In order to grow your brick-and-mortar location, you must focus on your local customers. This can be achieved with a targeted Local Store Marketing plan that reaches your target market and builds long-lasting relationships with them every time.
We’ll explain what LSM (local store marketing) is and how you can successfully implement strong marketing techniques at the local level.
How does local store marketing work?
LSM, sometimes also called neighborhood marketing, describes a collection of strategies used to reach customers within a particular radius around a physical store. This radius is usually set at a maximum of five miles, since the intent is to connect with local customers instead of reaching a wider audience.
Identifying what makes your local community unique is key to implementing a local social media approach. It requires a strong understanding of the people who live in your vicinity, so you can tailor your messages directly to them and increase sales.
Even though LSM is often used by small businesses, it’s a very effective marketing method for franchisees and larger-scale businesses with brick-and-mortar stores. Your marketing message is much more personalized when reaching out to people on a local level.
You will not only gain more foot traffic, but will also get repeat customers who will come back to you for six times more than if they didn’t know you already.
5 strategies to promote local stores
Creating an effective local store marketing strategy requires you to blend your hyper-local market research with strategies that develop relationships with your audience instead of simply expanding your reach. By doing so, you can establish a brand that your audience can fully relate to and become loyal customers.
Below, we present a few strategies you can employ to boost your local marketing and community presence.
- Use social media to engage your audience
While storefront signage can attract some new customers, chances are, most of your audience is spending their time online rather than passing by your local store. With close to two hours spent on social media each day, social platforms offer unbounded chances to interact directly with consumers where you live.
Social media gives your community the chance to reach out to you, even if they’re not in your area. When you interact more, your customer engagement will rise and your loyal followers may turn into in-store shoppers.
Aside from helping you reach more people within your immediate following, social media advertisements are also a great tool for targeting customers in specific locations with localized content.
Some businesses may even create Facebook groups for their local customers. If you have a team member who can serve as a strong moderator, this can help prove you’re a leader in fostering a community while providing value to locals.
2. Develop a customer loyalty program.
In retail marketing, reengaging shoppers is extremely important. To compete with ecommerce stores, you need to provide ongoing value that will drive customers back to your physical store after their first visit. Loyalty programs make this possible.
To encourage customers to participate in loyalty programs, you need to provide ongoing rewards that demonstrate that your brand is more valuable than any other. Examples of great reward systems include:
- A hair salon that offers a free conditioning service once every 10 visits
- Once every five oil changes, a local European auto mechanic offers a discounted service.
- An ice cream store with a tiered loyalty program that allows customers to advance in ranks and benefit from better freebies the more they spend.
3. Collaborate with The Locals
Building brand awareness is easy by partnering with local businesses and entrepreneurs. Not only do local partnerships reinforce your commitment to helping your community, but they also enable you to instantly build trust.
Collaboration can take many forms. Local bakeries and ice cream shops may collaborate on a limited edition dessert. Physical fitness centers and spas may collaborate on a social media giveaway. Wedding vendors engage in cross-promotion by putting their stuff on each other’s websites.
However, you still want to be strategic about whom you work with. Great collaborations happen when you partner with trusted local brands that share your values, have similar audiences, and can provide constant referrals to your business.
It makes much more sense for a luxury hair salon to partner with a high-end nail salon than a budget tattoo parlor, even though both options fall under the beauty industry.
The chamber of commerce in your city may be a good resource to draw upon when it comes to finding like-minded companies to partner with.
4. Participate in local events
The local community doesn’t want you just to say you care, they want you to demonstrate it. Attending local events, both for-profit and nonprofit, can be a great local store marketing opportunity.
The power of face-to-face connections is still unbeatable when it comes to neighborhood marketing. This is why 84% of business leaders attribute a significant part of their brand’s success to event marketing.
By sponsoring an event, your company can further demonstrate its financial commitment to the community. It’s an ideal alternative to having your team physically present if they have limited time.
5. Contact your local press
Having positive press coverage—which can reach thousands of local customers—can drive a high level of foot traffic to your store. In fact, the majority of Americans trust their local news outlets to tell the truth.
Press releases are a great way to gain press coverage. However, connecting with local journalists can have the most impact in the long run, as you’ll be considered for local listicles, expert quotes, and other online mentions.
Your site’s search engine rank can increase for highly relevant local searches if it is mentioned and linked on a frequent basis on news sites, which typically have strong page authority on Google.
Any brick-and-mortar business needs good local store marketing strategies. It requires some market research and planning, but the outcomes can be far superior.
Your business will become more sustainable and achieve an increase in bottom line as you boost your community presence and become a staple of the local community.
Having mastered neighborhood marketing efforts, you can leverage enhanced relationship-building techniques to drive further loyalty as you continue to market your business at a local level. Our relationship marketing tips can help you build the strong customer base you need.