If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that communities come together during difficult times. As a local business, you make up part of the fabric of your 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 brand recognition, encourage customers to shop local, create 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
Over the past year, milestones important to your community members haven’t gotten as much recognition as they normally would. Humanize your brand and deepen community connections by helping to celebrate these milestone moments.
There are tons of people and occasions to celebrate—graduating seniors, sporting events, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and more. Local heroes are also deserving of love right now—healthcare workers, veterans, firefighters, teachers, long-term care providers, or parents. 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 passersby.
Small in-store giveaways like stickers, pens, and postcards are also fun ways to spread your message. Not only will these be special take-home items for the people you’re celebrating, but they’ll also serve as a tangible reminder of your brand and the trust you’ve built.
Sponsor a Local Cause or Event
Businesses and industries of all kinds are in need of extra support right now. Sponsorships allow you to support causes near and dear to your community while getting your brand in front of potential customers at the same time.
There are lots of different ways to bolster both local events and your business. Sponsoring a children’s sports team is one popular choice. In doing so, you might have the opportunity to place your logo or company name on uniforms or a banner at the playing field.
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 like signage, printed materials, t-shirts, and promotional items. Whether they’re held virtually or in-person at a limited capacity, events still provide plenty of opportunities for brand awareness. You may be able to host a table, donate giveaways, or give a short presentation.
Share Your Expertise
While 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. Teach 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, cooking class, or 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’ interests are and identify ways to use your expertise and share knowledge.
Partner with Local Brands
You know navigating the current market can be challenging. Other businesses are facing the same challenges and are likely looking for new ideas to drum up business, too. Now is a great 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, to learn and support one another. All of the businesses involved will benefit from the extra exposure, which will help 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 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.