Local Marketing is the act of marketing to residents and visitors of a specific geographic area.
Through a series of tactics, brick-and-mortar businesses are able to attract nearby customers to their storefront, build trust within their local community and generate buzz around their brands.
Although local marketing is indeed optimized for physical stores and workplaces, it mixes traditional and digital strategies to make your brand relevant to your local crowd, such as organizing events in your local square and optimizing your website for mobile searches from passerby customers.
We’ll see a number of ways you may engage with this audience, giving examples along the way and guiding you through the process of building an effective and neighborhood-friendly local marketing strategy.
Let’s dive right in!
Table of Contents
Is Local Marketing for me?
Local marketing works wonders for businesses that are dependable on local customers.
Through content creation and search engine optimizations, it helps raise your brand’s awareness in your local area and build authority among people interested in what you have to offer.
Think about it: how many business owners you know that are effectively putting efforts into attracting local customers via digital marketing? Not too many we’d bet.
Never again think of your business as a standalone shop in some corner of town, when you can become a local authority in what you do and drive wave after wave of new visitors to your storefront and turn them into recurring customers.
However, if you fit into the first description, here are some questions you should answer before going further:
- Is a single location particularly important for my revenue?
- Am I ready and available to serve customers in a physical store?
- How important is it that people come to my shop/office address for business?
Local Marketing Examples
There are two general paths one can take to address local marketing.
You might go the traditional offline way – which you are already probably doing – with efforts like creating a friendly environment for customers, delivering flyers from door-to-door, and hosting events.
Hosting events is a great example of local marketing effort. Your company might throw a big party at a local square to celebrate a local holiday, and at the same time showcase your products and services.
Or you might try the online route, which is becoming more popular with ever-more-connected people. It’s surprisingly cheap to market online, less expensive than traditional offline marketing, and it reaches a much bigger audience than flyers or word of mouth.
Brands can create a blog with meaningul content around local places to visit, providing useful information for residents and visitors alike, and become an authority on what living in your area looks like.
Regardless of which approach you take, a golden rule holds true for both ways: to become relevant to local customers, a business must show their connection and affection to the local area, its customs and people.
Brands that care for their local area often attract new customers and receive tons of positive reviews online.
Managing your own Local Marketing Strategy
Small local businesses are heavily dependant on their local crowd to make sales and generate revenue. Marketing budgets often feel like too much of a bite for these new entrepreneurs with little to no knowledge of options available to them.
These impressions are often based on what we call traditional marketing, though.
Printing flyers, advertising on local newspapers and radio, or even organizing events are – if not too expensive – very time consuming and can not provide useful data on how many people saw your ads, who they are and what percentage of them did buy something from your brand by the end of the day.
This lack of information makes it very difficult for businness owners to measure the success of their offline efforts, leaving them with the impression that marketing isn’t for them.
Well, if you sympathise with these issues, we have good news for you.
Google My Business
Did you ever notice that when you search for a service on Google you get a map vision of nearby businesses that may answer your needs?
These pinpointed businesses are readily available for users searching for solutions on their smartphones and PCs, and to be a part of it all you need to do is create a free account on Google My Business.
Local brands with a GMB account get tons of visitors from this premium area called the “snack pack”.
Google My Business is a free and easy way to manage your online presence across Google so customers can find you anytime, anywhere. It allows for managers to put all their business’ information – like working hours, address and website – in front of profitable customers who are searching exactly for what you are offering.
Regarding local digital marketing, this is usually the very first step local businesses can take to start off on their digital presence.
It’s free. It’s easy. Get it done right now.
Customer reviews are yet another free course of action you should be managing to drive even more visitors to your website and storefront.
Around 75% of customers will consider reviews before making a purchase or choosing a service. With all the information available online for them, people rely heavily on other customers opinion to choose a brand over another.
Online reviews help small businesses stand out amongst their competition. Therefore it is absolutely critical to make sure customer service is excellent, so your customers are motivated to show their satisfaction online for everyone to see.
Even if you don’t own a website to showcase their testimonials, there is an area on your Google My Business account (have you done it yet?) designed to gather all your customers reviews.
By encouraging customers to review your business online, you’re gaining a valuable source of free marketing for years to come.
Remember: when people search for services online, they’ll generally get a local nearby business as an option. That could be you, so make sure to gather those positive reviews whenever you make sales from new buyers.
If you’re really into it, you can even provide a next order discount for those that chose you over your competition.
