At the core of marketing, it’s all about building positive relationships that benefit both the customer and the business. Whether these relationships develop online or in person, the goal is to give consumers a personal connection to the brand. While digital marketing is often at the forefront of our minds when forming this bond, it’s important not to overlook the value of community engagement in your overall strategy.
Getting involved with community events and conferences will provide endless relationship building opportunities for any organization. 82% of consumers in the United States actually factor in corporate social responsibility when choosing which product and/or services to buy. In addition to the buyer-consumer relationship, community engagement has also been proven to help with office team building and employee retention.
So, what benefits can you expect to come from positive community engagement?
Audience growth and brand awareness.
Sponsoring conferences, networking events, neighborhood cleanups – you name it – will undoubtedly get your brand name out there. Choose events that speak to your values as a business and grab speaking opportunities that allow your team members to share their expertise. For example, techies in the Charleston area should check out speaking and sponsorship opportunities at DIG SOUTH tech conference. Give folks the resources they need, answer their questions, and start the conversation. You will begin to see your client roster grow exponentially.
Invaluable learning opportunities.
If you’re focused on primarily growing a local customer base, it’s important for you to be aware of what’s going on in your community. Getting involved will help you stay in the know of what your prospective customers are looking for from businesses in the area. You will also find opportunities to stay ahead of the curve and offer solutions to any product or service-based problems happening around you.
87% of employees will stay with a company that is committed to community involvement. Allowing your team to come together outside of the office to attend a local event or give back to the community is great for their relationships with each other and others in the area. Forming strong bonds with coworkers is important for a positive workplace moral. Additionally, by having your team present in the community, you’ll find more recruitment opportunities for new employees and/or volunteers.
Getting involved locally shows a high level of commitment to your community and will inspire people to support your company. People want to support their local businesses – it’s up to you to make sure they have a reason to know and support yours.
If you’re a small business in South Carolina, check following resources for updates on upcoming conferences, networking event, and sponsorship opportunities:
SC Chamber of Commerce Events Calendar and Sponsorship Opportunities
Charleston American Marketing Association
Charleston Chamber of Commerce
Tech After Five
DIG SOUTH Tech Conference
SMAD-CON Social Media Conference