Everyone loves a familiar brand, that local business that is an active part of the community, the business that cares about its customers and has become the household name in their town and region. Yes, owning a local business is rewarding and can be quite lucrative, but only if you go the extra mile to win over the hearts and minds of your audience – otherwise, you risk getting pushed out of the market by the bigger brands.
To build a brand everyone in your region knows, loves, and goes to no matter how many competitors there are in the market, you will need to invest in some time-tested marketing strategies that will portray your company in the best possible light. Let’s explore the most effective marketing tactics every local business should integrate into their strategy.
Your customers are your most powerful brand ambassadors. The happier the customer, the likelier they are to post a positive review on your site, third-party review sites like Google or Yelp, and on your social media profiles. So naturally, this is your golden opportunity to build social proof for your brand and gain the reputation and standing your market that you deserve. But that doesn’t mean that you should leave anything to chance.
Instead, be sure to encourage and incentivize your customers to make all of this content and share it across the web. Communicate with your audience on social media and ask them to share their photos using your products or services, or to write you up a review on your site and share it on social media, or to tell other websites just how amazing you are. And don’t forget, take the time to find negative reviews and questions across the web and transform them into success stories.
Create informative and engaging videos
The modern customer loves an entertaining video, and even though videos do not bring the same level of SEO benefit to the table, they are still very important for your online engagement and brand reputation. Content is king in the online world, but keep in mind that written content is not the only form you should create and disseminate across the web. In fact, videos might even be better in certain situations, for example when you’re trying to explain your services or help the customer understand the core functionalities of your products.
With that in mind, it’s important that you start making videos that deliver value to the customer in order to influence their buying decision. But instead of making a blatant promotional video, focus on educating your audience through interesting storytelling, explainer videos, and other non-sales-y forms. Simply put these up on your social media, website, and video platforms such as YouTube and don’t forget to answer every question and comment.
Communicate with customers via email and direct mail
Email marketing is one of the most popular and powerful marketing tactics in the modern business world, but local businesses have a unique advantage over their national or global counterparts that they absolutely have to exploit – they can reach their customers directly. With that in mind, a great idea would be to combine direct mail campaigns with email marketing to open up a direct line of communication with your customers, and show them just how much you care by sending custom postcards designed by PostcardMania. After all, there is a higher chance that a customer will open a letter than an email.
This is why direct mail is making a big comeback in the world of local businesses, because a physical letter or a beautifully-designed postcard carries emotional and sentimental value, it helps create a deeper bond with the brand, and it helps boost customer retention. Once your customer has opened a letter from you, they will also be more inclined to open your emails as well.
Venturing back into the realm of social media, we find ourselves overwhelmed with great promotional opportunities for local brands. One of the most effective tactics you can employ is to launch a social media contest, in order to elevate engagement, and spread the word of your business.
The ultimate goal of your contest should be to improve conversions, customer acquisition, as well as customer retention, but you can only achieve this if your contest is not sales-y in nature, but rather it should provide value to your audience and reward them for being your loyal followers.
Create SEO-rich content for your site
Finally, don’t forget to keep dishing out some quality content on your site. It’s important for local companies to publish SEO-driven content on their websites in order to rank first in all relevant local SERPs, for obvious reasons, of course.
This is how your potential customers will find out about your brand, decide to venture on to your site, peruse through your content, and make the decision to buy. If your content is of stellar quality, though, you can also expect to transform them into loyal brand advocates.
As a local entrepreneur, you have a unique opportunity to become an integral part of your community, and win over the hearts and minds of the customers in your region, but you need to know how to market your business for this specific purpose. Use these insights to fuel your marketing strategy and solidify your position in your local market.