Local marketing, also referred to as “neighborhood marketing,” is a marketing strategy that, when implemented correctly, can get your product or service in front of the right people in your area. In this blog post, we will discuss what local marketing is and why it’s so important for local businesses. We’ll go in-depth on how to develop a local strategy that fits your needs.
Additionally, you’ll learn what services you can take advantage of from a local marketing agency and how these services can transform your business and spark that buzz you’ve been wracking your brain on how to create.
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Top 5 benefits of Local Marketing
A local marketing strategy targets consumers in your business’s same town or region, generally based on a reasonable driving distance. The goal is to reach people who can realistically purchase your product or service instead of casting a broader net. While local marketing can work for any brand, it is most useful for brick-and-mortar locations where in-person business takes place. The goal is to spend your marketing and advertising budget more efficiently while getting the results you want.
Driving traffic is great, but your efforts will be all for nothing if you aren’t targeting the right people!
Is your business’s website optimized? Are you creating blogs that explain who and where you are, what your mission is, and why people need to head to your storefront? Localizing your web content is the first step in ensuring your target audience understands what you sell or how your service can benefit them. A whopping 97% of people head to a company’s website to learn more about it. Therefore, your website should be streamlined and optimized for mobile devices as well.
Your web and social media presence should display location information and send a clear message to consumers about who you are and what you can offer.
Get A Better Return On Investment (ROI) Than Traditional Advertising
Advertising can be pretty costly, and no matter the size of your marketing budget, a better ROI is always preferred. Of course, we all grew up with traditional marketing tactics such as magazine and newspaper ads, direct mail, telemarketing, billboards, etc.
While traditional marketing is still effective today, we live in a very digital age where consumers are glued to their phones, checking reviews online and peeping at social media accounts to learn more. Traditional marketing will reach a semi-targeted audience, while digital marketing gets deep into the nitty-gritty and targets a more specific audience.
One major drawback to traditional marketing is the very little control you have over timing. This method is very dependent on promotional strategies that cannot be updated once executed. For example, if you run an ad in a local paper, you can’t just jump in and add a new promotion. You’d have to take out an entirely new ad with your updated content.
You also need to keep in mind whether or not your ideal customer is even reading that paper to begin with. With so much research being conducted solely online these days, traditional advertising can easily fall short of your ROI expectations.
Conducting a competitive analysis is how you can identify who your competitors are and their strengths and weaknesses. How do they relate to your strengths and weaknesses, and what can you do to stand out amongst the competition?
This analysis will give you a better understanding of how you can develop effective strategies in your target market. First, identify who your competitors are, look at their marketing strategies, and determine what your competitive advantage is.
Develop Customer Personas
A customer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers based on data and research. Who is your customer, what are their interests, and what do they need from you? When you have a deeper understanding of your customer personas, you can create more specific content and develop a strategy that best reflects your target consumer. This crucial step helps with both customer acquisition and retention.
Brands With Local Branches Or Franchises
If your business has multiple branches or franchises, you need to create an individual landing page for each location. Be sure to include the location of the branch, its address, and the hours of operation. In addition, each landing page should consist of specific content and keywords about your business.
For example, instead of using the key phrase in your web content, “dog groomer,” you can get more specific with something along the lines of “best dog groomer in [branch’s city]” as that is far more likely to drive local traffic.
How To Design A Strategy That Fits Your Needs
There is no one-fits-all local marketing strategy, as appealing as that may be. Your business has its own unique needs, and your local marketing strategy should reflect that.
Online reviews help small businesses stand out amongst the competition. Around 75% of customers will consider reviews before making a purchase or choosing a service. Therefore it is absolutely critical to make sure customer service is excellent, so your customers are motivated to leave a review. You can add social media buttons to your website that drive reviews, and you can offer an in-store discount or some sort of special offer in exchange for a customer review.
Realistically, you may get bad reviews from time to time. No business is perfect, and mistakes 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.
More than half of all searches are conducted on a mobile device. If your website is not optimized for mobile, you risk losing out on all of those customers struggling to view your website from their phones. You need to tweak your web design so menus and content display just as well on a mobile device as on a laptop or desktop computer.
