If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that communities tend to come together during difficult times. As a small business, you make up part of the fabric of our Indianapolis community. Now, you have an opportunity to work with other community members to help everyone push through challenges.
Beyond lending a helping hand, being actively involved in your community can have long-lasting benefits for your business. Prominent local businesses are able to build more brand recognition, encourage customers to shop local, forge deeper connections with buyers, and harness a loyal consumer base.
Here are four ways to use your brand to support and engage your local community right now.
Call Attention to Milestone Moments
One way you can humanize your brand and deepen your community connections is by helping to celebrate milestone moments. It’s easy to get involved in holiday celebrations like CarmelFest or Fishers’ Freedom Festival, but there are plenty of other occasions to celebrate—graduating seniors, Colts or Pacers games, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and so much more. Local heroes are also deserving of love right now—healthcare workers, veterans, firefighters, teachers, long-term care providers, parents, and anyone going above and beyond the call of duty would certainly appreciate a shoutout. Make your brand part of that celebration and spread positivity while helping your customers feel extra special.
Storefront signage is a great way to bring recognition to these moments. Customized banners and flags, window clings, yard signs, and sidewalk signs call attention to your chosen milestones from customers and passerby.
Sponsor a Local Cause or Event
There are lots of different ways to bolster both local events and your business. Local youth or school sports teams often give you the opportunity to place your logo or company name in their programs, banners or even on their uniforms. You could also sponsor a club, nonprofit program, fundraiser, or other community event. By doing so, your logo and branding will be included on advertisements for the event, as well as on signage, printed materials, t-shirts, and promotional items at the event.
Regardless of whether they’re held virtually or in person at a limited capacity, events provide plenty of opportunities for brand awareness. You may be able to host a table, donate giveaways, or give a short presentation. Sponsorships allow you to support causes that are near and dear to your community while also getting your brand in front of potential customers.
Share Your Expertise
While they’ve been stuck at home, people have become increasingly interested in staying active, learning new skills, and bettering themselves. Demonstrate your business’s value beyond just providing products or services by teaching your community members something new.
It doesn’t matter what the nature of your business is—you have valuable information to offer. Use this opportunity to educate and engage potential customers, build credibility, and position your brand as an industry thought leader.
Consider hosting a virtual event or webinar that people can tune into, whether as a one-off event or a series. For example, business owners are well-positioned to provide graduating seniors with interview tips or to hold a class on entrepreneurship basics. You might also consider fun events, like a DIY craft workshop, a cooking class, or a virtual group workout.
Additionally, you could create how-to videos or written guides to use as lead generation tools on your website and social media platforms. Find out what your community members are interested in and identify ways you can use your expertise to share knowledge.
Partner with Local Brands
You know how challenging navigating the current market can be. Other Indianpolis businesses are facing the same challenges and are likely looking for new ideas to drum up business. Now is the perfect time to get to know your neighbors and team up to help each other!
Look for businesses that are not direct competitors but offer complementary services to yours. Brainstorm ways you can work together, such as a joint promotional offer or a “shop local” campaign. You could even share fliers or coupons to drive traffic to each other’s businesses.
These types of partnerships allow you to network with other business owners and key members of your community, so you can learn from and support one another. All of the businesses involved will benefit from the extra exposure, which will help to strengthen your community as a whole.
Community Participation Is Key for Your Business
As a local business, it’s important for you to have a presence in your community. When you support your neighbors during difficult times, both your community and your business will come out stronger on the other side. Consider this an opportunity to gain brand recognition, build a loyal customer base, and make a positive local impact by getting involved.