Local businesses matter — maybe now more than ever. Familiarity and comfort have always been significant factors in how and where people shop and eat. In a way, that's the American dream (and capitalism in general) at its finest.
Of course, none of that matters in a competitive market. Even with ethical core values and affectionate slogans, significant corporations tend to prioritize revenue first and foremost. (Once the companies work out of multiple states and regions, they end up losing that unique, homey charm.)
And with chain companies dumping millions of dollars into big commercials with high-grade cinematic music, it's almost a requirement now that local businesses find ways to improve their market presence.
If you run a business, the chances are good that you've felt that impact already. But you don't have to let "the big boys" walk all over you just because they have more money to spend. In fact, you can use the same marketing tactics and tools to remain the go-to option in your neighbourhood, town, and region.
Video marketing is a big one. That's why in this post we'll cover three reasons why your local business needs to invest in video.
The reason people support local businesses goes deeper than just an emotional "feel good" connection — although that does help. But that decision is practical. A sense of trust.
We use mom-and-pop shops because they've been around and known the needs of their community. They work with local artists, growers, performers, etc. In other words, they represent us.
We live in crazy times, and a sense of community is one of the few things that people can rely on to stay sane. That same feeling of togetherness has also been a driving force behind America's economic success over the centuries. Being part of a community goes a long way in establishing a relationship with people inside that community.
Shops that sell handcrafted goods become a favourite spot to visit. Things like dollar movie theatres or kids activity zones become the go-to option for people — even when nearby competitors have global brand names.
People won't know your local business fits that niche if you don't show them. And if you want to show them what your company stands for, you need to make the most of video marketing.
At the risk of referencing popular memes, local business owners should want to seem like "One of us!" In a lot of cases, "tribalism" can be a dangerous concept. But in terms of marketing, this is a core tactic companies use to establish a brand.
We can break that purpose down into three obvious outcomes: embedding a business into a community, establishing a business as a local authority, and earning the trust of local "influencers."
This is where "One of us!" idea comes into full effect. As a local business owner, your goal is to show people why they should give you their business. It doesn't matter how good your products are because brand awareness has an enormous impact on purchasing decisions.
Marketing can be your tool to level the playing field. You know the community. You're familiar with their unique challenges or obstacles, and maybe you're invested in things like local organizations (churches, creative groups, etc.) or charity projects.
Use that inside information to help improve your marketing strategy, whether that's social media activity or posters and flyers. If you don't find a way to advertise to a specific local customer, you don't have any clear way to get your company in front of people to say, "Hey, I'm one of you."
If you want their business and support, you have to earn it. And getting to local events will help you start spreading brand awareness just as much creating a newsletter, email campaign, or social media plan. (Those things help, but sometimes face-to-face advertising is the best place to start!)
Building off is our first step. Your next step is to become the local authority in your industry. It doesn't matter if you're competing with the likes of Walmart, Walgreens, or Starbucks — once people start to recognize your company, they'll cling to the option of supporting a local shop.
People love a good underdog story. It would help if you didn't paint yourself as one, but it can be a subconscious motivator for people to prefer the local corner shop over the big-name alternatives.
This is the point where video marketing becomes more than just a benefit — it will start to transform how the public sees your company ultimately.
Good advertising relies a lot on understanding psychology. And while you don't need to spend hours learning how people think, it does help to have a basic understanding of what role video marketing plays.
Potential customers — and humans in general — crave face-to-face interaction, even as we lean into social distancing and social medial. By putting a face to your brand, the company suddenly becomes personable. And if that brand is seen at events in the area, our brains will automatically link the two.
People will see marketing content on social media or TV. They'll connect the name with a local shop/restaurant/marketplace. And then, almost like magic, the company is both a familiar face and an authority. The fact that it's a local brand makes it even more relatable and trustworthy.
The next step in growing your marketing strategy is to leverage your new reputation as a local authority. You've gotten involved in the community and shown yourself to be a [insert your hometown here] native. Then you made sure to put time into a video marketing plan that helps people see you as their local expert in your particular industry.
Now, you've got to earn the trust of people. This is when you turn casual customers into regular ones — in other words, this is when word-of-mouth starts to spread your company's name around and generate business for you.
And it would help if you become a familiar face to do that. It doesn't matter if it's your face in the commercials or the Instagram Stories. Your company's brand will be enough.
But so long as you're putting in the time and effort to establish yourself into your local community, video marketing will help people start to see you as a better, more trustworthy option than your big-name competitors. It's just the kind of tactic you need to win back local customers and become the option they trust.
Until next time, Be creative! - Pix'sTory made by Drew Gula
Drew Gula is the copywriter at Soundstripe, a royalty free music company that helps filmmakers and musicians do what they love.