Have you just opened a new business in town and are wondering how you can appeal to your audience? Or, maybe you want to learn how to better promote your business and attract more visitors.
Nowadays, marketing a business can bring you customers from all over the world, both online and offline. But before expanding at a national or international level, there is one aspect all small businesses should take into account — local marketing.
Local marketing is an important puzzle piece of a wider marketing strategy. It can help bring success and attract an audience from within reach. Shortly, it can help establish a business as a stakeholder and then allow it to grow.
Word of mouth travels fast, and for that to happen, you might be in need of need a few online local marketing aces up your sleeve.
By the end of this article, any question that might sound like ‘What is local marketing’ will find an answer. We’ll also look into a few local marketing strategies for small businesses that are easy to apply and effective.
Let’s dive in and see what the online local marketing world is all about.
What Is Local Marketing?
So, what is local marketing all about? Shortly, local marketing is all about marketing a business to an audience that lives or works near the area where a business operates. We can often talk about a 50-mile radius of the spot where you can find the physical location of a business. In some cases, local marketing is also known as “local store marketing” or “neighborhood marketing”.
Local marketing is often used by businesses such as cafes, bars, restaurants, stores, agencies, or brick-and-mortar businesses.
Both physical and online local marketing is important for a business, as they can help them stand out from the crowd. Also, local marketing can help build brand awareness more cheaply. It’s important to mention that it can also pave the way for other marketing strategies you might put in place.
Local Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Local marketing sounds like a great asset, so far. Even so, what does marketing locally really mean? There are a few marketing strategies that can easily be adapted to any local businesses, and that won’t require you to invest too much money.
Let’s see what these local marketing tips are all about:
1. Increase Visibility with Google My Business
One of the most important local marketing strategies we’re going to discuss is having a Google My Business profile.
Google My Business is a free tool that is great for online local marketing. That is because it allows businesses to manage their online presence on Google, and we’re talking here about search pages and Google Maps as well. Marketing locally means your audience and local community can find your business when searching for “Stores near me”, for example.
However, just creating your Google My Business profile won’t ensure that your business will be visible when a user performs a Google Search.
Make sure that:
- Your information is accurate and up to date – phone number(s), business name, working hours, or address.
- Your business categories have been selected accordingly
- Any other fields contain accurate information
All these details are important so that local businesses are viewed as legitimate.
Don’t forget that you can use SocialBee to post on Google My Business, to increase your businesses’ visibility. To schedule posts through SocialBee, all you have to do is set a specific time to post. You can also simply include the category in your Schedule, to publish the post.
2. Have a Mobile-Friendly Website
It’s no secret that marketing local businesses, or any other businesses nowadays takes place mostly online. Also, most people use mobile devices for online navigation. According to a statistic, mobile devices led 61% of visits on U.S. websites in 2020.
This brings us to another point in the list of local marketing strategies you should invest in: a website that is optimized for mobile devices.
Even if it might sound like website optimization has nothing to do with local marketing, it’s an important aspect you need to consider.
Optimizing your website for mobile devices concentrates on aspects such as:
- Loading time – your website should load in around three seconds.
- Text size – mobile screens require bigger fonts, so make sure that your text is comprehensive.
- Buttons – mobile screens will require bigger buttons as well, that don’t overlap other buttons.
- Menu – an easy and intuitive interface will provide a better user experience. The categories visible on the desktop should be properly configured on a mobile device too.
Shortly, when you build your website, go for a responsive design, and thus, adapt to any screen size – be it desktop, tablet, or mobile. If you’re not sure whether your web page is mobile-friendly or not, Google’s Mobile-Friendly test can give you the answer.
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3. Create a Strong Social Media Presence
Having a strong social media presence is another great way to reach your local community. And it’s also one of the most popular marketing strategies for local businesses.
In fact, a social media profile can expose your local business to more people and keep you closer to those already following your business, as you can share local events, news, images or videos, among other pieces of information.
Choosing the best platform for your local marketing strategy will also depend on your business and what you want to achieve.
Make sure you post on your profile regularly, to build your presence and also win the trust of your current and prospective customers.
Locations are another aspect you might want to consider when building your social media presence. Social media platforms offer localization options, and these are great for connecting with a local audience. You can use options such as check-ins, adding a business location to the post, or tagging a profile that contains all the information.
As an example, if your local business uses Instagram as the main social media platform, adding a location to your posts can help. Thus, you can give your audience a clear view of where your business is located on the map. Make sure to add an engaging caption to your post, and you’re all set from a marketing business perspective.
Remember that you can also schedule your posts with the help of SocialBee. Once you’ve decided on your content, all you have to do is add it to the SocialBee app and schedule it. You can schedule a post for any time of the day or the week and deal with other tasks in the meantime.
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4. Leverage User Reviews
Reviews are an important part of any business and are also a good starting point for local customers, as well as target customers. Especially when they have to choose between your business and a competitor’s business.
A review or recommendation is valuable, as it shows potential customers that your local business is trustworthy and authentic. Also, good reviews bring you higher rankings, and this digital word-of-mouth system can work wonders for your business.
Getting reviews might not be as easy as one might think, but you can:
- Add a “Review” or “Rate” button to your website or app (if that’s the case).
- Send an e-mail to your customers after they’ve received their order.
- Make use of social media platforms to ask your customers to review a product – this can lead to a social media engagement boost as well.
- Take time to reply to all of your customer reviews.
- Provide your customers with a great customer experience.
Of course, reviews aren’t always 100% positive, but even so, discarding negative feedback is not recommended. That is because negative can help you improve your local business or provide solutions to a problem you didn’t foresee.
Negative reviews can also help you break down any problems with your products, customer service, delivery, or business. Thus, you can find a solution to these problems and keep your both your external and local customers happy.
5. Use Local SEO
There’s one more aspect that needs to be tackled when marketing locally, and that’s local SEO.
Local search engine optimization is a strategy that can give local business owners more visibility on search engines such as Google. Shortly, the rules of SEO don’t change that much when we’re talking about local SEO. It’s more of a geographical addition to the SEO you’d already go for.
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Thus, the focus isn’t only on keywords that represent different products or topics related to your business. Local SEO will also require relevant terms for the city where your business is located.
Here are a few ways you can boost your local search:
- Update your Google My Business page
- Update your NAP (name, address, phone number) – make sure it’s text, though, not just an image.
- Add locations to your website – you can add a Google Map, or use location pages in case you have more than one location. Make sure all the information is accurate.
- Share local content – you can promote local events or news to gain authority locally and boost local searches.
- Use location-based keywords, to match your area and attract customers. You can use these keywords in your content, meta-content, as well as your URL or page names.
As a small business, a strong marketing strategy can bring you exposure and success. The plot twist is that a strong marketing strategy can also be represented by local marketing.
Local marketing can help you achieve that without spending large sums of money right at the beginning. You can also use it to create an authentic and trustworthy bond with your local audience.
Elements such as local SEO, Google My Business, reviews, and social media can also help you make the best out of your online advertising strategy. Also, we should not forget about the importance of an optimized website, especially for your audience.
Your local marketing strategy can then lay the foundation for a marketing strategy that can reach potential customers on a national or international level. Of course, depending on your business and on your goals.
SocialBee can help you increase your businesses’ visibility by scheduling posts on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Bonus tip, you can also use SocialBee to post on Google My Business. Make sure you check out SocialBee’s 14-day free trial, to see all the features you can use for a great marketing strategy.