- Invest your time in SEO
- Create a Google My Business listing
- Cultivate a YouTube following
- Targeted text messaging
- Social Media Marketing
- Advertise online and offline
- Generate word of mouth buzz
Today more than ever, every business interested in long-term growth is subject to intense competition. Retail competition simply doesn’t just come from our physical neighbors anymore. Today, small businesses are competing against other retailers in their community, and online. New stores are popping up all over, and established ones have to work hard to maintain market share.
But what if you’re new to a market? How do you compete with long-standing businesses that have developed a loyal customer base over years? In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to market your retail store in a small town or city.
And don’t worry about costs – most of the ideas below are more about your personal investment into your business than about spending dollars. With a bit of guidance in the right direction, you can use retail marketing strategies to drive long term growth.
1) Invest in SEO. It’s free, and worth your time
Make sure your website is optimized for local search by including your city or town in your page titles, Meta descriptions, and header tags. You can also use local keyword phrases throughout your website content to help you rank higher in search results.
Your retail business is unique. Even if dozen other stores consider themselves in the same category as yours, every business owner puts their own unique flair on their business. So use that in your content creation to stand out
For all business, small or large, make sure that you don’t have broken page links, and none of your buttons are returning errors. Search engines like Google pay attention to well maintained pages and consider them to be more reputable. Consider a clean page that’s properly titled and tagged the cornerstone of your digital marketing presence.
2) Create a Google My Business listing.
If you haven’t already, create a Google My Business listing for your business. These Google Business pages are free to any business, and a great way to alert locals searching for your products and services that you’re here. This is free listing service provided by Google allows you to control how your business appears on Google Maps and in local search results.
When you’re done creating your listing on Google, make sure to do the same across all major search engines, including Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com. Free mentions online that help your community find you, your business hours, and your product and service offerings serve as an amazing source of potential foot traffic.
3) Cultivate a YouTube following
Creating a YouTube following is a great way to take advantage of a digital marketing strategy in your small town. You can create informative videos about your products or services and post them on your YouTube channel. Make sure to include links to your website or social media pages in the description of your videos so that viewers can find out more about your business.
Some of our retailers have also had great success in using YouTube to create ads for your local business. You can target potential customers in your town by creating ad campaigns that are specifically tailored to them. YouTube also allows you to track the performance of your ads so you can see how effective they are at reaching potential customers.
Lastly, you can use YouTube to connect with other businesses in your town. You can create videos featuring local landmarks or businesses, and include a link to their website or social media page in the description. This is a great way to promote both businesses and increase foot traffic to your local business.
4) Targeted text messaging
Move over promotional email campaigns, SMS campaigns is where it’s at. With open rate as high as 98%, text marketing can be an effective way to reach potential customers in a small town. Email marketers can’t compete with the open rate enjoyed by text message marketers. By sending targeted messages to people who are likely to be interested in your products or services, you can increase the chances that they will take notice and consider using your business.
You can use demographic information to create filtered contact lists to target your text messages. For example, if you know that most of your potential customers are women aged 25-34, you can target your messages to this group.
Another way to target your text message marketing is by using keywords that are relevant to your business. For example, if you own a bakery, you could use keywords like “fresh bread” or “homemade cookies” in your messages. Short codes are great for this and should be included in your marketing goals.
Finally, you should make sure that your text messages are clear and concise. People are more likely to pay attention to a message that is short and to the point.
5) Social media marketing
Your social media marketing strategy is a valued part of any retail growth strategy. This is an especially great way to reach out to potential customers in a small town. But before you create a Facebook page or Twitter account for your store location, make sure you’re placing yourself on the platforms that your target audience spends the most time on.
You can use social media to share information about your business, such as special offers or events. You can also use it to answer any questions that potential customers may have. Become a content marketer by creating interesting product posts, announcing special promotions, and engaging with your local community.
6) Advertise online and offline.
Make sure you are advertising your business both online and offline. This can be as cost effective as creating fliers and putting them in mailboxes across your community or as expensive as renting billboards in high-traffic areas. You can also use online advertising platforms like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads to reach potential customers who are searching for businesses like yours.
Remember that if you are going to pay to advertise, make sure you understand your target audience’s motivations and buying habits, and place your ad where they’ll see it. Plenty of retailers get suckered into paying for advertising where their target audience will never see it. Be weary of “good deals” and ask to see audience metrics before writing any checks.
7) Create word of mouth buzz
Never underestimate the collective power of a group of people. If a customer enjoys your product or services, they are likely to tell their friends, family, and colleagues. Incentivize your customers to share your business with their friends by giving them promo codes, coupons and discounts for referrals. Make it more personal by giving discounts to repeat shoppers who bring new friends in.
Please don’t underestimate the power you have to create buzz around your small business. Consider giving away raffle tickets to each community member that brings a friend and then hosting a neighborhood get-together with your loyal customers to announce the winner. These are the type of thoughtful events that take a lot of time, effort, and planning, but create life-long fans of your business.
One of the best ways to generate buzz in your local business is to get involved with the community. Attend local events, sponsor youth sports teams, or donate to local charities. This will help you build relationships with potential customers and make your business more visible in the community.
Get started today
There are plenty of ways to market your local business in a small town, and the most important thing is to get started. There are many low-cost or no-cost options available, so there’s no excuse not to start marketing your business today. With a little bit of market research, you can reach a large number of potential customers and make your local business thrive.