Americans are drawn to small business. At least 67% would rather do their holiday shopping at local businesses instead of big box stores.
Shopping small keeps money local. Of $100 spent, small businesses funnel $68 back into the community. For national chains, that number is only $43.
More than money, locally owned shops, and companies give consumers a better shopping experience. A sense of expertise and friendliness keeps customers coming back for more.
Tap into that loyalty by developing your local marketing strategies. Here are five ways to start building a local presence today.
1. Review Your Reviews:
Like it or not, people look to online ratings and reviews to inform their decision making. Make sure yours are accurate. Take the time to read your reviews.
Not only do reviews give you an idea of the public’s perception, but they also give you a chance to respond.
If someone has left you a scathing, but honest review, reach out and offer to make it right. Doing it in a semi-public forum like Facebook allows people to see your commitment to customer service.
Do a regular inventory of your online reviews, and clean up the trash. Google allows you to flag trolling reviews and ultimately have them removed.
2. Celebrate the Holidays:
Nothing inspires brand loyalty like a good holiday celebration. Coca-cola is the ultimate Christmas beverage because they decided a long time ago that Santa loves a refreshing midnight Coke.
Use the holidays to try out your community marketing ideas.
Make Christmas and cookies your thing. Have a turkey giveaway at Thanksgiving. Go all out with Valentine decorations in February.
If any holiday is particularly meaningful for your business, go all out. Be a point of sentimental difference that the public will come to expect.
3. Sign Up for a Trade Show:
If you’ve got a healthy marketing budget, participate in a trade show as part of your local marketing plan. Sign up early for the best rates.
Invest some time in preparing your trade show marketing materials. The internet is a wealth of design resources and marketing ideas. Creating attractive, eye-catching media is easier than ever with free templates for posters, cool font downloads, and access to high-quality images.
At the trade show, you’ll get to meet other members of your industry and possibly form collaborations. You’ll also get a decent amount of press coverage and good leads.
4. Sponsor Something:
Consider becoming a sponsor for a local charity. Help give back to your neighbors while getting your name out there.
You can hand out water at one of the mile markers for a local marathon. Buy a table at a gala. Donate a prize for a raffle giveaway.
There’s no better press than press for doing something good.
5. Reward Referrals:
Word of mouth is powerful advertising. Motivate your loyal customers to put in a good word by rewarding them for referrals.
Offer a discount or monetary incentive. And make sure to follow up with a handwritten thank you. You’re a person before you’re a company.
Take Advantage of Local Marketing to Grow Your Business:
Local marketing will deepen your connection to the people around you. Get in tune with what people are saying and become a local presence at events. Before you know it, you’ll be an important part of the fabric of the community.
Marketing is a dynamic process. Keep up to date with trends and ideas by browsing our sales and marketing category.
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