Chances are that your small business is primarily, if not entirely, dependent on the support and patronage of your community. That being the case, you need to pay special attention to its members, investing in marketing that will attract them. Do you need some local marketing ideas to get you started? Consider 10 things you can do to boost awareness of your business within your locale and get more customers through your doors.
1. Focus on Local SEO
How would you rate your online presence within your local area? Really, regardless of your answer, you should be investing in local SEO. This includes completing your Google My Business listing, getting listed on other local directories, and optimizing your website to rank high in search results.
2. Create Appealing, Shareable Email Campaigns
Email is a very effective way to keep in touch with past customers and gain new ones. Think about what might appeal to your target demographic. Might a monthly newsletter, deals and discounts, free downloads, blog posts or something else be of interest to them? If so, sending related emails can keep your business top of mind, motivating past customers to come back to you time and again.
Additionally, it can spark word of mouth. In fact, you can outright ask to be recommended to others as long as you provide something your audience sees as valuable. If they feel that someone they know could benefit as well, they’ll be happy to forward your email to family and friends, increasing your business’s local exposure.
3. Run Targeted Google and Facebook Ads
Both Google and Facebook, two of the foremost search engines in the world, allow you to target potential customers in your local area specifically. Make use of this invaluable tool by running local ads often. Most likely, you will see some immediate results from your ad campaigns including increased inquiries and even more sales. For help with running ads, check out these posts:
A well-thought-out advertisement can also yield long-term results that are less tangible. For example, brand awareness and recognition increase, which often leads to referrals and sales down the road.
4. Distribute Business Cards, Brochures & Flyers
No matter what sort of printed material you prefer, it should be eye-catching, explain briefly what you do or offer, and contain all necessary contact information. You can then set them out at your physical location, pass them out to potential customers and partners, or leave them in popular local go-to’s such as coffee shops.
These too will keep your business top of mind and may also end up in the hands of potential customers you previously hadn’t reached.
5. Do a Giveaway
A lot of things may change, but one remains the same: people love free stuff! Therefore, a great way to attract locals to your business is to do giveaways. You could advertise through social media, the local paper or a nearby radio station. To get people through your doors, you might even require in-store pickup or redemption. For example, you could use this model: “The first [number] customers to stop by today, will get a free [product or service]!”
Related: Examples of Facebook Contests and Instagram Giveaways (free download)
6. Offer Referral Incentives
Kill two birds with one stone by offering referral incentives such as discounts and other coveted perks. Not only do they keep past customers coming back to you, but they also reel in new ones. Need we mention that these new customers—the family, friends and professional connections of current buyers—may also refer you, increasing your reach even more? This is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding local marketing tactics you could use!
7. Become a Sponsor
Could you sponsor a local sports team, hold a fundraiser for a local youth club or support some other project or organization? Doing so would put your business on the radars of people who are involved with (or at least aware of) those projects and organizations. This might just lead to more business for you.
8. Do Some Volunteer Work
What if you’re not quite in a position to become a sponsor? You can still do some volunteer work within your community. No matter where you’re based, there’s surely something helpful you can do. You might consider helping out at local non-profit or charity event. This will give you the opportunity to meet and interact with locals and may also move the organizations you help to promote your business in some way.
9. Form a Partnership
Make it a practice to network with local business owners. As you do you’ll learn about their products and services, as well as their core values, mission, and customer base. If you find that their businesses complement yours and you’re targeting a similar demographic, a partnership might be worth considering.
You can then think of creative ways to promote one another’s businesses. This can be an effective way to go because you’ll have the credibility and good reputation of your partners working in your favor. Plus, their “vote of confidence” will give consumers all the more reason to trust and do business with you.
10. Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Have you considered registering with your local chamber of commerce? Or are you thinking, “I don’t even know what that is…”? Just in case, we’ll answer that last question. A chamber of commerce is a sort of business network with a focus on furthering the interests of local businesses.
Regardless of whether you’ve heard of or considered joining this type of organization before now, one fact remains. You should register as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on any opportunities available to you as a member.
Next Level Local Marketing
Chances are, you’re doing some form of local marketing already, perhaps without even realizing it. Yet, even if that’s the case, it never hurts to try other tactics and incorporate those that work for your business into your long-term marketing strategy. Why not try out some of the ideas and suggestions above and see if you can attract more local customers to your small business?