Local marketing is an effective strategy for businesses with physical locations, such as restaurants, boutique retail operations, and professional advisors. It is quick, easy, and free to implement, and these tips will help improve your local marketing strategies. This article provides 10 effective ways small business owners can implement to improve local marketing strategies in order to draw customers close to their business’s location.
Local marketing is essential for small businesses, as it can reach a broader local audience. This guide provides seven tips to improve your local marketing strategy. These strategies can be used to attract prospects who are close enough to the shop or provide service.
Before we really delve into the ways you can improve your local marketing strategies, let’s take a look at what local marketing is.
What is Local Marketing?
Local marketing is a strategy that targets an audience based in the same town or region as the business. It is geared towards people who are within a certain radius of the physical location and who might purchase the product or service at any time.
Although digital marketing is an effective tool for businesses of all sizes, if a local business fails to gain traction with a local audience, the marketing expense is all for naught. Local marketing strategies ensure that the majority of the audience is located near enough to drive to the business premises or order delivery.
Why Local Marketing is Good for Your Business
Generally, local marketing makes a lot of sense o your business, especially if you are a startup. It can improve conversion rates by narrowing the focus of your digital marketing efforts to potential nearby customers.
Think globally, advertise locally
Types of Businesses that Benefit from Local Marketing
Many types of businesses can benefit from local marketing. However, a few businesses benefit exceptionally from local marketing. These include:
- retail stores
- Legal service providers
- Financial service providers like accountants
- hair and nail salons
- hardware stores
- ice cream shops
- gift shops
- record stores
While there are plenty of businesses that need a local marketing strategy, other types of businesses should consider implementing local marketing as well. Just because a local strategy isn’t your priority doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of capturing a wider audience in the town or region where your business is based.
How to Measure Local Marketing
Measurement of local marketing involves tracking both digital and in-store metrics. Data can come from point-of-sale systems, website analytics, digital advertising ROI, and CRM software.
In-person sales data can be pulled and analyzed from point-of-sale systems, but digital metrics like website analytics, ROI, and CRM software are also important.
20 Effective Ways to Improve Your Local Marketing Strategies
1. Manage Your Listing in Search Engines
Google and Bing are two of the most popular search engines for businesses. As a local business owner, create a free Google My Business account and get listed.
When creating your listing, you should be as detailed as possible and make sure your information is consistent across listings. Some of the information you should supply are address, hours, phone number, pictures and more.
2. Target Nearby Social Media Users
Small businesses can use social media to target their local area. Facebook has the option to promote businesses to local users. With as low as $100, you can start running a test campaign.
Alternatively, try to get existing local customers to follow you on your social channels. Provide interesting content and in turn your updates may get exposure to local friends and family who are followers of your followers
3. Connect With Local Influencers
If you know a blogger or local influencer, Do you know a blogger or local influencer around your community, you can offer them a free service or product. Getting someone with strong local influence to try your business means that they might endorse your product to their followers.
4. Sponsor Local Events
Hosting or sponsoring local events is a great way to promote a business in a local community. Sponsoring charitable events is also a great way to raise brand awareness. Make sure the event or cause is something that appeals to your target customers, such as sponsoring a kids’ sports team.
You can choose a seminar, dance party, banquet, or any other event you feel will attract the demographic you seek, this method is often effective because you are allowing people to have a good time and/or get information.
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5. Follow Up With Customers
Sending a “thank you” note to your client after transactions could do magic to your business. Send a thank-you email to encourage testimonials. However, never provide something in return, but mention that you would love a testimonial for your website.
6. Register With Local Business Directories
Oftentimes, local customers look to directories to find businesses or professionals from a particular niche in their area. Make sure your business is listed in any relevant directories, and correct any inaccurate information.
Make sure your business is listed in relevant directories, such as the Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, yellow pages, and niche directories.
7. Partner with Other Local Businesses
Cross-promotion is a mutually beneficial marketing method that involves two or more businesses promoting each other to their customers. This allows each company to gain more customers and boost sales overall. This works best when you find businesses with similar values and goals (and that don’t directly compete with your company).
