Running a business out of a regional centre can be very different from running one out of a big city in some ways–just ask Bee Cuevas, Founder and Head of Growth of Digital Marketer Bee.
Digital Marketer Bee is a full-service digital growth agency that helps businesses in the Albury-Wodonga region and beyond achieve long-term success. Along with consulting in marketing and advertising, it provides full-stack services. This covers everything from developing effective corporate and e-commerce websites to developing marketing strategies that boost sales.
For Bee, who works with brands in the Wagga Wagga, Albury, Wangaratta, Ballarat, Bendigo, Griffith, and Shepparton areas, a digital marketing agency’s success goes beyond website visits or ad clicks. The main objective is to use the traffic and clicks to boost sales. To do this, they carefully analyse a brand’s core audience and create marketing strategies based on the information they have gathered. Her goal, according to Bee, is to turn website visitors into paying customers.
“In my opinion, there are many advantages to living in a regional town,” says Bee. “I believe it is simpler to develop stronger relationships with your customers because you will frequently see them, say ‘hi’ on the soccer field, or in the supermarket, in addition to seeing them at work.‘”
“Additionally, I believe that local communities are more inclined to support small businesses in their area, so as long as you offer a high-quality good or service at a reasonable price, you are likely to be chosen by the community,” she adds.
She shares these 10 tips on how local entrepreneurs can attract more customers to their regional businesses.
1. Build a website
Whether you operate a traditional brick-and-mortar store or mainly provide your services online, having a website plays an important role in the success of your business. In addition to serving as the first step in building an online presence, having a website allows you to share valuable information about your business, products, or services to a wider audience.
2. Join local chambers of commerce
The purpose of an area’s local chamber of commerce is to form a partnership between businesses and professionals to improve the community’s quality of life and establish a healthy local economy. For regional businesses, joining local chambers of commerce helps in expanding their network and increasing their brand visibility in their area. In addition, being a chamber of commerce member can help them acquire customer referrals and boost the credibility of their business.
3. Be active on social media
In most cases, having a website is not enough to maintain a thriving and profitable online presence. One effective way to boost online visibility is by setting up pages on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. These platforms provide business owners with a direct and organic way to connect with both existing and potential customers. They can be used to promote new products or services, announce upcoming special offers, and provide updates regarding business operations. More importantly, social media can be utilised for targeted marketing and advertising efforts.
4. Optimise Your GMB Profile
When people are looking for information, they usually turn to Google. Most of the time, Google features snippets containing business profiles that are related to the search queries typed in by users. These snippets are from the Google My Business (GMB) profiles of local companies. Having a complete and optimised GMB profile helps businesses achieve better search rankings by making them appear on relevant search queries, which helps them get virtually in front of potential customers.
5. Run targeted ads on Facebook
As I mentioned earlier, social media can be used for advertising. I think that businesses in small towns and rural areas generally don’t use Facebook Advertising enough. Setting up Facebook ads for a local market is easy, and they can be a cost-effective way to get the word out about your business and help you get your key messages across.
6. Launch giveaways
In addition to advertising campaigns, regional business owners can use their social media pages to run special giveaways. These involve offering prizes to followers who carry out certain actions, such as liking and sharing a post and following a page. Since this method usually attracts a lot of social media engagement, it’s a great way to reach a wider local audience.
7. Collaborate with complementary businesses
Working with other companies and brands in your area that are non-direct competitors is a great way to attract new customers without spending too much. This approach allows you to tap into a new audience base that might be potentially interested in the products or services that you’re offering. Of course, this strategy only works well if you partner with a company that has the same business goals as your brand. For instance, if your business mainly sells baby products, working with a company that provides maternity clothes can be advantageous.
8. Promote your expertise
Another effective way for regional businesses to attract more customers is by promoting their expertise. This can be done through various methods, such as hosting webinars or volunteering to speak on local industry panels. Probably the easiest way to do this is by publishing informative and relevant blog articles on your website. The goal of this approach is to position your brand as a credible source of information within your industry. Doing so can generate local interest in your brand and make it more trustworthy.
9. Prioritise customer reviews
Testimonials and reviews from real customers are a great way to boost sales as they provide potential customers with an idea of how your business operates. Positive reviews not only showcase the quality of your offerings but also reflect how you handle the needs of your customers. You can ask customers to provide their feedback by sending them an email once their order has been completed. Their reviews can then be posted on your website, social media accounts, and GMB profile.
10. Support a local team or event
Regional areas frequently have a strong sense of community. And nothing embodies community spirit more than showing your support for a local non-profit, team, or gathering. However, I would advise you to be picky about who you choose to sponsor you because it can be easy to bleed money to everyone who comes knocking. Try to choose sponsorship opportunities that will give you exposure to your target audience, alignment with the values of your organisation, and assistance in achieving your corporate goals.