A staggering 85% of business owners rely on word-of-mouth recommendations, demonstrating how important it is to target local clients. The strategies you'll use for local marketing are a little different from those you'll use for broad marketing because you'll be putting more effort into locating, contacting, involving, and appealing to locals. We have 20 tried-and-true local marketing concepts and strategies for small companies. Let's first clarify what we mean by "local marketing" in detail.
Local marketing is described as marketing techniques and methods that aim to attract clients locally, often within a 50-mile radius of a business. It might include conventional physical marketing or online marketing that is regionally oriented. It is also known as neighbourhood marketing or location-based marketing. Nowadays, local marketing frequently combines the two methods.
Local search marketing, commonly referred to as local SEO, is a subset of local area marketing. Local search marketing relates especially to strategies to make sure a business is found by potential local customers in search results, location pages, and online maps.
Local businesses may receive all of their patrons from within a short distance. The term "main street business" (also known as "high street business" in certain other countries) may be familiar to you. This is a reference to how tiny businesses rely heavily on foot traffic and visibility on major thoroughfares. So, while small businesses can succeed online, it requires a specific geographic emphasis. Otherwise, you risk wasting time and money trying to draw nationwide online traffic who will never set foot in your store or make a purchase.
Here are 20 of the most effective local marketing strategies to increase exposure, generate more leads, and draw in and retain local clients:
1. Participate in Community Life
Although it may seem obvious, local marketing depends heavily on community involvement. Engagement in the community is also very affordable. This tactic is demonstrated, for instance, by taking part in local festivals, competitions, and seasonal events. Alternatively, your company may support neighbourhood sporting activities or high school musical and dramatic productions. Another illustration is local small company owners that donate their time to charities and causes. You'll network with a lot of people, develop goodwill through doing good, and increase brand recognition.
2. Make the most of your local business listings.
According to one study, more than half of small businesses still haven't claimed their Google My Business listing. They are passing on a valuable local marketing opportunity. Your company name, phone number, address, directions, operating hours, and a link to your website can all be found on your profile. Smart small businesses also include content, such as alluring images. It offers free visibility in the most effective search engine on the planet.
You must first actively manage your Google My Business listing after claiming it. Additionally, this adds your position to Google Maps. Bing Places and yellow page directories are only two additional online locations where you can list yourself. Start with the top three:
Google My Business
3. Emphasize local SEO
Some of the most technologically sophisticated local marketing initiatives use the web to drive customers to your store or other physical site. You may order takeout or shop online using the internet. Customers are using the internet and mobile devices to search for products and services in your neighbourhood. People should have no trouble finding your company.
Although Google My Business is a great place to start, local search engine optimization (SEO) encompasses much more than that. Making the pages of your website more noticeable in search results is another step in the local search engine optimization process. Aim for the top spots on search engine results pages for a term or phrase that clients use to find businesses like yours. Local newspaper websites, blogs, and even social media sites like Twitter may link to your website and direct readers there if you generate great content.
Engage a local search professional if you don't know how to increase your visibility on search engines or don't have the time. A specialty area is local search. When interviewing SEO consultants and suppliers, make sure to probe about their success in local search and how it has benefited small local businesses.
4. Contact local businesses
Expanding your network through partnerships with companies in related but unrelated industries is a terrific local marketing tactic. To meet people and network with other businesspeople in your area, join the chamber of commerce or similar regional business organisation. Your goods or services can be required by other small businesses in your town or city. For instance, if you own a local web design business, you might find that you have new clients who require website assistance. Or, if you're opening a small bakery, perhaps nearby cafés or eateries would be interested in carrying your delectable treats.
Additionally, you can collaborate on referrals to get more clients than you could on your own. Maybe you could pool your marketing resources with those of other small local firms for media ad purchases. Or organize community gatherings with food provided by nearby bakeries, restaurants, and wineries, where each participant advertises the event.
5. Establish a Loyalty Program
Customers enjoy feeling appreciated! A customer loyalty program offers rewards to those who make purchases or take other actions. It has long been standard to print out customer loyalty cards and distribute them to customers. After that, use a hole punch with a recognizable shape to indicate the number of purchases. The eleventh coffee, for instance, is free if a customer buys 10 from your café. As an alternative, you may provide free trims after a certain number of appointments.
