Businesses need new customers. By focusing on attracting more customers you are hedging against the loss of existing customers. Even if you are hitting revenue goals, you should still focus on getting more customers through the door.
This will prevent future profit declines and slowing revenue since you will have a backup plan if there is a drop in your existing customer base. Effectively marketing your local business requires a combination of online and physical initiatives. Here are 13 ways to attract more customers to your local business.
1. Have a Website
There is no escaping the fact that most customers do their research online before ever stepping foot in the store. Making sure you have a website that is SEO optimized can help you make sure your target audience is finding you. Make sure to include your essential details such as your address, phone number, contact information, store hours, etc. on your site.
2. Use Social Media
Reach more customers where they are by having an active social media presence. Having a Facebook account for your local business can help you promote sales, attract new customers, and actively participate in local groups (encouraging members to visit your store).
3. Send Your Customers an Email
Having an email list and sending out regular newsletters allows you to market directly to those customers that are interested in your products or services. Email marketing tends to have higher click through rates and helps you further build a relationship of trust with your customers.
4. Focus on Content Creation
Most of the top-ranked business websites on Google focus on content creation as part of their online marketing strategy. This means they are regularly updating their site, posting articles, etc. all in an attempt to further provide value to their customers and attract new ones.
5. Get Listed
Look for opportunities to get listed in different business directories both locally and online. Being listed in a directory makes it easy for local customers to find you. Being in an online directory can help improve your SEO and build local citations, which in turn can improve your ranking in search where your customers are looking for you.
6. Write a Press Release
Writing a press release for the local paper (print or online) can be a great way to get the word out about your business. This can help generate sales and attract new customers to your local business. Press releases can be on many different things such as opening a new location, offering a new service, bringing in a new product line, etc. Local media often appreciate press releases as it helps them create content.
7. Provide a Great Customer Experience
If customers enjoy their time at your business, chances are they will recommend it to their friends and family. Therefore, you should focus on providing the best possible customer experience every time. This could mean offering entertainment for children while parents shop, outstanding customer service, providing refreshments for customers, etc. These efforts will also help you stand out from the local competition.
8. Giveaway or Sell Custom Decals
Custom decals can be a great way to advertise your business in the local community. You could apply custom decals to many surfaces with your logo, quote, an icon, etc. these decals can be given away for free as a promotional item or you could even sell them to your existing customers. These custom decals help increase your brand awareness and can serve as social proof that it is a place that others in the community should visit.
9. Offer Freebies
Let’s face it, everyone loves free stuff. Offering freebies can entice customers to come into your local business. Freebies may include promotional items like pens, T-shirts, hats, mugs, custom decals, etc. or you may even choose to offer free services such as a free haircut for the first 20 customers and so on.
10. Have a Sale
Find a reason to have a sale and discount some merchandise. Customers enjoy feeling like they are getting a deal and having a sale can attract more customers to your local business. Sales are also a great way to publicize your business to the local community. Sales are effective whether they are longer sales or flash sales.
11. Make It Obvious You are Open For Business
Sometimes customers don’t come in to your local business because they can’t tell if you’re open or not. Avoid this by making it obvious that you’re open for business. Roll out a welcome mat, have a sign, turn the lights on, etc.
12. Start a Customer Loyalty Rewards Program
Offer your customers a loyalty rewards program where they can get free products, discounts, exclusive sales and events, etc. Loyalty rewards programs can be based on a points system or can be as simple as a punch card where the 10th purchase is free. These programs help customers feel as though they are getting extra value for being a regular patron and can consumers to choose your business over competitors.
13. Follow-Up After a Purchase
Collect customer information when you make a sale and follow-up after the purchase. This can help address any issues the customer is having with the product or service they purchased, allowing you to rectify any problems or provide assistance as necessary. Following up after a purchase enhances the customer experience, increasing the likelihood of positive word-of-mouth marketing to a customer’s family and friends.
Not all of these methods have to be used and some may be better than others being on your specific type of business or service. The first plan of action is to pick a couple that you feel for you and implement them into your marketing plan. The progress of your efforts should be reevaluated regularly, whether it is monthly or quarterly. If you are realizing the desired results, keep pursuing these techniques.
On the other hand, if you are not getting the results that you want, use this check in to implement a new technique to attract more customers to your local business. Ultimately, you need to find what works with your specific target audience and focus on those techniques to continue growing your customer base.