5 Ways To Connect With Your Local Customers
As a small business owner, you know the value of local customers. With marketing moving rapidly into the online world, it has become a challenge to reach out locally. The former cornerstones of local advertising (newspapers, classified advertising, business directories) are often ignored by consumers.
How do you now engage with local customers? There are a number of inexpensive, yet effective, things you can do to connect locally.
1. Community involvement
One of the easiest ways to increase brand awareness is by getting involved in the surrounding community. It can be as simple as becoming a member of your local Chamber of Commerce or a service club. Potential customers like to meet the face behind a business.
Connecting with them one-on-one helps to ensure that they will remember your business long after your ads stop running. Involvement in community activities can also bring the focus of local media to you and your business.
2. Influencer marketing
Identify and connect with key influencers in local businesses who are in your target market. Offer them a free service or ask them to test a product. When you connect with key local players, information about your business spreads out exponentially.
3. Deals and coupons
Whether you use paper or electronic media, deals and coupons are a valuable way of reaching potential consumers. You can get creative about targeting new customers by offering a special discount to employees of nearby businesses. Web services that take advantage of geo-location also allow you to easily reward frequent customers.
4. Recommendation and review sites
Potential customers use the internet to find, and find out about, local businesses. Be sure that your business is easily searchable and that the location details/online directories are accurate. Also be sure to check that information on review and recommendation sites is up-to-date.
5. Personalization via digital media
The combination of mobile apps and geo-targeting is ideal for personalizing offers. Review-based companies let your customers use loyalty programs that don't fill their wallets with plastic cards. Similarly, mobile wallet apps let you engage individuals or groups of customers with specially targeted offers.