Marketing relies on relationships, whether built online or in person. Customers need to connect with a brand on a personal basis and feel heard by an actual person — not a bot.
West Michigan is a community that values and expects businesses to volunteer, serve on a board, attend events and give back.
Don’t overlook the importance of community engagement when pulling together your marketing strategy. According to a 2015 study conducted by Boston College, community involvement contributes to key business goals, including improved reputation and the attraction and retention of employees.
Here are just some of the benefits of community engagement:
1. Involvement in the community shows that you are invested and care about the people and businesses residing there. It is an opportunity for your business to put a face to your brand, because people buy from people they like.
2. By attending networking events, sponsoring an event, speaking at an association, or hosting students at your office, you are building awareness around your company and services. Make it a point to check in on Facebook, post to Instagram and tweet while out and about. Your reach will be much greater than just local.
3. Spending more time out will grow your network, which can build and support business development efforts. You never know who you will run into at a luncheon or reception.
4. Engaging within the community allows you to learn about the issues affecting West Michigan and build collaboration with partners who can help you address those needs. In this way, you become a catalyst for positive interaction and community change.
By building a community engagement plan you can put a strategy around networking and involvement that will support your overall business goals.