Plus Other Ways to Make a Splash In Your Local Market Using Your Reputation
There are 2 scenarios why you may find yourself here, reading this article:
- You’ve just moved to a new town or are in the infancy stage of your new business venture. To which I say, hooray! Congratulations to you!
- You’ve been servicing the same area for some time but have yet to crack the nut that is the local, target customer. To which I say, let’s get crackin’!
No matter which scenario feels most like yours, you’ve come to the right place.
So let’s brainstorm some important ways for your business to gain the recognition and reputation it deserves. This will help you win over the hearts and business of the locals in your area
Topics we’ll cover here include:
- How to use reputation marketing to build trust among the locals and attract more business
- How to update your website and profiles to reflect the locale of your business
- Bonus: crafty ways to win the love, attention and new business from your local population
Let’s do it!
Use Reputation Marketing to Build Trust in your Local Market
I live in a community-oriented town, where the business community is deeply entrenched in the overall fabric. And although supporting small or local shops is important to many customers, the reputation of any local company is never overlooked. We’re talking a make or break situation.
With that sentiment in mind, reputation is a BIG one. Building a solid reputation and trust in the community will take time but it will lead to more business in the long run.
One of the most powerful ways to do this is through reputation marketing.
To make sure we’re on the same page, reputation marketing is leveraging your positive reputation and using it as promotional material and advertising for your business.
This involves using social proof marketing such as online reviews, testimonials, case studies, endorsements, community awards, social media mentions and more.
Here are some ways you can use reputation marketing to win over the local market and watch your business grow:
- Online Reviews and Feature Testimonials:
One way to immediately boost your credibility in the local market is by collecting and showcasing reviews from happy customers.
Reviews are a major signifier of trust which is the first step towards someone handing over their hard-earned cash.
Reviews also improve your SEO, benefitting your business by being more discoverable on Google. (Hooray for even more customers!)
When it comes to reviews, you can never have too many recent reviews.
Too few reviews or too out-of-date will scare off potential customers.
So check out our guide for how to get customer reviews so those testimonials can start rolling in!
Once you’re collecting reviews it’s time to start showcasing them!
You can do this on your website.
Perhaps consider feature reviews from well-known people around town, a “what your neighbors are saying” section or a dedicated reviews page.
You can also highlight reviews on social media, in other marketing collateral or even in your ads.
Perhaps you get an awesome review printed on your business cards, start a “review of the month” post on social media or even go bold and get it on your truck wrap.
Just throwin’ ideas out there! We’ve got lots of ideas for using customer reviews in marketing to help you grow your business!
- Strategic Community Partnerships:
Another great way to leverage your reputation is by joining forces with a fellow well-respected business in town.
It’s best to pick a business owner that you have a relationship with and that has a target audience that is similar but does not compete with your own.
Joining forces will give each business an opportunity to tap into a new segment of the local population.
Some ideas to bring two or more businesses together:
- Social media contest
- Share photos of business owners hanging out at a local hot spot
- A shared discount for referrals
- A collaboration in product, services, or community involvement
Here’s an example of a collaboration I saw around my town and my reaction was nothing but positive! I was immediately drawn to supporting this initiative and both companies involved (plus chocolate and beer… come on!)
- Community Involvement, Awards and Press:
Another form of reputation marketing to gain respect and trust from your community is to get involved! Get out there!
Seems like a no-brainer, but this really does go a long way with the locals.
Community involvement can take many forms, however you need to find an initiative that aligns with your brand and business goals.
This type of involvement helps the local population know they can trust your business and will help you garner a positive reputation around town.
In fact, this study shows that “87% of consumers are willing to purchase a product or service based on a company’s advocacy for a social issue they care about. Furthermore, 81% of consumers say that they would tell friends and family about a company’s social responsibility efforts.”
Here are some ideas to get your community involvement brainstorm going:
- Food drive (typically seasonal and during the holidays)
- Community clean-up
- Sponsoring local events and activities
- Get creative and start your own initiative!
For more on the subject, check out these 3 excellent reasons to create social impact through your business, plus how other business owners are doing it.
Community awards and press also contribute to building social proof and can be put to good use in your reputation marketing.
This is often recognition directly from the community and will boost trust among the locals.
Important Online Updates for SMB Marketing
Given the consumer drive to support local businesses and economies, it’s important that your online presence reflects your locale and serviceable area.
Here is a list of important updates to make to your website and other online platforms:
If you are a local service provider, the geographic area that you serve should be front and center on your website.
Location matters to people looking to hire a service professional.
If you have a storefront, it’s also important to display to anyone who visits your site.
Ensuring that your business location is known on your website will give visitors a clear understanding if your service or store can serve them (or not), and allow you to weed out leads who are outside your serviceable area.
Places to highlight your locale on your website include:
- In the hero section (this means right up top, front and center)
- In keywords on your website
- If you service multiple locations, have many distributors or storefronts, a list of locations or dedicated location pages will be helpful to any website visitor
- In a reviews section that includes testimonials from local shoppers
- You should definitely make this information available in the “contact us” portion
Remember, the purpose of your website is to generate sales by converting website visitors into leads. Highlighting your location plays a big role in this process.
Learn how to build a lead generation website for tips on how to make your website a sales-making machine!
Google Business Profile listing
This is how Google presents your business in search and maps.
And since most people take to the internet to look up businesses in their area, this is definitely a profile you want up-to-date.
This will also have an impact on search engine optimization, and help you become more discoverable on Google.
Check this post out for a full look at how to optimize Google Business Profile for local SEO.
If geographic location is important information for potential customers to have, you should highlight this on any profile and platforms you may be on.
This includes in the “about” section on your Facebook Business page and in the profile of your Instagram account.
You should also include appropriate location hashtags so that your posts become more discoverable to the local population who may follow those tags.
Here are a couple of examples:
How to show location on a Facebook Business Page
BONUS: Crafty ways to win love and more business from your local community
Let’s do this brainstorm style. Here are a bunch of crafty ways you can show love to your community (and gain love and business in return).
- If you service any local buildings, neighbourhoods or parks, be sure to take photos and share your pride in keeping your community functioning and lookin’ good.
Example of a cleaning company showing off a local business that they serviced
- If you run a family-owned business and are comfortable showing your family engaging in local events or happenings, your community would love to see that.
- If you service a specific neighborhood, give it a shout out!
Example of a local dog walker highlighting a specific neighborhood they service
- Some towns have a unifying trait or commonality that you can help manage - like common building materials or certain weather patterns or climate. If you can provide value to the community by creating educational content on how to maintain their homes, they will love you for it!
If you have anything to add to this list of how to make a gigantic splash in your local market, by all means - I’d love to hear what comes out of your brainstorm!