Before your business can take over the world, it could benefit from taking over its local neighbourhood. While focusing on national or international clients has advantages for certain brands, building local brand awareness is important for businesses that rely on more localized trade. However, marketing locally can require different tactics from those you’d use to reach a broader, more dispersed audience. It’s imperative that you put a face to a name and build a brand that’s instantly recognizable to everyone in your immediate vicinity.
To help you build brand awareness locally, we’ve taken a look at some creative ways to strike authentic connections within your community for a more growth-oriented business. But first, let’s chat about what exactly brand awareness is and why it’s important.
What is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness refers to the level of familiarity and recognition that a brand has among consumers. It is an important aspect of marketing, as it directly impacts consumer preferences and purchase decisions.
The measure of brand awareness lies in the extent to which consumers can readily identify and recall a brand’s logo, name, products, and other distinctive elements. An example of a company with strong brand awareness amongst consumers is McDonald’s. They are universally identifiable by their golden arch logo and trademark sign outside of each fast food restaurant.
Why is Brand Awareness Important?
Having strong brand awareness can give businesses a competitive edge in the market. It allows them to stand out from their competitors and establish a unique brand identity. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, as well as attract new customers through word-of-mouth and recommendations.
Essentially, brand awareness contributes to sales conversions and the bottom line.
Key Strategies to Build Brand Awareness within Local Community
Use The Power Of Localized SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness right now. In fact, considering that SEO is over 1,000% times more effective than organic social media, it’s definitely something your business should be paying attention to—if you aren’t already.
Most people know that SEO is a powerful driver of online traffic, conversions, and high search rankings. However, far fewer are aware of its unique ability to uplift local recognition.
Google confirms that 30% of all searches are related to location. An enormous portion of consumers want to know about services and products that they can access within their local area. With the right SEO strategy, you can make sure your business is one of the first to appear in the search rankings when they enter related keywords to your brand.
You can utilize the power of localized SEO in numerous ways.
Optimizing your Google Business profile to match the needs and expectations of local consumers is a good start. Using a keyword research tool to find out what locals are searching for online and creating locally relevant content that resonates with the people in your neighborhood are also sure to give your brand a boost.
Essentially, you need to think local and tap into your immediate neighborhood’s wants, needs, and pain points. From there, you can create a local SEO strategy that targets your audience.
Encourage User Generated Content
User Generated Content (UGC) is an excellent way to build local brand awareness and establish trust in your business. The 2023 State of Social & User-Generated Content report revealed that consumers trust unpaid, authentic reviews from real customers over any other content. Therefore, it makes sense to encourage your customers to share their experiences and review your business.
When people see that their neighbors endorse a product or service, it helps to build brand awareness and cement your reputation as a local business that delivers. So, ask for reviews, shareable videos, comments, or any other UGC that your customers are happy to share.
Play Your Part In The Local Community
When it comes down to it, thinking big but acting locally is really about making yourself as visible as possible to community members, both online and off.
Go to neighborhood exhibitions, engage with local people and brands, and market your business in your area so that people instantly recognize that you’re a part of your community. If possible, sponsor local sporting events, make donations to local charities, and volunteer for initiatives that give back to the surrounding areas.
The more the local community recognizes your positive contributions and the active role you’re playing in making the area a better place to live, the more likely they are to support your business.
Network And Collaborate With Other Local Businesses
While it’s true your business needs to create a unique identity, build a portfolio or corporate website that stands out from the competition, and establish a distinctive brand, networking and occasionally collaborating with others in your field can have tremendous marketing potential.
There are lots of ways to become a more active presence locally. Attend workshops, go to social events, follow local businesses and entrepreneurs on social media, and don’t be afraid to reach out to them for collaborative invitations or skills exchanges that are mutually beneficial.
Lending your support to new businesses is also a great way to network. If you can collaborate with a business that’s just opened its doors, people will notice that you’re supporting local talent and entrepreneurship. The more you network and collaborate on a localized basis, the better you’ll become known within the industry and the greater community.
Partner With Local Influencers
Influencer marketing has become hugely popular in the last few years, and partnering with influencers is an excellent way for you to build brand awareness locally, too. However, instead of partnering with macro-influencers who have huge followings and a more global reach, you should opt to partner with micro-influencers instead.
Micro-influencers tend to have a far more localized reach and are deeply connected to their communities. They understand local trends and preferences and are far more relatable to local audiences. Although they generally have between a thousand and ten thousand followers, these followers are in the same geographical location, making their reach far more targeted. This makes micro-influencers far more effective than macro-influencers, who may have 100,000 followers or more, but they’re spread across the world.
Run Promotions On Social Media
Regardless of whether you partner with influencers or not, social media is an excellent way to build brand awareness in your area, and running promotions can help with this. The idea of social media promotions is to make it easier for people to try what you have to offer and to find out more about your business.
There are many different options you utilize when running a promotion, including giveaways that require people to tag a friend for an entry or providing a promo code that allows customers to bundle services for added value. The more engaging your promotions, the more people within your community will sit up and take notice.
Focusing on localized marketing doesn’t mean giving up on bigger, more globalized career dreams.
Investing time and energy in the community and people around you is one of the smartest ways to market your brand and gain recognition for your business. Local involvement also often leads to bigger, more lucrative projects later on down the line; you just need to know how to position yourself.
Once you’ve conquered the local market, you can use your marketing skills to expand your reach and continue to grow.