Local marketing and initiatives through social media.

Localised marketing for small businesses

Bristol has created it own currency and already there is a waiting list for local shops and retailers to join the scheme. The idea which came from Germany, seems a perfect antidote to big business and linked with other digital ideas, it gives the the local small business the opportunity to communicate with their local audience, build loyalty and drive their sales pipeline effectively.

This got me thinking, are localised marketing initiatives the future? In an earlier article, enThralled discussed Localised Marketing Services (LMS) and how they could drive that all important footfall to your business locally. So ideas like exchange currency and localised marketing solution seem perfectly aligned for the small business.

Many social media marketing strategies are based upon the amount of fans or followers as well as the engagement levels that these followers to your business generate to your business. A superb way of creating this all important engagement and how this engagement at the local level win drive greater interaction with your business and ultimately increase sales. So how can small businesses use local sales and marketing ideas to grow their bottom line?

1) Utilising LMS via social media and mobile devices, customers can and should be using the check-in’s features to promote and distinguish your business. As we said in the previous blog, customers should be encouraged to use this type of service though loyalty programs. Tie LMS check-in’s with the idea of a localised currency and suddenly you have a great cominbination that dovetails eachother perfectly. If for example your local butcher purchases his meat from a local farm and promotes this via his website and social media. That will build localised awareness. Then, you come along and buy your meat and check-in via your mobile device.

2) This localised approach, integrating the physical and digital economy which enable small businesses to participate across multi-channel marketing. So what ideas can a local retailer implement to drive greater interaction?

3) Offering a gift card / voucher each month to a fan / follower based locally would certainly builds awareness, create interaction and importantly engagement with your local fan base and keeps them coming back every month. Though, make it worthwhile, £20 may not be enough if your products or services are of a greater value. Think what would make a difference to one of your followers and give them this!

4) Competitions are also a perfect way to drive interaction and engagement, make it relevant to your business or local area.

5) Get involved and drive engagement through Poll’s. Ask your audience their local news and their daily life or habits locally. Remember, don’t be direct and make sure the polls that do not directly relate to your business and make them interesting enough to make people get involved. Local issues and daily activities are perfect examples of poll’s and this type of digital interactive usually draws high proportions of respondents.

6) Start a photo, video or blog contest. Ask your audience to submit content from the local area and even that shows them using your products or services. Then choose the best content and then feature and promote it. This will create brand advocates locally and position you in the all important ‘share of mind’ ladder. This type of content sharing is perfect for engagement with the your local fans and followers, it builds loyalty and a sense of participation too with your business.

7) Sponsorships are also a great way to driving awareness of your business. Try and find local bloggers or blogs dedicated to your local area and look at sponsorship. This isn’t about product placement or endorsement of your business. This is once again about winning share of mind locally and create that brand awareness

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