Using yard signs to promote a local business? Yes, that’s a great idea! Yard signs are used to promote all sorts of things: political campaigns, school events, new construction…Like we said, all sorts of things.

Yard signs have a certain cachet in urban neighborhoods or smaller cities and towns. People who live on major streets get a lot of requests to use their lawns for signs.

But smaller, less crowded streets have the advantage of people driving slowly enough to read signs while passing.

Do we have your attention? We’ll continue to discuss yard signs, specifically custom yard signs, and other promotion ideas for local businesses in the paragraphs to follow.

10 Creative Marketing Ideas for Local Businesses

Wherever you’re located, the local scene offers some special benefits to local businesses. For one thing, people tend to get to know business owners personally, and this goes a long way. It’s great for networking!

Use Yard Signs

Getting back to lawn signs though: would your neighbors put up lawn signs to help you advertise your business? They promote a lot of other local things, after all.

So ask them. Maybe they’ll ask some of their friends to post yard signs too.

Yard signs share some of the benefits of word of mouth, one of the most effective ways to advertise locally. With yard signs, if a neighbor you like supports a local business, you’re much more likely to check that business out.

Keep reading! We’ll discuss more creative marketing ideas in the remainder of this article.

Have a Creative and Recognizable Brand

First thing: hire a professional designer to develop or update your brand. If you’re going to cut corners, don’t do it with your brand or anything that supports it!

It would be great to use a local design firm if there is a good one around. Otherwise, hire a freelancer or an online firm.

Be sure you, your designer(s), and your employees all have a clear sense of what branding entails.

Have a Website

And if you already have one, get it revamped, especially for search engine optimization (SEO). Definitely have a blog with up-to-date-articles that you, one of your employees (with the right talent), or an SEO company can write.

Use Direct Mail

Direct mail is an excellent way to reach local customers. And if you use postcards with really clever designs and coupons on the back, you’ll see some new faces in your business.

Even though there’s no longer a discounted postage rate for postcards (they now go as First Class mail), there’s a bulk discount for businesses and organizations.

Get Listed in a Local Business Directory

Find out from your local chamber of commerce if they have or can refer you to any local directories. Also, sign up with online business directory sites. Here’s a handy list.

Don’t forget: even though your business is a local one, local people go online as frequently as everyone else these days!

Hang a Huge Banner in Front of Your Business

Remember that graphic designer we mentioned earlier? Does the person or firm also do banner-sized promotional signs? If so, get right on this.

Who in your community is going to miss your business if there’s a huge banner hanging in front?

Have Employees Wear Promotional T-Shirts

In fact, hire the same designer you’ve hired for other things to design t-shirts for your business as well. And why not a logo and business card while they’re at it?

Encourage employees to visit nearby restaurants and other businesses during breaks. Remember that your employees can be your best brand ambassadors, especially if they’re local people!

Promote Your Business on Paper Menus in Local Restaurants

You know those cheap paper placemats? They often have scalloped edges and feature local business logos and other small bits of information in a sort of collage. Where do you see these most often?

Diners! And where do locals hang out to do business and gab about the weather? Diners!

Enough said? Try to offer some sort of discount to anyone who brings the menu into your business.

Post Flyers at Local Libraries and Other Gathering Places

The foyers of local libraries aren’t gathering places per se; they’re passing-through places though. There’s usually a bulletin board there with lots of announcements. Have your designer create something that’ll stand out among the crowd.

And, as always, offer an incentive for people who actually stop by your business and mention the flyer.

Be an Event Sponsor

And, finally, a good local business never forgets about the local community—and all its Little League baseball teams, fundraisers, school events, celebrations, and so on. Be a frequent sponsor for these events and you’re sure to win people over.

Kids and causes both have a lot of emotional resonance with people. By the way, how about having your business sponsor a pet at the local shelter? We never said we don’t support kindheartedness as well as business success!

A Few Tips For a Successful Marketing Project—to Conclude

Well, we began with yard signs and moved into company signs and a lot more. But there are a few key points worth paying attention to when marketing local businesses. These are the strategies for success, at the local level specifically:

  • Have a strong brand and reinforce it directly as well as subtly in everything you do that relates to your business.
  • Schmooze…we mean network. Talk to people you know and go out of your way to meet others. These relationships are invaluable.
  • This may sound obvious, but be local. This means being present at local events, greeting people on the street, and supporting local causes.

There’s a lot more we could tell you at this point, but we know you know it already. After all, you’re a successful local business person, or at least about to become one.

While we have your attention, we encourage you to look at our website and check out the many services we have to offer businesses.