Traditional Marketing Might Be Best For Local Businesses

Traditional Marketing

Digital marketing offers a great opportunity for local businesses.

For example, a lot of people are using Instagram. It’s a clean platform. It makes people happy. You can also, if you’re a business, search for people within a certain radius and also see the most popular posts in your area.

The key with any marketing effort is the cost. Is it expensive or under-priced?

With that in mind, there are still many opportunities for local businesses to use traditional marketing to reach a new audience. The key is the price. But as traditional channels struggle to compete against digital, there are deals to be had.


There has been a car dealership in my town that has been doing radio advertising for at least 15 years. I remember when I was in college meeting with the radio station ad sales vp for an interview and I asked him about it. He said that it had been a very successful campaign.

The dealership made a variety of ads that couldn’t have been more than 3 or maybe 5 seconds long. They’re quick. They’re to the point. They create all kinds of brand awareness.

And because they’re short, they’re also cheap. The radio station was seemingly having trouble filling ad slots and this was a solution. Whoever came up with it stumbled on something good.

I don’t know if short ads are the key. The key is finding under-utilized radio space that doesn’t cost much money. Test it. If it works, go all in until they raise the price.

In that example, the price must still be worth it after almost two decades.


Local businesses in my area are still using TV advertising and seemingly with great success. I would say it depends on your target customer. If they’re over 35 years old they still probably watch local TV for reruns, singing shows and the news. Probably late night talk shows too.

TV is still a king in the media world, but they know they’re competing with digital. They are looking for good partnerships. They’re willing to try new things.

Now, commercials can be expensive, but there are many more tools available today for filming than there were even 10 or 20 years ago. Talk to the TV station. See who helps advertisers make commercials.

See if there is some kind of test to run.

Television Guesting

If you’re looking for a cheaper way to get in front of your audience then a possibility might be television guesting. Turn on your local news. They typically have to fill time for about 4 or 5 30-minute segments each day. Early morning, midday, evening and late night.

That’s a lot of content needed to fill the time. Especially for a local morning show. That’s why they often have local business owners and leaders on to discuss various things going on in the community. It might be a volunteer from the human society one day. The next, it might be a chef from a local catering company. Maybe a mechanic to discuss car maintenance tips.

Reach out to your local stations. Ask what they’re looking for. Tell them who you are. See if they will give you an idea. Then work hard to make it good and they might put you on air. Possibly multiple times.


Local events can often have thousands of your potential customers all in one place. Having booths at these events can be a great way to raise awareness for your brand. You might have to give something away for free. Coozies are a big one. But think about giving away your product or service for free. That’s a great way to cost effectively spend your ad money.


This one can be tricky. There are still a lot of them around so they must be helping some businesses. Talk to the local billboard company in your area. Get to know them. See how the business works. Tell them about your business and your budget. See, again, if there is some kind of test you can work out.

Final Thought

Don’t overlook digital marketing. There are great opportunities. That’s good for you in multiple ways. One way is that it forces competition for the traditional marketing platforms. It forces prices down. It forces those platforms to get creative with their ideas. That can mean big opportunity for your local business.

Dayne Shuda
Dayne Shuda
Dad, husband, golfer, and bow hunter. Owner of Ghost Blog Writers.