I recently surveyed my email subscribers and asked them what is the number one burning question they would like me to help them with. One of the questions that came up again and again was asking about easy local business marketing ideas to boost sales. So, here are four tactics you can implement right away when it comes to attracting more local clients and customers to your business.
Succeeding as a local business requires a strong foundation in the community as well as a little creative outreach. In a market that seems dominated by online retailers and smartphone shopping, local businesses are still a draw for many people — in fact, Search Engine Watch reports that almost 60 percent of consumers search with Google every month looking for local businesses to visit. Leverage your status as a local business to reach new consumers in your area and stay competitive with the big box stores.
Local Marketing Idea #1: Update your website.
The first easy fix to attracting more local customers to your business is your website. Too often, small local businesses have a website that is completely out of date when it comes to content and design. Update your content and make sure the site is mobile-ready. Mobile customers need to be able to find and use your site, or you will lose business. Google reports that 50 percent of mobile users visit a local business within 24 hours of searching online for one. Having an out-of-date site could mean losing half of your potential local customers, so stop relying on word of mouth advertising alone and get your site up to date, so you can meet the neighborhood. If updating your website does not feel easy to you, check out my free training that will help you simplify the process.
Local Marketing Idea #2: Support the community.
Sponsoring local events and programs is one of the easiest ways to connect yourself with the community. It gives you a chance to advertise directly to the people around you as well as build lifelong bonds with community members and other business owners.
You can offer sponsorship in a variety of ways; you could offer your services for free to a group, provide funding for community causes or provide prizes for a nonprofit’s fundraising events. O-ring manufacturer Apple Rubber cosponsors a Fourth of July celebration in Lancaster, New York, every year that is attended by more than 40,000 people. Sometimes, it can be as simple as opening your doors to let a group use your physical space for their event. Whatever you choose to do will resonate with the community and build goodwill for you and your business.
If you happen to be from my hometown in Bucks County, PA, consider supporting the CB East High School’s new Patriot’s stadium. Even a small $50 investment in the athletic program book can get your business repeat exposure to the local community. (Okay, so I had to throw that one in there for my two boys playing on the high school soccer team 🙂
Taking pride in your place in the community will not only give more visibility to the community groups you support, but it also makes you much more three dimensional. Be sure that your website mentions all the work you do for the community and posting photos is even better.
There is a local health club in my community who does an excellent helping to spread the message through their sponsorship of an annual race in memory of a local community member.
There are plenty of sports teams to support. If you contribute by supporting a youth sports team make sure that you proudly display a jersey instore. Being proud of your place in local culture shows the neighborhood you are enthused to be a part of it and endears you to them.
In some cases, your social media presence will be the first exposure people have to your business — and what do people on social media love? Videos and pictures. Actively share and post images and videos that are more than simple advertisements for your company — show real testimonials from real locals and local news items of interest to your customers. You should also make the effort to post reviews of other local businesses you like to show that you don’t just promote local business, you shop local as well.
As you implement these four easy marketing ideas, be sure to be prepared for new business. You never know when you’re going to get the opportunity to engage more local customers. One time I ran into the grocery store with only my credit card in my pocket. I bumped into a CPA who came to one of my local marketing seminars. He asked me for my business card, so he could learn more about my business coaching — yikes! I didn’t have any.
I have since then stocked all three of our cars with a stack of my business cards, which came in handy when I least expected it — like while dining at local restaurants, meeting people at neighborhood socials, watching my sons’ soccer games, etc.
QUESTION: What has worked the best for you when it comes to attracting more local clients to your business? What has worked the least? Share your comments and questions below.
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