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How to Effectively Connect with Your Customer Base on a Local Level

Posted: May 17, 2022 at 2:37 pm / by / comments (0)

Engaging your audience gives you an edge over the competition and helps establish a relationship between company and consumer. However, connecting with people on a local level is a bit different than the ways we connect online. While you might use some of the same platforms and tools, you will need to adapt your efforts a bit.

Your loyal buyers drive your business’ growth via word-of-mouth marketing. If you want to successfully expand into other markets, you must first connect with those geographically closest to you. Perfect your sales pitch to them, improve the customer experience and expand from there.

How Do You Connect With Local Customers?

The most recent State of Local Marketing Report looked at over 10,500 channel partners for the past seven years and came to some conclusions about local markets. They found local businesses investing 1% or higher of revenue on marketing hit a 14% higher growth in revenue.

Reaching out to local audiences can be highly beneficial to small businesses. However, you have to know how to connect with your customer base to drive the growth and keep customers coming back for more.

1. Simplify Contact

If you want local customers to call you, make it as easy as possible for them. For example, you know many of your users tap into mobile devices to access your website. Include your phone number on a link or button they can tap and start a phone call to you. The easier it is to follow through, the more likely they are to get in touch.

Offer multiple ways to get in touch, too, such as phone, dropping by the office and live chat. You could also ask them to leave their name and number via a form and call them back at the time they indicate is best.

2. Complete Online Profiles

You can drive significantly more traffic to your website by completing profiles for online review sites where local consumers are likely to chime in. For example, you might offer a reviews tab on your Facebook page and complete profiles on Yelp and Google.

If someone leaves a review, thank them for their feedback. Don’t worry about whether the review is positive or negative. Show you’re paying attention and engaging. If the review is a negative one, go ahead and offer a solution. Everyone else will see your response and that you’re trying to make things right.

3. Host 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. For example, if you sell cooking products, you might host a class on how to make a particular dish or a couples dinner where they are at the stove.

Think about what you sell and come up with an event that ties into it in some way. It’s okay to think outside the box and get creative. For example, a local tourist attraction that also has a restaurant might have a wine and dine night under the stars. Not only will the event attract local customers, but the media will report on it and bring in even more guests.

4. Set Up at Fairs

Nearly every town has some type of summer fair or indoor events where local vendors can rent a booth or table. Go ahead and have a presence at these events, because it gives you a chance to meet your clients face-to-face and interact.

Get your contact information in front of them, whether via a promotional item you give away or a business card. You could also sponsor a local sports team. Most community little leagues, for example, include banners at the ball field and will offer you a bit of free advertising on banners and tee shirts.

You can also pay for an ad in the local high school yearbook or newspaper. The more goodwill you build in the community, the more likely the parents and teachers will remember your brand name when they need a product or service you offer.

5. Personalize the Experience

Studies show around 80% of buyers are more likely to purchase from a brand that makes things personal. You have an excellent opportunity with local customers to take things to a more intimate level. You may already know many of your shoppers as family and friends. You just have to talk to them to find out what would improve their customer experience (CX).

Greet them by name and keep track of their preferences and past 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

You can use social media to promote only to a local audience by narrowing your reach to people who live in your area. Know your audience well enough to speak to them in the language they understand about the issues they most care about. What pain points do local citizens have that you can solve through your product or service?

You’ll save money by advertising only to those within so many miles of your business. Perfect reaching those who reside around your company and then expand over time. You’ll more easily scale up by starting small and local and then expanding outward to nearby communities, other cities and eventually going global.

Survey Customers

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. Exclude their feedback from the survey for now. You can find out more about them at a later time.

With a little focus, you’ll reach many new customers in your area and grow your business via word of mouth. Take the time to perfect your local game and your national and international one will be more likely to succeed.

Eleanor is editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

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