Michiana Marketing Guide

The most successful businesses aren’t always the ones with the best service, prices, or location. Those are all highly important, but often the businesses that find the most success are those that market themselves more effectively than their competitors. Unfortunately, there’s often so much on the plates of local business owners that marketing can get put on the back burner. Fortunately, there are many reputable Michiana businesses here to help when in-house marketing isn’t an option.

We at Sweet Home Michiana are currently working to brand and market ourselves throughout the area (you probably found this article from one of our social media advertisements,) and it’s been great to have so many fantastic local resources to go to!

To bring you along on our journey as a local startup and share our findings, we’ve come up with a list of 10 ways to market your business going into 2021 and reached out to a local business specializing in each to provide more insight.

1: Enhance Your Online Presence

We could dedicate an entire article to this point. For now, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to assess your online presence:

Q1: Does our website represent our business well?

Is your website a good first impression of your business for potential first-time customers or clients visiting your site? That’s what it serves as in many cases, so you’ll want your website to look nice while also being easy to navigate and find answers to the questions people may have. If you don’t have a website, it may be an investment worth making sooner rather than later.

Q2: Is our business showing up in relevent online search results? ex: “Pizza in South Bend,” “Chiropractor in Berrian County,” etc.

Many people go to the internet to find new businesses, so being visible in search results is a must. Having an up to date website will help, and you want your business to be listed on Google Maps with complete information (receiving positive reviews is also important.) Another way to increase your chances of being found through search is by listing your business on platforms like Yelp and being featured in local media.

Q3: Are we engaging with our current and potential customers/clients on social media?

Marketing is all about being where people are spending their time, and social media is definitely one of those places. Use social media to get social with your current and potential customers/clients and by doing so you’ll be able to learn more about their needs and interests and you may even gain some business from it! If you’re having trouble finding followers outside of your current customer base, consider social media advertising to reach a new audience. The possibilities to grow your business through social media are endless!

We’ve just scratched the surface here with online marketing! With the overall importance of online business, we’ll be creating more in-depth content on the subject in the near future.

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2: Snap Some Pics

Having your business online requires choosing which pictures you want to use in order to show off what you do. People want to know what your location and offerings look like, and your website and social media pages are where you’ll want to put that on display. Quality images will go a long way towards marketing your business. Fortunately, most phones nowadays have pretty high-quality cameras built-in, but if you’re looking to take things a step further, consider bringing in a professional photographer to help put your business in the best possible light (no pun intended.)

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3: Press Record

Videos are highly engaging ways to show off your business on either social media or your website. Instead of a wordy post or photo with a caption, why not film a dynamic video to get your next important message out!

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4: Make Marketing Fun with Promotional Items

Branded apparel and/or promotional items can be a fun way to gain brand awareness throughout a community. While online marketing is growing in importance, there’s nothing like the impact of being able to hand someone something with your logo on it. If you give out a pen or shirt with your logo and info on it, not only is the person receiving it learning about your brand, but so is anyone who borrows that pen from them or sees them wearing that shirt.

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5: Be Heard on the Radio

Even with Spotify and Bluetooth, people do still listen to the radio! By promoting your business on the radio, you’re reaching an engaged audience by way of a trusted local source. 

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6: Get in Print

Advertising your business in the right print publication can be a highly effective way to gain business. Fortunately, Michiana has some great options. One being the Michiana Saver. Their magazine is published 11 times per year and is designed specifically as a “Local Deals” magazine that their readers have become accustomed to.

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7: Go Big with Billboards

If you really want to be seen, a billboard ad will do the job. They’re pretty hard to miss and with the amount of traffic on the road, people will start to get familiar with your business. We were curious about where to start if we wanted to put up a giant Sweet Home Michiana billboard ad:

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8: Give your Location a Makeover

People are driving by your business every day and may not even know it. Something like a paint job or new sign could be just what you need to get their attention and have all your neighbors talking about you.

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9: Join your Local Chamber

Joining your local chamber is a great step to take for your business. You'll make new connections and also gain access to resources and educational opportunities that can help you toward your goals!

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10: Hand it Out

Speaking of networking, business cards are another great way to market your business. Carrying some around and placing them on your front desk will provide an easy way for people you meet to contact you (and remember to do so.) You can also print flyers to hand out or hang up to promote your business, offers, or events.

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Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our tips and that they sparked some ideas to market your business going into 2021. All businesses are unique and can benefit from various forms of marketing differently. For that reason, if you have any questions after reading, we’d love to hear from you and offer individualized marketing advice for your business! Contact us here