Many small business owners focus on web marketing as well as advertising in local newspapers, on the radio, and with local TV spots and sponsorships. This is called multi-channel marketing. While it can have a real effect on your leads and sales, when you have all of these channels running independently, you're simply throwing away an opportunity to do so much more.
Cross-channel marketing refers to the idea of using multiple channels in a cooperative way, with each channel supporting and reinforcing the others. This could mean using newspaper ads to generate leads for your digital services, using QR codes to pick up free apps, or putting coupon codes in your radio ads to encourage people to come shop at your website.
The basic idea is to use one advertising channel as a way to introduce the general public to other channels. It can make the difference between pushing unwanted advertising on people and showing them something that they actually want to see. The following are a few ideas that can really make an impact on a local level.
Emails People Want to Read
One of the best ways to get people to visit your blog is, not surprisingly, through email marketing efforts. Unfortunately, many people regard any an all emails from businesses, local or otherwise, as junk. So here's an idea: create an email marketing campaign focused on useful information. Remind people of upcoming free concerts, let them know where the best restaurants near your movie theater are. Tell people something that they actually want to know, and they will actually look forward to your emails.
Viral and Local Video
Local video content can be tremendously helpful for your business. Advertising on local television stations and at the movie theater can really help to improve business. Make sure that all of your local video content is represented on the web. You never know if you might have the next Montgomery Fleamarket on your hands.
Create a Helpful Blog
Those helpful emails should link to an equally helpful blog. Your blog should be seen as a great local resource for tourists and locals alike. Whether you're writing cool pieces on the history of the antique buildings downtown, or you're just giving people a list of great shortcuts around town, the key here is creating bookmarkable content. If somebody has to check your blog regularly so that they can keep up with upcoming events or just to learn who has the best margaritas in town, you're on the right track.
Some business owners keep it low key and only enlist one or two avenues to market local consumers because local marketing seems to demand less intense efforts and lower expenses than a national marketing plan. For those that really want to make an impact, though, local advertising offers an opportunity to enlist cross-channel techniques and concentrate your efforts where they'll do the most good.