Stack up those reviews and turn new customers into loyal brand advocates.
What if things go bad?
For real, you may get bad reviews from time to time. No business is perfect, and mishaps are bound to happen.
That said, you can’t just ignore these reviews.
Reply to each one promptly, as this shows you care about your customers and want to solve their problems. You can also thank the people who did leave good reviews to encourage customer retention.
Disclaimer: From now on, we’ll address techniques you can manage to improve your local marketing results as long as you have a website. If you don’t, then we definitely recommend you to read our blog post on 4 Reliable Web Development Solutions You Need to Hire Today.
Do you remember when we said people look for reviews and other useful information regarding local businesses on their smartphones?
More than 50% of all Google searches are made on a mobile device. If your website is not optimized for mobile, you risk losing the attention of potential customers that are struggling to look at your website.
Messy website navigation is the result of design mistakes that many new entrepreneurs can make when managing a website by themselves. Pages that take too long to load, low quality images and weird use of mismatching fonts are a surefire way to get your visitors out of your website and right into your competitor’s domain.
If you’re indeed a multi-tasking entrepreneur, here’s some quick tips to create a better navigation for your mobile visitors:
- Make sure your body text is legible for all sorts of people. Test your font size in more than one mobile device. Remember that some people have trouble seeing, so be generous, but not so much to the point where your text takes up too much screen space.
- Avoid clutter by creating empty spaces for visual relief between elements such as texts and buttons. It feels nice to give some “breath” for your design to shine the way it should.
- Use hierarchy to show what really is important for your user. Titles and call to actions can take up more space as they are meant to guide the user through your website. Details such as image subtitles should be smaller as they are not that important for the navigation.
Still waiting for your website to load? We’ve all been there, buddy.
If it’s starting to seem like to much for you, a solo entrepreneur, to handle, do not be afraid to ask for professional help. Next in this post, we’ll talk about how digital marketing agencies can help you accomplish website navigation issues and a bunch of other local marketing techniques to attract nearby customers to your storefront.
What to expect from a local marketing agency?
Most entrepreneurs can not afford the time or effort to manage marketing by themselves. It’s only fair to acknowledge that serving customers, dealing with paperwork and finances are enough responsabilities for a single person to take on, right?
The thing is that marketing will never be a one-person job. It is a complex system of intertwined activities that resolve around learning how to read data, make decisions, operate softwares, analyze results and keeping up with the market. And still, no business can thrive if they don’t do it.
To fulfill that gap, that’s when marketing agencies come into play.
The more you rely on your marketing agency to handle the day-to-day business of promoting your business, the longer you can spend doing what you do best – running your business.
With an assembled team of professionals in many different fields of expertise, marketing agencies know how to best use their time and resources to accomplish their clients’ key advertising goals.
In line with the current topic, some digital agencies specialize in local marketing and are able to develop in-depth courses of action to promote your business in your local area with advanced techniques, such as…
Let’s say you manage an auto repair shop in Texas, and some unlucky driver just busted a tire on a nearby road. In need of an emergency fix, they search Google for “tire shop near me” and click on whomever is on the top 4 search results. After a bit of research, they call the nearest auto repair shop.
Now. Is that you they called? If you did your SEO right, chances are you got a new customer.
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is a digital marketing strategy that focus on getting your business on top of Google search results pages for keywords that are relevant for your business. Following the previous example, these keywords may include “tire shop near me”, “car mechanic”, “oil change” and “wheel alignment”.
Local SEO, for that matter, is essentially SEO but with a local focus.
The targeted keywords are not only specific to your location, but also the types of customers you want to reach out to. For instance, if you’re looking for customers who live or are travelling through Texas, your targeted keywords will include suburbs like “Austin” and “Dallas”.
Let’s see some core tactics a local marketing agency can accomplish to make your business show up more frequently on local google searches.
Surpass your competitors in a sustainable way, provide a constant stream of new visitors and turn them into recurring loyal customers.
Local Content Writing
People living or visiting your local area will use your neighborhood’s name, or city/state in Google searches to know more about it. So it only makes sense that you should be there to deliver such sought after information.
If you have a local business, it is best to walk the extra mile and do everything possible for your potential customers to patronize you. With that in mind, there are many ways to create useful content for your customers: you can make videos on Youtube, gather guests and record some podcast episodes, but the most accessible way is usually through blog writing.
A blog is a reliable medium to share interesting articles related to your industry. By doing so, you are not only presenting yourself as a reliable source of information but also building your customer base with free organic traffic.
