Prior to considering methods of advertising and marketing it is important to ensure that you understand and adhere to local laws relating to data protection and customer rights concerning privacy and opt-out of various marketing methods. Generally private consumers enjoy more protection than business-to-business customers.

Businesses and nonprofits that target their local community often overlook some very simple easy and cost effective ways of advertising. These low-cost methods and ideas can be very effective for businesses and nonprofits with limited advertising budgets.

Here is a quick list of ideas, which with a little imagination and selective effort,  can be developed into a very effective local advertising campaign, providing a continuous pipeline of new business:

  1. Posters in windows and on public bulletin boards, and in staff rooms of local businesses.
  2. A booth or table with promotional materials at a local farmer’s market, art fair, local relevant gathering or event.
  3. Where permissible, placing brochures or business cards in dispensers where local people sit and wait or queue or   gather, for example: doctors, dentists, vets, church rooms, tourist information office, , libraries, nurseries, launderettes, hairdressers, takeaways, cafes and bars, hotels, pubs and restaurants, golf clubs clinics, leisure centers, etc.
  4. Reciprocal referral arrangements with good local suppliers, especially those who serve your target audience with different products and services.
  5. Regularly giving news and interesting pictures about your work to your local newspaper or perhaps even writing a regular column relating to your specialism in the local free newspaper or parish magazine.
  6. Offering existing customers an incentive (gift of some sort, or money off your next supply) for introducing a friend as a new customer for you.
  7. Door-to-door promotional literature distribution through a community distribution service.
  8. Speaking at local networking/business events where you can also hand out brochures and other promotional material

While most of these methods are for companies and local campaigns, a few can certainly be adapted and used effectively by larger organizations with surprisingly good results.

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