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How to Market a Local Business

10 min read

There are a lot of challenges when it comes to getting your brand’s name out there and bringing in new customers. The best target audience, and one that needs a lot of attention for success, is your local community. Here are some tips and methods that any business owner can use to target their local business community with their overall marketing approach.

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Tips from e-commerce experts for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
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Work With Other Local Businesses

When it comes to marketing your local business, the larger your network the easier targeting your local market will be. Start by considering all the services your business uses regularly. Look at what companies you use, and if there are some good local alternatives consider switching over to those businesses. After moving over some of your business to utilize other local businesses you will build up contact information and grow your local network.

If you have a physical location, then working with small, up-and-coming local businesses is a great way to gain more customers and get some foot traffic. Depending on your store and building, you may have the perfect space to allow a new local business to have a pop-up store in your building. This will allow you to grow your local network as well as increase foot traffic into your store. For instance, if you allow a new local coffee business to set up a small pop-up shop, customers that may have just passed your store might stop in for the coffee and potentially purchase something from you.

When you start engaging and reaching out to other local businesses you would be surprised by the local marketing and promotional opportunities that come up. When you bring consistent business to your own local community, you will also benefit by creating a large local network.

How to Get Your Local Customers Engaged in Your Business

Getting new customers in the door can be a struggle. There are many marketing tactics businesses use to engage new audiences or people. Here is a couple that you may want to consider when figuring out how to get customers to naturally engage with your business.

Award online interactions: Think of unique promotions or free things for customers who like or share your content. When they come in and claim their promotion, ask if you can take a picture of them and share that on your own social media. As a bonus, that customer may feel special because a local business posted a photo of them and they will share that same photo on their own personal social media.

Review sites: Awarding reviews is tempting but can be a bit tricky because some people may leave false reviews just to get the promotions. It may depend on what promotional tactic you choose, if it’s too good to pass up then false reviews will be something you have to deal with. Having good reviews is always a great thing, but if people are not being genuine after a while it is pretty easy for others to tell that the reviews may be fake. Don’t be discouraged by this, but do be cautious.

Existing customers: Don’t forget about your existing customers! It is always easy to think of new promotional things for new customers. Many business owners focus on “how I can get more people in my store”. Find ways to engage those who already bring you business.

Being Engaged With Your Local Community Will Help Grow Your Business

Having engaged customers is a two-way street. You can’t expect customers to promote your business and give nothing back in return. Business owners who are active in their local communities usually do really well. Being engaged in local events and activities makes locals really like you and your business which makes them want to go there. Here are a couple of ways for you to start impacting your community.

Local Newspaper: It’s old school but it works! Try purchasing some ads or accepting opportunities for local newspaper interviews. Try doing something newsworthy, in a small community it doesn’t take much. Plan a charity event that features local artists or that will benefit the community in some small way, such as cleaning up a street. It may take a couple of days of work but you will get a free feature in your local paper or news station, and it will give customers a positive outlook on your business.

Business cards: Building contacts can be difficult when you are busy working in your own store. The fishbowl trick has been around for a while, and if you are struggling to network with local companies, put out a fishbowl for a free promotional item. It’s a great and passive way to build up contacts.

Customer loyalty programs: Loyalty programs are a great way to keep people coming back into your store. It’s also fantastic for the locals who visit your business because they are really the only ones who can utilize the program. Loyalty programs build up your local reputation and it helps lessen the blow if a well-known national brand comes to town and competes with your business.

Local events: Even if you’re tired from working all day, take the time to show up at local events, whether it’s a local sports team, a county fair, or a craft show. Going to these events and getting your face out there will build an organic relationship with your local community. Almost everyone you meet will ask you what you do and that’s a free chance to tell someone about your business.

Optimize Your Online Presence for Your Local Community

An online presence is crucial for any modern-day company. There are some ways to optimize your online presence for the locals.

Follow other locally owned businesses: The easiest and cheapest way to start optimizing your local online presence is with social media. Make sure you are following other local businesses whether or not they are in your industry. Keep engaging with those businesses by liking or sharing their content. This will help them out and they may be more inclined to like or share your content with their audience in return.

Local search engine optimization: SEO is amazing tool companies use to market their business. The first thing any local business should do is create a Google My Business Account, this is how your business comes up when people search for things “near me.” Additionally, if you have a blog or any content on your website, don’t forget to make content around local news stories or events. If locals are searching for these events, even if your company is not in charge of the event your company’s page could show up in the search results.

Local influencers: Find people who are local and have a big social media presence. They don’t have to be huge with millions of followers, just someone who has a good influence in your local community. Offer them some sort of promotion or sponsorship for posting about your business on their social media, this marketing strategy will come off more organically since that person is local and often isn’t too costly.

In Conclusion

Local marketing should be part of any small business strategy. Whether you’re selling products or services, largely in-person or online, a local community is often the backbone of a customer base. With our tips in mind, we hope you’ll be able to build a presence in your local community and grow alongside your neighbors and fellow local shops and brands.

Do you want to learn more about starting a local business?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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