8 Proven Marketing Techniques to Attract Local Customers

Competing with Michelin star restaurants and other big-name brands can be a problem if you're a small business. Sure, marketing your business using a virtual world in augmented reality works nicely for national brands. How do you attract local customers and make them care about your homegrown business?

Businesses looking to tap into the “buy local” crowd must find ways to show they’re worth the support. You can use these eight proven marketing techniques that will help you attract local customers.

1. Post Ads Using Geotargeting

One advantage of mobile tech is geotargeting, which allows you to target potential customers at a specific location. With geotargeted ad campaigns, you can pinpoint your customers by location and send them ads based on their location.

The ad can be anything from an offer or coupon to a special message for your business. This can effectively advertise your restaurant, connecting you with locals who likely don’t know about you yet.

Facebook and other social media platforms can help you pinpoint your local audience. You can run ads that target people who are nearby. You can also post updates about local events and highlight your proximity to those events. 

For example, imagine you own a restaurant in Augusta that hosts live jazz music every Friday. You can geotarget your ads to people who live near your restaurant’s service area. If those people are live music fans, they’ll likely stop by your venue to see what’s on.

2. Utilize Local Events

Local events are one of the most potent ways to connect with customers. Attending local events like flea markets, concerts, and festivals creates a connection with those looking to support local fare. You can even do sponsorships to get your brand up.

Partnering with local businesses and nonprofits to hold community events is an effective way to market your company. You can work with other businesses to promote each other’s efforts. 

For instance, if you own a beauty salon, you could reach out to a local spa and offer to add each other on flyers for their clients. Include your salon service on a spa flyer and vice versa. 

By working together, both businesses will get exposure to new eyes. You can also do in-store retail events, sharing marketing material on each other’s premises.

3. Optimize Your Website For Local SEO

Does your website display your city and state? If so, you’re on the right track. Make sure your website includes a clear link to your address. Take advantage of local SEO techniques to improve your searchability.

Including this information makes your site more relevant to local audiences. People use the internet to find information on businesses and services. If they search online and can’t find you, they may assume you don’t exist. 

A great way to ensure that the people searching in your town will find you is to optimize your site with city-specific keywords. Instead of just “steak” or “restaurant,” use “Atlanta steak,” “NYC Thai,” or “DC pizza.” 

These examples are specific to major cities, but you can use the same tactics for small towns. By targeting smaller market areas, you can ensure that your company shows up when someone in your small town searches for it. 

4. Claim Your Business On Google My Business

Claiming your spot on Google My Business boosts your ability to reach locals. Your listing will show up in local searches, giving users a quick way to find you. You can include updates and pictures showcasing your business and what it does. 

The more information you provide, the better. Your online business profile should have your exact location, phone number, email address, hours of operation, and a description of what you do. 

These details let consumers know what you offer, helping them decide whether they’d like you. It also makes you more visible, especially for people out of town looking for an excellent place to eat.

5. Offer Discounts And Deals 

Many small businesses are afraid to offer discounts, thinking it will hurt their brand and drive away loyal customers. However, discounts and deals can be a powerful way to drum up new business. 

A great way to connect with potential new customers is to offer discounts and promotions such as providing deals on bulk flash drive. You can provide word-of-mouth coupons and discounts for first-timers or those who mention you to their friends. 

Offering discounts for first-timers or discounts on certain menu items can drive sales. Find a way to strike a balance between attracting new customers and retaining your loyal ones. 

Offering special deals also gives you a chance to experiment with different prices. Testing a new price or deal incentivizes your audience to try you out. 

6. Connect With The Local Community

Social media is excellent for connecting with your current and potential clients. You can share posts, photos, and videos that show what’s new with your small business. 

Your social media pages are also a great place to join the conversation. Join in on local discussions and comment on trending topics. This helps raise your profile, and it shows that you care. 

If you can, connect with your community in real life. Small businesses often focus on their local communities, and that’s good. By getting involved in your local community, you can show that you care about your immediate surroundings.

By contributing to your community, you build a positive image and make yourself more accessible. People see you as a trustworthy and reliable brand when you become a fixture in the community. 

7. Encourage Positive Reviews

As a local business, you most likely rely on regular clients. Your continued success depends on them, so keeping them happy is essential. The best way to do that is to encourage positive reviews. A positive review is more critical than you may realize. 

Encouraging positive reviews from happy customers helps build your brand image and credibility. When customers have a positive experience, they are more likely to share their experiences with other people.  

You can encourage reviews with signs, brochures, and business cards. Make sure there are links to your social media sites. Encourage customers to leave a review on social media or Yelp. 

You can also use incentives. Offer a discount or free item to customers who write you a review. 

8. Focus On Your Strengths 

You need to focus on what sets you apart to give a big-brand competitor a run for its money. While your big competitors may have more funding, better locations, and more extensive staff, you can still compete with them by focusing on what you do best.  

Are you known for having the freshest ingredients? Do you cook your dishes with local ingredients? Do you specialize in a particular style of cooking? Think about your ethos and what makes you different from other places. 

Your unique offerings are what will set you apart from the corporate competition. Let your strength shine through. Don’t be afraid to highlight your specialties.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to small businesses, smart, focused marketing strategies are your best friend. Use these time-tested strategies to attract local businesses. By combining these techniques, you can become the place to go for local, homegrown brands. These tried and tested tips will help get your name out there. 

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