It offers immediate exposure to a vast array of potential customers with minimal effort. When done properly, cross-promotion can be a highly effective way of marketing your business locally.
For example, a local restaurant could partner with a nearby movie theater for a “dinner and a movie” special.
8. Start a Referral Program
A referral program can be as simple as giving customers extra business cards or offering a bounty (discount or award) to the referrer and the customer being referred. For example, if you are an interior designer, you could offer a $200 credit and an equal discount to the referred client.
9. Introduce Yourself to Local Media
Social media marketing can work well for local businesses if done right. To target your local audience, include your location in social media profiles and tag it in posts.
Focus on the kind of social media site that attracts your target audience. Offer expertise in topics related to your business and send out press releases to suggest article ideas. Be persistent, but don’t be too pushy.
10. Host an “Experience” Event
Don’t just hold a sale – turn it into an “experience.” Host a Friday night sale where you offer beverages and live music. This makes it an enjoyable experience for shoppers. Invite your social media followers and reach out to local media to share information about the event.
11. Run a Contest or Giveaway
People love free stuff, so a contest or giveaway is one of the great ways to attract locals to your business. You can promote it through social media, email, your website, or the local paper or radio station. You can also require in-store pickup or redemption.
12. Print Flyers
Flyers are a quick and easy local marketing strategy that can help attract more local customers. Print out as many copies as needed and hand them out in areas with potential customers, such as supermarkets, festivals, and sporting arenas.
13. Optimize Social Media Pages
Social media marketing is essential for local online marketing, providing up-to-date information and maintaining an active account. It also involves communication about deals, reopenings, and promotions, as well as reputation management.
Much like your website, your social media pages should be optimized and localized. This means providing up-to-date information, such as your business’s location, contact information, and store hours
14. Utilize Localized Email Marketing
Email marketing strategies have the lowest costs, but the bulk of the cost is associated with obtaining valuable email addresses. To filter users by location, there are email-gathering techniques that can be used. The easiest technique is to have a sign-up sheet in your store or at booths or events.
15. Maximize Your Local Business Listings
Claiming your Google My Business listing is an effective local marketing strategy. It provides search engine users with information like your location, store hours, directions, contact information, and more. Claiming local listings on other third-party sites, such as Yelp, will help increase your local marketing success.
16. Make Your Staff Your Emissaries
Encourage employees to be part of local marketing by offering a bonus for referring new customers, creating a fun video of a day at work, and asking them to be featured in TV advertisements.
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17. Tell Your Story
Telling a story generates human interest and makes a brand name memorable. It helps prospects relate to your business and cements the bond with existing customers. For founder stories, emphasize your ties to the community and talk about growing up locally. Tell your story in TV ads, online videos, blog posts, or on your About Us page.
18. Get Involved in Your community
One of the best ways to improve your local marketing strategies is to find local events and participate. Volunteer for a cause in your community, and wear T-shirts with your logo. Donate prizes to competitions and contests that will engage your community and make them want to return to your company.
19. Gather and Post Testimonials
Local customers want to use a business they can trust, which can be demonstrated with positive reviews and testimonials. Don’t pay for reviews, and don’t solicit reviews from customers. Monitor social media and review sites to see what people are saying about your business. Reach out to customers who have had a bad customer service experience and see what you can do to make it right. This can turn a poor review into a positive one.
20. Have a Mobile-Friendly Website
Mobile searches are a key factor in SEO, as more traffic comes from smartphones and other mobile devices than ever before. Ensuring your website appears correctly on iPhones and other smartphones could boost your business overnight.
Optimizing your business’s website for mobile search could help boost local marketing. Those who use mobile search are already in your area and looking for local businesses to patronize.
Local marketing strategies can help businesses find the best tactics to reach the most customers. They include both digital and offline efforts to reach these customers as highlighted above. It’s better to experiment and try new techniques than to wait for the perfect technique.
Many local marketing strategies are free to implement and can be easily accomplished. The goal is to cut through the noise and stand out from competitors. Share your own local marketing ideas in the comments and optimize on!