10 Local Marketing Strategies to Leverage Your Small Business
Word-of-mouth referrals have always been one of the most effective marketing strategies for companies of different sizes. This is especially true for small businesses who are looking to target their local audience. Word-of-mouth belongs to local marketing strategies, which we will be discussing today.
Local marketing strategies are typically focused on targeting potential consumers within a specific radius, preferably within 50 miles or less. Both offline and online strategies can be applied to this type of marketing.
Defining Local Marketing
For online marketing, local SEO is widely used to help small businesses appear in search results, online maps, and location pages. For offline, word-of-mouth and outdoor advertising are usually valuable methods of increasing brand awareness.
When it comes to local businesses, competition is often narrowed down. This means that you can focus on dominating your niche to target and attract potential customers. People usually turn to Google for recommendations in their area, whether it’s a restaurant, dentist, doctor, clothing boutique, or shoe store. This is one of the main reasons why you should consider applying local marketing tactics, to help your small business become more discoverable.
Local Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
Local marketing helps small businesses reach out to a broader audience within their area. According to HubSpot, 46% of Google searches are local. This type of marketing strategy is tried and tested for local and small businesses.
We will be talking about different local marketing strategies that you can use to improve the reach of your small business.
Building Social Proof
Building social proof for your small business means improving your online and offline presence so people will trust your brand better. Social proof is defined as the concept of trustworthiness of the quality of a product or service based on people’s reviews and recommendations.
One way to build social proof is by asking your customers to leave a review on Yelp, Google Local Listing, or even on your website. People tend to look at testimonials online, especially if they haven’t tried the services or bought any products from your brand before. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your social proof will be.
Focus on Local SEO
Local SEO refers to the practice of optimizing your small business’ presence to appear in local listings and searches. Performing local search engine optimization is more doable for small businesses that operate in specific niches, as the competition is smaller. Local SEO allows you to rank for keywords that align with your services while including a specific region in your optimization efforts.
Getting quality backlinks can also enhance your local marketing strategy and help your business in acquiring more customers. Other worth mentioning ways to obtain quality backlinks include guest blogging and outreach. Target relevant links within your niche and reach out to domains that are within your area. This is how you can increase your business visibility which is essential for generating leads.
Take Advantage of the Local Business Listings
Listing your business on Google My Business is another tactic to include in your local marketing strategy for better visibility. Here are a few of the basic components in your Google listing:
- Phone number
- Business name
- Business address
- Hours of operation
- Directions to your physical store (if applicable)
- Link to your website
- High-quality photos
Claim your Google listing here and then make it a point to actively manage it. If you need to edit your listing, simply follow these steps:
- Log in to your Google account.
- Search for “my business” or type in your business name.
- Click on “View Profile”.
- Choose “Edit Profile” if you need to apply some changes to your listing.
Aside from appearing on Google maps, potential customers in your vicinity will also find your business online more easily.
Introduce a Referral Program
Just as we mentioned, word-of-mouth is a strong marketing strategy. Increase your chances of getting referred by introducing a referral program. Simply come up with a rewards system to keep your customers talking about your business.
For example, you can offer discounts and special offers to individuals who have referred your business to their friends and family. Additionally, you can also give them vouchers or freebies after the referral. This is a great way to encourage your audience to refer your business to other people without being too pushy.
Be Active on Social Media
Take advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, and LinkedIn. Join communities in your local area and strive to build a relationship with the people living in your city. You can join local groups on Facebook and use hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to make sure that you are reaching the right audience. Add your site to your main profile, tag the exact location on your posts, and include hashtags that are trending in your city.
Additionally, you can also adjust your ads’ demographics to make sure that you are marketing to consumers in your vicinity. Don’t go beyond the 50-mile radius. If you do, your ads may not be shown to locals. Use Facebook ads’ location targeting to further refine your target market.
Implement Targeted Email Campaigns
Email marketing is one of the most effective yet affordable ways to market to your buyers. Take it a step further by sending out targeted email campaigns that will be specifically sent to your neighboring customers.
Here are a few ways you can get your potential client’s email addresses:
- Encourage them to sign up for your email newsletter by giving out freebies and discounts.
- Add a pop-up on your website with upcoming sales and events and that requires the user to sign up.
- Add call-to-action on your posts.
- Make your email sign-ups accessible by implementing different locations wherein your patrons can join.
- Use a different landing page for email sign-ups.
- Keep it simple and limit the sign-up detail requirements.
Once you’ve got their information, make sure to send out email newsletters regularly. Avoid spamming your consumers with useless content and just send out emails with simple information and enticing offers.
Work on Your Relationship With Local Bloggers and Journalists
Bloggers and journalists in your city can help spread the word about your business. Look for ones that have a good reputation and are well-known in the community so you can reach as many people in your area as possible.
Have the media write articles about your brand. Highlight the benefits that your business can bring to people’s lives and how your products and services can help solve their pain points. Alternatively, you can also ask if they can conduct an interview with you. This can either be in the form of an article, podcast, video.
Create Local Landing Pages
If you have multiple physical locations, then creating local landing pages for each one is a must. Include instructions on how to get to the specific locations and place a map below the directions.
Localized landing pages can also help you increase your chances of getting seen on Google and other search engines. Again, focus on targeting local keywords and use them in your landing page content. Add other vital business information such as store hours and what products and services you offer at each branch.
Optimize for Mobile and Develop an App
Most buyers will search for local businesses on their phones. For example, if a consumer living in Sacramento is looking for an Italian restaurant to dine in, they will take their mobile phone, open Google, and search for “Best Italian restaurants in Sacramento”.
Additionally, having a mobile-friendly website is now a must on Google and other search engines.
You should also consider developing a mobile app for local consumers to download. This will also help you track online purchases and other customer activities. You can also entice your customers to download the app by offering in-app loyalty programs, discounts, promos, and freebies.
Use Yelp’s Business Page
Yelp helps local businesses thrive, and it would make sense for you to take advantage of it. First, claim your Yelp Business Page. Next, update the needed information such as your business’s contact info and photos of your products and services. See if you have new customer reviews and reply to those immediately. You should also take a look at your visitor’s activities.
Listed local businesses on Yelp appear on the first page of Google, as long as the keywords used on the search are related to what you offer.
High-powered marketing can be tempting to implement, but this type of strategy is not really advisable for small businesses. Focus on localizing your marketing strategy as it can help you gain loyal customers in your vicinity.
Work on creating authentic and deep interactions with your local community to gain their trust. Know where to find customers and frequent the social media pages that they are using. Furthermore, speaking their language makes it easier for your audience to approach your brand.
The more you dos, the more you will stand out from your competition, and the faster you will see your local business grow!