Small businesses often bite off more than they can chew. And while the internet does do a pretty good job of tearing down geographical borders around markets, there’s still something to be said for starting small and local – then expanding. This requires a targeted local marketing strategy.
What is Local Marketing?
As the term insinuates, local marketing is a marketing strategy that emphasizes a specific geographical market of customers that’s within close proximity to the company’s location or headquarters. (Usually no more than a 50-mile radius.)
Local marketing tends to be a wise investment for brick and mortar stores, restaurants, and service-based businesses. However, even ecommerce companies and blogs can thrive with local marketing.
The benefit of local marketing is that it allows you to focus on a very specific segment of customers and streamline your processes. It’s a budget-friendly way to drum up engagement.
But in order for local marketing to work, you must develop a sound strategy and execute with precision.
5 Tips for Better Local Marketing
Want to increase your odds of generating positive results with your investment in local marketing? Try utilizing the following tips:
- Invest in Local SEO
Going local doesn’t mean going offline. While there are plenty of offline local marketing tactics – some of which we’ll mention in this article – you still need a strong online presence. And one of the best ways to generate visibility is through a local SEO strategy.
Local SEO uses the same foundational principles of a general SEO strategy and runs them through a geographical filter to gain prominence within a certain city or zip code. Location-specific keywords and geographical landing pages are foundational parts of this strategy.
- Use Facebook Ad Targeting
One of the best parts about Facebook advertising is the ability to target audiences based on a variety of factors, including location. You can target everyone who lives in a specific location, everyone who is currently in a location, people who recently visited a location, and even people traveling through the location.
Once you set geographic parameters, you can further narrow your audience by age, gender, interests, education, and even spending habits. Even better, you can expand your strategy to include remarketing (which lets you retarget people who click your ads by sending them PPC ads as they visit other pages and sites).
- Claim Your Online Listings
One of the best ways to grab valuable internet real estate and enhance your company’s local credibility is to claim all online listings available to you. This includes business listings from networks like Google, Bing, YP.com, Apple Maps, etc.
Once you claim your listings and establish profiles, you should encourage existing customers to leave you reviews and ratings. This acts as social proof and makes your business appear trustworthy and legitimate.
- Partner With Other Local Businesses
You only have so many resources and so much influence. If you want to expand your reach and engage more local customers, joining forces with other businesses in the city can help you cast a wider net.
Consider partnering with like-minded business owners who overlap with your target audience, but who don’t directly compete. If, for example, you run an insurance agency, partnerships with auto repair shops, realtors, home cleaning services, moving services and even marketing companies are all great fits.
Another suggestion is to align your brand with local community events and charities. This is a great way to gain some positive exposure, make new connections, and position your business as a true member of the community.
- Support Local Media
The final tip is to support local media. Local journalists and bloggers are often looking for compelling stories to share with their audiences. By forming relationships with these professionals, you can serve as a resource for them. And the more you get quoted and featured, the more authoritative your brand appears to be. You might even be able to secure a feature piece on your business. (Just make sure you find an interesting angle to pitch!)
You aren’t going to transform your business overnight. Local marketing takes time to unfold. You’ll have ups and downs, but with consistency the results will come. Continually implement new strategies, evaluate the data, and iterate your processes. Your hard work and discipline will pay off!