When you first start a local business, you will need to get your new venture noticed. And it could be some time before you build a reputation in the local community. So, it would be best if you made an impact fast. But you must also connect with the local community and develop and maintain trust. So, marketing a local business requires a different approach than marketing a national or purely online brand. Here are ten tips to get your new business noticed and trusted by local residents and businesses.
Set an Official Launch Date
It is best to launch a new business with some fanfare. So, set a date for the official launch of your new enterprise that allows time to ensure that you are ready to hit the ground running. You will want to have all operational aspects of the business up and running, for example. And that will include logistics and customer service. And you will need some time to market the launch. You also want to avoid launching the business only to find that your first few customers are disappointed with the product or service.
Create a Comprehensive Online Presence
Many people turn to the internet first when searching for local services. So, a comprehensive online presence is an essential element of a regional business marketing strategy. You will, of course, need a website. But it will also help raise awareness if you also claim your business listing local directory sites. And a Google My Business listing and a Facebook page are musts for any local business. A presence on other social media platforms will also help promote the brand. So, consider setting up accounts on sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, too.
Put a Face to the business
Personal service is one of the significant advantages a small local business has over national corporations. And the best way to leverage that advantage is to highlight your business’s personal and local focus in your marketing. So, don’t be shy about introducing yourself as the owner of your company on your website and social media posts. And stress your commitment to service and highlight any local connection you have. The personal touch is why many people choose local businesses over national brands.
Reach Out to Other Local Businesses
The more successful businesses there in an area, the more people will be attracted to the locality. So, everyone wins when a new company opens its doors to customers. For that reason, you will probably find that other business owners will be happy to promote your new venture. So long, of course, as you are not in direct competition with them. Other stores, for example, might hand out flyers to their customers for you. Some local companies might promote your business to their employees. So, networking with other local enterprises before the launch date will provide an early boost to brand awareness.
Local Direct Mail and Advertising Campaigns
Even though many people now use the internet to find local businesses, the old-fashioned marketing methods still hold some value. A local mail-drop is an excellent way to promote a new local enterprise, for example. And there may be a local newspaper or other publications that offer advertising opportunities. So, it would be unwise to write off hard-copy advertising because it can be an excellent way to reach the local community.
Give Away Free Samples
For some businesses, free samples are an excellent way to generate new business. A restaurant, for example, could hand out bite-sized tasters of items on their menu. The idea of free samples can also be used by companies not selling products. A firm of accountants could send a free tax guide to local businesses, for example. A real estate business could offer free house valuations.
Hold a Launch Event
Once you have generated some initial interest in your business, you could hold a launch event. A store would, of course, have a grand opening promoting, perhaps, some significant, one-day-only price reductions. Business-to-business companies could invite other local businesses to a launch party at a local hotel. A launch event provides an opportunity for local people to discover what your business has to offer and meet the team. And it is a chance for you to network, hand out marketing collateral, and hopefully gain a few leads or customers.
Attend and Sponsor Local Events
There are usually plenty of local events in which a small business can participate. There might be local markets, fairs, or shows that you could attend. Or you could sponsor a local sports team. Marketing opportunities of this nature allow you to connect with the local community and build trust. And, of course, local events are an excellent brand awareness opportunity.
Support Local Charities
A great way to get noticed in the local community is to give something back, and you can do that by helping local charities. You could simply donate to local causes. But you will make more of an impact if you get involved. So, consider volunteering to help with some community projects. Or, if you have employees, perhaps they could undertake a community project together. When people see that your business gives back to the community, they will be more willing to support your business in return.
Engage with the community
Local businesses depend on the community’s goodwill, so ongoing engagement with the local people is crucial for long-term success. The above small local business marketing tips will help get your business off the ground. But the process of building and maintaining trust must be an ongoing strategy. So, aim to provide top-class products and services. And get involved with the community. Then, you will reap the rewards that a loyal, local customer base can bring.
Launching a small local business can be challenging because you do not benefit from a recognizable brand. So, you need to first embark on a brand awareness campaign and ensure that your new business can be found. And then, you must gain the trust of the local people. If you can do that, your new local business will be off to a flying start.