National brands must carefully analyze macro trends in marketing to keep sales consistent and ensure their message is relevant. For local businesses, everything is about context. What works for an auto repair shop in Chicago won’t be the winning solution for a pizza parlor in Savannah — you need to understand the motivation of shoppers in your own neighborhood.
The key to success in a local market is building a loyal community of repeat buyers and visitors. Here are our top local business marketing tips to give you an edge in a crowded and competitive local market.
Offer Discounts for Online Reviews
Many local businesses lose incalculable business every week because their reviews on Yelp, Google, or Facebook are outdated. Consumers will only trust a five-star rating if your business can get consistent online reviews.
According to a local customer survey on BrightLocal, 77% of consumers would only be positively affected by an online review if it was written in the last three months. Offer incentives for new customers that write online reviews, like a discount on their next order or a free scoop of ice cream. That five dollar freebie can translate into dozens of loyal customers from one enthusiastic review.
Sponsor a Local Charity Event
Get your business aligned with a great cause and generate goodwill in your community by sponsoring a charity event. Making your charity event an annual occurrence will build more buzz and business over time as you bond with organizations and customers in your area.
Whether you decide to host a charity run to fight cancer or a dance-a-thon to raise funds to protect families from domestic violence, giving away functional awareness promotional products will increase brand impressions long after the event has ended. Read our blog to learn how to use promotional products to make an impact at your local charity event.
Participate in Local Trade Shows
Register for local trade shows to introduce your brand and the products and services you offer to the local community. Network with other businesses — one of the best ways to boost your revenue is to partner with a local business that offers different products for the same target audience.
Prepare ahead of time so your booth draws foot traffic and the leads you generate are worth the investment. Learn what makes a successful trade show booth so your marketing budget is well spent.
Drop Ineffective Techniques
Many small local businesses do not properly track the returns on their various marketing campaigns. If you don’t take the time to determine what campaigns work, you may waste your marketing budget repeating the same mistakes every quarter.
Familiarize yourself with digital tools like Facebook Ads and Google Ads so you can track what social media campaigns, PPC ads, and other marketing efforts result in sales. Starting a local referral program? Track your ROI and see if it’s worth the time and effort!
Invest in Cost-Effective Promos
Word-of-mouth promotion is crucial in the local market. Giving away tote bags, t-shirts, and hats in the early stages will get your brand name and messaging out into the public. When your satisfied customers strike up a friendly conversation with a former colleague or fellow churchgoer at the supermarket, pleasantries can become an endorsement of your local business if the other person asks about the brand name they see on a backpack or umbrella.
An affordable part of every local marketing strategy is a promotional marketing push that raises your brand’s visibility everywhere – from the local shopping mall to the high school down the road. Talk to your HALO Account Executive to brainstorm creative ways to get branded giveaways in the homes of consumers in your neighborhood.