6 Tips for Reaching Local Customers

 

6 Tips for Reaching Local Customers

Obviously, digital marketing has taken the day when it comes to marketing and advertising. Blogs are fast replacing newspapers, the email has (nearly) killed post-mail, social media has taken over from physical hangouts, webinars from physical events, podcasts are fast on the heels of radio, Internet TV is getting widely popular and YouTube Channels are getting more popular than TV channels, and then everybody is jumping on the digital revolution.

Boundaries have really now faded when it comes to doing business, and there are tons of resources on how to take advantage of the digital disruption and exploit new media in growing your business. But how does the location-based business thrive in this ‘craze’, especially when it’s only interested in customers in its immediate neighborhood?

Does it also join in blasting its marketing messages to the boundary-less ether hoping one or two guys in its locality would catch them – amongst billions of others that wouldn’t care?

Luckily, the answer to the last question is a big, fat NO, and this leads to the answer to the preceding question: there are countless ways the local business can thrive in this digital age. In fact, it’s easier than ever to reach local customers.

Here are 6 effective tips that will help you locate and reach your very local audience amidst the digital noise – and even convert them to customers:

1. Using Geo-Targeting

Geo-targeting technology allows you to serve your content strictly to visitors in an identified location, based on data from mobile, IP address, GPS, Wi-Fi, etc.

This is so powerful, and by far the best way to reach customers in your exact location. You can take advantage of this in reaching local customers by various ways.

You can place geo-targeted pay-per-click (PPC) ads, that is, online adverts that will only be served to people identified to be in the location you choose.

You can also add geo-targeting to your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy, so that online searchers in your location can find you first. There are several geo-targeting techniques you can use for SEO, and the easiest is content – especially writing in language specific to your target location, writing great locally-oriented content, and using location-based keywords/phrases like “cleaning services in Chicago”.

2. Using Online Reviews

Social proof has great influence on all of us, especially when it comes to taking decisions – especially purchasing decisions. That is, we are more keen to buy things based on other people’s experience with those things, or do things just because other people are doing it. We simply assume it’s the way to go!

You can use social proof to your advantage, even in getting more local customers.

The best way to do this is proactively getting more (positive) online reviews in places where your target audience will find you, like Amazon and TripAdvisor. Simply ask for positive reviews from happy customers. Tell the offline ones to go online to drop them.

You can also add these reviews on your site, tweet them, use ratings and reviews in your ads and search engine listings, and put them on relevant review sites. There are various review sites for almost anything: hair products, pet care products, food and beverages, etc.

3. Locally-Targeted Social Media Activities

Tailor your social media activities to your location, so that local customers can find you.

Use hashtags related to your location, allow the social media sites to display your location while updating your status, organize location-based contests on social media, etc.

Needless to say follow people in your location and engage them. You should also follow influencers relevant in your location – those people your local customers are following.

Another great way to reach local customers via social media is to actively engage online with local events, especially by tweeting about the event with the event’s hashtag.

4. Sponsor Local Events

Now let’s take it offline a bit.

It’s not enough to only keep following local events online and tweeting about them. Be a key sponsor in few local events in order to get your brand out there. This will create more awareness for your brand in that community.

Organizing your own events is another great way to engage local customers, but it’s not as powerful as being one of the several brands sponsoring an event, especially when the event is big and other brands are bigger. Remember social proof?

5. Give Out Promotional Items

T-shirts, mugs, calendars, notebooks, etc, with your logo on them are things you can give locals in your community, either for patronizing you, or just randomly as a promotional strategy.

They’ll not only remain grateful to you and subconsciously always have you on their minds as they see your brand in their everyday lives, they might also give you some social media love by posting a picture of them using your items on their personal social profiles and share with their friends. Talk about some free marketing there.

In fact, encourage them to post those pictures online and mention you – or use a hashtag related to your business.

You can share same photos on your digital platforms – website, social media, etc – to get some more social proof and credibility.

6. Move relationships online

When customers – or even window shoppers – come into your store, don’t let the relationship end there. Take it online.

You can do this by asking them to drop their contacts (either while giving receipts or in exchange for a chance to enter some contest).

You can ask for their social profiles in exchange for a follow (hey, everybody wants more followers). You can even ask them to go online and enter for a contest on social media, if you’re doing one – plus other tips shared earlier.

Whatever you can think of, just try to take your relationship online. Remember their friends and family in the same neighborhood will most likely be their major connections online – and those are who we’re trying to reach here, right?

There you have them: 6 great ways to reach those that matter to you, local customers, and grow your business locally – instead of joining the world wide noise that’s far from useful to you.

Kindly add your own tips for reaching local customers in the comments. They’ll be highly appreciated.

Author:.

Jimmy Rohampton is a freelance writer, blogger and business consultant from Southwest London. He travels the world and helps people master blogging and online marketing at HowToCreateABlog.org. Think you're interesting and he should know you? Say "Hi" to him at Jimmy@HowToCreateABlog.org

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