A young woman sits on a black leather couch with her legs crossed and an open laptop in her lap. She has white wired earbuds in her ears and is looking at the screen of the laptop with a smile.
The vast majority of customers consult online reviews for local businesses before buying, so it's important to ask customers for positive reviews and resolve negative ones. — Getty Images/Youngoldman

Remote work is here to stay, giving businesses a unique opportunity to attract more local customers. Here are six strategies you can use to market your local business to work-from-home employees.

[Read more: Work-From-Home Revolution Yields Opportunity for Local Small Businesses]

Claim your business listing on Google

One of the easiest ways to attract more local business is by claiming your Google Business listing (formerly Google My Business). You’ll start by signing in and finding and claiming your business listing. If your business isn’t already listed, you can add it to Google.

From there, you can update your profile with your address, store hours, website, and photos. You can also add attributes to show if you run a woman-owned business or if your business is LGBTQ-friendly.

Most customers use the internet to find information about local businesses — in fact, 78% do this more than once a week. Claiming your business listing ensures that you’re maximizing your local traffic.

Ask your customers to leave reviews

Most customers have researched your company online and read one or two reviews before ever setting foot in your location. Research shows that 98% of customers read online reviews for local businesses. Over 80% of customers use Google, but Yelp and Facebook are also popular information sources.

That means you can’t afford to ignore your company’s online reviews. To get ahead of them, ask your customers to leave you a positive online review. You can incentivize them to leave you a review by offering discounts or other special promotions.

And it’s just as important to read and respond to negative customer reviews. If you can respond in a professional and helpful way, this shows you take complaints seriously and want to fix the problem.

[Read more: How to Cultivate Positive Customer Reviews]

Launch a direct mail campaign

Direct mail involves printing and mailing marketing materials to potential customers. For instance, you might send a coupon for a free 30-day trial membership if you run a local gym.

Direct mail is surprisingly effective for local businesses — it’s harder to ignore physical correspondence than an online ad. And direct mail is especially effective when you combine it with other marketing strategies.

[Read more: How to Create a Successful Direct Mail Campaign]

Regardless of the strategy you choose, make sure to highlight how your business can benefit work-from-home employees.

Get involved with your community

Getting involved with your community is one of the most effective — and least expensive — ways to draw in more local customers. For instance, you could partner with a local business to co-sponsor an event.

You could also volunteer at a local charity or participate in an annual festival. By getting involved, you’ll meet more people, start to build brand awareness, and promote your business to a local audience.

Get featured on local television

Another way to bring in more local business is by getting featured on your local television network. Getting on TV is easier than you might think — you just need to find the right angle for your story.

One effective strategy is to be highlighted as a local expert. For instance, if you run a local clothing store, you could talk about how families can bargain shop. Or, if you run a local restaurant, you could give tips on meal prepping or demonstrate how to make one of your signature dishes.

The key is to make sure you provide value to the audience instead of focusing on promoting your business. Viewers who find your segment useful will naturally become curious about your business.

Highlight how your business benefits work-from-home employees

There are endless ways you can market your business to local customers. Regardless of the strategy you choose, make sure to highlight how your business can benefit work-from-home employees.

For instance, do you run a coffee shop with a quiet area where customers can work? Or do you offer pre-ordering so customers can quickly get in and out of your restaurant at lunchtime?

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published July 08, 2022