Print advertisements, lead generator websites and radio commercials — you’ve been there, done that, maybe even printed a T-shirt with your logo on it. And while traditional marketing techniques are definitely valuable, sometimes mixing it up can bring a new energy and new customers to your business. If you’re ready to add some spice to your company life, try some of these more non-traditional marketing techniques to grow your company.
Give back to your community
A 2013 survey by Cone Communications and Echo Research concluded that 82% of US consumers considered corporate responsibility when making purchasing decisions. Think about what is important to your community. Ideas for getting involved in your community include attending charity events, donating gift cards for your services at silent auctions or sponsoring a little league team. Maybe you could offer your services to organizations in need or start an employee volunteer program that devotes time to a cause important to your community. Getting involved is great for networking and spreading awareness of your company throughout the community for free.
Getting your name out in the community, particularly in a positive light, will make people more likely to call when they need your services. Be proud of however you decide to help your community, and make sure to let your customers know how you’re giving back.
Be a friend to the media
Speaking of getting in the news, write press releases about your company’s initiatives to send out to local newspapers, radio stations and TV networks. You never know when they might pick up your story. There’s a little bit of effort involved, but it’s a lot cheaper than paying for advertisements on these mediums. Besides the labor involved in writing a press release or contacting your local media, PR is free. According to a study conducted by Nielsen on behalf of inPowered, PR is almost 90 percent more effective than advertising.
Start a referral program
Offer your existing customers discounts or gift cards if they refer you to someone else. You can offer a discounted service to the referred person as well. Word-of-mouth is one of the most trusted forms of advertising. In fact, 92 percent of respondents from a Nielsen survey said they trusted referrals from people they knew. When 65 percent of new business comes from referrals, the value of a referral program shouldn’t be ignored.
Join an HOA
Let your HOA or nearby HOAs know what your company does and give them your business card to keep on file. HOAs typically keep a list of service professionals they can call when needed. And if one person in a neighborhood uses your service, it’s likely others will see your good work and call you as well.
Visit real estate offices
While you’re at it, make relationships with your local real estate agents too. As they help sell homes or put their clients in new homes, they often run into work that needs to be done. If you have introduced yourself and left business cards at their office, they might use your services or recommend you to others. It never hurts to sweeten the deal with cookies or donuts when you stop in to say hello and introduce yourself and your company. Kind gestures go a long way!
Consider daily deals
Are there services your company could offer on websites like Groupon or Living Social? These types of websites can be great customer acquisition tools. Offer a quick service at a discounted price. If you are a small company, make sure you limit the number that can be purchased. You don’t want to become overwhelmed with work and run the risk of receiving a bad review. When you perform the deal services, leave behind your business card to encourage the client to become a repeat customer.