Despite the ever-increasing digitization and globalization of commerce, many small businesses continue to function in a brick and mortar setting servicing a relatively small region. Whether it’s restaurants, repair shops, lawyers, or masons, these local business entities will still see the benefits of traditional local advertising techniques.

Therefore, small companies with a centralized customer/client base who have thus far focused almost entirely on digital marketing may want to consider brushing up on the ABCs of effective advertising at the local level:


The exterior body of a motor vehicle is prime real estate for advertising. Companies with a fleet of vehicles can use highly customized car wraps to achieve mobile marketing as employees travel throughout a greater metropolitan area. This is most commonly seen with plumbing services and other repair-oriented small business ventures but is not restricted to them.

Self-employed professionals working in real estate, photography, and other on-the-go fields could attach a magnet logo on the side of their personal work vehicle to spread brand awareness throughout the workday. Furthermore, local business advertising featured on the outside of taxi cabs and the inside of mass transit vehicles remains an effective method of getting more business for companies in a major city.


The inverse of automotive-based advertising on the local level is undoubtedly the roadside billboard. Rather than have the advertising be mobile, it’s positioned where those in transit will see it regularly.

The art of a great billboard—apart from making it an iconic and memorable junction of imagery and idea—is its location. Along the highway is the go-to, but not always suitable for niche businesses. Busy intersections are another highly sought after place to put a billboard for local business, but space is limited due to most nearby residents considering such advertising to be eyesores of the neighborhood.

However, if done correctly, billboard advertising (and stationary outdoor advertising in general) can prove to be marketing dollars well spent.


The classic commercial is often overlooked due to the stigma of cost-prohibitiveness combined with the belief they’re an outmoded means of advertising. However, when it comes to local advertising, commercials remain a powerful way to grow business.

More people listen to local radio than most business owners realize, making the airwaves an excellent medium. Getting a local TV commercial on the air is still pretty pricey, but the thing companies need to remember is they can use the same video ad online as well. Get the commercial produced under the expectation it will be on television, but start with buying ad time on YouTube to maximize its range and venture onto TV only after the metrics prove promising.

In an age when everything seems to be online, it’s easy for small businesses to lose sight of the basics of local advertising. While companies specializing in products being shipped around the world probably don’t need to worry much about appealing to the local consumer, many businesses depend mostly if not entirely on the men and women in their own community.

With this in mind, it’s imperative for said small business to invest in local advertising. Fortunately for them, the ABCs haven’t changed much over the years, and are unlikely to do so in the years to come.

Jane Donovan
Jane Donovan is a copywriter and blogger from the Deep South. She grew up taking vacations to the Gulf of Mexico and the lakes of Georgia before growing up, leaving her hometown for college, and studying aboard in Madrid, Spain, Jane majored in English and start working in journalism and copywriting just after college since 2005. Her main interests when it comes to writing are local marketing for mom and pop stores, often highlighting how those hometown companies can use digital marketing.