Whether you are a large corporation or a small mom and pops business, local marketing plays an important role in generating buzz and interest in the area around your business. Contrary to popular belief, being successful with your local marketing doesn’t mean you need to have a huge budget. While it helps, execution and a clear, well-thought out strategy is often the key determinant.
Depending on who your target consumers are as well as other factors, such as the type of business (grocery store, gas station, etc.), there are many marketing avenues that a business may choose to take. On the digital end there is Facebook and Twitter while for those looking for a more traditional approach there are press releases and mailers.
So what is local marketing?
Also known as ‘neighborhood marketing,’ local marketing generally refers to any marketing techniques a business uses to market and promote itself to the area in which it operates. In most cases, local marketing often becomes the responsibility of the franchisee with the parent company being responsible for the national and regional marketing initiatives. An example of this is how McDonald’s would focus on national advertisements that focus on brand awareness and new products that will be at all the stores across the nation, while the individual franchise owner may promote special deals they have on Monday’s at their own location.
If you are looking to jump-start your local marketing, here are four easy tips on how to gain the interest of those in the area around you:
One of the best ways to create interest and buzz in your business is to create special events. Events are an excellent opportunity to meet your customers as well as an opportunity for them to meet you. As the saying goes, first impressions play a big role in a relationship; use a kick-off or an annual event as a way to stay connected with your local area.
If you are looking for a great example of how a business is using events to stay connected and engaged with their community check out your local Whole Foods Market. Although stores are supported by corporate nationally, each location hosts their own special events for shoppers
Another opportunity that businesses should explore is partnerships with other local businesses as well as non-businesses organization. An example of a non-business organization is the local high school.
One strategy that is effective is to partner up with a school program at the locals schools through performance based donations (ie: $100 for every win, etc.) as well as through catering school functions. The plus side of these opportunities is that you will brand yourself as part of the community playing off of the ‘support your local business’ mentality.
- Local PR
When most people think of PR, they think of dollar signs. It’s true that press releases and PR assistance often comes with a price, but there are still plenty of options of the dollar conscious businesses owner. Some strategies to gain some local PR includes hosting invite only events to local media outlets (ie: newspaper, local news, etc.) and early previews of new products.
- Word of Mouth
Never underestimate the power of a good recommendation. As most marketers will tell you, the strongest ally of a businesses is a positive recommendation of your businesses from one person to another. Just how a letter of recommendation can be the make or break in getting a job, recommendations are forms of endorsements by individuals who are putting their credibility on the line for your business.With that in mind, a business should always look for ways to improve the customers experience. Especially from a local marketing perspective where in corporate will not be able to help, knowing what your customer thinks of your business will not only help you improve, but also know what you are doing right.
How do you market to your local area? What have you seen effective? Let us know in the comments below.