How do you market my local business? How can I promote my small business locally?
Your local business needs clearly defined strategies to reach your local market. Yet, over 85% of small businesses rely on word-of-mouth referrals.
This is, of course, a crucial way to reach your customers, but that’s not the only strategy you can use. You must realize those general marketing strategies are not focused on the local scene. So you need to refine your strategies to reach, engage and appeal to your local people specifically.
Let’s look at the different strategies you can use to market your local business.
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1. Website Optimization
To drive massive traffic, you have to optimize your website. Now the question is, have you optimized your website for your local users? It is good to do SEO (Search Engine Optimization), best practices. It is also necessary that your website delivers a fantastic experience.
You will be shocked that more than 50% of traffic that comes to your website is solely from mobile devices. So, to attract people to your local business, make your website well streamlined, having large text that can be read on a small screen and big buttons that can be clicked easily.
2. Community Engagement
Engagement with your local community might sound ordinary, but it is crucial to market your local business. Still, community engagement does not cost much.
The ways you can employ this strategy is by involving in community seasonal events and contests, community festivals and carnivals, and many others.
Other ways of community engagement are for your local business to sponsor local events in your community, such as sponsoring sports teams in your community, sponsoring high school music and drama, doing charity programs in your community, and so on.
Therefore, with community engagement, you will encounter different individuals, have a good reputation through your good works, and grow your brand awareness.
3. Claiming Your Google My Business Listing
Claiming your Google My Business listing is a simple and very efficient strategy to market your local business.
Think about this, about 97% of consumers in 2017 searched the internet for a local business. So you need to build that page, and still, it’s completely free.
Google My Business gives search engine users vital information such as your location, directions, store hours, contact information, and even more right on the search engine result page (SERP).
It’s also a great way to share those powerful reviews people can see to quickly choose your business.
So, ensure that your Google My Business knowledge panel is always updated by adding your business name, directions, contact number, address, zip code, hours you operate, and the link to your website. You also have to claim your local listings on other third party sites because the more sites people find your business, the more your local business’s marketing would grow.
4. Concentrate On Local SEO
You need your business to be seen by people in your locality, as people around search the internet with their mobile phones for services and products.
Though Google My Business is a great way to begin, it is not enough. The strategy you should employ is to concentrate on local SEO by looking for ways to drag traffic to your store or even your physical location. This means the keywords and keyphrases used by you should be focused on local SEO. Which means you have to know what your local market search for online.
Do they search for your type of local business? An excellent way to attract them to your website is for you to create awesome content. In that way, you can attract links and traffic to your website from blogs, social media, and local newspapers.
Suppose it seems difficult for you to concentrate on improving your search engine visibility. In that case, you can hire a local search expert.
5. Develop A Loyalty Program
A customer will be happy and feel worthy if they have a reward for their consistent patronage. So, this loyalty program is aimed at rewarding your steady customers. For instance, if a customer buys eight candies from your store, he gets the 9th candy for free. The old method of keeping track of the number of times customers buy from you is to print loyalty cards and give them to your customers. Whenever they purchase from you, you will bore a unique hole through the card until it gets to the required number of purchases that qualify them to get their reward.
In recent times, you can get a loyalty app on the mobile devices you use for your store marketing. So, the app would monitor customers’ purchases and gain their reward once they reach the required number of purchases.
6. Let Your Staff Be Your Emissaries
The people working for you could help you market your business. So, make sure you involve your staff in your referral program. The team that is not part of the sales department can be offered bonuses for referring new clients.
Make your staff join your content marketing strategies.
7. Link-up With Local Audience On Social Media
The use of social media is a great way to market your local business. Though, it is very vital that you target people in your locality.
For instance, a social media platform such as Instagram offers its users fantastic chances for brand awareness. It is also vital that you always add your location on your social media profiles so that people in your locality can quickly contact you.
Another way to link-up with people in your locality is by working with influencers on influencer marketing.
8. Gather Reviews And Testimonials
Most people in your locality would prefer to patronize a business that is trustworthy and reliable. The best way for you to improve to the people in your locality that your business is trustworthy and reliable is by gathering reviews and testimonials from your customers.
Do not try to pay for reviews because it is counter-productive, and be cautious when you directly ask for clients’ reviews. Such ways are frowned upon by Yelp and some other communities.
It is preferable for you to give your clients the freewill to give their option about your products and services. In doing so, your clients would provide reviews of your products and services without directly seeking reviews from them. It is better to know the rules and try not to be too forward.
9. Kick-start A Coupon Campaign
Kick-starting a coupon campaign can aid in getting fresh clients and also boost brand awareness. You can select a site such as Groupon or even a local coupon paper mailer such as ValPak, mainly for local marketing with coupons.
