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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Ipswich UK

    Local advertising - The Basics

    Hi, I am going to be investing in some advertising and having had a look through a couple of posts everybody seems to say local first. I plan to put flyers in a buildings and business cards also. Is there any other options that would target a local market, also target them well enough that they would know they need to buy hosting.

    Thanks in advance!

    Noel Lees
    Sales Team

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    You can also go to local graphic/web designers in your area, and offer your web hosting services to them. You might be surprised how many web designers would be ready to offload this responsibility to a reliable 3rd party. Many would rather design instead
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    I'm using a word-of-mouth marketing method to promote my web hosting services locally - and it works great for almost a year now
    As additional services, I usually provide Free hosting and domain registration for 1 year when new clients want to build new websites (and I do the web design for them).
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  4. #4
    You can use google adwords to target certain areas. Couple that with keywords and you can target certain people in certain areas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    I'm more curious on how to effectively transfer your average small business owner (Antique Shop, Bike Shop, Diner, Etc) into someone who recognizes they need an online presence.

    I'm in a unique city because the large chunk of the population (40%, I think) is made up of college students. Our town is pretty liberal, and support for local businesses is high. Years ago, Wal-Mart tried to 'come to town' and the residents simply said, "No" and pushed it to the outskirts.

    But what makes this town real unique is the population is ever changing. Every single year thousands of residents leave (many for good) and thousands of new residents come in. These people are unfamiliar with the town, unsure what is good and where to go. I'm hoping to sell local businesses on the thought they need to be reachable and visible to this constant supply of newcomers, that an online presence is a must in 2011, especially when they rely on the business of thousands of college students who spend the majority of their free time on the internet anyway. Through my own research I was suprised to find how many local business have no web presence at all, or at the very least a listing in some sort of business directory to showcase their hours of operations, a Google Map, and a phone number.

    And then there are those who already have a website, places like the night clubs and more 'well known' destinations and businesses around town. How hard is it to convince someone to switch service providers, if the person paying the bill doesn't really 'know' the benefits of 'this vs that', and so on?

    My only success transferring an existing local client of another company to us was about through a lot of work! It was probably four or five months ago I was speaking to the band at a nightclub after their gig. Talked back and forth, and gave them my card. I've seen and hung out with them a few times since, and just recently they started asking about switching from GoDaddy to us because their site was taking 10+ seconds to load. (Granted it's pretty graphic heavy). Before they switched, I had to set up a test account with a copy of their site (for free), then I provided them a chart comparing the results of LoadImpact's response times from GoDaddy and us... Probably about four or five days after that, they were our client. Of course I am happy, but it was a lot of effort from the time I gave them my business card until the time we were transferring their site for good for a $12/mo account.

    Excellent topic, would love to hear more from those who have a strong local presence. I see new construction for businesses and apartments all the time here. Puts a smile on my face knowing a website is going to be needed for someone.

    EDIT: Has anyone had success with brochure advertising? I am having a 3 fold brochure made for local businesses, was curious what results this has had for you in the past. This brochure would likely be handed to individuals only after a face to face meeting. It'll contain important information about our company, briefing of our services, as well as contain my card. I think this will be more successful then just mailing them (and save me postage).
    Last edited by MannDude; 05-06-2011 at 09:27 AM.
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  6. #6
    Just some things to think about. Some small local businesses have a web presence and it not only doesn't help them but sometimes negatively impacts them.

    For instance, a local construction company builds a website, adds a blog, but stops there. They never make any changes to their website, don't really answer email, and their last blog post was from a year ago, when the website was first made. So anyone visiting their site would get a negative opinion about the company, even if they do good work. Some small businesses are just not cut out for the new world of online media.

    Seth Godin has a good book called Meatball Sundae that talks about this.

    So while online media is definitely the future and even largely the present, it takes a totally different mindset.

    Sometimes friends of mine come and talk to me about "getting a website". But adfter talking to them, I realize that they are just gonna throw something up and hope that customers will come flowing in, but it doesn't work that way. Sometimes I discourage them from investing too much into an online presence, because it would not sync with the way they are doing things.

    On the other hand, I think their is many businesses who could really use an online presence. We are working with a local bookstore to get them online so that they can better serve their customers.

    For us word of mouth has been the biggest way to get in with local businesses. once they trust/like you. Its easier to show them the benefits of different marketing types.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by thehosterdude View Post
    You can also go to local graphic/web designers in your area, and offer your web hosting services to them. You might be surprised how many web designers would be ready to offload this responsibility to a reliable 3rd party. Many would rather design instead
    I really donŽt see how Web Designers find hard to resell hosting and have extra profit instead of referring the customers to host with someone else.
    I could be wrong, but I think is a waste of time.
    Unless..., you offer them reseller hosting... WHICH is another VERY different market than shared hosting.

    If you canŽt do web design nor canŽt hire a webdesigner, then think about doing a partnership with a webdesigner, then again the webdesigner really donŽt need you, he just needs a reseller account or a VPS or etc.

    In other words, I think your audience wants a CAR and you are selling GAS..., they DONŽT want Hosting, most must not even know what Hosting is, they want a Website and Emails.
    If you are not selling what they want is pretty obvious youŽll have a hard time getting conversions.

    Do you want INK or a Printer?..., are HP, Epson etc. selling Ink?, no, they are selling good prints, even if their business comes from selling tinted water(ink) doesnŽt matter, youŽll need to focus the product.

    ...that an online presence is a must
    When I hear or read this sentence..., I roll my eyes

    If I were a prospect, and the first thing a read o hear from someone who donŽt know my business is that I NEED A WEBSITE...
    how do you know I need a website? do you know what am a selling? no, do you know who is my audience? no, do you know if my services are being searched on the web(Google)? no.
    etc. etc.
    So, that sounds just stupid in my opinion, as I, the owner, the expert of what I do, know best about my stuff, so the WebDesigner or Host guy needs to evaluate my profile(~15mins stuff) and explain the best approach, and I decide the value of it, that is, if a need it or want it.


    In my opinion, there are 3 types of prospects:

    A) The one that doesnŽt have a website and hasnŽt think about it so he really doesnŽt care much. He is currently selling and to his perception will still be selling without your product.

    B) The one that doesnŽt have a website and is interested in having one because:
    B.A) His competitors, colleagues, etc. have one
    B.B) He is going forward, innovating, etc.
    B.C) He has the wrong idea of what WebSites are for.

    C) The one who already has a website but is not finished or is not satisfied or would be interested if seeing something better or with more benefits.
    In my opinion, C needs a perceivable advantage of 80% in benefits and/or price in order to convert into a customer.

    YOUŽll want to target B, then, maybe, C.

    With A, youŽll first need to take them to the next level where B already is, and for this, youŽll have to explain a strategy and/or how a Web Strategy will help them.

    This is not necessary with B and C.


    If I were to start again, locally, IŽll get my sales materials ready (Brochures, B. cards, Website, Uniform, car with logo, etc.) and then visit the businesses with the profile that I already KNOW they want/need a website
    Last edited by jagarco; 05-06-2011 at 04:01 PM.

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