For your retail marketing, you can also go high-tech and implement a mobile loyalty program. Through the app, users receive prizes for their behavior.
6. Boost Client Referrals
Why not entice your consumers to help you out with word-of-mouth marketing by offering them an alluring referral programme? Starting is easy. All you have to do is provide the original consumer and the person they suggest with an alluring freebie or exclusive discount. Because they are a force multiplier, referral programs can prove to be a very successful local marketing strategy. It enlists people to assist you.
7. Engage your employees as your emissaries
By including them in your referral programme, you may turn your staff into the focal point of your neighborhood marketing. As a reward for bringing in new customers, provide non-sales staff members with a bonus.
You can get employees to participate in your content marketing initiatives by creating a lighthearted behind-the-scenes video of a typical workday to upload to the corporate YouTube account or embed in blog posts. To find out if employees are open to appearing in TV commercials, ask them.
8. Display Marketing Collateral in Public
Use public spaces to spread marketing messages to members of your neighborhood. Reaching out to other companies and groups in the city or town where you operate might be helpful in this situation as well. Can you post fliers or business cards on a community bulletin board or place them on the door of nearby eateries, coffee shops, and supermarkets? This works best if your company is a good fit for the other business. If you own a graphic design or photography studio, for instance, you might be able to post marketing materials in a neighboring gallery or non-profit arts organization. Affirmative consent must be secured.
9. Engage local audiences using social media.
Social media marketing can improve local businesses' visibility if done properly. The trick is to concentrate on your local market. Thanks to its hundreds of millions of active monthly users, Instagram provides a variety of alternatives for brand recognition.
In your social media profiles, mention your location. To increase engagement from users in your area, be sure to tag your location in postings. Focus on the social media platform that appeals to your target market.
LinkedIn, for instance, draws business users, which may be advantageous if you sell to other firms. Additionally, working with influencers on influencer marketing could expand your audience on social media.
10. Use Targeting Tools When Marketing Online
Facebook and other social media platforms provide a variety of options for locating local customers. You can "boost" postings using social media advertising capabilities, establishing settings to target buyers within a specific radius. Employ Facebook's "Create the Location" function as well. When creating a new post, click "Check In" and add location-related information. Additionally, you can use location hashtags and stickers in Instagram posts and stories. You can also target your local market using Google Ads. Start a Google Ads campaign so that advertisements display on content websites all over the internet and in search engines. To encourage previous consumers to come back, use a targeted local marketing landing page and remarketing.
11. Share a Story
Describe the background of your business or your own life as an entrepreneur. By telling a tale, you may pique people's curiosity and help them remember your company. Prospects are more likely to make a purchase from you if you can make them relate to your company through storytelling.
A compelling origin narrative for your company strengthens the bonds with current clients, preventing them from defecting to the glitzy new chain down the street.
Share your story in your TV ads, online videos, blog posts, and your About Us website. Another illustration is a neighborhood family restaurant that displays framed, hand-signed pictures of notable customers throughout its existence. To recall for founder stories:
If you are a native of the area, mention it. Discuss your local upbringing, your favorite aspects of the community, and your feelings for the locals.
Entrepreneurs who recently relocated to a location can discuss their reasons for doing so.
12. Organize an Event
At least two strategies can be used to promote local businesses at community events. The first is to put on the event by yourself. Invite residents of the neighborhood to a party or product launch event to check it out. Offer free entertainment, libations, and food. Joining together with other companies to organize a larger event that promotes all of your goods or services is another local marketing strategy. For instance, perhaps local eateries, bakeries, and wineries could organize a neighborhood fair to promote local fare. It's excellent marketing for promoting local businesses.
13. Obtain testimonials and reviews
Local clients want to work with a company they believe they can trust, which you may show through favorable testimonials and feedback. Never pay for reviews; it will just lead to difficulties. When explicitly requesting customer feedback, exercise caution. Communities opposed to this include Yelp and others. Instead, you may suggest that customers generally tell others what they think of your products or services. This encourages users to post reviews without explicitly requesting them on a certain website. Learn the guidelines so you don't cross the line.
