The return of the “buy local” movement is encouraging consumers to invest in their community, much to the delight of small business owners. Whether they live or work in the area, it has been found that 70% of a given store’s customers are typically within three miles of your location. Here are some strategies to make the most of your marketing for local consumers.
· Give discounts or BOGO offers for products or services.
· Gear some offers specifically towards returning customers, other towards prospective customers.
· Push out coupons through email, direct mail, social media channels, and your website.
2. LOYALTY PROGRAM
· Offer a punch or stamp card with either a discount or free item/service after so many visits or purchases. This is an excellent way to nurture repeat business.
3. LOCAL COMMUNITY
· Sponsor a local event like a charity race or t-shirts for a Little League team. Be sure to sponsor causes that will be meaningful to you and your customers.
· Attend local events. Wear clothing that features your brand or host a booth when the opportunity presents itself.
· Involve yourself with local charities such as food banks, shelters, or animal rescues.
· Look for neighborhood Facebook pages and take part in the online community.
· Participate in local business groups like the Chamber of Commerce or your town’s business association.
· Build symbiotic relationships with other local businesses and then team some of your marketing efforts. For example, a sandwich shop and ice cream parlor could offer a percentage off with a same-day receipt from the other establishment.
· Advertise in local print media. Be sure to connect back to your online presence. Local print is a great place to offer coupons.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA
· Use social media platforms to engage with local consumers and to build brand awareness.
· Social media can be a key component of your customer service efforts.
· Post social media content that highlights your community, not just your business.
· Your Google location needs to be correct. The Google algorithm uses the location of a given consumer to provide a list of nearby businesses.
· Use geo-targeting in your social media marketing to reach consumers in the area directly around your business.
· Encourage customers to tag their location when they are visiting your store.
6. SEARCH ENGINES
· Claim your listings in the big search engines such as Google and Bing. Include your physical address, hours of operation, phone number, website, email, etc.
· Carefully choose Yelp categories as they determine how and when your name and ads show to consumers.
· Above all, your online information needs to be consistent so your different listings are recognized as the exact same brand.
· Many surveys have found that a vast majority of consumers read online reviews making it good practice to utilize testimonials.
· Highlight on your website and in other marketing efforts testimonials from local customers.
· Provide multiple opportunities for user generated content such as reviews, testimonials, star ratings, etc.
· Keep up with reviews and respond to both the positive and negative. Show your brand as caring and customer centered.
· Use email and social media to follow up with sales and other face-to-face interactions.
· Your website must be mobile friendly. 72% of consumers visit a store within five miles after conducting a mobile search.
· Send direct mail such as post cards to consumers inside a particular radius to your store. Include a coupon to encourage people to keep the piece out of the recycling bin.
· List your business in online directories. It is helpful to keep a spreadsheet of these so you can go back every now and then to ensure all of your listings are still accurate.
· Communicate on in-store signs, business cards, your email signature, etc. how and when customers can find and interact with your brand online.
Local marketing can be impactful for new and repeat customers alike as it helps to build awareness and create more foot traffic. Whether you are looking to kick off a locally focused marketing campaign to position your brand as a community centered company or need to optimize your website and online advertising for your local area, the experts at Strategy Driven Marketing are ready to assist you. Contact us today.