go Leafleting
As a print shop owner, flyers and leaflets should be easy. Once you’ve made yourself some, go out round your community and drop them through people’s post boxes. You could even put up a flyer in your local supermarket noticeboard or pay for a newsagent to have it up in their window.
20. Reach Out Directly to Potential Customers
You don’t have to wait for customers to come to you all the time, why not contact local businesses personally and offer your services to them? Either go into their store, if they have one, and speak to the manager face-to-face or ring them up. If you do go to speak to them in person, don’t forget to take samples!
Did you find something in here that you’re not doing already? For more tips and advice on how to market your print shop, download our FREE Print Shop Revolution eBook.