local business

How to Promote Your Local Business This Holiday Season


2023 is fast approaching, and that can mean only one thing. Peak season shopping is finally here! Here come the crowds, long lines, and crazy discounts that shoppers wait for all year long. But wait – what does this mean for your local business?

Well, it means a peak in demand hopefully. But as a local seller, you’re competing against an entire suite of sellers with more power, money, and influence – the big box stores. These corporations offer discounts and deals you can’t possibly compete with, and time after time, customers turn to them for an easy last-minute transaction. Even though locals want to be involved in supporting local businesses, it can often mean more expensive goods and delivery fees, which ultimately turns them away. 

Luckily, we’re here to tell you there are plenty of ways you can have your local business stand out from the rest, even without crazy discounted prices. In fact, we’ve got an even better tip waiting for you that will have your customers thrilled to buy from you!

The Challenges of Promoting a Local Business

There are a few challenges you might face as a local business owner when it comes to gaining attention. For starters, larger competitors have more money and time to put into their marketing efforts. With more employees, they have entire teams dedicated to spreading brand awareness and curating customer loyalty, something you might not have. 

On another note, marketing your business to the locals closest to you requires smart marketing tactics. Since there are a finite number of customers in your area, knowing how to balance in-person shopping with online options can greatly increase your reach. By making a connection between the two, you can expand beyond being a brick-and-mortar store. 

And finally, there are plenty of other businesses nearby trying to steal your customers. Local businesses want the same customers to stop by their store, and when you’re competing in a small market, grabbing the right attention can be difficult. This is where smart marketing comes into play, and knowing how to connect to your ideal customers will be a game changer. 

Tips for Promoting Your Local Business

To set yourself apart from other local businesses, you’ll need to experiment with different tactics and find the one that works best for you. Here are 10 of the best ways to stand out as a local business and connect with those closest to you. Best of all, some of them are completely free!

1. Deliver to those closest to you

When it comes to local businesses, many might think that selling online will ruin the brand reputation you worked hard to create. If you’re a family run business with strong roots in a community, you might feel like digital selling will take away your character. But offering affordable, fast delivery is a great way to stand out from competition in addition to selling in-store. 

But in today’s age, online selling is simply an addition that can help you cater to a much larger audience. In fact, a website can help you spread the identity you’ve created and share your story with more people. 

Offering delivery to the locals closest to you is a great way to expand your services and offer more options for customers to buy from you. And best of all, delivery can cost you as little as $8 per parcel, a small price to pay for added volume. 

Pro tip: Even if you haven’t offered delivery in the past, it can be easy and very cost-effective to start. Websites like Shopify offer affordable plans to start a website and have simple checkout options already built in. You can find a delivery provider that integrates directly with your website to manage and complete all your local deliveries and start offering online shopping in only a day or two. 

If you’re wondering if online shopping is right for your business, check out these reasons on how a website can benefit any small or local business

2. Create a Google Business Profile 

Creating a Google Business profile is a great thing to have, for many reasons. 

First, it gives customers the chance to find your business on a map. If they’re looking for a local business to shop or eat at, rather than googling options, they might just do a quick search around of their neighbourhood on Google Maps. A free Google Business Profile will let your store show up as a suggestion. 

A Google Business Profile will be most beneficial if you verify yourself as the business owner. Once you have ownership, you can optimize the listing with SEO to rank higher and for more relevant searches. This is one easy way to help promote your local business once you can start to stand out in the “local pack.”

Wait, what’s the local pack? It’s the first few business suggestions that appear when you look up any sort of store online. If your Google location services are on, you’ll automatically be suggested the businesses closest to you that match what you search. This is a great free option for getting some more natural attention. 

3. Connect with your customers  

As a local business, one of the best ways to stand out is by creating a connection with your customers that larger corporations can’t replicate. After all, a local business is known as local because it aims to be more than a faceless seller, so capitalize on this!

One easy way to foster connections with your customers is to build on relationships and focus on keeping them. For example, getting to know the customers who come in often can incentivize them to visit more and more. Customers prefer shopping local because of the personal touch, and what better way to give them this than personally connecting with them every time they stop by. 

Another way to create relationships would be to reach out to customers when you have sales going on or new products coming in. For example, you could ask for your loyal customers to join an email list and let them be first to know about promotions in the store. Having an active email list is also an easy way to reach out to customers from previous years and invite them back in. 

