How to Connect with your Local Audience

The world is a complex place. Often nowadays, many clients we speak to simply want to go where the money is. “How do we crack the London market?” is a common phrase uttered in initial consultation hearings. Alternatively, the grand ambition of going national, or even global, typically seems to be high on the wish list of MDs and company owners.

This is all very well for an established business, of a certain size, at the right time and in the right place, however often overlooked is the importance of a local foundation. As Greig Holbrook, founder of localised digital campaign specialists Oban International states, “Rare is the company that goes global without first building a good local – and then domestic – market.” Claire Lavelle of CIM recently blogged about the importance of embracing your local audience and how companies can connect with their local community. Here we take a look at her top five tips for doing just that.

1. Make messaging relevant to your locality

It may well be that you already have plenty of generic marketing collateral on standby, and the temptation to reuse this can be overwhelming for both cost and time saving purposes. But to really strike a chord with a local audience, relevance is key. Using locally targeted social media and repurposing messages that speak to your targeted region can be a great way to engage people and goes beyond generic messaging of the competition.

2. Be visible

‘Near me’ searches on Google have increased year-on-year by 146%, and with 28% of location searches resulting in purchase, it’s clear that this local audience is of high value. In this instance, it’s the simple things that are important; make sure your location and contact details are correct and up to date, strive for high search ratings through online browsers and boost your chances with enhancing SEO and relevant keyword advertising. Taking these steps ensures that when needed, your audience can find you with ease.

3. Connect with local influencers

Whether it’s your regional press, chamber of commerce, business influencers or local bloggers, those with authority on a community scale are an ideal means through which to add neutrality and authenticity to a marketing campaign. Engaging with such influencers in a professional manner can lead to new audiences and offer a more approachable way of appealing to local consumers.

4. Adopt the personal approach

As a company grows, the difficulty of offering a personalised service to valued customers often grows too. Adopting a personal touch, look and feel to a marketing campaign can help strengthen your connection with your community. Personalised newsletters or door drops, hand signed promotions and mailers or hand scribed envelopes are all small touches that can keep the loyalty of a local crowd.

5. Don’t hide your heritage

Small to mid-sized companies sometimes worry about being considered regional entities, or small fish in a big pond. Shouting about your heritage and standing within a community however is likely to strengthen, rather than subdue a positive perception of your brand. Despite rapid globalisation that we see in the modern day, there is still huge appreciation for ‘going local’ and supporting local organisations. This trend is likely to continue, so it’s an easy win for companies with a robust, local heritage to take advantage of.