Owning a small business comes with many unique needs. While many small business owners focus on strategies used by corporate behemoths, it may be more beneficial to focus on your specific small business needs. One thing that is increasingly overlooked in this age is local marketing.
Ultimately, the point of your business is to turn a profit. One of the tricky balancing acts is trying to find the right amount of money to devote to advertising and marketing. Too much and you are essentially flushing money down the toilet. Too little and you aren’t gaining new customers. Local marketing will be an effective solution. There are plenty of cost-effective digital solutions, but you should also think about things like industry partnerships to drive traffic between sites, hosting local events, classes and seminars, participating in local Chamber of Commerce events and being active in the community. These strategies also help in driving customer engagement and retention.
Local Support is a Big Deal
Showing up on local searches keeps your business visible and relevant, as shown by statistics that prove that local searches can significantly impact a business’s bottom line. Bigger competitors may have bigger budgets, but by ensuring your business is on Apple Maps, Google Maps, and Google My Business, you will have the inside track with customers performing searches for local businesses. These are free to use services, with Google My Business especially being vital. It allows you to add your business to Google’s local searches. You can add contact information, your website, photographs, maps, location, and customer reviews, all for free.
Community Support Drives Traffic
Being visible in your community is an excellent way to expose people in the area to your brand without spending a fortune. While you can invest in things like sponsoring local youth sports teams or charity events, you can also host your own events, partner with libraries or community colleges to offer community teaching events or partner with like-minded or complementary businesses to send each other business. Being active in your community is also a way to drive customer engagement and loyalty, as customers—and employees—see your desire to help and participate in the local area.
Employees Can Participate in Marketing
Small business employees are often vested in the success of the business, have personal relationships with the business owner and enthusiasm for the business where they work. It is natural to leverage this asset into local marketing efforts. Incentivize employees to refer customers, spread positive word of mouth and wear swag around town and to local events. Make sure that they are able to post their stories of community engagement on your social media.
Enhances Social Media Presence
Local marketing and building community presence is also a great way to promote your business online and through social media. Social media is a vital component of your marketing efforts. By using social media to cover your community outreach, you can enhance not only the number of people who are exposed to your brand but also the engagement they feel toward it. Using the 80/20 rule, only 20 percent of your total social media posting should be directly about your business and sales. The other 80 percent should generally be about telling stories that generate interest, create loyalty and get people thinking about your brand. Using social media in conjunction with community events is a great way to cover this.
It’s Where the Bulk of Your Customers Are
You can run a huge national ad campaign or hire a well-known influencer, but if the content doesn’t reach local people, then it isn’t effective. Local marketing appeals to and attracts the people that are closest to your business, and the ones most likely to patronize it. It also allows you to form and target core customer groups. For example, if you have a shoe store, you can target local athletic events, host a running group or partner with a smoothie shop. By focusing on a target, you are more likely to reach those who most need your product or service.
Local marketing can take many forms. They represent efficient and low-cost opportunities for business owners. By appealing to the local community, you are most effectively working to bring in and keep customers.
If you need help with marketing your business, Giveback Marketing can help. Contact us for a free consultation today!