As any business owner knows, social media and online websites have radically changed how products are marketed. It is incredibly easy to target specific audiences, and the potential consumer pool is larger than it has ever been. Still, there are many traditional marketing techniques that have proven the test of time.

1. Community engagement

Events are a great way to get customers to interact with a new product or engage with a brand. As a business owner, they also help by showing which products resonate most with customers.

One option is hosting an event at the business location, such as an open mic night or art show. Another option is renting a booth at a local festival or sporting event where staff members can display products or hand out business cards. Consider events that resonate with the brand. For example, an athletic wear company could reach new customers at sporting events and an Eco-conscious brand would find success at Earth Day events.

2. Signage

The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t apply when it comes to storefronts. This is the first impression customers will have of a business, and the appearance will either encourage them to step inside or send them heading in another direction.

Keep windows cleaned, pressure wash sidewalks and maintain the landscaping. Make sure customers have an easy idea of where to park if needed, and use signs that are easy to read. The signage should reflect the brand, so take the time to select the right fonts and artwork for display. One way to take signage a step further is by incorporating artwork or humorous phrases that grab people’s attention.

3. Print advertisements

Print still has value in the increasingly online world of marketing. Not only do print ads help legitimize a business, but they also have a longer shelf life than traditional online ads. Consider placing an ad in a local newspaper, community newsletter or local magazine.

Flyers are another great way to build brand awareness in a competitive market. They can be placed in strategic locations or handed out to consumers directly. Take advantage of this method by including custom website links or QR codes that can help track the effectiveness of the print ads.

4. Promotions

This marketing technique is a tried and true method to get people in the door. There are many promotions to choose from. Options include offering items in limited quantities to a certain number of guests, offering buy-one get-one free deals or offering a discount on larger purchases.

Business owners that rely on online sales should consider offering promotions such as free shipping or email discounts for new buyers. Another great option is offering discounts to customers who refer friends or family online. This method keeps the dedicated happy while potentially reaching new customers.

5. Networking

Not only do networking events help business owners get their name out there, but they also help connect people with top talent in their area. Make sure to come to these events prepared with business cards to hand out, and plan to meet with others who work in the same field. Some event attendees may be able to dispense valuable advice that can help take the business off the ground.

Conferences serve as great networking events, and they often bring in panelists who can dispense valuable advice. Other conferences host special training sessions on a variety of topics.

At the and of the day, all of these marketing techniques help link customers with business owners for valuable face-to-face time. This type of interaction can lead to positive experiences that people share and in turn help grow a dedicated audience.