It would help if you were cautious because the fresh clients attracted by these campaigns might just be looking for a good bargain and would not want to stay or become regulars.
If it is possible, give offers that will motivate clients to buy frequently or buy in bulk.
10. Placing Marketing Collateral In Public Areas
One of the effective strategies to market your local business is by spreading marketing messages in public areas. Through this means, other companies and firms in your locality can be contacted. Now, the question is: will local cafes, restaurants, and supermarkets permit you to place your business cards on their community bulletin board or your flyers at their entrance?
Before placing your marketing collateral, always take permission from the owners of such organizations.
11. Appear On Your Local TV
Appearing on your local television is among the strategies to market your local business. All you have to do is to tell people about the latest in your specialty. For instance, if you operate a restaurant business, you can appear on your local television to explain how a particular recipe is prepared.
Present your idea to the local television as one that can be of great benefit to their viewers. Avoid making it look like you want to promote your business.
12. Appear On Local Newspaper
It is okay to buy advertising and send press releases to editors, but appearing on your local television could be useful in driving your local business. To appear in your local newspaper, call or send an email to them, telling them that you can help boost their local journalism through your area of specialty. For instance, if you run a medical accessories store, it will be great to be interviewed about medical-related issues in their newspaper.
Ensure to keep yourself updated with things happening in your area of specialty. You should also drop your contact on that media outreach so that prospects can reach you easily.
13. Utilize Targeting Tools For Online Marketing
There are some targeting tools you can use on social media to market your local business. For instance, Facebook allows you to set parameters that aim to attract clients in a particular number of miles, allowing you to utilize social media advertising features to boost your post, “Create the location” feature is available.
Whenever you want to create a new post, click on “Check In,” then enter all the information, including your location. Instagram permits you to post hashtags inside your Instagram post and location stickers in your Instagram stories.
You can also use Google Ads to target your local clients. You can begin a Google Ads campaign that would make your advertising appear on search engines and various content sites. A targeted landing page and remarketing can remind previous clients to return.
14. Give Free Advice or Consultation
You can begin a free consultation or advice on a YouTube channel or a blog. Which would give you targeted clients a picture of what your services or products are all about, for free. By doing so, you will show how professional you are in your niche. It will also encourage potential clients to be keen on your services or products.
For instance, if you are into IT, you can decide to give free consultation on IT-related issues. People would like it and might come back to you for your services or further consultation, which would not be free again.
15. Sending Targeted Email
Sending a targeted email is among the easiest and cheapest strategies to market your local business. Emails would not only remind previous clients to visit your store, but it will also drive your social media followers to visit your store.
Statistics show that about 75% of marketers have revealed that targeted emails enhance customer engagement.
Therefore, ask for the emails of people that come to buy products from your local business. Seek the permission of your clients before you send them emails. Then ensure that you keep them updated on new products, discounts, and so on through emails.
16. Connect With Local Bloggers And Online Journalists
There are bloggers and online journalists in every locality. These bloggers and online journalists write for local blogs and news websites in your community. You have to connect with them so that they mention your local business in their write-ups frequently.
This will make people in your locality visit those local blogs and websites to know more about your services and products. It will also boost your local SEO. Because, as your local business appears on local blogs and websites, that is how they will appear on another online search, with the required local connector.
17. Make The Story Of Your Business Known
Stories are essential in the lives of your clients and potential clients. You can make people know your business’s story or even your personal story as the originator of the business. Your story will make people interested in your business, and it can even make your brand name unforgettable. It can make potential customers start patronizing you.
Make your story known through online videos, TV ads, blog posts, and even your About Us page.
For instance, your local coffee shop can have autographed photographs hanging on the wall that summarizes the business’s story.
18. Collaborate with other businesses
One more way to market your local business is to create events by partnering with other local businesses. This allows you to establish your authority while expanding your reach. For instance, local farmers can unite with other food producers to reach an even wider audience. If you own a hair salon, you can collaborate with a nail outfit to get an even bigger audience. You don’t just have to collaborate with other local businesses in your industry; you can step out to diverse niches to amplify your brand audience.
19. Join a local group
To remain active in your community, joining a local group gives you the right opportunity. I suggest joining your local industry groups and local Chamber of Commerce. Sure there’s an annual fee for each one, but its all worth it.
It gives you the opportunity to expose your brand, and your competitors will be there too. Therefore, you’ve got a lot of advantage to harness by joining these groups.
20. Don’t forget the power of branding
In everything we’ve talked about how to market your local business, branding remains the key. Think about it, how would you keep your brand fresh in your audience’s hearts if your branding message is not clear and memorable?
You can build your brand message around yourself as the owner, team, or core message. This message would become the reference point for your customers to spread the word. It would be the go-to point of contact for your team and everyone that comes to know your brand. Don’t fail to craft a powerful branding message.