12 Customer Acquisition Strategies That Work for Local Businesses

By Raubi Perilli

      May 28, 2020     Solutions    

Local businesses need to think strategically about customer acquisition. You need to focus on attracting customers who will be interested in your products and services AND who will be in the vicinity of your business.  

As a local business, you only want to target customers who have the potential to walk into your brick-and-mortar storefront. You need to focus on customer acquisition strategies that attract people who live around or will be visiting the area near your business.   

Let’s look at some customer acquisition strategies that effectively get your brand in front of nearby consumers. 

12 Customer Acquisition Strategies

As you dive into launching customer acquisition strategies, don’t only think about immediately converting customers. Also, think about lead generation.

As you go through the next twelve strategies, always try to incorporate lead gen forms that collect names, email addresses, and phone numbers so you can reconnect with audiences that didn’t convert the first time (and to bring back customers that did convert). 

#1) Deals and Promotions 

To drive new customers to your business, give them a reason to visit. Give them an offer or deal that lowers the barrier of entry to try your business. Customers will be more likely to try a new brand, product, or service if they feel the risk is low. You can lower that risk by offering deals and promotions such as sales, discount coupons, and MyArea Vouchers

Learn More: Generate Revenue For Your Hospitality Business Right Now with MyArea Vouchers 

#2) Limited Time Offers

Two triggers that drive customers to try a new business are urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out). Customers are driven to try new things when there is a time-limit and they feel they are going to miss out if they don’t act. You can appeal to those triggers with limited time offers, which are products or services that are only available for a small window of time.  

#3) Contests 

People love the idea of getting something for free, which is why contests are a great customer acquisition strategy. You can use the contest to attract attention and generate leads (that can later be nurtured through email and text marketing). You can also design your contest to increase your brand exposure by asking participants to share something on social media that helps spread the word about the contest -- and your brand.

Learn More: How to Use Contest Marketing to Grow Your Brand 

#4) Events

Welcome new customers to your business by hosting an event. You can keep it simple and invite customers to come in for free samples and a tour. Or, you can host workshops, lectures, games, or some other event that your ideal audience would enjoy. Offer free admission to increase interest.

Learn More: Using Branded Events to Get Your Business More Visibility and Leads

#5) Customer Referral Program

If you already have happy customers, ask them to help you find even more. Launch a customer referral program that rewards existing customers for bringing in friends or family. Word-of-mouth is great for customer acquisition, so a referral program can offer incentives to get existing customers to spread the word.  

Learn More: Local Store Marketing: 5 Strategies For Attracting Nearby Customers

#6) Customer Reviews

Referrals work well because customers want to know what to expect when they try something new. This is also why customer reviews are so important. Collect customer reviews and display them prominently on your website and business profiles to help customers trying to decide whether or not to do business with you see that you are the right choice.

Learn More: How to Get Customer Reviews and Why Every Business Must Have Them

#7) Local SEO

When customers are looking for new businesses to try, they frequently turn to search. They type in terms for the type of business they want to find. Use search engine optimization to help your business show up. Focus on local SEO elements that help your business appear when nearby customers search.

Learn More: Local SEO: How to Get Your Business To Show Up In Local Searches 

#8) Geotargeted Ads

To help more customers find you through search and social, also run paid ads that put promotions for your brand in front of nearby customers. Use geotargeting to show ads to customers who are located near your business. This strategy helps you save money and reach more engaged audiences by not showing ads to people far from your business.

#9) Geofence Ads

Take ad targeting one step further, and set ads to show to people when they are in a specific location near your business. Through geofencing, you can trigger ads to show to people when they are in the vicinity of your business, allowing you to direct nearby foot traffic right to your storefront.

Learn More: Geofencing Is a Powerful, New Way To Hypertarget Local Customers

#10) Retargeting Ads

Seeing an ad one time might not be enough to convert someone into a new customer. So follow up your ads with retargeted ads -- ads that appear to audiences who have already been exposed to your brand. Ads that appear in front of a warm audience are more likely to convert since the audience is already familiar with your brand.

Learn More: Demystifying Digital Advertising: 12 Ways Local Brands Can Run Paid Ads

#11) Local Media, PR, and Influencers

To get more people in your community to know about your business, leverage local media outlets. Get press through media stations, get coverage on local websites (like Local Area Sites), and even reach out to local influencers to attract more attention on social media.

Learn More: How to Get Local Press Coverage for Your Business

#12) Local Partnerships 

Promoting your brand is much easier when you aren’t the only one doing it. Don’t go at it alone. Instead, find local partnerships that can help you with your efforts. Team up with another local brand and run a cross-promotion. Form a partnership with a charity to show your connection to the community and look for district marketing organizations that can help you spread the word. 

Related: 5 Customer Retention Strategies Local Businesses Can Start Right Now

Launch Better Customer Acquisition Strategies For Your Local Brand 

There are a variety of effective ways for your local or regional business to acquire customers. You just need to know which ones are right for your business.   

Whether you are a single-location restaurant or a multi-location hotel, MyArea Network can help you identify the customer acquisition strategies that will be right for your brand and customers. Contact us and get a free consultation to see how we can help you set up customer acquisition strategies that drive in new business all while generating leads and converting interested prospects.