The “shop local” revolution has taken over. But have your marketing strategies adapted?
Millennials want to (and do!) spend their money with businesses that support the communities they inhabit.
Did you know that over the past 10 years, the number of farmers markets has more than doubled? Meanwhile, traditional grocers have lost more than 15% of market share.
The number of independent bookstores has also increased by 25%, despite Amazon’s monopoly on the market.
What does this mean?
Local consumers require local marketing. Win local consumers and you will have loyal, life-long customers.
If you’re not reaching locals, here are the five biggest mistakes you could be making:
1. You’re Not Talking Enough
Have you ever heard the saying “If you want a friend, be a friend”? The same concept applies in marketing.
A great way to get your name out in the community is to simply join conversations. If you’re not being heard online, this doesn’t mean you’re not posting enough to your social media pages. Many make the mistakes of using social media to promote, promote, promote.
It doesn’t take long for potential customers to tire of seeing ads. However, having easy conversations naturally without pushing an agenda ties your brand to being part of the community. This is as easy as commenting on local business’ Instagram photos or a friendly reply to a local coffee shop’s tweet. Give it a try! What do you have to lose?
Take notes from Frothy Monkey in Nashville. They frequently retweet the local tourism twitter account and have upwards of 18,000 followers.
2. You’re Too Techy
Before you discredit this one, yes, technology is an amazing tool for local marketing. The use of Facebook and Twitter ads to targeted audiences is a brilliant resource. But sometimes it’s best to take it back to the old school ways.
Remember the days of block parties to get to know your neighbors?
There is something irreplaceable about face-to-face interactions. Go out of your way to meet people. Smile and shake hands. Are you specialized in some way? Teach a class. Want to partner with local companies? Host an event.
Don’t let technology replace the value of being relational.
Strong relationships are the backbone of local marketing.
3. You’re Missing Opportunities
Your customers #lovelocal, and you should too.
Signage at the local high school’s football field is great. What’s better? Partner with a local nonprofit that you’re passionate about.
Helping others/building relationships while getting your name out there is a win-win. People care about helping others.
In fact, seven out of ten millennials said they were willing to raise money on behalf of a non-profit they care about.
Partnering with a charity is likely to only help you.
Spend time in the community. Don’t miss another opportunity to help out.
Get your hands dirty and watch your brand’s visibility soar.
4. You’re Being Too Broad
Is your brand drowning in the unending sea of search engine results?
Now more than ever, it’s easy to go unnoticed. If you want to stand out, it’s important to be more specific toward your target audience.
Be more specialized in your marketing.
Basically, the broader you are, the more competition you will have. While you may see less search traffic, the conversion value will be higher.
Find your niche. Be heard above the noise.
5. You’re not on the map
Have you optimized your website for a local web search? If not, you may be missing huge opportunities to be seen by your best potential customers; the locals.
It’s no secret that being at the top of Google’s results page is incredible for gaining visibility.
Fifty percent of mobile users and 34 percent of tablet or computer users visit a store within a day of their local search.
Local SEO has a great impact in increasing business sales.
Don’t know where to begin? Getting listed with GoogleMyBusiness is a great first step.
If you’ve been making these five mistakes, don’t worry. It’s not too late to change the way you market to locals. The solutions are not only easy, but also low-cost.
If you really want to be a local marketing expert, follow this step-by-step guide.
You’re already well on your way to standing out above the competition.