Lessons from the Super Bowl: Leveraging Local Tools for Small Business Success


Millions of people sat down last night to watch the biggest football game of the year. While some of us have looked forward to the event for the actual game, others simply couldn’t wait to be entertained with the latest batch of Super Bowl Ads. We have to admit, we had a vested interest in the ads ourselves! We polled the office and below are our top five picks!

Big brands like Budweiser and Pepsi shelled out a cool $3.8 million for an average Super Bowl ad spot to take advantage of the vast viewing audience. With such astronomical ad budgets, small and medium sized businesses often think that there is no way to compete with these giants. Fortunately, there are a number of tools that allow small and medium sized businesses to leverage a limited budget to make a big impact with their local customer bases.


Social Media

You don’t have to be a national brand to take advantage of social media. We’ve seen major social media successes with our small and medium sized clients. Specifically, our client Weddings in the Bahamas has seen their Facebook fan base increase almost eightfold (and growing!) since she began working with TTG. Social media sites give you a chance to reach your customers and interact with them just as they would interact with friends. There are a number of tried and true social media tactics that we standby.

  • Increase Your Following with Ads:

    Both Facebook and Twitter offer companies advertising opportunities. If you aren’t happy with your organic growth on social media, try investing a small budget in ads.

  • Capitalize on Your Existing Fan Base:

    Your loyal customers are your biggest fans. They want to see you succeed, if only so that they can continue to enjoy your products and services. If you have upheld your part of the bargain by providing exemplary offerings and customer service, they will go to bat for you on social media, touting you with recommendations, tweeting at you and pinning your products. The introduction of Facebook’s Graph Search has made having a solid fan base even more valuable, as it will boost your ranking in search results.

  • Promote Your Offerings:

    Take advantage of the opportunity to inform your customers of your specials or deals. This is a great way to entice customers to visit your business more often. Want to grab even more attention? Post pictures!

Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click Advertisements with Google AdWords give small and medium sized businesses the opportunity to gather extremely qualified leads through targeting specific devices, networks, language, and geographic location. Geo-targeting is arguably the best tool for local businesses.

This feature allows small businesses to:

  1. Target users in your location
  2. Display ads to users searching for or viewing pages about your location
  3. Target multiple locations in bulk. This is especially useful for businesses with more than one physical location.
  4. Focus on a radius around a specific location
  5. Exclude ads for people searching in or about locations. For example, if you’re business is in Paris, Texas, you could ensure that your ads are not shown for people looking for similar places in Paris, France.

Targeting like this allows small to medium sized businesses to keep their budgets modest because their ads are only being shown to those who have the most potential of becoming customers.


Customers often trust sites like Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, and Yelp to provide them with a glimpse of what they can expect from a business. While you can’t make customers post reviews on these sites or ensure that they are all positive, there are a few things that you can do to get the most out of your listings.

  • Make sure that your listings are complete.

    Fill in all of the fields provided to you. What are your hours of operation? What forms of payment do you accept? Do you have delivery service? These are all things that users will be looking for.

  • Add Pictures.

    Pictures make your listing more inviting and stand out against the crowd.

  • Consider Advertising.

    Advertising with these directories can help you increase awareness about your business with local consumers. We have also learned from experience with a client that Yelp will not place advertisements for other businesses on your listing if you advertise with them. Though a bit sneaky, this works out in your favor.

  • Be Courteous.

    Should you receive a negative review, resist the urge to bad mouth the reviewer or ignore it altogether. Graciously apologize and invite the reviewer back to your business to give you a chance to improve their opinion. The former options ensure that the reviewer will never return to your establishment while the latter leaves the door open for future business.

These are just some of the tools that small and medium sized businesses have at their disposal to build a solid local marketing campaign. Still, the secret weapon for these firms is their current customer base. Create a presence on social media and local directories and your loyal customers will speak for you.

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