As local business owners, we can use a range of tactics to attract customers to build relationships and ultimately, increase our revenue. An important step in achieving this is to reach potentials in your neighborhood, especially if you have a brick and mortar location. Creating local brand awareness is another tool in your digital marketing arsenal.
It’s also a key way for small businesses to compete against larger competitors using local marketing and large enterprises to continue growing. This applies no matter how much budget and time you have to put into your marketing efforts.
We know consumers are always on their mobile devices and exposed to social media ads, looking to find businesses, so why not harness those tools (and others) to drive interested consumers in-store? Using a targeted strategy can be the connecting factor between your business and a local audience – when you have a carefully thought out strategy and make the most of your social media accounts, positive reviews and your Google search console.
But you don’t have to take our word for it. With more than 83% of U.S. shoppers searching for stores online before visiting them, there’s plenty of evidence to support the importance of localized marketing. So with that being said, let’s look at 9 effective local marketing strategies that you can use to attract local audiences to your business.
Get a Google Listing so you’re first on local searches
You can start by opening a Google Business Profile—and the best part is that it’s totally free. Once you’ve set it up, your business will start appearing in search results including Google Maps alongside other local businesses.
Whenever someone searches for products and services, they will see search results of businesses within their local community. This is where you can stand out as a local business as one of the first listings. Regardless of whether you are a real-estate agent, the head of a large department or you have your own business – anybody can use local marketing and their social media pages to create a local chamber. But you have to get the fundamentals right.
Your Website Needs to Be SEO-Ready for your local market
Once your Google profile is all set up, you’ll also want to see your website starting to rank high in search engines. To do this, you’ll need to research keywords relevant to your local area to refine your local SEO.
Focus on long-tail rather than short keywords so that you stand out in more specific local search results that relate to the products or services you supply. Be geo-specific as well by including the particular areas your new and existing customers might search for.
Revamp Your Website
As much as keywords are important, it’s imperative that your website is user-friendly. Once your audience has arrived at your site, they need to be able to navigate it easily and find what they are looking for.
User experience optimization is necessary for customer retention. With internet users’ needs in constant metamorphosis, you will need to keep up with the latest design and content trends to help bring in more locals.
Local Content, Local Audience
Content marketing is a critical part of any digital marketing strategy. You’ll want to ensure that you’re solving your audience’s problems through your content and emerge as a thought leader or at least the first business that comes to mind when people have a problem or desire you can solve.
You can also tap into the power of existing publishers like publishing in local newspapers (online), sponsoring a local event or partnering with other enterprise, medium or small business owners to promote your physical location. This can help you create a consistent and relevant presence as a cornerstone of your local marketing strategy.
Gain More Local Reviews
Most visitors will check out your Google reviews (or any other review site) before becoming customers. Good reviews are the thumbs-up that you are a trusted business to potential customers.
Whenever you can, politely nudge your customers to leave reviews on a review site. And one other thing: Respond to your reviews. This shows your audience that you listen.
It will also help with managing and resolving challenges before they escalate should you get a negative review. Review sites are key indicators for new your new customer base, looking for confidence in your brand.
Your local marketing can reach More People With Google
Your Google Business Profile is one of the first touch points new customers will have with your brand online because they’re likely to look at local listings. So be sure to set it up, keep it up to date and monitor it for new reviews. You can also consider paid Google advertising to make sure your business shows up when consumers in your area are looking for your products and services.
This way, your marketing campaigns and business profile can be shown first and to a target audience. Many local marketing strategies ignore the fundamentals, and this is one you’ll need to get right.
Use a CRM Tool as part of your local marketing strategy
Getting your hands on a customer relationship management (CRM) tool such as Salesforce will help you get a better understanding of your customers and their journey. Most of these tools can be easily integrated into your website so that data is directly captured from visitors.
Once you’ve set it up, you can insert a newsletter subscription button, or market a special promotion or brand-new product. This way, your marketing is directed toward the right customers and you can segment them accordingly.
Harness the Power of Social Media for local businesses
Social media is an essential part of any business’ marketing strategy. You can use it to target local customers by increasing awareness.
You need to know which platforms your audience prefers and zoom in on each of them. So, if they are Gen Z or millennials, then TikTok and Instagram should be in your mix. And if they are boomers or Gen X, be sure to use Facebook.
You can use these platforms to market your blogs, in addition to advertising and posts in local media. The platforms also enable you to target audiences in your area with your social media posts.
Video Is King
You might want to know that 95% of business-to-business (B2B) buyers state that video helps them in the decision to continue with a purchase. Much like SEO targeting, make sure your videos are directing your audience toward the solution to their problems—you.
Give those videos a local marketing feel and invite local influencers to help you spread the word. You can even integrate them with other types of content in your arsenal such as blog posts. Use YouTube (also owned by Google), Instagram, and TikTok to maximize your visibility.
Bonus tip: Think broad channel use with targeted campaigns
Just because you’re aiming for local marketing doesn’t mean you can’t think big. Get more local customers by combining the tools and marketing tactics you have at your disposal.
Local awareness ads, social media marketing, local events, Google ads and a direct mail campaign can be used in tandem to drive consumers to your local landing pages or to get more foot traffic into your store.
Sponsoring a local sports team or local newspaper can be a tactic that is applied in many regions. As a marketer or business owner, you have a number of options to help you reach the right audiences. Plus, as a local sponsor, your commitment to your community is easy to see and helps you build more genuine relationships in the area you serve.
Local online marketing made easy with Your Digital Assembly
Digital marketing companies can help you get started and take the guesswork out of local store marketing. Do you need help with local marketing ideas? Or want a better understanding about running local Google ads and search engine optimization campaigns? Contact YDA to find out more.