Ten Ways to Promote Your LBS Program Offline

By Aaron Strout, Mike Schneider, B. J. Emerson

Just because you’re marketing online doesn’t mean you can forget about promoting your location-based marketing program using traditional, offline tactics. Here are ten offline ways to create awareness of your location-based campaign, many of which are inexpensive and can be used in combination with one another.

  1. In-Store Signage

    One of the least expensive and most obvious ways to tell your customers that you’re running a location-based marketing campaign is to tell them while they’re in your store. Many location-based services even offer stickers for this very purpose.

    Consider putting posters or signs on your restroom walls, in your hallways, at the bar, in the lobby or waiting room, and even at your points of purchase.

    A SCVNGR sticker on the door of GameStop.
    A SCVNGR sticker on the door of GameStop.
  2. Table Tents and Placards

    If you own a restaurant or bar with tables, don’t overlook promoting your LBS efforts on table tents and placards. Similar to signs, keep your table tents and placards short and sweet with only the minimal amount of information.

    A table tent at the Golden Corral restaurant chain encourages customers to check in to win an iPad
    A table tent at the Golden Corral restaurant chain encourages customers to check in to win an iPad or free meal.
  3. Staff Training

    Be sure to train your staff to mention your location-based activities. Instead of asking about a special, they should ask customers if they have checked in.

    If they’re unfamiliar with location-based services, staff can give them an explanatory sheet or spend two minutes to walk them through checking in. This is also a good way to make sure that your customers know how to check in and where to look for your specials.

  4. Direct Mail

    The trick with direct mail is to personalize it as much as possible, even including handwritten notes. For smaller businesses, this type of personal touch can create some real buzz.

    A sample letter with the offer and call to action for your location-based program.
    A sample letter with the offer and call to action for your location-based program.
  5. Outdoor Advertising

    If you have several stores or locations within a certain geography, outdoor advertising can be a great way to spread the word about your location-based services.

  6. Yellow Pages

    The Yellow Pages is a resource that many older or less technically savvy customers use. Including an ad that encourages customers to check in to your venue can separate you from your competition.

  7. Flyers

    Flyers are quite effective for local businesses. The key here is making sure your flyer is well designed, clear, and correctly targeted. Placing flyers in the lobbies of local apartment buildings if your venue is downtown, or at a bus stop or around the local college campus can all be good uses of your time and effort.

  8. In-Store Events

    What an in-store event can do — especially if you select the right customers or prospective customers — is better arm your advocates to tell your story. Because these kinds of events are fun and desirable, people should be clamoring to attend versus you having to coerce them into taking action.

  9. Print Advertising

    Just like in-store signage, outdoor advertising, table tents, and flyers, include a short URL and a QR code that can get your customers to your venue page faster. Also remember to include your offer and a definitive call to action, such as “check in to our location and get a free t-shirt.”

  10. Word of Mouth

    Just like in-store events serve as offers and help drive influencer activity, so too can word-of-mouth marketing. The secret to making this work is giving your customers something to talk about. This is one of the reasons it’s important to create great offers that are either easy to achieve or surprise and delight (or both).