4. Connect with your community 

Aside from connecting with individual customers, connecting with your community as a whole can be just as important. Communities want to feel like the local business owners are involved in the city events, so making an appearance can go a long way. 

Some ways to get involved in your community can be sponsoring local events, setting up booths at things like fairs or carnivals, or donating to charities that give back to your community. This gives the impression that you want to be a part of the thriving community and are using your business to help out. 

In addition to this, connecting to your community shows the locals living near you that you’re someone they can rely on. If you’re a kind, welcoming person, the same can be assumed about your business. People will feel invited to come support your store. 

5. Make use of social media 

Marketing on social media comes in many forms, meaning you can take the paid or free route here. Social media has plenty of benefits for local business, like spreading awareness, connecting with local residents, and making connections with people who can help you grow. 

Channels like Facebook and Instagram are two very popular ways to interact with customers. Buyers like to see what you’re up to, even when they’re not at your store, and social media gives them the chance to interact with you from afar. If you want to spend a little money, you can run paid ads or advertise posts to get even more attention.

Plus, social media makes it easy to respond to questions or comments fast, which is an added benefit. Plus, you can promote offers and even contests to promote engagement. All of these are great ways to get more attention for your business and help you get your unique message across. 

6. Focus on individuality 

Stop competing with the big corporations. As a local business, you have a massive opportunity to truly connect with those around you and be more than just a place to shop. 

For your small, local shop to stand out, you’ll want to find what makes you unique and push it to the max. Did you grow up in the city you now own a store in? Was this your mother’s store that was passed down to you? Shoppers want to hear all about how you wound up here, and it’s a way to stand out from a crowd. 

Sharing your story to customers who come in, to people you meet on the street, and even across your social media, can help you spark something inside a customer. It gives them a reason to remember you, and it can sway them to come back instead of picking a competitor next time they’re in need to buy. 

7. Offer local discounts 

Another way to stand out among competitors is by giving back to the community you work in. Local discounts are a great way to convince shoppers to pick you over another option, since they can buy for a cheaper price just by living nearby. 

Local discounts are great for promoting business. If buyers know they can continue coming to you and receive a benefit every time, they’ll come back in the future. It also creates a connection with your community to show them you’re willing to put them above the rest, fostering those great relationships that are important for standing out. 

8. Create listings on local directories 

Local directories like Yelp are a great way to advertise your business for free. Yelp offers a free list of businesses near you that anyone can search on to find great places nearby. By creating a small profile about your business and what it offers, locals can easily come across it. 

Yelp is also a well known site for travellers to visit. Most travellers want to see where the locals go, and oftentimes, the place to find a hidden gem is on local directories. If you can get some great reviews from locals who support you, you can expand your audience beyond just your typical customers. 

9. Improve SEO

As previously mentioned, a website is a staple for any and all businesses. It’s so easy to share your story online and it’s a great way to expand your marketing for a low cost. But unless you know how to improve your SEO standards, a website might not do you much good aside from connecting you to your usual audience. 

SEO principles are the topics of million online resources. If you want to upgrade your website’s search engine performance, a great place to start is a blog that outlines exactly how to do that, like this one

10. Join online communities

Finally, another great way to promote your local business is to join online communities. Online communities are everywhere, on Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn, and way more. Joining these groups and speaking to locals can help you meet more people your business might be able to help. 

Not to mention, that personal touch mentioned earlier can also be created online. Speaking with people from your community and learning more about them creates a relationship and a bond, helping your business expand into other people’s lives. The best way to market locally is to get to know the locals. 

How FlashBox Helps You Connect

FlashBox is focused on helping small and local businesses across Canada compete with those around them. We know it can be hard to stand out, but you know what they say. If there’s a will, there’s a way. 

Especially during the holiday season, it’s important to get your brand name out there and show people what you have to offer. To make it even easier, FlashBox Hubs allow small businesses to make use of same-day delivery without any minimum parcel requirements. By dropping off your parcels to any Hub location, you can deliver even just one parcel a day for only $8. 

To make the most of the approaching holiday season shopping sprees, be sure to offer FlashBox same-day delivery to your local shoppers. Get started today to start delivering!

Want to find more tips on making your small or local business successful? Follow us on social media!

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