Engagement gives your company an edge and creates relationships between consumers and companies. But connecting to people at a local level can be a different experience than online. You might be using the same tools and platforms, but you’ll need to adjust your approach.
Your loyal buyers drive your business’ growth via word-of-mouth marketing. You must establish relationships with your closest customers if you are to expand in other markets. Improve the customer experience by perfecting your sales pitch and expanding from there.
What can you do to connect with local customers?
In the most recent State of Local Marketing Report, over 10500 channels were analyzed. The report made some important conclusions about local markets. Local businesses that invest 1% of their revenue in marketing saw a 14% increase in revenue.
For small businesses, reaching out to local customers can prove to be very beneficial. You must know how to build relationships with customers to increase growth and retain them.
1. Make it simple to contact
Make it easy for local customers to contact you if you wish them to. Perhaps your customers use mobile phones to visit your site. Your phone number can be included on any link they click to initiate a call. They will be more inclined to contact you if it’s easy to follow up.
You can also offer multiple contact options, including phone, drop-in, and chat. It is also possible to ask for their number and name via a contact form. They will call you back when they are available.
2. Completion of Online Profiles
By creating profiles on review websites where consumers live, you can increase traffic to your site. You might have a review tab on Facebook and complete profile on Yelp or Google.
Recommendations: Thank the reviewer for providing feedback. Don’t worry about whether the review is positive or negative. Show you’re paying attention and engaging. Offer a solution if you find the review to be negative. Everyone else will see your response and that you’re trying to make things right.
3. Organise Local Events
One of the best ways to meet and connect with your local customer base is by hosting events they’ll want to attend. You might offer a cooking class or host a dinner for two if your products are sold.
You can think about the products you are selling and then come up with an event to tie it. It’s okay to think outside the box and get creative. A local attraction might also have a restaurant that hosts wine-and-dine nights under the stars. The event will attract customers from the local area, and the media will also report it to bring more people.
4. Fairs: Set up
Nearly every community has a summer fair, indoor event or other type of outdoor gathering where local vendors may rent booths or tables. You can have your presence at these events and meet clients face to face.
You could also give them a promo item or a business card to get their contact information. Sponsoring a local team could be another option. For example, most community minor leagues have banners placed at the fields. This will allow you to advertise on banners or tee-shirts for a small fee.
A local newspaper and yearbook can pay you to place an advertisement. You can build trust with the local community and make it more likely that parents or teachers remember you when they are in need of a product/service you provide.
5. Personify the experience
According to studies, around 80% buyers will buy from brands that make things personal. Local customers offer you a unique opportunity to get to know your buyers better. Some of your local customers might be friends or family. It is enough to speak to these people to discover what could improve customer experience (CX).
Meet them face-to-face and take note of what they like and their previous purchases. The better able you are to predict what they might like, the less inventory you’ll sit on. Things will fly off your shelves, because you’ll almost always buy what your clients want.
6. Utilize Geofencing
Social media can be used to only promote to local audiences by limiting your reach to those who are in your immediate area. You need to know your target audience so that you can speak in their language about the most important issues. Which local residents have pain points that your product can address?
You’ll save money by advertising only to those within so many miles of your business. Reach the people who live near your business and expand later. You’ll more easily scale up by starting small and local and then expanding outward to nearby communities, other cities and eventually going global.
Make a list of your local customer base and send out surveys to them to find out where you’re meeting their needs and how you can improve. You may have a few customers that aren’t in your area. You can now exclude feedback from their survey. They can be contacted later to learn more.
With a little focus, you’ll reach many new customers in your area and grow your business via word of mouth. You will have a better chance of success if you work hard on your local business.
Eleanor is the editor Designerly Magazine. Eleanor served as the blog writer and creative director for a well-known digital marketing agency. She became her own boss in 2018. Her husband is Bear and she resides in Philadelphia.
Enterprise Podcast Network (EPN) published the post How to Connect Effectively with Your Customer Base at a Local Level.