What is Local Marketing?
Local marketing is different for every business depending on your customer base. But local marketing comes down to one thing: community.
Local marketing is attracting people in local communities to walk into your store.
There are a variety of ways in which a business can market to customers in their local community. If you own a restaurant, for example, you can post photos of a burger on Instagram with a caption that says you offer half off burgers on Monday nights.
Here are some ways you can get started with local marketing.
Listen to Your Community
When it comes to being a successful business owner, listening to customers in your local community is one of the best ways to know how to improve customers’ experiences.
That’s what a local Tampa restaurant did to survive, reports Entrepreneurial Chef. The now loved and growing Datz Restaurant Group knew they needed to go from a counter service to full service restaurant after just two weeks of first opening back in 2009. They were fast to respond to changing consumer needs.
A good way to start listening to your community is to ask customers for feedback in-person, online, and through email. You can then collect the feedback so you know how to improve the experiences customers have with your business.
For example, if multiple customers talk about the slow service at your restaurant, it’s time to speed it up.
Customer experience is a big part of local marketing. If customers are loyal and enjoy coming to your business, they will spread the word about you to their family and friends.
Websites for Local Marketing
Customers -- even local customers -- search for businesses on Google when deciding where to go. On a Saturday night, for example, customers are looking for a restaurant near them.
This is why websites are an essential element in to any local marketing strategy. Businesses must have an online presence that attracts customers. Not only is it important to have a website that is easy for a customer to find and navigate, but it’s also important to have a website that is accessible to all customers, including those with disabilities.
Hire Locals Who Are Involved in the Community
Garrett Oden, freelance copywriter and coffee expert, says hiring locals who keep up with what’s happening around town is a great way to “let the local vibes flow.” He says hiring locals will make your shop feel unique.
He’s specifically talking about coffee shops, but this can work for any local business in the food and beverage industry that wants to increase foot traffic.
If you own a coffee shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for example, and you hire someone who has lived in the city their entire life and loves it, that’s going to have a positive effect on customers.
Provide Educational Classes
At your coffee shop, you make all types of espresso drinks, and you also sell coffee beans.
To get people interested and invested in buying your coffee beans to make at home, you can host classes on coffee beans. Specifically, the class can show customers how to use a grinder and discuss why it’s better to grind coffee beans at home as opposed to buying pre-ground coffee.
Why host a class? Because customers might want to know why they should take home your coffee beans to grind themselves in the first place. It also gives them an opportunity to ask questions, talk to other locals, and get to know you – the business owner.
While there are different ways to market your business, listening to customers will always be the most important thing you can do. Your small business is part of a community, let that community be your guide.
This week's guest contributor, Megan Wenzl, is a writer based in Chicago. She is dedicated to creating useful and engaging content to help people succeed. She has written about a range of different topics including customer experience, customer service, online reviews and customer feedback, productivity, leadership, and root beer floats