Attracting local traffic to your store is a reoccurring task on your to-do list. You want a flood of new and existing customers roaming through your shop everyday. So, what’s the best way to encourage more locals to check out your place?
Aside from a customer loyalty program, the answer is a combination of digital and old-fashioned marketing tactics. Here are four ways (two online and two offline) to increase your local awareness and get your register ringing:
1. Try Local Awareness Ads on Facebook
Facebook isn’t just for posting status updates, you can attract local customers through this social channel, too. Facebook has an advertising option called Local Awareness Ads. These ads target customers that are near your business.
You can create ads that have specific calls-to-action that connect with customers. Take a look at the example below. People that live or work near the market see this ad and can click on the call-to-action to get directions.
Boba Guys, a bubble milk tea bar, had success with Facebook awareness ads. According to a case study on Facebook, the company’s ad reached up to 10 thousand people with each new customer acquisition costing just $1.
Get started with a Local Awareness Ad on Facebook’s Business site.
2. Set up a business profile on Google My Business
Help your customers find your business by setting up a profile page on Google. When customers search for your business, here’s what they’ll see:
It’s a nice display for your business. In a glance, customers see your address, phone number and hours of operation. Customers can also click on pictures, read reviews and get directions right to your shop.
How successful is this at generating local traffic? According to Google, 4 out of 5 consumers conduct local searches on search engines. After searching, 32% of customers visited stores and made purchases, and another 19 percent made unplanned visits and made purchases.
Here’s the best part: it’s free. Check out or update your profile on Google My Business.
3. Host a sale with a community connection
Of course, business owners can’t rely solely on digital options to attract local shoppers.
Hosting a sale is a common way to draw customers, but to really entice local shoppers to come in, give your sale a community connection.
Is the local school headed to a championship football game? Are the local firefighters building a new station? If so, offer game-day promotions during playoff week. A cafe could temporarily rename one of its spicy sandwiches to Fire Burner and donate a portion of the sales to support the new station.
Aligning your business with a local cause provides several benefits. For starters, a recent study shows 41% of Americans say they have bought a product because it was associated with a cause. That same study shows 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause.
In other words, customers reward businesses that support the community.
4. Plan product demo or sample event days
Don’t wait for your customers to come to you, go to them instead. Grab a calendar and call a team meeting. Plan to do at least two events that give customers the chance to see your product in action. Or, go one step further with a non-stop demo.
For example, teashop, Teavana, has a sample station permanently set up for customers to try its products. Cosmetic stores have artists on hand and offer consumers a free makeover to encourage customers to buy specific products. Cosmetic Promotions looked into the success of these on-going demos and found 35 percent of customers planned to buy products immediately, and 56 percent planned to return to buy products.
Of course, you can also take your demonstration digital. Create a video that showcases your product and upload it on your website. Need a little help? Check out this Forbes article that highlights eight of the best product demo videos and explains why each one is effective.
How do you attract local traffic? What works best for your business? Share your knowledge with the business community in the comment section below.