Recently a business owner reached out to me for assistance in marketing his business in a local market. After writing a response to his questions I thought that others would be able to benefit from the information that I shared with him so I decided to share it with my readers.
I need some help marketing my last two dance classes. Any suggestions on where and how to get the word out?
There are a number of ways that you can do this….
1) SEO: If you have a website optimize it for local keywords so that people can find you. There are two main aspects of search engine optimization what happens on your website and what happens outside of your website. The on page factors include your website’s code, content, urls, page titles, etc. A website’s off page SEO is basically their link portfolio- how many sites are linking to you, what is the quality of the sites linking to you, etc. Here is a previous post that I wrote regarding link building. There are many different tactics, but this article will go over the basics. http://davidbrim.com/seo-and-link-building-101
Also be sure you are listed on google places, yelp, etc and the other major local listing sites. Check out www.getlisted.org
2) Facebook Ads: Advertise to your potential customers on Facebook. You can select your target customers demographics, interests (including dance or dancing with the stars, etc), location and more.
3) Google Adwords: Similar to SEO, but pay for placement. You basically bid on keywords and the combination of highest price and quality score (relevancy and authority in google’s eyes) will show first. You only pay on a per click basis. If going this route make sure you track your costs and the amount of sales generated to make sure your getting a return on investment. You can also target your ads to a specific geographic area so you won’t be paying for those who are not in the right area to take advantage of your service.
4) Social Media: Use tracking tools like www.socialmention.com and monitter.com to see who is discussing dance related topics in a certain geographic area on twitter and facebook. Viralheat.com is another good tool for monitoring social media conversations globally or locally, but that is a paid subscription based tool.Once they are found you can engage these users with various tactics to raise your brand’s visibility.
5) Craigslist & other Classified marketing sites: Post your service on craigslist in your city. This is a very highly trafficked classified site and can be very effective. Other popular classified marketing sites include: Back Page and Epage.
6) Referrals: Tap into your current client’s social circles of influence and ask them for referrals. It’s also wise to have your current clients become a fan of your brand on facebook so your brand gets out to their friends. Possibly offer an incentive of a free class or discount to those who refer other clients.
7) Direct mail & Traditional Marketing: We worked with a dance company and did a direct mail campaign to kick off their grand opening. We had formal invitations developed and mailed them out to homes tax assessed at $350K+. They had a great turn out, but direct mail can be very expensive. Radio and TV are also options depending on your budget, but internet marketing will provide a more cost effective and measurable solution.
8) Give a free performance– Attract people in with a free show or performance. Once they are there give them food and/or wine (if legal aged) which can be donated from sponsors. While there have people offer a free lesson to those who attend and sign them up on the spot.
9) Local Coupon Sites like Groupon– The local daily/weekly coupon craze is going full blast. Leading the charge is Groupon, however competitors like LivingSocial, Tippr, and Buywithme are all gaining traction.
10) Harness the power of Local Meetup and Facebook groups– Local online groups can be a very powerful way to raise awareness of your venture. Visit www.meetup.com and do a search for your zipcode and a relevant keyword. Also visit Facebook and do searches to find relevant groups and fan pages. There are several ways to utilize these groups and pages.
- First- you can simply participate in a popular local group- by sharing an insightful comment with a link to your website people will be intrigued to learn more and click through the link to learn more about your business.
- Second- You can contact the group creator or page admin and ask them to send out a message to their audience. This may cost some money, but will give your brand good viability if you can find the right group.
- Finally- Start your own interest group. If you have the time, it can be very valuable to start an online group around a topic of interest yourself. You can network with people interested in this topic and if you ask intriguing questions and share thoughtful responses you will be perceived as an expert and someone a potential customer would want to hire.
I hope this helps!
If you have any additional questions let me know.
What do you guys think…Did I miss any anything?
If so feel free to comment.
All the best,