Marketing for mom and pop stores requires a much more different approach than most business owners realize. While all types of businesses need to have an online presence to reach customers through and can still capitalize on the same advertising mediums, the approach you use on these mediums should be very different.
If you’re marketing for mom and pop stores and are using big corporations for inspiration, you should take a step back and see how your strategies can be bettered for a community-centric, local SEO campaign.
The beauty of advertising on social media is that you can pay to target an extremely specific audience. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all let you design who sees your ad campaigns based on location, age, gender, and sometimes more detailed audience requirements too. By narrowing your audience, you’re boosting the chances that your ideal customer will come into your store and that can save a lot of money.
Online Reviews > Influencer Shoutouts
Influencer marketing has really taken off as the millennial generation prefers to learn about a product by recommendation rather than being sold at. However, even though community micro-influencers exist, they aren’t foolproof. Their followers could be anywhere in the world, or even fake. Instead, focus on recommendations people post on Yelp, Facebook, Google, and other review sites. If a potential company is researching your services and products, they will likely turn to these sites for pictures and comments. If you get a negative review, use customer service to reply to the comment with options for remedying the situation. Always show your dedication to your customers.
Local Business Badge
Don’t be shy about being a local business! Especially on small business day after Black Friday or small business week in May. A movement to support local and small businesses is growing in reaction to major chains taking over and running business owners out of business. Show your local business badge every day for community support as a part of your marketing for mom and pop stores. Those who love you will want to see you thrive.
Create A Community
People will return to a business for the product and service, yes, but they will spread word of mouth when you impact how they feel. Creating a community leaves a good feeling with your customers and shows you’re more than just a business. Examples of creating a community are hosting themed events (halloween party for kids, wine tasting for adults, yoga in the park for everyone). What makes sense for your business to do? How can you leverage your business mission and industry to give back to your customers?
Engage On Social Media
Having social media accounts is the first step, but there’s much more to it than that. Curious customers will turn to your pages for updates on food dish pics, new clothing shipments, drink specials, seasonal flavors, sales. Posting regularly is important to keep people updated. Even if you don’t have many followers, people are still looking. Additionally, respond to comments. When you engage your followers you are building a relationship with your brand and helping to answer questions they might have. If you want organic social media reach, encourage visitors to post about your store (they probably have local followers)! You can encourage posting by creating a hashtag, making things Instagram-mable (good lighting, stylish food, pretty background and props, other niche and unique decor to appeal to your target audience), reposting customer pictures or by holding a contest for those who post.
As stated before, marketing for mom and pop stores uses similar mediums to big businesses, but has a tweaked approach for appealing to the community rather than the world.