Boosting your local business appeal should be one of the first things on your company’s list of improvements. Your local customer base brings plenty to the table, helping you network with other business owners and even gather positive reviews.
That said, it’s time to consider ten proven strategies to help you become a more local customer-centric company.
Why Do Local Customers Matter?
As a new business owner, it’s easy to ask yourself, “Why do local customers matter?“
Especially in today’s day and age, where eCommerce is king, many brands don’t market to local audiences. However, making that decision is a massive mistake, as local customers make a huge difference in the following ways.
Building Brand Trust
Brand trust is essential for every company as it can make or break your bottom line. It’s impossible to imagine a brand being successful if its customers don’t trust them or their products.
Did you know that 80% of customers trust local businesses more?
That said, if you don’t put effort into marketing to local audiences, you could miss out on a significant chunk of your target audience.
As a brand, loyal customers are the ultimate goal. These individuals are most likely to make repeat purchases and recommend your company to others.
By establishing stronger brand trust, you’ll always have consumers interested in new product releases and company updates, essentially maintaining your success.
Building a Core Audience
As mentioned earlier, having a group of loyal customers is a fantastic way to boost your sales and success. It’s also important to note local audiences help you to create a foundation for your business to help you diversify in the future.
Unless a business is endlessly funded, it’s impossible to branch out into new locations without a local customer base, as they provide the initial funding.
As you build a core audience, you can explore other options for your business profile, such as opening new locations in your immediate area.
Eventually, you can even explore the option of branching out worldwide, opening locations in international hotspots to attract an even larger audience.
All-in-all, your core audience will be necessary to guarantee your long-term success while your brand develops and grows.
Increasing Sales and Reviews
According to a study by Google, approximately 80% of internet users rely on local search terms when looking for a company. In the same study, there’s evidence that supports local search terms are 18% more likely to lead to a conversion.
When your company focuses on local traffic, you’ll undoubtedly increase your business’s sales and its reviews. Each time customers buy a product or try your services, they will likely leave a review.
Considering 77% of shoppers noted they frequently or always read customer reviews before making a purchase, they can make a massive difference to your annual sales.
The easiest way to understand the impact of customer reviews and testimonials is to put yourself in the shoes of your consumers.
Would you invest your money in a company without any reviews? Likely not!
Refining Your Administrative Process
Administration and customer service are two essential components of offering a top-class experience. Your local customers know best, especially since they’ll deal with your company in person.
Using their opinions and feedback, you can refine the individualized service you offer to your customers, local and online. Without your customers, it can be challenging to determine which areas of your business are ready to be improved.
That is why review collection efforts are as important as they are.
10 Proven Strategies to Attract Local Customers
Let’s get into ten proven B2B marketing strategies to attract more local customers with a few great reasons you should focus on your local business appeal.
You might be surprised your business could already be doing some of these critical steps.
1. Offer Promotions and Discounts
There’s nothing that the average shopper loves more than being able to save money on their purchases.
Promotions and discounts are major winners for local customers. They bring them into your business while helping them build brand loyalty with your company.
The best part is you have complete control over what promotions are available and when.
For example, some retailers love buy-one-get-one coupons, while others prefer to give a flat percentage off products. You may even want to consider giving a free gift with purchase, another great way to entice local customers to visit.
The best way to transform discounts for local audiences is to make the coupons usable in-store. Of course, you can offer online promotions for those who prefer to shop from home.
However, in-person coupons will surely bring more local traffic through your doors.
2. Reach Out to Old Customers
Another fantastic option for attracting more of your local audience during the business day is reconnecting with old customers. This is where customer data collection activity is the most important, whether it’s by direct mail, an email list, or SMS.
Once you’ve amassed a contact list for your existing customers, you can use this data to reach out to them later.
For example, if they haven’t purchased in a while, send a newsletter to their email address reminding them of new updates with your brand.
Follow-up emails are a fantastic way to bring returning and new customers into the fold, encouraging them to support the future of your business. It’s also a great way to establish a solid client base with which you can regularly communicate.
Of course, you’ll want to give your existing customers an incentive for returning, as this can encourage them to be brought through your sales funnel.
Simply introduce different levels of discounts depending on customer loyalty, and they’ll be far more likely to make a purchase. For example, send your most loyal customers a 40% off coupon to their email inbox.
3. Network With Locals
Working with other local businesses is sure to be a fantastic way to boost your customer acquisition strategy, especially for independent businesses.
By making friends with other business owners and even members of the local chamber of commerce, you can make valuable allies. Together, you can advertise your local businesses through social media platforms or even word of mouth.
