If you are a small business and your marketing strategies correspond with those of Fortune 500 companies, you might want to re-evaluate your strategy. There is no doubt that those marketing strategies are great, but the point of consideration is your budget. You need a huge budget to achieve the same kind of results, and that is something you cannot afford.
Is there any effective marketing strategy that can help you in attaining good results even with a small budget? Yes, there is. It is local marketing.
What is local marketing?
Local marketing is a rapidly becoming popular online marketing tactic, in which you optimize your website and online ads to drive traffic in your specific geographic location. Also known as location-based marketing and "neighborhood marketing,"it is an online marketing strategy to market your business offerings within the area at which your business operates.
As you can understand more about your customers more through online marketing, local marketing helps you to better understand the behavior as well as the purchasing habits of your customers. Using the online platforms, such as your website, mobile applications, social media, search and emails, you can leverage the power of local marketing to attract consumers to your business. You can also throw nonlocal competitors out of the competition by using local SEO tactics.
With the proliferation of internet-connected devices – computers, mobiles, and tablets – most consumers search for products and services online, so marketing your business locally through the online mode can bring in outstanding results.
Effective tactics for successful local marketing
For you to become successful in your local marketing campaigns, you need to implement the following steps.
Your success in local marketing depends a lot on how accurately you manage your local listing. The process of updating and maintaining the location data of your business across online business directories and other such platforms is called the local listing.
The typical components of a local listing include your business's name, the address, the email and the phone number, collectively known as "NAP." Apart from that, you can include other relevant information, such as operating hours, product and service descriptions, photos of your business to solidify your presence in local listing. It is also important for you to list your business on as many online business directories as possible. Some of the well-known business directories are:
- Yellow Pages
- The Better Business Bureau
Local listings are important for your business; 82% of consumers conduct "near me" searches on their smartphones to locate businesses offering their products and services of their interest. The slew of benefits you will derive from strategically managing your local listing are brand visibility, SEO and positive customer experience – and these can contribute to revenue generation for your business.
So that people find your website through the local SEO, do the following with your webpages:
- Include state and city names in title tags to localize them
- Add product categories in addition to your brand name in meta descriptions
- Use localized schema markup for your NAP
- Include the street name and product categories for localization of URL structures
- Include local descriptions and driving directions to localize on-page business content
Change the data if you move your business to a new location. At the same time, take ample care to feed the data to internet yellow pages (IYP), as search engines cross-verify your website data with that found in in IYPs. If both sets of data match, your website becomes trusted and entails better search engine results.
Local landing pages
You should have mobile-friendly local landing pages for each of your products and services. Capturing consumer demand, local landing pages help in better strategizing marketing by eliciting the vital consumer-related metrics. You can consider local landing pages as the hub of all your marketing as well as SEO campaigns as most consumers look for you locally.
To enable consumers to easily find your business through local landing pages, you should:
- Ensure that the pages feature your business name, the address, the phone number(s), products and services, store hours, and even a picture of your storefront
- Design the pages to be responsive by including title tags and descriptive schema markup so that search engines can easily find the pages
- Incorporate trackable local phone numbers on the pages; this will help you figure out the performance of your marketing campaigns
- Include links on the pages to business listing websites, such as Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook and other relevant sites
- Incorporate product feeds on the pages; this will let visitors know which products you have in stock
Having a good reputation is one of the best ways to grow your business. Positive reviews related to your business offerings by your customers play a significant role in luring potential buyers and building their trust. Most consumers today read reviews before finalizing their buying decision.
Direct sincere efforts to increasing the number of positive reviews written about your brand. You can do so by encouraging your customers to write their reviews. An easy way to do so is to include a widget or a button on the pages that enables quick access to review writing on a single click.
At the same time, ensure the reviews your customers left behind are not fake. If your customers find any of the reviews as fake, they will turn away from your business at one go.
Likewise, negative reviews can harm your business. Tactfully manage negative reviews. Whenever you find negative reviews on your website, follow up with the reviewers, and address their issues to make their experiences with your products and services positive.
Paid search and social media
Paid search and social media marketing are the vital components of any digital marketing strategy, and local marketing is no exception. In social media, you can target consumers based on their location as more and more consumers nowadays expect personalized and localized content.
You can communicate with consumers in a particular location through social media to promote your products and services. Location-based social media marketing also helps in enhancing awareness about your products and services, and thus you can improve your sales in underperforming regions.