Your community has likely played a role in shaping the way your business has developed. It can make up your customer base, your employees, and even the neighborhood that you’re established in. And it’s important to remember that every relationship has a give and take aspect.
If you’re a successful business valued by your community, you should also value their loyalty and choice to engage in a relationship that allows you to exist. Giving back to the community can be a great way to show your appreciation for those that have built you up, and it can allow you to give back by strengthening the fabric of the community you’re a part of, creating more opportunities for those around you, and potentially more wealth for everyone down the road!
Understandably, some businesses may not be in a position to sacrifice large donations and do major charity work. But giving back to your community doesn’t necessarily have to be a monetary sacrifice. As a Brand Champion, it’s your job to review what value your business has to offer and how you can extend that to create opportunities for those around you. As “normalcy” inches closer, we have compiled a few ways that businesses of varying sizes can engage with their community while offering them additional value.
Loyal customers likely helped to keep your business afloat during the stay at home orders. In many ways, they should be rewarded for this. If you’re not running some sort of customer loyalty campaign, now is the time to start. This can be in the form of a point system that offers them discounts once they reach a specific level, or offering them exclusive content or offers based on a longstanding relationship.
Volunteering in your local community shows that your business cares. Every town and city across the US have volunteering opportunities, and there is no reason you and your employees shouldn’t be helping out. First and foremost, volunteering is good for the community. Whether it is helping to clean up a park, helping feed those who are hungry or deciding to team up with other organizations as a means of helping run a community event.
Hosting an event is a great way to build rapport with those around you. This could range from hosting a workshop or open-house to organizing a charitable event. Currently, it may be difficult to pursue anything involving mass gatherings of people. However, the digital realm poses many opportunities to connect with your community. Ideas include webinars, virtual fundraisers, & live streams.
Internships are symbiotic for both your business and the community. They provide members of your locale with opportunities to learn more about your business, an industry, or type of position. And through hiring less experienced members of your community, you invest in the talent around you, provide better opportunities for those that may not have them that may bring better businesses to your community, and you may find someone who evolves into a valuable team member as they learn.
There are sponsorship opportunities everywhere. Think youth sports, sections of a highway, community organization, athletes, events, or community figures. Find someone or something that connects to your business and needs help with the funding portion of their goals. Through offering support and building other organizations/individuals up, you may in turn increase the leads that come to your business, and people will see your business values more than just the transaction.
Shine the Spotlight On Your Community
Sometimes, taking part in the community is about uplifting others. Using your platform, connect your audience through a call to action and display the results as a way to show the movement you’re creating. A brand that does this in excellent fashion is GoPro, as they’re quick to publish the content made by their community in a way to give those community members the spotlight while also fueling their content marketing needs.
Connecting with your local community is mutually beneficial for both the community and your business. While it may seem abstract, all top-performing brands have either established themselves within or built a community around their business. Social capital continues to be among a business’s most valuable assets and it will continue to be more valuable in the coming years. If you’re in need of a marketing strategy that establishes your brand as an authority in your community and beyond, please don’t hesitate to reach out.