How to Connect with Local Customers Who Live Around Your Business
If local customers don’t know about your business, then you’re doomed to stay small. Many companies rely on word of mouth marketing and local awareness to increase their customer base and bring in new business. These brands often feel like they’re screaming into a void with their marketing efforts, wondering how they can better reach local buyers.
There is hope for your business. With a little creativity and effort, you can make a splash in your town. Follow these nine tips to connect with local customers and expand your reach within your community.
#1) Make It Easy for Local Customers to Contact You
Local outreach starts with good web design. If you want local customers to engage with your brand, then make it easy for them to contact you. Set up click-to-call buttons on your pages and clearly display your phone number and email address. You can also make it easy for people to find your business with a Google Maps API, or at least a link on your address that opens up the app.
No one wants to toggle back and forth between your website and an app to find or contact you, especially when it only takes a few website development minutes on your end to set up these contact buttons.
#2) Set Up a Local Referral Program
Referral marketing is one of the most powerful tools in your belt. Businesses that have a referral program average a 70% higher conversion rate and 69% faster closing time. Furthermore, 28% of millennials say they won’t try a product if their friends don’t approve of it.
Referrals have the power to make or break your business.
Consider testing a referral program to engage with local customers. You can offer discounts to those new customers to entice them while rewarding your brand ambassadors. Try to track who refers your brand to see how many customers want to promote your business.
#3) Attend and Sponsor Local Events
If you want to attract members of the local community, then you need to be part of the local community. Look for festivals, music performances, fundraisers, school activities, and sporting events to be a part of. You might sponsor a local sports team or provide your services to a non-profit that’s trying to grow the community. There are a variety of ways to get involved, regardless of your size and budget.
#4) Host Your Own Events and Competitions
If you can’t find any events that meet your needs, then host one of your own! Consider creating a fundraiser for a local cause or challenge customers to compete for prizes.
You don’t have to run a B2C business to host branded events and gatherings. Many B2B organizations offer networking events for local professionals and host charity drives with other companies in the area. The key is to get creative and focus on engagement.
#5) Look for Geofencing Opportunities on Social Media
Your marketing presence should be limited to people in your area who could realistically use your services. By setting up geofencing when you use paid social media promotions, you can limit your reach by city, zip code, and even street.
There are other smart targeting and geofencing opportunities you can use for organic content as well. Snapchat offers local geofences where you can push offers and promote filters when customers are nearby. Determine how local you want your reach to be and then set up a barrier for it.
Your brand might have an edge up on your competitors if you take advantage of this trend. Only 22% of businesses say they’re taking advantage of local business marketing to its fullest extent. By filtering out the noise and focusing on potential customers, you can drive local business to your company.
#6) Engage With Other Local Brands Online
Influencer marketing is the process of connecting with brands that are actively engaged in your community to generate buzz about your brand. Food trucks rely on influencer marketing when they stop at different locations. When breweries or events promote the food truck, they’re giving it a seal of approval as a quality meal.
If you want to reach local customers, create a list of potential organizations and people to partner with. This list might include local news outlets, relevant supporting businesses, and community organizations. By commenting on these brand pages and engaging with them online, you can start to form a relationship that can extend into your stores to help your bottom line.
#7) Update Your Google My Business Listings
Google My Business is an invaluable tool for driving local traffic and customers. Customers can easily check your hours, get directions, read reviews, and look at photos of your business. GMB also makes it easy to drive organic traffic by showcasing your brand in the local listings box.
Experts estimate a third of all Google traffic is local, which means there’s a huge opportunity for you to connect with customers just by keeping your local listings updated.
#8) Create Hyper-Localized Blog Content
If you’re trying to rank locally, then turn to your content promotions. Try to create content that is focused on the events around you and provide valuable information to community members. For example, a burger joint might blog about the five best breweries and drinks to enjoy with their food, or a dentist could blog about tooth-friendly snacks to try in the area.
As customers search to answer these questions, your content will pop up, solidifying your company as an active member of the community and an essential business to patron if they live nearby.
#9) Keep Up Your Local Directory Listings
Local directories are an easy way to get your brand name out there and connect locally. Instead of hoping people find your website, you can spread your name across the web and entice people who use these pages to learn about businesses around them. Websites like Yelp and the Yellow Pages, along with MyArea, provide valuable information about quality of services you offer.
These business directory websites also provide links back to your own website, boosting your SEO and helping your local traffic, creating a win-win situation for your brand.
If you’re looking to connect with local customers and expand your reach in the community, contact My Area Network today for a free consultation. We can review your business and industry to provide suggestions to grow your local base.