Attracting Local Customers
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You can’t buy love, but you can buy local
In this age of globalisation and online shopping, buying local has steadily grown to become a marketing concept all of it’s own. Buying local is not just about farmers markets and keeping the village shop in business, it extends to all local goods, manufacturing, services and with diverse multicultural societies it also means you don’t have to go to different countries for more cultural products or food. The chances are they are available on your doorstep; these all now come under the ‘buy local’ umbrella.
If your business sources locally be proud and promote it as one of your USP’s (Unique Selling Point). Whether or not a business are local and/or source locally could be a deciding factor on whether or not some potential clients, who support their local economy, choose to make that purchase. If your product only has some elements/ingredients from the local area, just sight ‘sourced local where possible’ in your marketing material – as long as this is true it will cover you if in some instances you have to source further afield, whilst still supporting the local movement.
Online Local Marketing
It’s important to optimise your website for local searches – as well as word of mouth a lot of people will use search engines to find local businesses and use search terms such as ‘accountant in Shropshire’, ‘bathroom supplier Middlesex’ or ‘marketing help Nottingham’. The Internet is now an equally powerful marketing tool locally than it is nationally. Google even offer free local business listing to register contact details here:http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/business/
Social Networking is also a great way to connect to local people and other local businesses. Just by listing the area you are based in on your company profile will link you accordingly. Many social networking sites now also offer location-based services, meaning if you place advertisements or sponsored posts you can select the area of the country you want to target thus making it far more cost effective
Look out for local groups on social networks that are designed to help local businesses network online, if you have Twitter all you have to do is ‘tweet’ for example #telfordhour between 8-9pm every Tuesday to be apart of it. Use a search engine and see if there is a group like this for your area and their day and time. They will normally have a detailed website or profile like the following: https://twitter.com/TelfordHour and hey, if there isn’t one for your area – you can always start a group yourself!
Local networking groups in your area are a great way to connect with potential clients or associates, your local Chambers of Commerce will host a series of these kinds of events, which are very inexpensive to attend or free, on occasions also giving you the opportunity to exhibit, find your local chambers of commerce here:http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/find-your-chamber/.
Another slightly different method of networking within your local area is to join your local BNI group. BNI is a networking referral organisation, which allows only one representative from each trade or profession to join any local group. This means you can avoid competition, ensuring you receive 100% of all new business related to you, referred via the group members. To find out more and see where your local group is visit their website here: http://www.bni.co.uk/what-bni.
Traditional Local Marketing
Other traditional marketing methods are still very effective for the local movement and should be considered; this could be in the form of striking information boards on road sides near to your business if it is of a drop in nature, ensure you are listed in local directories – which are now online mostly (a link to your website would be advantages here), advertisements in local press, radio commercial, door-to-door leaflet delivery with a featured offer code would also work well in attracting local custom.
Whatever channel of marketing you are contemplating to support your local economy and to attract a wider client base, we can help! Contact us for a no obligations chat about how we can help you achieve your marketing goals.