How To Beat Big Box Stores — 5 Local Marketing Tips For Small Business Owners

Shane Enriguez
3 min readNov 29, 2021

As a small business owner, nothing spells danger more than a big outlet store opening nearby.

It’s hard to compete with a giant, faceless corporation that has a marketing budget that seems entirely bottomless.

Sometimes though, the way to your customer’s hearts isn’t with big advertising campaigns — it’s with the local touch.

Here are a few strategies you can use to your advantage — that the big box stores can’t.

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Local Knowledge

No two locations are alike, and every community has its own wants, desires, and dislikes.

While the big stores have to come up with marketing ideas that appeal across their entire chains, you can focus on your own neighborhood.

What do they need or want that’s unique to them, and how can you use that to draw them in?

Social Media

While using social media can be difficult, with the right approach it can win over local customers with ease.

Regular posting about what’s going on with your business — not just sales, but fun little details — can really make them feel like it’s a part of their own little community.

A touch of humor, a bit of sass, and you’ll have Facebook followers from all over the country.

Specialist Assistance

You’re not alone — small businesses everywhere are in danger due to aggressive marketing and competition.

It’s such a widespread problem that there are services that specialize in helping small businesses gain the local advantage.

They know what the problems are, and they’ve had lots of experience finding innovative solutions.

Word Of Mouth

Marketing and advertising can reach a lot of people in a short time — but let’s be honest, we’ve all learned to tune it out somewhat.

Word of mouth, on the other hand, is something we instinctively feel that we can trust.

Photo by Curology on Unsplash

Build relationships with your customers, and ask them to tell their friends about your business.

Don’t be pushy, but a gentle reminder that you’re a local business surviving off the goodwill of the community will stick in their minds.

They’ll feel like they did a good deed by passing on the word — and your business will benefit.

Local Influencers

You don’t need Kim Kardashian to endorse your store, but maybe there’s a local with a lot of influence who could.

Whether they’re a big name in local business, a well-known media personality, or just a person with a lot of social media impact.

The influencer approach works, that’s why it’s been used by so many big names recently.

Turn that to your advantage, but with a local approach, and a local influencer.

With these strategies and a little patience, you should be able to compete with the big box stores in your own community.

Consider a service that specializes in marketing small businesses to local communities for that extra something.

Just remember that it’s your community, and use that to your advantage wherever you can — you’re a face that people can trust, not a faceless giant corporation.

You’ve got this.