It can be challenging for local businesses to attract customers. Not only are you limited to a specific area, but competition from larger stores or companies can be brutal. In this post, we’ll cover 12 ways you can attract more local customers to your business.
1. Target ads locally
Digital advertising provides a host of great opportunities for local companies. By targeting social media ads locally, you can vastly increase your reach in the local area. Various social media sites allow for targeting based on location, and Google Ads will enable you to select locally-focused search terms and audiences to target, meaning you won’t waste your marketing spend on anyone who isn’t in your area.
2. Optimise for local SEO
Various SEO techniques can be used to target local search traffic. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a marketing method that helps you rank higher in search engines. This comes with various branding benefits, as well as more local visitors to your site. By ranking higher for search terms that combine your product or service with your city or region, as well as making it clear to Google that you’re a local business operating in a certain area, you can help increase your visibility locally.
3. Support local businesses
By supporting local businesses, you can build a network, and perhaps even refer each other clients or partner up. A local bar may look to support local takeaways or casinos, for example, by supplying craft beers or wines, or perhaps creating an ‘evening out’ deal across several venues for local customers. The more extensive your network in the local area, the easier it will be to build trust and get in touch with potential customers or partners.
It can be very beneficial to attend local events. The more you interact with the community, the easier it will be to attract local customers. If you’re in a particular niche, this can be even easier. By joining local clubs and groups in your niche, you can rapidly attract your ideal customers.
5. Offer added value
Free Wi-Fi, postcode discounts or free coffees can be offered to attract people to your store. Although not everyone will buy from you, they’re still great (and often cheap) marketing tools that can help spread the word about your business.
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6. Leverage local PR
By getting featured in local newspapers, either by doing something newsworthy like sponsoring a local club/organisation or by appearing on local radio, you can solidify your brand in your area. If you’re stuck for ideas, research PR examples from elsewhere. With more and more marketing focussing on digital channels these days, local PR is often less competitive than some of the other options in this list.
7. Advertise locally
Just like PR, physical advertising by way of banners and flyers is becoming less and less popular. However, it’s still a great way of reaching local customers. There’s no easier way of reaching people locally than with flyers, banners, letters or billboards.
8. Focus on referrals
Referrals are one of the best ways of attracting new local clients. If you do good work and collect a lot of great reviews, it won’t be long before you start seeing the referrals come in.
Your reputation is one of the driving forces behind referrals. Go the extra mile for your customers and don’t be too shy to ask if they know anyone else who may benefit, and you should see some quick results.
9. Don’t hide your business
No matter where your physical location is, there’s a good chance that a lot of people drive or walk by every day. Make sure they know that your business is there, and they know what your company does. A simple banner with a name usually isn’t enough, so use tailored marketing messaging to demonstrate how they can benefit from your products or services.
10. Use directories
11. Host a competition
Hosting a competition can help get the word out about your business. By combining both online and offline methods of promoting the contest you’re running, you can create some hype and increase the number of local customers that participate. The better the prize, the more people that will be interested.
12. Participate in local events
Local events aren’t just great for you as a person to participate in, but also your company. Donate some products or services, sponsor the event, or get your business involved in another way. You could even host your own local event in your business to bring in potential local customers, raise money for worthy causes and widen your network.
Attracting customers to your local business doesn’t have to be hard. With a focus on marketing combined with excellent service and the building of a solid reputation, you can reach and attract a large number of local customers.