Encourage positive user reviews and engage online

Encourage your satisfied customers to leave you positive reviews online, whether on Google Reviews, Facebook, Yelp, or elsewhere. You could even incentivize them to leave positive reviews with discounts or promotions, such as a raffle or giveaway.

You should also spend time responding to the reviews your customers leave online. Always be sincere and avoid copying/pasting generic responses, McKnight said.

“For the most part, respond to people with authenticity, humility and honesty – whether it’s a negative review or positive one,” McKnight said. “Set an hour per week just to go through, respond and make sure it’s not just a generic cookie-cutter response. Users are turned off by that and feel they aren’t listened to.” [Read related article: How to Get More Online Reviews for Your Business]

Host or sponsor local community events – Digital marketing is all well and good, but building a real-world bridge between your audience and your brand is invaluable. Consider sponsoring or hosting a local event whenever possible to increase brand visibility in your local community. This is also a great way to land local press coverage, which improves your odds of being found online by a local audience.

Utilize localized email marketing – Email marketing strategies have some of the lowest costs among many of the marketing strategies available to you. The bulk of the cost is associated with obtaining valuable email addresses. Unfortunately, there is nothing in an email address that will tell you where the user is located; there are email-gathering techniques you can begin using that filter users by location. The easiest technique is to have a sign-up sheet in your store – ideally by the register – or at booths or events that you sponsor so that interested consumers see it and sign up to receive updates and promotions from you.]]]]

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