One of the biggest differences between a general marketing strategy and a marketing strategy for local businesses is that the latter is trying to attract customers in the close geographic area. This difference influences your marketing approach because of your desire to garner clients locally. Due to this, it requires specialized techniques that best suit your regional business. Digital marketing is a great tool to reach potential customers located in your area and can have fantastic benefits when done right.
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What is Local Marketing?
Local marketing is a form of marketing that is aimed at an audience in the same area as your business. The people you want to attract are located in a certain geographic area, close enough that they can access or visit your business. One of the key aspects of local marketing is highlighting your location and that you are in the area. You can focus your marketing efforts to target people located close to your business because that will drive conversion rates. Not all traffic is created equally. If you are a hands-on local business that is dependent on people coming to your store, then traffic from across the country is nowhere near as valuable. As a local business, it is imperative to stress where your company is located and to prioritize reaching people in this area.
What Businesses Benefit from Local Marketing?
The businesses that benefit the most from local marketing are ones tied down to a physical location. This includes restaurants, retail stores, and professional offices (like lawyers and accountants). A restaurant is the best example of the type of business that has the most to gain from local marketing because you have to be nearby to get freshly made food. Restaurants cannot solely have an online presence, they have to have a physical one as well.
Retail stores need and greatly benefit from local business marketing, especially small businesses. So many retail stores have an online store as well. Nonetheless, small, local business marketing can help bring people to your business’s storefront, through the door, and put your name out there in the area. It is especially important for small boutique stores that need local marketing to compete with well-known chains.
Certain professionals definitely have a lot to gain from local marketing. Even though it is beneficial to market regionally, most of the client base from these businesses comes from those local in the area which is where local marketing comes into play. Some businesses like digital marketing agencies do not need to be tied down to one location but still can take advantage of local marketing to increase their presence.
At the end of the day, all businesses can benefit from some sort of local marketing strategy. Some businesses need to employ local marketing strategies, while others can utilize this as just an additional tool to grow their business. It can never hurt to add local marketing to your company’s repertoire and expand your local client base.
Best Marketing Strategies for Local Businesses
Website Optimization and Localization
If you want increased traffic to your website, then website optimization is a key factor. If you want an even better return on investment, optimizing your website for local users will help improve your reach. In order to do this, you will want to follow proper SEO guidelines – meaning white-hat SEO versus black-hat SEO. Another important tip is to make sure your website runs smoothly on mobile devices. Over half of searches are conducted on mobile devices and that trend is only increasing. It will also help improve your website’s rankings on search engines so that you show up for businesses in the area.
The above suggestions are important for any digital marketing tactic, so it is useful to implement local SEO on your website by optimizing your search engine. This means researching to find out the keywords and key phrases that are popular locally. After doing this, you can include these on your website where they fit best. Oftentimes, these keywords or phrases will be the community name or those nearby. So it can be beneficial to constantly incorporate the town, city, and those nearby on your website to improve local SEO.
Other tools that are helpful when trying to optimize your website and improve local SEO are Google Analytics and Google Trends. These services can assist you in exactly what words and phrases are popular in your area. The better optimized your website is locally, the more success you should have with reaching local customers.
Consider Your Target Audience
Before you can really begin a local marketing strategy, you need to know who you are marketing your products or services to. This will help you create an effective market position strategy. A market position strategy helps differentiate your business from your competitors and control the way you are viewed by your target market.
Claim Your Search Engine Listings
When you look up a business on a search engine like Google, a box with the information about the business should show up if you have claimed your business. You can claim your business through the Google My Business listing. There are so many perks of doing this. Google My Business gives a snapshot of the details of your business and includes store hours, location, address, directions, and a phone number. It is important that your Google My Business Listing stays updated and provides the correct information. If it does not, then your business looks unprofessional and you can lose out on potential customers.
As a local business, it is imperative that your location is posted online in as many places as possible. You should also claim your business listing on other websites like Yelp to really optimize your reach. The more places online your business is listed, the more people can find you.
Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
In order to execute effective SEO, you need to make sure your website’s title tags and meta descriptions are updated. The title tag is the 60 characters that users see when they look something up on a search engine. In other words, it works as a headline. You want the title tag to incorporate your location and relate to your company. The relevance of the title tag influences how well your web page shows up in search engine results.
A quality meta description improves click-through rates to show users the exact information on the website. A meta description provides a preview for the rest of the page underneath the title tag. Click-through rate refers to the ratio of users who click on a specific link compared to the amount of users who look at a page, email, or advertisement. It works as a measurement tool to determine the success of a marketing campaign.
Work on Your Social Media Pages
Social media optimization is an effective tool to promote your business and connect with users in your local area. Similar to your website, your social media pages should be optimized and localized. You can do that with a current address, phone number, and store hours of your business. It is necessary to have an active social media account so your business stays relevant and connects with as many people as possible. You can geo-tag your location (city or regional area) which can help reach social media users in the area. A good social media presence that is up to date can be helpful to make your mark online and can really help a small business grow.
Foster Good Reviews and Engage with Them
More and more these days people depend on reviews when deciding to visit a business or purchase a product. That is why it is so important to encourage positive reviews and respond well to criticism. It is helpful to keep it friendly and sincere, whether the reviews are positive or negative. Make sure that the responses you provide to reviews are genuine and not copy-pasted, which makes your business appear less thoughtful. In local business marketing, reviews from those in your community can really help make your company look trustworthy and reliable. Proper engagement is necessary to foster these relationships and help users feel like they are heard.
Utilize Paid Local Ads
A localized ad can help specifically target users in your area to promote your business. These online ads can be purchased from Google, Facebook, Instagram, and other digital services. This form of digital advertising filters ads by location and IP address to advertise specifically to those in your area. This is obviously ideal for small, local businesses. If it is relevant to your area, you can even use traditional media for ads like newspapers, radio, coupon books, and others.
Local businesses can greatly benefit from connecting with their community and surrounding areas to build real life relationships. If your business hosts or sponsors a local event that attracts a lot of people, this can help foster personal connections. Digital marketing is extremely helpful and innovative, but local businesses can really benefit from participation in the community. You can even advertise these events on social media and connect with the community even more with avid social media users and those who are not on there at all.
- What is a local marketing strategy?
- Is local marketing important?
- Does SEO help local marketing?
- Does social media help local businesses?
- How can local businesses use paid ads?