In addition, you need to check different mobile devices to ensure your content is displaying correctly. Although iPhones are popular, they’re certainly not the only device on the market. Therefore, you need to check how your web content displays on different mobile smartphones, tablets, and other devices.
And before you send out that email campaign you’ve worked so hard on, test it on these devices as well. Keep your messages concise and easy to digest as people will be reading them on smaller screens.
Sponsor A Local Event
Although we discussed how traditional marketing tactics won’t always give you the ROI you want, some of these tactics aren’t as archaic as others, such as sponsoring a local event. Now that you’ve created a fabulous online presence that aptly reflects your business, you can build a real-world bridge between your audience and your brand.
Check out what events are coming up and consider sponsoring one your target consumer is likely to attend. Not only will your brand’s name and logo be displayed at the event, but you’ll also get an opportunity to land some local press coverage which improves your odds of being found online in local searches.
Be sure you or someone representing your business is at the event! This is a great way to get to know your community, so don’t miss the chance to meet some potential customers and partners, and learn about your community’s needs in the process.
Participate With Online Professional Groups
When you join an industry-specific professional group, you can contribute to your industry’s growth while keeping up with advances in your field. Connect with like-minded business owners, and learn from others who may have more experience and offer great advice. By participating in online professional groups, you can establish yourself in the industry and apply what you learn to your local marketing strategy.
Target Nearby Social Media Users
Unless you live under a rock, you already know the impact social media marketing has on any business, local or global. Much like your website, your social media pages need to include up-to-date information, your business’s location and contact information, and your store hours.
Most social media platforms give businesses the ability to set a location in their profile. When posting content, this allows both you and your customers the option to tag your business’s location. Then, when someone taps on the location, they can view every post you and your customers have created.
Register With Local Business Directories
Local business directories play a key role in your marketing strategy and can be a powerful tool for increasing your reach. Registering with local business directories enhances your online presence, improves your local visibility, and helps you get discovered easily by boosting your SEO.
Cross-Promote With Other Local Businesses
Cross-promotion can save your business time and money while increasing your brand exposure since more than one business is teaming up to launch a dynamic campaign. In addition, when you team up with local businesses, you create meaningful connections relevant to your audience and your partner’s audience. This type of exposure helps you build relationships in your industry– even if no one knows you just yet. As a result, you can reach more relevant customers in a cost-efficient way.
What Services Can You Expect From A Local Marketing Agency?
A local marketing agency does extensive keyword research and knows how to achieve those much-desired Google rankings. Your competitors are already ranking where you want to rank. Utilizing a local marketing agency with a deep understanding of SEO can help bring you the results you need. Blog and web content help tell your story. And when optimized correctly, your potential customers will be able to find you and learn all about your business.
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Snack Pack Results
The term “snack pack results” refers to the top three business listings box that pops up on organic local business search results. Your local marketing agency can ensure your business is in the correct category and has consistent info across all of your platforms. In addition, the agency can help manage google reviews, prioritize local citations, and perform a backlink audit.
Rank for “Near Me” Searches
“Near me” searches have witnessed exponential growth in the last few years. This type of search allows you to reach your customers right at the moment when they desire your service or product. Your website and social media localization efforts are crucial to showing up in “near me” searches!
“NAP” refers to your business’s name, address, and phone number. Local businesses need to have consistent NAP information, as people and search engines can detect the correct NAP data among different addresses, names, and phone numbers. Inaccurate NAP info can easily frustrate a customer and cause them to bounce right off your website.
Google pays close attention to your NAP to decide whether your business is legitimate enough to build trust among potential customers. It helps you rank higher in search results and increases your SEO value. A local marketing agency helps you stay on top of this information and ensure your NAP data is included on every single page of your website and other platforms.
Geotargeting your ads is a highly effective and efficient way to target your ideal customer. When setting up digital ads, you can choose different content for the ads based on geographic locations. With the help of an agency, you can really hone in on your region and target the people most likely to utilize your service or head to your storefront, drive some sales, and ultimately become recurring customers.
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.