7 street marketing tactics to drive more business

Word of mouth is the ideal way to promote your business, but you rely on referrals from people who have already used your products or services. So how do you capture the attention of potential clients who aren´t yet familiar with your business?

The answer is street marketing.

Street marketing is any grassroots marketing activity that takes place outside of your business premises. Activities could involve posting menus through local customers´ letterboxes, handing out postcards in the street, hanging posters around town to advertise an event or leaving flyers in high-traffic areas like hotel receptions or your local business center.

It’s time to stand out

In today´s hyper-connected world, exposure to advertising is everywhere. Whether it’s sponsored Facebook posts or banner ads tempting you with a recently-searched product, we´ve become so immune to the constant barrage of online marketing messages that most now get lost in the noise.

The following tactics show you how to effectively use street marketing to deliver your messages directly to your prospects to encourage them to try your products, visit your business or attend your event.

1. Become a familiar face

Street marketing allows you to get out there and introduce the people behind your venture. For best results, focus on a particular area and customer group. For example, if you own a restaurant, you could hand out flyers at nearby offices or university campuses during the morning commute to promote your lunchtime deal. You also have the opportunity to entice people in by letting them try a taster, test a product or enjoy a redeemable offer on arrival at your premises. If you’re out there regularly, you’ll become a familiar face, which is essential for developing trust and rapport in your community.

2. Perfect your pitch

Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person you’re approaching in the street. We’re predisposed to be cynical of strangers, especially if we know they ‘re promoting something, so try not to invade people’s personal space. You also have a limited window of opportunity to capture people’s attention, so keep your pitch short and sweet.

And make sure you answer the following question when creating your offer:

What’s in it for me?

The following pitches all have one thing in common – you know exactly what the offer is. “Free cookie with every coffee until 4 PM with this flyer.”

“Want 50% off your first car wash and polish?”

“Get half price cocktails during happy hour with this flyer.”

It’s important the recipient understands the value in taking a flyer immediately without even reading the text. The promise of redeeming something also avoids your brochure, flyer or postcard ending up in the nearest bin.

3. Set clear objectives

As with any marketing activity, it´s essential to set goals.

For example, rather than simply deciding you want to increase visits to your bar, set a specific objective. Increasing visits by 25% and selling 15% more cocktails during happy hour would be a measurable achievement. And remember, when your testing different tactics, keep a note of drop-ins and sales to determine what worked and what didn’t.

4. Look the part

Not only can branded t-shirts and hats grab the attention of passersby, but they also allow you to start promoting you brand, get your name out there and announce your presence in the area. What’s more, this is an opportunity to personally introduce yourself and create a professional impression with your neighbors without having to go door to door or wait for them to visit.

5. Place ads where people read

Just because you spend lots of time creating a compelling offer and an eye-catching design doesn’t mean people will read your marketing messages. Well thought out placement of your brochures and flyers will ensure the right people take notice and pick up your information to find out more.

An example of this might be a nutritionist pinning a flyer or poster up on the bulletin board of the organic grocery store or a dog walker leaving their postcards in the waiting room of the local vet.

Waiting areas and transport terminals provide a captive audience as people like to read something to while away the time.

6. Grow your network in the process

Tap into your local network by offering to display flyers for a neighboring business or by hanging a poster for an event in the window and others will likely return the favor. These relationships are invaluable as everyone has unique experiences and expertise they can share.

7. Stay within the law

Flyposting is prohibited in most areas, so assume that is the case even if you can’t see any signs. Always ask if you can leave postcards or put a poster up in a commercial space. You can find out more at your local chamber of commerce or city council, but it’s often easier to ask an existing business owner who you see out and about promoting their business or event. And remember, if your marketing materials attract any litter complaints, the paper trail leads right to your door.

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