If you’re a local company looking to revamp your business’s strategy in your community, consider the advantages of local SMS (Short Message Service) marketing. This marketing medium has an advantage over Instagram, a business Facebook page, Twitter, or a Google My Business page—it allows you to communicate hyper-relevant messages with your Community directly and instantly.
Community’s Location Filter and geotargeting capabilities allow you to send targeted messages to your local Community, making it easier than ever to connect with customers close to home. Use SMS to connect with your local audience on a personal level, ultimately increasing your brand awareness, your positive reviews, and ultimately, your profitability. Here’s how:
Make it Personal: People Want to Support People
Consumers were asked in a recent study if they were likely to support local businesses. An overwhelming majority of them said yes.
With SMS, you can bridge the gap between your local digital audience and your physical location by easily participating in two-way conversations. Through texting, you are able to speak directly to your audience rather than using chatbots or an offshore customer service company.
With local marketing campaigns, you’re interacting with your audience and sending them thoughtful, personalized information that is relevant to them—much the same way you would if you were in a local shop interacting face-to-face. Texting brings the best parts of a local business—convenience, personal connection, engagement—right to the hands of your audience.
A Fresh Strategy for a Changing World
In a post-pandemic world, many brands are looking for ways to disrupt their marketing strategy to stay relevant in this new market. Even as society opens up again, consumers are still used to a certain level of instant access and convenience.
One study found as many as 83% of companies are changing their tactics in the wake of the pandemic. This next generation of marketing strategies is optimizing the digital reach of today’s technology.
Texting a mobile device allows you to contact your local members and small business owners faster than other methods such as traditional flyers, direct mail, or business cards. It's a fresh way to step up your local store marketing strategy and draw customers to your brick and mortar location.
Stand Out in a Saturated Market
The local market can easily become saturated with competing businesses. Brand differentiation is an absolute must in order to stand out from the crowd of companies that are putting demands on the attention of consumers.
A recent study on local business profitability showed brand differentiation to be one of the main factors in determining the longevity of a business. Staying at the front of your customers’ minds is the best way to ensure they keep coming back to you—and not your competitors.
If you’re a local business looking to be noticed by your community, conversational text marketing allows you to harness the power of real engagement, creating an emotional connection between your customers and your company that can drive brand loyalty for years to come. SMS provides the means to drive tangible results.
Customers prefer the convenience and exclusivity of small, local businesses. What's more exclusive than getting notifications about promotions directly from the business owner? Your business can use texting as a 1:1 conversation to market to your customers.
4 Ways You Can Uniquely Use SMS in Your Local Market:
Unlock the benefits that only text messaging can offer your local customer base. Here are a few unique ideas to implement SMS into your local marketing strategy.
1. Communicate to Specific Segments of Your Audience
With text marketing, you can divide your audience into subgroups by local area, location, age, and other factors. Then you can contact each subgroup with only the information that pertains to them. Maybe you’re a clothing brand that sells apparel for men, women, and children. Have your members answer questions to group them into segments based on the products they want to receive information about.
By segmenting your audience, you’ll be able to send relevant content to tailored audiences who are more likely to engage or convert. In the clothing brand example, maybe you want to launch a new women’s athletic apparel line. Test it in your hometown by notifying subscribers there that they can be the first to check out your new product before you take it to other stores.
A bonus side-effect is that by increasing your footprint in your local market, you’ll improve your local SEO. If you actively court customers in your local community, they’ll leave reviews using local keywords that will help you rank in queries relevant to your immediate area. More local brand awareness will naturally help you rank higher in local searches. SMS marketing helps you cultivate that brand awareness, send messages asking for reviews, and get more clicks on local content that you send specifically to subscribers in your area.
However you use local SMS marketing, consumers will appreciate receiving texts about the information they care about rather than getting spammed.
2. Track Keywords to See Where Your Leads are Coming From
Traditionally, keywords have been used as part of internet search engine optimization. But one of the benefits text marketing offers is the opportunity to assign keywords for tracking potential customers and activity.
Our Communities feature lets you easily organize Members by interest, campaign, and more. Sort by demographics like age, location, or gender, or create your own subgroups using Keywords detected in your 1:1 conversations. Start by creating Communities like “Dog Lovers,” “Boston,” or “Music Fans,” then add relevant Keywords to those Communities like “Corgi,” “Massachusetts,” or “Coachella.” Now, whenever a subscriber mentions “Corgi” in a text message, they will automatically be added to your “Dog Lovers” community. The next time you want to share a photo of your dog or a special on dog food, simply choose the “Dog Lovers” Community and send that tailored message to scale.
By using specially designated Keywords that your audience can use to text in and subscribe, you can then track where they saw a specific sign, advertisement, or billboard. If an online advertisement tells new subscribers to text “Green123” to your number, you can automatically sort those new subscribers into a Community based on that specific online advertisement.
This allows you to track the success of a campaign easily while also adding community members. Keywords also help you to group your audience into segments so you can send them updates they’ll care about.
For example, a local frozen yogurt shop has a pop-up booth on college campuses every Friday. If they post a sign at these local events with the keyword “Friday”, then they would know when Members text in using that word that they visited your pop-up booth. Then you could segment those “Friday” subscribers into a group.
You can also use keywords as a way to request and collect information from your community by asking them to reply with certain categories that would assign them to that specific subgroup. Ask new subscribers what interests them and give them a list of options of keywords like “Community Events” or “Promotions” or "Discounts."
This way of separating your audience by what interests them will build their trust in your company and stimulate engagement in your local community—which will, in turn, equal customer retention and overall satisfaction.
3. Put Together a Last-Minute Event and Invite a Community
A fun and unique way to use SMS Marketing for your local company is to host a “locals only” event. Text the details of your special event the day before, or even the day of, and notify only those audience members within a designated radius.
Clients will be excited to engage with your local business as part of a “VIP” experience that feels exclusive and intimate. A special event that members hear about via text message will feel like getting an exclusive party invitation from a close friend. It’s a creative way to interact with your local community that would not be easily achieved with email or advertising.
4. Offer Special Sales and Promotions to Those Nearby
Another way your company can use texting in your local marketing strategy is to create special offers or promotions that are only promoted to nearby subscribers. Send out an SMS message to members in a designated radius or area code about an exclusive sale with a short window of availability.
Let’s say you’re a barbershop noticing that you have an unusually low amount of appointments for the upcoming holiday weekend. You could send out a special text offer to your subscribers in nearby cities, offering a discounted rate on walk-ins that weekend.
Get the message out quicker than ever before and offer exclusive deals just for being in the neighborhood. This feeling of being rewarded will excite customers about supporting you as a local business.
Final Thoughts on Why Your Local Marketing Needs SMS
To understand why SMS is necessary for your neighborhood marketing strategy, it’s important to first understand what the people in your community are searching for. Consumers are looking to support local businesses in their community and are desiring a personal connection in the process. By communicating via SMS, you can interact directly with your customers and bypass the social media algorithms, guaranteeing instant reach and distribution.
Set your company apart and establish a personal method of communication through text marketing. By implementing SMS into your digital marketing tool kit, you’ll be able to communicate to specific segments of your audience, track keywords to see where your leads are coming from, organize last-minute events within your community, and offer special sales and promotions to local subscribers. Feel like you are a part of the local community by interacting directly with your customers and making it more convenient than ever for them to support you.