Local Business Marketing
There are some distinct advantages to being a local business, your potential to develop customer loyalty is second to none, you are in a unique position to network with neighbouring businesses and you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on your community.
However, in business every silver lining has moments of being obscured by a cloud, and the hyped resource budgets, marketing expertise and brand strength of your larger competitors may sometimes leave you feeling unable to compete.
The good news is that local business marketing success is possible, even in the face of out-of-town competition. Once you take the right steps you’ll be beating the big boys at their own game. We have seven local business marketing ideas that you might like to try.
Localise your online brand
International businesses have to work quite hard to make sure that their brand has the desired impact across the globe. What might read well in English could be offensive in China and, even between different towns; the ideological ‘one vision’ can be tricky to pull off.
This is where being local has the advantage. You know the culture and temperament of your area, you understand your customer’s quirks and you can predict their response to different ideas. By projecting your online branding and values messages directly at this well-understood market, you have the potential to get something very right that more distant competitors may currently be getting very wrong.
Understand how local search works
According to Google, 50% of people who engage in mobile local searching will make a visit to that outlet on the same day. What’s more, 30% of customers would make a local purchase if they knew that an outlet was nearby.
Those are powerful statistics and clearly an area where the local business has an advantage. Personal search results have a big part to play in this. Amongst other things, information on a searcher’s location works together with web page relevance to produce the results that the search engine deems most appropriate to enquirer needs.
Often without realising it, consumers expect local search results. Great news for you, the local business manager, but only if you have let the search engines know the details of your locality.
Set up your Google My Business profile
By far the best way to help local online users find you is to claim your business on Google My Business. This is one of the most important steps towards building a strong local business marketing strategy.
If you don’t have a Google My Business account yet, read the following post which explains how to setup and optimise your GMB page “The Ultimate Guide To Your Google My Business Page”
Not only will Google My Business allow you to make the most of your local presence, it will give prospective customers, within search results, vital information that will make their progress to your door or through to your website an attractive option.
Regularly update your local information
Google customers have highlighted business hours, direction guidance and local addresses as important information to be contained within your search results. Add opening hours and appealing images and you will have made your business an attractive online proposition and instigated a prospective outlet visit.
This however comes with a caveat; there is nothing more off-putting than misinformation, so it is imperative that you make regular checks and updates to your Google My Business profiles.
Form local collaborations
Hopefully you have decided which social media platforms best suit your target audience but did you know that there are local business marketing ideas for social media that can really help build your local profile and establish yourself within a community?
One key way to do this is to make sure you push your locality and reach out to community neighbours. Investigate high value local profiles to follow and do some hash tag research to find out what has resonance in your area. You can also work collaboratively with your local community by engaging in online conversations and exchanging links.
Create local optimised content for your website
As any local business marketing consultant will tell you, carefully crafted web content can have dual impact when it comes to local marketing. Not only can celebrating your location help build customer loyalty but also by repeating it in high quality web content, you can improve your local credentials with the search engines and up the success of your inbound marketing.
Local information can be pushed on your web pages but one of the best ways to simultaneously gain local interest and ensure that your site has regular updates, is to include a regular blog. If writing isn’t your thing, you have no worries there; a professional writer will be able to assimilate your business needs and compose SEO optimised copy to suit.
There are some pretty good local business marketing PLR products out there, but be sure to go for quality as well as quantity as both search engines and site visitors frown upon poor grammar.
Make value your local marketing mantra
Success in local business marketing is dependent on many online and offline facets but, if there is one key theme that should run through all of your strategic efforts, it should be that of customer value. Providing an excellent customer experience can start as soon as your search results appear and progress right through your website construction to a completed sale and after sales service.
Great local business marketing services should always include:
- An accurate and up to date Google My Business profile
- Landing pages that deliver the required information
- Images that encourage visits to your local outlets
- A social media presence that adds value
- A regularly updated website
- A warm welcome, both online and in person
- The opportunity to pass comment on levels of service
- Excellent follow-up service
As the statistics clearly demonstrate, the success of personalised search technology has led to an increase in the expectation that search results will provide accurate and immediately actionable local information. Local marketing is gaining importance and it would be a foolish business leader who chose to ignore it. Take hold of your local advantage today and get in touch for a free website audit.