Adopting local marketing in small businesses is all about targeting regular/potential customers in your environment with marketing activities and strategies through both digital marketing and traditional/local offline marketing tactics. Local marketing can help you focus on a particular area effectively when it is properly applied. It is often translated into attracting the showers who are likely to be the future customers. Some of the reasons may be because your business is in the same environment as their homes which makes it convenient for them. However, that is not an enough reason to stick around, they’ll only stick around of you’re offering them what they want or something close.
This is why local marketing can also help you build credibility for your brand, develop a positive reputation and foster customer loyalty over time.
If you are ready to get started with local marketing, pick a few of the marketing ideas listed here and try them in your small business to see if you can grow your local customer base.
1. Focus On Local SEO
You should have in mind that this is a long term project not a short one, it’s not something that can happen overnight. You can start sowing seeds for the future web trafficing by starting to target keywords that are in line with your business. For instance, you have a business named Sleek Car wash in Abuja, You can develop content on your blog and website that focuses on tragetting the keyword phrase; Abuja Sleek Car Wash. This will attract potential customers living or working close to you .
2. Use Location Targeting With Adwords and Facebook
Once you have content developed that highlights your local keywords, you can get even more eyes on it by using location targeting with AdWords. This allows you to have your advertisements shown only in the locations you select, helping you focus your marketing investment on the areas where you’ll find the right local customers.
Similarly, you can use location targeting with Facebook Ads to refine your audience for your local campaigns.
3. Create Landing Pages for Each Geographic Area
It is possible to have more than one local marketing keyword that you are targeting in your business. Perhaps there are a handful of other towns in your local area, aside from the one your business is located in. This means you might have 5-6 keywords to use, each targeting a different town. One way to ensure the marketing content is relevant for potential customers in each of these towns is by creating a few different landing pages that has content specific for each location. You can use each page as the destination link for your advertisements and marketing campaigns that target each local keyword.
4. Use Yelp
Yelp is all about local marketing, so it really is a must-have if you are starting to execute local marketing campaigns. The first step is claiming your Yelp Business Page. Once you have your page claimed, you can update the contact information listed for your business, view and respond to customer reviews, post content like photos and special offers, and view your visitor activity. Yelp is often the first result that pops up when searching for local businesses on Google, whether your reviews are monitored or not.
This is why Yelp should be a piece of the marketing strategy for any local business, regardless of any other local marketing tactics you employ. Social Media Examiner has an excellent article with more tips for using Yelp to market your business that is worth checking out as you get started with Yelp.
5. Try SMS Marketing
SMS stands for short message service and refers to what we refer to as text messaging. Have you ever gotten a text message for a sale at a local retail store, or an update from your dentist that it’s time to schedule your next appointment? That’s SMS marketing. This type of local marketing is a great fit for brick-and-mortar businesses who want to ramp up store foot traffic, service businesses who schedule appointments on a daily basis, and any business owner who want to reach potential customers in real-time.
6. Sponsor Local Events
Depending on where your business is located, there may be a lot of local events every year organized and run by other local organizations. In many cases, these organizations are looking for fellow businesses to support their cause, either by teaming up to organize the event, or just by donating money in exchange for being mentioned in their programme and website. Both of these options are an excellent way to get your business in front of local patrons. If your business is in a more rural location, there is no reason why you can’t expand your radius to support initiatives in neighboring towns. Reach out to other businesses and keep your eyes open for calls for support to get started.
7. Team Up With Your Neighbors
If sponsoring an event isn’t really for you, consider going smaller scale and teaming up with a neighboring business to double your reach by cross-promoting. It can be as simple as giving another store your coupons, flyers or business cards to display on their counter while you do the same for them. Or you can create co-branded deals that reward customers for making a purchase at both locations: “Buy one from us, get one half off from them.” There are a lot of ways you can team up with other local small businesses to make a big impact on your customers. Check out this list of ways to cross-promote to get your creative juices flowing.
8. Empower Your Employees to Be Marketers
Your employees can become one of your best marketing methods when you have local business.
After all, they are the ones who interface with your customers day in and day out. The key to empowering your employees to be marketers is two-fold. First, they must be trained so they are fully educated about your business, your products and your goals. They can’t promote you if they don’t understand what your business is about. Second, you can encourage front-of-store employees to become salespeople by offering them incentives. Not everything has to be monetary; consider these ideas for employee incentives that won’t break the bank.
9. Join A Referral Network (Or Start Your Own)
Referral networks pass leads back and forth among businesses, and can be a perfect marketing tool for a local business. Because referral networks rely on word of mouth marketing and customer reviews, you can leverage all of the work you’re doing on Yelp and other review platforms. The value comes from leveraging existing customer relationships to expand your reach by getting your business in front of the networks of each of your customers. If there isn’t a local referral network yet, consider creating your own.
10. Pitch To Local TV News And Other Media
Local media outlets are always looking for interesting and relevant news stories to share with readers and viewers. If you have an event coming up, a new product launching, or a special in-store event in the works, your local media may be interested and want to feature your business in an upcoming story.