Complete Guide to Local Store Marketing Strategies
The most important customers for a brick-and-mortar business are the people who work and live nearby. Locals who are likely to visit and then return again and again are the primary customers a local business wants and needs to attract.
That’s why local store marketing is so important. In this complete local store marketing guide, you'll read about the different strategies and some examples that deliver results!
What Is Local Store Marketing?
Local store marketing is a set of strategies designed to target people who work and live in the neighborhoods around a brick-and-mortar business. The strategies increase brand awareness in the region around the business and also drive in-store visits from nearby shoppers, clients, and consumers.
Local store marketing is an essential strategy for brick-and-mortar businesses that rely on in-store customers. Restaurants, service-based businesses, retailers, and even entertainment venues and healthcare providers can benefit from using local store marketing.
Both single-location and multi-location brands can use local store marketing strategies. When a brand has multiple locations in different markets, they simply need to implement local store marketing strategies that are unique to each property.
5 Local Store Marketing Strategies
While there are dozens of tactics you can use to reach more nearby customers, there are five primary local store marketing strategies that will best help you reach local customers right around your brick-and-mortar business.
#1) Tie your online presence to your physical location.
We might be talking about physical business locations, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore the online presence for your business. Even if you are aiming to drive foot-traffic and in-person visits, your online footprint is extremely important.
Not only does it give information for local customers who want to learn more about you, but it also helps local customers find you when searching for a nearby business by boosting local SEO.
To tie your online presence to your physical location:
- Add your address to your website so search engines recognize where you are located and are more likely to show your brand in local searches.
- If you have more than one location, create location pages on your website to offer location-specific information (and send location signals to search engines).
- Join both national and local business directories to increase your brand’s online authority and continue to build links to your physical address.
#2) Use location-based targeting in your ad campaigns.
Don’t waste money putting your ad campaigns in front of customers who live too far from your business to ever visit you. Instead, use location-based targeting in your ad campaigns so you can only pay to reach the people most likely to do business with you.
- Use geotargeting in your social media and PPC ad campaigns to target audiences based on their city, neighbors, or zip codes.
- Use geofencing advertising to display ads to audiences based on their exact location. Set a virtual boundary around places where your target audience spends time and is most likely to lead them toward your business.
#3) Build community
Local is synonymous with community. Customers like to support a business because of the connection they feel with the brand and their area. Use local marketing tools to find ways to connect your brand into your local area and also make your customers feel like they are a part of your community.
Be a part of your community.
- Sponsor a local event.
- Put up a booth at a local event.
- Organize or support a community fundraiser.
- Offer discounts for customers who live in your zip code.
- Cross-promote with other local businesses.
Build a community around your brand.
- Start a newsletter.
- Launch text marketing campaigns.
- Build your social following.
- Generate customer reviews
- Create a customer loyalty program.
- Create a brand ambassador program.
#4) Create content about your neighborhood.
To reach customers around your neighborhood, don’t solely create content about your brand. Also, create content about your area.
Give local customers a reason to visit your website, follow you on social media, and join your email list by sharing content about what’s going on in your area and community.
- On your blog, curate lists of other top spots in the neighborhood or share event listings. For example, a restaurant with a take-out menu might create a list of the best places to have a picnic in your city.
- Use your social channels to share content about the area and other businesses. For example, if it’s a beautiful day, showcase a photo of your neighborhood with a call-to-action to visit your store while out enjoying the great weather.
- In your email newsletter, offer other tips about the city and region. For example, if you have a yoga studio and there is an upcoming farmer’s market, tell readers in your newsletter.
#5) Host events.
Brick-and-mortar businesses often rely on foot-traffic. People need to visit the business to patronize the business. That’s why hosting branded events should be a part of your local store marketing plans.
Events drive customers into your business. Even if they visit without the intention of buying something, it increases brand awareness and moves visitors one step closer to buying from you in the future. Here are a few event ideas that can drive people into your business.
- Product Demos: Offer value while showcasing your products to an interested audience.
- Workshops and Training Sessions: Share what you know by giving your audience an educational training or step-by-step workshop.
- Speakers and Panels: Invite experts to teach your target audience something that is related to your business or industry.
- VIP Shopping Event: Make customers feel special by inviting them in for a special VIP event or exclusive product sneak peek.
Examples of Local Store Marketing for Restaurants
Implementing multiple strategies or tactics that complement each other is how your local store will stand out from the rest. Restaurants have the advantage of already being "social" and "experiential". We all local a good dining experience with friends whether that's a quick bite on the go or an evening out on the town.
#1) Localized Restaurant Brand
One example of effective local store marketing is building a consistent brand message around being a local brand with local flavor. Consumers resonate and connect with the message of "love local", "shop local" and therefore would connect with a message of being local. It's not just in the message though, it's also in the execution. Collaborate with local charities, sponsor local sports and schools and consider discounts to your most local customers.
#2) Socialite Dining
If your restaurant has the characteristics of being the perfect social dining experience, consider a "social first" local store marketing approach. What exactly does that mean? Social should be the center of everything you do and say about your local brand. Most of you marketing focus should be on every social media platform and consist of highly engaging with your customers both in the restaurant and online. In-store signage would include hashtags, photo walls and be a very "instagrammable" atmosphere.
#3) Chef and Award Winning Dining
If your restaurant features an award winning menu or chef, consider leading with that angle in your local store marketing efforts. Taking this approach would put your chef and food at the center and be very media and pr driven. Complement a PR strategy with a local influencer strategy and follow it up with a local business awards focus where you become the leading restaurant in your category. Almost every major market has food blogs and local media companies that do annual "best of" awards.
As your restaurant is not going to be everything to everyone, your local store marketing strategy should not either. Focus in on the areas that your restaurant deliver the most value to your customers and center your focus with a couple complementing tactics.
Launch Local Store Marketing Programs
If you have or manage brick-and-mortar businesses, you need to form a connection with the customers who live, work, and play around your location. It’s the people who spend the most time around your businesses who will be the most valuable customers for you.
Don’t delay in setting up programs to attract nearby locals. Create a free mySuite account on MyArea Network to start reaching more local, nearby customers today.
Use your free account to target nearby customers and launch brand awareness, lead generation, and sales campaigns designed to reach the engaged customers right around your business.