If you run a local business, meaning most of your customers come from within a 75-mile radius, you can utilize various general marketing tactics. However, there is one important factor to consider. You need to attract potential customers who are nearby enough to physically visit your store or for you to provide them with service at their location. This requirement necessitates the use of specific techniques known as “local marketing.”
Below are some local marketing strategies that can assist in attracting customers from your local area.
Sponsor a Good Cause
By purchasing jerseys for a nearby Little League team or offering sponsorship to the annual art fair in the town, you can support local beneficial initiatives. This will not only allow you to contribute to fundraising efforts but also help you establish a positive relationship with the community while gaining exposure throughout the entire town.
Rent a Booth at Local Events
When it comes to good causes, local events often offer the opportunity for sponsors to rent a booth where they can showcase their product or engage in conversations with the public. Don’t forget to bring along promotional items and high-quality advertising materials for your business, and get ready to personally connect with the community!
Take Out an Ad in a Local Directory
Although the Internet is often the primary resource for most people searching for a product or service, not all individuals are connected or proficient in digital technology. Therefore, it can be beneficial to place an advertisement in the Yellow Pages or in a more localized directory such as a free magazine specific to the town, a newsletter distributed within a large neighborhood, or a local website.
Place an Article in a Local Magazine
When it comes to magazines, numerous towns offer free publications that generate revenue through advertising and distributing them to all mailboxes and PO Boxes within the town. While there may be an advertising fee involved, you have the opportunity to contribute an article in your field of expertise and have it sent out to almost every resident in town.
Write a Press Release
If your business has a significant announcement, such as securing a prominent international client or creating additional job opportunities in the locality, consider sending a press release to the local newspaper or news website. In particular, local papers, especially in smaller communities, are enthusiastic about reporting positive news about their residents. However, ensure that the story holds relevance for the entire community rather than solely focusing on your business.
Write a Letter to the Editor
Similar to a press release, this concept depends on timing. If there is a current local matter affecting your business, writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper allows you to express your views on the issue. Like a press release, this approach is not designed for direct promotion of your business, but rather to establish yourself as a respected figure in the local community.
Attend a Networking Event
Once you have identified potential targets, get involved in the networking groups, professional associations, and social clubs that are prominent in most towns and attract your customers.
Offer to be a Speaker
Local groups are constantly seeking speakers who can provide entertainment, education, and information. Once you have joined a local group that you believe will enhance your business, propose to deliver a speech or conduct a presentation for them. Ensure that your presentation is informative rather than excessively focused on sales.
Manage Your Listing in Search Engines
First, people often search online using Google or Bing, either on their computers or on their phones, before visiting a business.
You have the ability to control various details in your Google business listings such as the address, hours, phone number, and pictures by using a Google My Business account, which is available at no cost. It is recommended to claim your listing if you haven’t already. Bing also offers a comparable listing feature.
Target Nearby Social Media Users
If you know how to use it in that way, social media can be aimed at your local area.
One option that Facebook offers is the ability to promote your business to local Facebook users. It is recommended that small businesses begin with a budget of $100 and conduct a test campaign.
Avoid advertising and focus on engaging with existing local customers on your social channels. Share compelling content, which might lead to your updates being seen by the friends and family of your followers who are within the local community.
Participate With Online Professional Groups
Social media platforms such as LinkedIn offer the opportunity to join groups, enabling individuals to share their knowledge and expand their professional connections. This feature is particularly beneficial for B2B businesses operating in local areas.
A business located in Southern California that specializes in advertising materials such as t-shirts and other printed goods might find advantage in collaborating with local groups consisting of other SoCal businesses.
Follow Up With Customers
Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly common to send a thank-you email after a sale, with the intention of encouraging testimonials. However, it is important to avoid providing any incentives in exchange for positive reviews. Instead, the email should express gratitude, mention that feedback is valued, and kindly request a testimonial for the company’s website if the customer is willing to provide one.
Cross-Promote With Other Local Businesses
If you provide a special or promotion to your customers, you will only reach those who are already aware of your business. However, if you and another business collaborate to offer a joint promotion, it is probable that customers from both businesses will become aware of it.
For example, a nearby movie theater could collaborate with a local restaurant to offer a special package of “dinner and a movie”.
Start a Referral Program
One potential form of a referral program involves providing a content customer with additional business cards and requesting them to recommend the company to their acquaintances.
You can also consider offering a reward or discount to both the referrer and the customer who is referred. For example, if you are an interior designer, you could provide a $200 credit to previous clients who refer their friends, as well as an equal discount to the referred client.
Form a Cash Mob
A Cash Mob is a concept where a group of individuals gather to support and visit a small, local, or struggling business within a designated day. The main objective is to provide an economic boost for the business owners, while celebrating the uniqueness of each community. By organizing or participating in a Cash Mob, you contribute to the growth of businesses, bring joy to people, benefit yourself, have an enjoyable experience, and conclude with a celebratory drink. Consider establishing a Cash Mob in your locality or discovering one to join. These are merely a few suggestions for promoting your business within your community.