Most small businesses can't splurge on huge marketing campaigns to build their success. To watch your business grow, you've got to put in the work where it matters: your community. As a local business, your community is where you will gain traction and make real progress towards achieving your goals. In order to do that, local marketing is a must. Connecting with your community is essential.
There are endless ways that you can interact with a local audience, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Actually getting involved in your community is a great place to get started.
Does your town have an annual festival or business expo? Sign up for a booth and offer freebies to anyone who stops by for a chat! Maybe you could sponsor or donate to a local team. Your donations don’t have to be strictly monetary, however. For instance, a local hardware store could donate time and materials to help build sets for a high school theater’s annual play. This can get your name out there and show that you’re invested in your community.
Volunteer in your area for local charities and causes that you feel are important. People love to see that you’re giving back. It builds brand awareness and lets your community know that you care, and in turn they’ll come to care about your business.
It’s always important to get your name out there. Another great way to do this locally is by joining your Chamber of Commerce. You’ll be able to meet lots of other local business owners and form bonds with them that could lead to more business for you. Partner with your new contacts to form an ongoing business relationship and drive sales.
Advertising locally can be an important way to get your business noticed, as well. Whether that’s taking out an ad in your local newspaper or getting featured in a local magazine, your business can see growth without putting in a ton of effort.
Of course! You can easily advertise online through social media, such as Facebook, and even target the specific location and audience you’d like to reach. It’s also a good idea to claim your Google My Business and Apple Maps listings. These will help customers find your business when searching online or through a map app on their phones. Make sure you provide your business name, phone number, address, zip code, hours, and a link to your website.
Speaking of your website, make sure it includes keywords that customers might search for when looking for businesses like yours. It’s also important to include the name of your city and surrounding cities. This will help you be found more easily on search engines when people search for your type of business in your area. (Atwill Media websites are all optimized for search engines. You’re welcome.)
It’s crucial to do more than just advertise online. Engage with your community online as well as in person–they aren’t mutually exclusive, and can even benefit each other! People love to see what’s happening behind the scenes with your business, and social media is a great place to share that. Share what you’re doing in your community on your social media channels, whether that’s photos of you volunteering or promoting an event you’re hosting. Be sure to tag your location in posts so that locals are more likely to find you! Posts like this will increase your organic reach, and in coordination with paid advertising, can really help your business grow.
Local marketing is such an important step for any small business. Your community is who is going to be there for you and your business, so make sure you’re connecting with them and putting in the effort to interact with them.
Jeffrey Balch is a Marketing Specialist and writer for Atwill Media. He graduated
with honors from Arkansas State University with a degree in Graphic Design.
When he's not working, you can find him with a paintbrush in hand, reading a
good book, or at Target.