The main reason this is a phenomenal marketing method is that you’re taking a multifaceted approach to attract new clients. You’ll be referring customers to other businesses while they refer customers to you in exchange.
You might find other networking opportunities through established local businesses, such as B2B meetings and conferences.
4. Update Your Website and Socials
If there’s one thing to note, social proof has never been more important than it is today. That said, you must take the time to keep your social platforms, website, and business listings updated throughout the year.
When people perform local searches for a company in your niche, you’ll want to ensure your content is relevant and up-to-date.
For example, if someone’s searching for a Springfield, IL bakery, you wouldn’t want your old business address and contact information showing up.
Updating your website not only guarantees your customers have the most relevant information, but that search engines do as well.
The more updated your content, the more authority your pages may have, which could lead to higher rankings on search engines. Using rank tracking software, it’s easy to figure out which keywords/pages you can update to get maximum exposure on Google.
5. Communicate With Local Customers
It’s important to note that although your primary strategy is to attract local consumers, using social media can be a great way to do so. You’ll be able to reach out to current customers, analyze customer behavior, and keep in contact with customers if they have questions or concerns.
With social media, you can privately answer customers’ desires, creating a one-on-one connection they’re sure to value. Your business profile can also greatly influence customer decision-making as it can be a hub of customer reviews.
Often, first-time customers will leave comments about your products and services under social media posts. It can be a trove of information for future customers to decide whether your products meet their needs.
6. Implement a Loyalty Program
Have you ever considered a loyalty program for your ideal customers instead of promotions and discounts?
Loyalty programs help to increase customer participation without burning a hole in your bank account. With these programs, you’re giving customers the ability to earn rewards if they make continuous purchases with you.
Let’s take a coffee shop, for example.
A coffee shop could give customers a card to earn stamps per drink or snack they buy. When they reach ten purchases, they can get a free coffee or a discount on their total order.
Loyalty programs are a fantastic way to reward your most frequent customers, but they can also help you attract a larger share of your niche. Customers will be far more likely to visit your business over your competitors if you’re offering rewards for making purchases.
7. Focus on Friend Referrals
When you’re establishing a method for getting more local business, referrals will quickly become your bread and butter.
As customers come to visit your in-store location, give them bonuses if they bring a friend or family member. You can even offer higher savings if they refer a friend who then comes and makes an eligible purchase.
A great example of this would be if you offered a buy one, get one free offer on your coffees. If you’re confident in the quality of your products, then you might attract a few more loyal customers just from word-of-mouth referrals.
8. Set Up Google My Business
If there’s one resource you have to use as a business developing your local business appeal, it’s Google My Business. It’s a free option available to all businesses, allowing you to offer the most important information to prospective customers.
You can add your business address, contact information, and photos and even compile customer reviews in one spot.
The best part about Google My Business is that it can help build authority for your search engine rankings, pushing your website ahead of your competitors.
Since 97% of customers search for businesses first online, it’s important to consider this essential tool.
9. Run Local Contests
As we mentioned earlier, there are few things people love more than getting their hands on free products.
A massive customer acquisition strategy every business should consider is running a contest to attract local traffic. With the opportunity to win free products, people will be far more likely to engage with your brand.
Hosting contests can help to grow your brand awareness tenfold, both in person and online.
You can advertise your contest online through social media channels, encouraging people to follow and comment on your posts to enter the contest. You can also build a substantial contact list of all your most loyal customers.
There are numerous types of contests you can host. Regardless, ensuring you focus on engagement for your company’s growth is the most important thing.
10. Focus on Customer Service
Attracting local customers is more than developing an email marketing strategy or diversifying the engaging content on your socials. It’s also important to connect with your consumers, getting feedback on your excellent service to see where you can improve.
Not only that but opening a dialogue with your customers is a great way to collect user-generated content and reviews for sharing online and in-store.
Goal tracking and data analysis are two often overlooked features of implementing a new local marketing tactic. You must review how your new marketing efforts affect your sales and customers’ opinion of you and your company.
Using these data, you can then decide what strategy is best suited for the goals you want to reach.
Growth With the Best Local Business Strategies Is Easy
It’s time for your business to take advantage of its local business appeal and begin reaching out to local audiences for growth. With the help of these customers, you can grow your in-person operations while also harnessing the power of online growth.
Local business has never been more important if you want to stand out amongst your competitors.
Uday Tank is an astute business enthusiast with more than eight years of experience helping businesses reach their full potential. He is the owner of Rankwisely, providing invaluable support & services for businesses to leverage SEO, content marketing, keyword research, and Link Building to 25x their marketing ROI.