While you navigate the turbulent seas of marketing, you mustn’t lose sight of your most significant audiences: the local market. You may need to use some targeted strategies to reach this audience, however.
Local marketing is all about knowing and interacting with neighbors. It is not just about investing money, but about investing time and developing relationships. It requires getting out there and connecting with customers face to face. But you must always remember that networking is about relationship management so don’t expect to sell straight away. Marketing overall is a medium or long term plan.
There are many ways to reach out to local markets. Not every type of strategy will work for every client, but these marketing tips can guide you as you create campaigns for your customers.
Target the correct audience
The first and most important step to developing any marketing campaign is knowing who and where your audience is and what is going to appeal to them. For example, what social media platforms do your audience spend the most time on?
Now that you know your target audience, you need to make sure you reach them. Build your campaigns around your public’s interests. Use the keywords they’ll be searching for. Make advertisements that indicate that your client’s product or service solves a problem the audience has.
Get involved in the community
Identify local organizations, schools or living centers that often host community events. Also, you can join face-to-face networking groups, most cities and towns have countless groups with different formats so try them all and find the one that suits you. There are plenty of online local communities such as Facebook groups, find these online forums and join them by sharing your business news and commenting on others too.
Another important way to get involved in the community is by sponsoring local events, there may be a lot of local events every year organized and run by other local organizations. In many cases, these organizations are looking for fellow businesses to support their cause.
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 your business on Google my Business, Yelp, Whitepages, and other local directories but be careful and don’t forget to get them updated, this is absolutely critical.
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 your site and others. When you have positive interactions with customers, encourage those customers to write and share good reviews.
Also, you must promote positive customer reviews through your social channels, alongside word-of-mouth recommendations, social proof is among the most persuasive elements you can leverage when promoting your business. Many small businesses leverage this technique to great effect, particularly on Facebook. If a customer leaves you a gushing message about how much they love your business, engage with them and gain more exposure by promoting this feedback. Incorporate these positive reviews into your organic social content.
Pitch to local media
Don’t underestimate the power of local media, especially if you are located in a small town. They are always looking for interesting and relevant news stories to share with readers and viewers. If you have an event coming up, a new product launching, or a special in-store event your local media may be interested and want to feature your business in an upcoming story.
Run local SEO campaigns
You must be patient because it is not something you can do overnight but you can plant the seed for future web traffic by beginning to target keywords that are specific to your local business.
Use location targeting with Adwords and Facebook
One of the most powerful tools at marketers’ disposal when it comes to local search is geotargeting.
It allows you to have your advertisements shown only in the locations you select, helping you focus your marketing investment on the areas where you’ll find the right local customers. PPC ads are a great way to reach local customers. These ads appear at the top of the search results, so your audience is very likely to see them. It’s a great way to drive local customers to your business page.
Investing in PPC ads for your local business’s online marketing strategy will help you reach more interested leads for your business.
Create locally-focused content
We all know that content is good, but it’s amazing how few locally-focused businesses don’t bother with content as a marketing strategy. It’s understandable; for many small-business owners, there are barely enough hours in the day to actually run their business, let alone launch and sustain a comprehensive content marketing campaign, but for those who can handle the extra work, it could really pay off.
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, solve issues with your product or service and boost conversations and interactions with them.
Team-up with your neighbors
This strategy will double your reach by cross-promoting. It can be as simple as giving another store your coupons, flyers or business cards to display on their counter while you do the same for them. Or you can create co-branded deals that reward customers for purchasing both locations: “Buy one from us, get one half off from them.”
Join a Referral Network (Or Start Your Own)
Referral networks pass leads back and forth among businesses and can be a perfect marketing tool for a local business. Because referral networks rely on word of mouth marketing and customer reviews, you can leverage all of the work you’re doing on Yelp and other review platforms.
Run Contest 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.
Establish yourself as an authority in the industry
Write blog posts that answer customer questions in the industry that your client is a part of. Have experts answer questions on websites like Quora, Business.com, and other advice forums and platforms.
Despite all the aforementioned the best way to enter a new market in a successful way is by hiring a specialized local agency.
Nementio is an Inbound marketing agency specialized in local marketing services, website localization and content marketing for Spanish markets. If you need help with your local marketing strategy don’t hesitate to contact us.
Don’t miss our related post about local marketing: Advantages of Local Marketing,