Marketing is the key to monetization. This may seem like a bit of an overstatement for the sign industry, where having the best possible equipment, customer service, and manufacturing skills is so important, but it’s true. You could be a cutting-edge sign-making master, but you won’t make a single sale if nobody knows you’re in business.
So, if you want your sign business to thrive, you need to invest in effective marketing. But don’t worry: effective marketing doesn’t mean expensive marketing.
This post is all about growing your sign business using low-cost, high-impact local marketing strategies that you can start incorporating today. Read on for a basic 3-point guide to creating and implementing a winning sign business promotion plan on your own!
Identify the competition.
The first step in beating the competition is knowing what you’re up against. For local marketing purposes, you’ll want to focus in particular on shops located within a five-mile radius – these will be your main competitors.
Assess their capabilities and determine what services they offer. You can look at customer reviews, peruse their website, or even request a consultation.
You’ll also want an idea of their pricing, not only to set your own, but also to inform any special promotions you might be running.
Finally, you’ll want to look at your competition’s advertising efforts to date. If they’re doing a good job, this shouldn’t be tough to find, but you may have to check any of the following:
- Call local shops directly to inquire about special promotions that may be running
- Check local papers and Yellow Pages for print advertisements
- Google locally-targeted keywords you want your site to rank for, such as “sign shops [city name]” or “best sign makers in [city]”
Pay special attention to the top-performers, noting what your competition is including in high-performing ads. Once you’ve isolated a few factors contributing to their success, you can reverse-engineer their marketing efforts to give your new business a head start!
Identify potential clients.
The best ads are tailored to specific buyer needs, many of which may coexist within a single market. For example, some of your clients will be new business owners shopping for their first signs. These clients will be looking for affordable and effective signs that are easy for first-timers to mount and install. On the other hand, targeting long-time business owners might get better results with promotions that emphasize the value of sign refacing, replacement, and repair. Simply put, these buyers need different things – new signs and updated signs, respectively – and your advertising should reflect their specific wants.
Play to your strengths.
You cannot effectively specialize in every aspect of the signage industry, so you’ll need to determine which ones are best for your shop. Don’t think of this as limiting your revenue, but rather as finding your niche and differentiating yourself from the competition. Playing to your strengths gives your advertising more weight, and also makes better use of your marketing dollars.
Moreover, playing to your strengths makes your marketing plan easier to manage and assess over the long term. Advertising for a specific service makes it easy to see whether your marketing budget has paid off – for example, if you pushed vinyl signs for the month of August and don’t see an obvious spike in those sales, you know adjustments are needed. This is much better than a general marketing campaign whose results are tough to pinpoint.
Learn more about local marketing for your sign company – and how Signworld’s franchise system can put your ads over the top – at http://www.signworld.org.