To find out what people are saying about your company, keep an eye on social media and review websites. Ask customers who have experienced subpar service how you can make it right by speaking with them.
People will appreciate your effort and notice it. Additionally, you might be able to salvage a bad review if your client feels that you are genuinely interested in helping them.
14. Distribute individualized email campaigns
One of the easiest and most affordable local marketing strategies may turn out to email. It entices social media followers to visit your door and prompts returning customers to visit your shop. Targeted personalization boosts consumer engagement, according to 75% of marketers. Therefore, be sure to localize campaigns as part of your local marketing efforts. Start a local email list by asking everyone coming to your store for their email address, and request permission to send them communications. Instead of a general email newsletter, send discounts designed to lure people into your store to buy.
15. Launch a Coupon Campaign
Choose a site like Groupon or a local coupon paper mailer like ValPak for local marketing with coupons. Coupons bring in a host of new customers and help with brand awareness. But be careful! The customers these campaigns bring in are sometimes just looking for a bargain and won’t ever become regulars. Set up offers that encourage repeat buying or bulk buying, if you can.
16. Provide Free Advice or Consultation
This is a fantastic method to show off your industry knowledge and pique the curiosity of possible new clients. They might visit today to receive free advice, but they'll probably return later to make a purchase. A free consultation or piece of advice, like that found on a blog or YouTube channel, gives potential customers a free preview of your offering. For instance, if you run an accounting firm, see if the library can host a free tax workshop one evening.
17. Submit a News Article
The local newspaper is a fantastic resource for local marketing. Of course, you can spend money on advertising and contact editors with press releases. However, be more original. Offering oneself as a source and subject matter expert to neighbourhood journalists by phone call or email. If you run a local gym or practice physical therapy, for instance, you would be a fantastic candidate to speak with about appropriate forms of exercise.
Keep up with significant trends in your industry so you can suggest stories to the neighbourhood press. Give them a local perspective to help them localize huge stories. For instance, the proprietor of a nearby garden center could be a reliable source for information on a drought or an invading pest. For reporters on deadline who require a prompt response within a few hours, make sure to include your phone number.
Alternatively, register with Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to serve as a source for reporters. To begin, visit the HARO source. Another area where you can mention yourself as a source is Qwoted.
18. Gain the favour of local bloggers and online journalists
Local news websites and blogs can be found in every municipality. Make contact with the authors of these websites. Why? First off, the articles they write about your company may encourage visitors to your website or store. Readers in the area will see a mention of your company. Additionally, having a presence on regional blogs and websites benefits your local SEO. Recall that local websites and blogs are frequently indexed by search engines. By appearing on regional websites and blogs, you make sure that your company will appear in additional online searches with a pertinent local link.
19. Participate in Local TV
TV appearances for local marketing may be simpler than you think. The key? Offer your knowledge. Offer to participate in a news piece explaining the most recent changes to the tax code if you are the owner of a nearby accounting business. Offer to demonstrate a special recipe on a local cooking segment if you own a restaurant. Present the plan to your local station as a means for their viewers to gain from it. Don't use the pitch to advertise your company.
Local media may, however, be more accommodating to businesses that already run advertisements.
Consider purchasing local airtime or internet advertising space, depending on your marketing budget, to get on the station's radar. You'll at the very least benefit from the advertising.
20. Collaborate with Other Businesses
Try forming a partnership or a collaborative local marketing plan with other companies. In order to increase sales, this goes beyond passing along informal recommendations and entails forging stronger, continuing ties with other nearby companies. When local farmers and other food producers get together to establish a farmer's market, they accomplish this. You may invite a nail technician to share your space if you own a hair salon to increase the number of customers both establishments attract. Alternatively, local healthcare professionals including chiropractors, nutritionists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists may work together under one roof, increasing referral chances (subject to professional and ethical rules, of course).
Local company marketing is a crucial component of marketing as a whole. But resist feeling intimidated and refrain from over-analyzing. It is preferable to experiment and test fresh local marketing strategies as opposed to waiting for the ideal approach. Get moving and do something.
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Ayushi Mishra is a content writer and proofreader with a flair to juggle between writing and the vision of curating unmatched contentMore Posts By This author
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