Local Marketing agencies will be able to pick blog topics that your local audience find useful and appealing. They can do so by gathering ideas from your customers and employees, as well as doing extensive keyword research.
When your brand becomes the go-to source of valuable information in regards to nearby happenings, you will start gaining loyal customers who keep coming back for more.
Snack Pack Results
Google snack pack results are a way of displaying search results. When you use google, it will show your most recent searches at the top of the page on the left hand side. The section that displays on the right is the snack pack. These results are narrowed down and displayed in a list so you can be able to see more than 10 at once with ease.
Below is an example of how a Snack Pack result is displayed:
We showed them before, but here’s another example for you.
These search results may differ depending what region your account is registered for and which language you were searching in. The snack pack will contain a list of local businesses that are the most relevant to the keywords you typed in. The top listing is usually a map with 3 listings, whilst the next section contains 4 listings and so on…
To make your business be displayed as one of these listings you must make your business information visible to google by implementing a Google My Business listing.
Once this is done your business will appear on the map that is displayed at the top of the section, and then you have to keep on top of it! Keep going back to your google my business page in order to claim any other listings that may show up. This includes making sure that all your business information is correct and up to date.
NAP is an acronym for the three components of contact information required on marketing materials to identify a company:
*name* *address* *phone number*
NAP-based search engine optimization uses NAP details in keyword searches, developing it into a way to find businesses in the form of maps, listings, and advertisements. Google My Business listing service uses NAP details so that people can find your business easily when they are searching with Google Maps.
Name: The name should be consistent across all of the NAP components. It should also include keywords that are relevant to your business location, products or services, or other important search terms related to your industry.
Address: Include the complete and proper address for your business to ensure that it is easy for users to find your location. Your street address should be included as well as your city, state, and ZIP Code. Make sure you update the NAP components whenever there is a change in your company’s location or new contact information becomes available.
Phone Number: The phone number should be easy to locate. Include your local area code, this makes it easier for users to identify the company’s location.
You can also add Business Hours of Operations to the list. This information can be included under the ‘About Us’ section of your website or at the bottom (aka “footer”) so users know when you are available before they arrive at your business location.
On ICOA Builders website footer, users can easily find all relevant NAP information.
Geotargeting helps you advertise your products or services to customers who are within a certain distance of your business location. The geographic area that you pick should be suitable for the product or service that you offer and also based on where most of your potential audience lies.
For example, if you sell home decor, you can choose to target people within a 5 km radius around your shop.
Geotargetting helps businesses reach their audience one step ahead of competitors because most people today prefer using online platforms to find the products and services they need. These ads are usually served on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets or on desktop computers which come with geolocation services enabled.
When you create such advertising campaigns for a brick-and-mortar shop, it acts as a reminder of your brand’s presence in the area. It will also help you connect to people who might have missed knowing that you’re around.
Geotargeting on Google Ads, for example, lets you choose the right geolocation that suits your business, set up an ad campaign and start bidding for clicks or conversions depending on the metric that you want to track.
PPC Management Agencies will research and find the best keywords to include on an advertisement, and create ads for various niches in order to help you get the results that you want.
Local Landing Pages
In marketing, a landing page is a single web page that appears when a potential customer clicks on an advertisement or link from a search engine. Landing pages typically capture contact information in exchange for a free offer.
For example, if a customer is searching on Google for a purchase of a new baby crib, they would be more inclined to click on your ad and be sent to your landing page if you have one available.
The landing page is often the first contact point with potential customers for a business. It typically displays the offer, company logo and/or other product information, and usually includes a call to action to complete a transaction.
Most often than not, landing pages are usedto capture leads by providing a specific offer or call-to-action to interested consumers if they click on an advertisement or email link.
If your business has multiple branches or franchises, it’s highly advised that you create an individual landing page for each location. Local landing pages are an effective way to bring traffic into your business. They are customized for the medium (search engine, email, social media…) that the potential customer is using, which makes it easier for them to find exactly what they are looking for.
Local Marketing Is Your Key To Success!
Ultimately, every business has its own unique needs, and thus, your local marketing strategies should reflect which methods are best for your product or service. It’s no walk in the park; it requires constantly measuring and making data-driven decisions. That said, all of this effort will pay off and allow your business to stand out amongst the competition.
A local marketing agency can do all of the above for you, and once you’ve committed to growing your business, these local marketing strategies can bring new customers right to your door.