Marketing a local business is different from marketing a national or international business. We know that’s true, but how can we channel the creativity of the big companies and create marketing strategies that are effective for local businesses?

 

It’s easier than you think.

 

In order to create a business marketing plan that will bring your customers back and invite new customers to come through your door, business owners should think of what they enjoy as a consumer. Remind yourself what it’s like to be the customer and use marketing practices that reel you in when you’re trying to find a business to use. 

 

What are some things that local business owners can do to think outside the box when it comes to marketing their business?

 

Be Personal

Everyone loves personalization. That’s why those little keychains in the gas stations with people’s names have been around for so long. Certainly not many people who enter a gas station are in the market for a new keychain, but many leave with one anyway. Why? Because their name is on it. Studies suggest that over half of consumers say they would consider using a brand simply because they were sent a personalized incentive. 

 

Whether you’re sending out an offer to a new potential customer or working with someone you’ve worked with in the past, being personal and knowing their name will go a long way. Keeping track of the transaction history of your frequent customers reminds them that you care about them and their needs, and you’re always available to help. 

 

Engage with Your Customers

If you don’t engage with your customers, they won’t engage with you. It’s a simple as that. People enjoy talking to those who talk to them first. We’ve created a society that isn’t keen on being the one to “reach out”, and that carries over to business relationships as well. Many businesses, especially in the goods and services industries, are making contact with consumers regularly in order to build a relationship with them.

 

Staying in contact with your customers is easier than you might think. When you work with them, be sure to gather customer information so you have easy access to future communication with them. Your engagement with customers doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Simply sending out emails or text messages letting them know of upcoming specials, updated services or business hours or anything else you deem worthy of contact will keep them interested. 

 

Create a Loyalty Program

People love being rewarded for their loyalty. Incentives are a great way to entice customers to continue coming back to your business time and time again. When people have that extra incentive to come back to your business because they know with each service, they are earning rewards toward a percentage or dollar amount off of future rewards, they are much more likely to continue using your business. Creating a loyalty program is easy and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, as long as you keep your rewards within reason. 

 

Say Thank You

Telling your customers thank you for choosing your business is such a simple gesture, but it truly goes a long way. Let them know how happy you are that they chose you and that you want to do what is best for them to keep them choosing you every time. People want to feel connected to those they do business with, so they know they can trust you. Being gracious and thankful for their business is a great way to show them that they matter and are appreciated by you. 

 

There are several things that you can do to make your business appealing to customers, even on a tight budget. If you’ve been struggling to keep customers coming back or to get the attention of new customers, give these ideas a try!

 

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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