Local involvement benefits the community and marketers
By Jane Hungarter, Director of Marketing
Looking for a meaningful way to improve your brand reputation, attract new consumers, and earn more sales? Consider increasing your business’s community involvement.
Businesses that actively support their community are more favored by consumers. A survey conducted by Podium found that nine out of 10 consumers say they go out of their way to do business locally.1 Shoppers want to patronize businesses that have a stake in their community.
Increasing your community involvement allows you to:
- Showcase your services and resources to meet community needs.
- Distinguish yourself from larger, impersonal competitors.
- Cultivate trust in your brand.
- Support people in need and change lives for the better.
- Create a culture of positivity.
By giving back to the community, you are supporting your business’s growth, fostering a deep sense of unity within your workforce, and helping your community members to succeed.
Here are five ways your organization can become more involved in your local community.
Find and support a local charitable cause
One of the most impactful ways to connect with your community is to actively support a charitable cause. Three out of four consumers report that they are more likely to spend money at a local business if the business shows support for community issues and/or charitable causes.1 Moreover, donating your time to a worthy cause can “help to improve employee morale,” said Helen Varvi, deputy director of Wellspring Center for Prevention.
Not only are you supporting important local initiatives, but you are also forming invaluable connections with your customers by showing them you care about what is important to them. This can come in the form of fundraising for a nonprofit, cleaning up a part of town, donating a percentage of sales, or sharing your expertise. Some of these options allow you to improve your community involvement without spending a dollar.
Consumers are now more interested in doing business with companies that they see as socially responsible. In fact, 82% of U.S. consumers have said that community involvement is one of the most important factors when making purchases.2 By improving community involvement through charitable acts, your brand becomes more recognizable, all while your employees build new skills, network, and find fulfillment in their work. A win-win!
Encourage a leadership team member to serve on a local board
Nonprofits and business organizations are often in need of leaders to serve on their boards of directors. By volunteering your time, members of your leadership team will develop a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges in the community.
Serving on a board also offers the opportunity to connect and network with other local leaders, which can impact your business’s future growth. Your business will benefit from community involvement as your team knows exactly where, when, and how to be active. It also offers the opportunity to establish your organization as a leading industry expert and active service member of your community.
Sponsor local events and sports teams
To improve community involvement and encourage greater employee engagement, consider sponsoring local events. This can range from hosting charitable fundraisers to participating in marathons to sponsoring sports teams. These options offer the opportunity to share your company’s culture while building trust and engagement with your community members.
Wherever your business is based, it is likely there are youth or adult sports in your area. By sponsoring a team or sporting event, you generate publicity, have your logo featured on uniforms or promotional materials, and connect with community members in a casual environment. Even more, your employees’ attendance at these events further boosts morale and builds trust within your team.
Advertise in local newspapers
Since the pandemic, consumer behavior has shifted toward paying more for healthier, safer, and environmentally and socially conscious products and brands.3 You can utilize newspapers to tap into these consumers.
The ads you place in local papers work by building brand trust, catering to local interests and distinguishing your business from larger national retailers. A study by Coda Ventures found that newspapers are the most trusted source of news and information among all age groups.
Advertising in local newspapers is a smart business decision. Eighty percent of advertisers report that their newspaper ad is effective in showing them as part of their communities.4 The results of the newly released 2023 Pulse of America shopping survey found that local newspapers top the list of media used to find information to make a purchase decision.
Connect with emerging digital tools
Take the time to discover and utilize all digital tools at hand to connect with your local community. Consumers value this. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly half of all consumers want to receive digital and mobile communications.1
Advertising on brand-safe websites, over-the-top platforms, social media, and through targeted email outreach are effective ways to engage with local consumers.
Ease of doing business is a leading reason consumers choose to shop at a local business, come back again, and refer friends or family. This is just another benefit of improving your business’s community involvement.
Whether you choose to support a local charity, advertise in local papers, or share your expertise, it is vital to find meaningful ways to get more involved with your community. It’s just better business.
MANSI Media can assist you with planning and placing advertising in your local market. Please contact us today to get started.
Sources: 1Podium; 2Ian Mitchell King; 3PwC; 4Borrell Associates