Use these marketing tactics to help you and your clients win business in your community.
While you navigate the turbulent seas of marketing, it's important that you don't lose sight of one of your most significant audiences: your local market. You may need to use some targeted strategies to reach this audience, however.
What is local marketing?
According to Marketing Schools.org, local marketing is a method of marketing that specifically targets customers that live within a certain distance of the company's location. This method is used to allow businesses to market goods and services to potential customers that live in a certain city, ZIP code, etc. This is a method of marketing that is most often overlooked by small businesses as many of them take their marketing cues from larger conglomerates.
There are many ways to reach out to local markets. Not every type of strategy will work for every company, but these marketing tips can guide you.
1. Know the audience.
The first and most important step to developing any marketing campaign is knowing who your audience is. You should not only know what group the ideal customer belongs to, but you should also have an idea of the interests of the ideal customer and what is going to appeal to them. You should also find out where your audience is. For example, what social media platforms does your audience spend the most time on?
2. Target the audience.
Now that you know who and where your audience is, you need to make sure you reach them. Build your campaigns around the audience's interests. Use the keywords they'll be searching for. Make advertisements that explain how your product or service solves a problem the audience has.
3. Get involved in your community.
Find local events in your community and participate. Volunteer for a cause in your community, and wear T-shirts with your logo. Donate prizes to competitions and contests that will engage your community, and make them want to come back to your company.
4. Take advantage of local directories.
An easy way to drive local traffic is to make sure that you show up in local search results. You can do this by listing them on Yelp, Whitepages, Angie's List and other local directories.
5. Gather and post testimonials.
People are more likely to post negative reviews than good ones, but when you find positive feedback, be sure to share them and post them on other sites. When you have positive interactions with customers, encourage those customers to write and share good reviews.
6. Use local media.
Don't underestimate the power of local media, especially if you are located in a small town. Local newspapers or radio stations or shows can be highly effective if you're looking to generate more foot traffic.
7. Run local SEO campaigns.
You can use software like Google AdWords to create SEO campaigns to drive local traffic both online and in-store. Look into pay-per-click campaigns and other SEO options.
8. Use social media to engage the audience.
Social media can be a great way to connect with an audience in a professional but human way. Use social channels that the local audience is on to answer customer questions and have conversations with your audience.
9. Run contests or promotions.
Promotions like contests can be great tools for engaging a local audience. Be creative with contests and offer prizes that the ideal customer would want. Offer promotions to celebrate local events or to connect with the community in other ways.
10. Establish yourself as an authority.
Write blog posts that answer customer questions in your industry. Have experts answer questions on websites like Quora, business.com, and other advice forums and platforms.
11. Cross-promote with other local businesses.
According to American Family Insurance, cross-promotion is a highly effective method of marketing; it is a mutually beneficial marketing method that involves two or more businesses that promote each other to their customers. This allows each company to gain more customers and boost sales overall. This method is highly revered because it offers immediate exposure to a vast array of potential customers with minimal effort.
12. Host/sponsor local events.
Another great method of promoting locally is hosting or sponsoring local events. No matter if you choose to do an event such as a seminar, dance party, banquet, or anything else you feel will attract the demographic you are seeking, this method is often effective because you are allowing people to have a good time and/or get informed.
13. Mobilize your website.
According to Mobile searches are one of the top ways local customers will find and view information about your business. If you have not yet mobilized your business, doing so could work wonders with regard to local marketing. Those who use mobile searches are typically already in your area and seeking local businesses to patronize. Taking the time to mobilize your company could boost business overnight.
The Pareto principle
Named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, the Pareto principle states that 80 % of your results come from 20% of your efforts. For example, just 20% of your marketing campaigns are responsible for 80% of your success, or 20% of your customer base accounts for 80% of your sales.
With the Pareto principle in mind, you should keep track of your marketing efforts and find what strategies are performing best for engaging with your audience. Once you find the 20% that's most successful, spend the majority of your efforts on these campaigns and platforms, since you know they're the most lucrative.
You can read some more in-depth steps for local marketing strategies in this CPC Strategy article.