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Ingenious, Cost-Efficient Ways to Attract New Customers: A Guide for Local Channel Partners

For local channel partners, marketing budget constraints seem like an enormous challenge when attracting new customers. However, any partner can unlock many new sales opportunities with creativity applied to digital strategies and local marketing campaigns. So, if you are a partner (or a vendor looking to help your partners) looking for ingenious, cost-efficient ways to capture new business, this article is written just for you!  

Leverage Social Media: 

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide an incredible, cost-effective avenue for reaching new audiences. You can engage with your audience through regular posts, updates about your business, and by responding to their queries or comments. Consistency is essential; it helps establish your brand’s identity and instills trust.  

But, this is a big but (we cannot lie!); you can’t just post and hope. You must do something more unique than that to win new customers. So, consider seeking out prospect content through fun campaigns asking them to post their worst IT mistake or biggest IT fail and then awarding prizes like a free IT makeover to the best fails. Or think about hosting giveaways or contests that encourage user-generated content. For example, a “share to win” or a “tag a friend” contest helps spread awareness about your business and fosters a sense of community. 

Maximize Search Engine Optimization (SEO): 

SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways to attract new customers. By optimizing your website and blog content, you can improve your search engine rankings and visibility to potential customers who are actively looking for products or services like yours.   

Ensure your website content is relevant and original and incorporates keywords that potential customers may use when searching. Also, optimize your Google My Business listing to improve local search results.  

Content Marketing: 

Content is king in today’s digital world. Blogs, eBooks, infographics, videos, and podcasts provide valuable information to your audience, help establish you as an expert in your field, and enhance your SEO. Remember you are an expert; use that expertise to publish content. You can even interview your services techs to get some content – don’t worry about how perfect the video is for those interviews; get them done, and then you can edit them afterward.   

Remember, the goal is to add value for your audiences. Providing solutions to common problems or offering expert insights can help draw new customers to your business. Encourage visitors to share your content on their social media to increase reach. One hot idea in this category is to offer “help sheets” that customers and prospects can download.

These sheets may be on common application commands or a platform’s shortcuts. One partner recently did a how-to-write, an excellent prompt for the ChatGPT help sheet that took off. Add value, and your prospects and customers will return for more.   

Partnership with Other Local Businesses: 

Strategic partnerships with non-competing local businesses can open doors to new customers. This can be through shared promotions, events, or cross-referrals. For example, a local MSP could partner with a coffee shop for an ‘IT and brew’ deal. Look for places in your local community where your ideal customer shops or engages. Those are the places you want a partnership with.

One partner we worked with partnered with a local print shop with great success because the businesses who used this printer were doing a lot of outbound print marketing, which resulted in inbound calls to their contact centers. This created a campaign for the partner to help that customer better optimize their customer experience and built over 30 leads in 45 days.

The hook? Do a UC health plan and get a $50 coupon off their next printing job. The campaign cost them less than $3,000 for over $125,000 of new business.   

Community Engagement: 

Get involved in your local community events, charities, or causes. Sponsor a small local sports team, participate in local fairs or festivals, or host workshops or seminars. These engagements provide opportunities to introduce your business to potential customers while showing your commitment to the community.

One partner we worked with knew that a local food truck made daily rounds to small business locations. He offered to pay for the food truck to distribute free water with each meal for a week and wrapped the water with a coupon for his services. He spent about $750 and got over $20,000 in new business. Again, another local win!  

Online Reviews and Referral Programs: 

Encourage your customers to leave online reviews. Positive reviews improve your local SEO and influence potential customers’ decisions. Additionally, consider implementing a referral program. Offering referral incentives is a cost-effective way to acquire new customers, as word-of-mouth marketing from satisfied customers is a powerful tool.   

But remember, just as in any marketing, if you do your referral and online reviews in a fun and exciting way, you will get engaged prospects and customers. Make it just another ho-hum program, and no one will bite.

One partner we work with launched a referral program that allowed customers to get a new piece of funny swag every time they sent in a referral – this included t-shirts, golf club covers, and other items. The swag was a talking point; you could only get it by referring  someone. They got 23 referrals in less than 30 days of running the program. So don’t be afraid to be different to win!  

In conclusion, numerous creative, cost-effective digital and local strategies exist to attract new customers. Although these methods require effort and consistency, they can yield significant returns over time.

With a keen understanding of your audience and a touch of creativity, you can use these strategies to expand your customer base, foster customer loyalty, and increase your market presence without draining your marketing budget.

Happy selling!  



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