In a marketplace that is dominated by popular brands, how do you make your business stand
out? Engaging new and old customers to your local company might seem challenging these
days. But with the right strategies, you can get successful.
What is Local Marketing?
Local marketing is all about promoting your business around a specific location. And like any
other, it is ever-changing and dynamic.
With the onset of digital marketing, you might wonder - are radio ads effective? What about outdoor advertising? The quick answer is yes. In fact, what works best for local businesses is a combination of digital and traditional marketing approaches.
Keep in mind that you must set a right local marketing budget for your campaign including the planning objectives, choosing the type of advertising, calculating your budget, breaking it down by monthly spend, tracking ROI and refining. Therefore, you should step into the industry financially prepared. A business line of credit can give you a flexible access to the funds you will probably need.
Finding and Owning your Niche
Local marketing success starts with finding your niche. Basically, you want to find or create your market niche and become a dominant player in that niche. It’s important to remember that you can’t cater to every single person in this world. You must find a specific audience for your products or services.
Consider these tips to find and own your niche:
1. Offer a unique product or service
It doesn’t have to be an entirely idea. You can innovate an existing product or service.
2. Know your market
Research your competitors, the size of your market, and how much of it is still available for you. A great way to figure out your market is through some basic keyword research. You can use Google Keyword Planner for this. Type in some keywords related to your niche and see which words or phrases get suggested. Narrow down the suggestion based on the following criteria:
- search volume – should be 1K-10K per month.
- competition level – should be low.
- suggested bid – go for high bids because they make more when they rank.
3. Narrow down your search even more
See if you can find a narrower focus for your niche. For example, you may have found that “event planning” is a popular choice. See if you can find a more specific niche. You can do this by joining forums, such as in Facebook groups and subreddits.
4. Test your niche
Before you set up an entire website, test your search by creating a landing page that promotes free info-product. Use Adwords or similar tools to see how interested your target customers are in your niche. You can also conduct surveys involving your target audience.
Establishing your Digital Presence
This 2020, local companies that can form the deepest connections with their customers are the ones that will be the most successful. This means that customer experience will take over price and the product itself as the key brand differentiator.
So what is the best way to connect with your customers? Leverage technology. With billions of customers using the internet to search for local companies, it’s inevitable for any business to establish their presence online.
There are many ways to connect with your customers online. These include social media marketing, email marketing, and paid media advertising.
Here are the five critical elements for local marketing success:
It is a must for local companies to have their own website. Despite the popularity of Google My Business and online directories, consumers have more trust on the information provided by a local business website. However, to generate leads, you must optimize your website so when people search for your product or service, your site will show up on the first page of search engines like Google or Yahoo.
To boost your online presence, creating high-quality content is a must. When choosing a topic for your content, make sure it’s relevant to your target audience. For example, if you’re a local company selling eco-friendly furniture, you can offer tips on how people can take care of their furniture, or update them with the latest trends in home interior design.
You can also get a feel of what types of content they want by seeking their feedback or suggestions. What are the most common questions you receive from your customers? What topics do you get most comments, ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ from?
An active social media following
44% of local businesses depend on social media to generate brand awareness while 41% depend on it to drive revenues. With 3.484 billion people using social media today, it’s inevitable for marketers and businesses to utilize this platform. But it’s not enough that you’re on social media. You need to have an active following to get great results.
Choose the social media channel where your target customers hang out the most and get active there. Share relevant photos, articles or blog posts, videos, and other content. Most importantly, respond to your followers’ messages and inquiries in a timely manner. Use social media to connect with your customers, promote a local event, or get involved with the community.
Local landing pages
A local landing page is a web page designed to attract local customers. It helps search engines ‘localize’ your business so your site appears in search results relevant to a specific locality. Your local LP should include your contact information (address, important phone numbers, and opening hours). It can also include local-focused content like community announcements and resources, customer testimonials, product or service descriptions, a video walkthrough of your store, and other helpful details.
What people say about your business online can have a tremendous effect on your company. A positive online reputation helps customers trust your business, generate leads, and boost your search engine ranking. There’s hardly any local business out there that doesn’t have an occasional issue with a customer. However, dealing with customer issues immediately and appropriately can lessen the impact of negative reviews and strengthen your relationship with your customers.
More Tips for Local Marketing Success
Aside from optimizing your site, localizing content, going ‘social’, creating appropriate landing pages, and improving your online reputation, there are some more ways to maximize your local search visibility:
- Automate your campaigns. Automation has changed the game for many local marketers. This ensures that you are able to promote your company to your market niche at the right time and place.
- Create time-sensitive offers. Make sure to create a unique copy for time-sensitive sales and promotions. If you’re using Google My Business, you can schedule offers for a specific period and even post on multiple locations in one click.
- Use localized Facebook ads. The great thing about Facebook advertising is that you can easily segment your audience, resulting in a more localized marketing approach.
- Optimize for mobile marketing. Far more traffic comes from smartphones and mobile devices than from desktop computers. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile navigation.
Local marketing can be a complex concept to master. But by paying attention to the five critical elements mentioned above, you can be successful with it.
Interesting related article: “What is Global Marketing?“