Local businesses are valued pillars of a community. Through their marketing techniques, they have the opportunity to create a strong bond with their target audience. Local marketing strategies can help businesses strengthen their relationship with the community they serve.
However there are certain marketing techniques that work for large corporations on a national and global level that might not work as well for a local business in a certain neighborhood. Let’s explore the definition of local marketing and how local businesses can start using this technique to reach their target audience.
Local marketing is a marketing tactic that targets an audience within a set distance from a business’s brick-and-mortar location. The messaging is tailored to specific members of the community. Local marketing, sometimes referred to neighborhood marketing or local store marketing, is a must-use tactic for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations. In addition to obtaining new customers, local marketing strives to establish loyal, repeat customers.
In order to implement local marketing tactics, you must really know your target audience. Consider how large you want to make your radius around your business, as well as the lifestyles, incomes, and values of your target audience. Let’s explore ten local marketing ideas to help boost your local marketing efforts.
Research upcoming events in your area and find how you can become a sponsor for them. Local events provide a great opportunity to attract new customers because the target audience for the local event should overlap the target audience for your business. The people you are looking to connect with are already attending the event. Becoming a sponsor for these events puts you in front of the audience you’re trying to reach.
Look at what’s offered at each sponsorship tier and pick the one that makes the most sense for your business. This offering often includes having your logo on event t-shirts, print advertisements, and day-of event banners.
Make your presence known by attending the event in its entirety and being an active participant when able to. If there is a silent auction at the event, put together a basket of your products or coupons for your services that becomes the must-have item. If it’s a festival with some type of sporting tournament, make a team with your employees and wear clothes with your logo while you play.
In addition to establishing your Google Business listing, you want to make sure your company is listed in other local directories for maximum exposure. Basic local business directory websites include Yelp, Foursquare, and Yellowpages. The larger your online footprint, the greater your credibility. Customers have their own search preferences, and not every customer uses each directory.
Go beyond the main local business directory websites and research what directories your local community offers. Most communities, neighborhoods, and towns have their own business directories, both online and in print. Do your research on what your target location offers and make sure your business is listed in it.
Increase your social media presence and expand your reach by partnering with local influencers who already have a loyal following in the community. Instead of thinking of large-scale influencers, niche down and look for social media accounts with localized audiences.
Local influencers can be found by searching hashtags that are relevant to your target location. You want to make sure you choose accounts that have similar audiences to the ones you’re targeting. The products or services you want them to promote should be relevant to their audience. Once you’ve found accounts you would like to partner with, work on building a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with them.
In addition to the main social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, also consider local vloggers with loyal subscribers on YouTube. Partnership content across each platform can include behind-the-scenes tours of the business and product testimonials.
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This simple task establishes credibility with your local audience. This tactic is easier and takes less time than some of the other tactics discussed, and it really creates a big impact. When someone from your target audience lands on your Google Business listing, this is your opportunity to create a great first impression.
Recommended Reading: How to Claim Your Business on Google
Make sure your Google Business profile is completely filled out, including business hours, website, address, and phone number. Your potential customer should have all of the information they need at their fingertips to familiarize themselves with your business.
This local marketing strategy goes hand-in-hand with claiming your Google Business listing. Growing your reviews is part of further building your Google Business listing and creating credibility with your target audience.
Even if they have a great experience, customers often need to be incentivized to leave a review. Customers can be encouraged to leave reviews by offering them a discount on a future purchase or a free gift if they can show you their Google review
Creating social media profiles for your business builds your online presence and further boosts your credibility. Social media also gives you the opportunity to connect with your target audience on a more personal level. Your business’s personality can really shine through and brand itself in your audience’s mind.
Before creating accounts on every social media platform, consider which platforms your target audience is actively participating on. If your audience is primarily on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, it wouldn’t make sense to put your time and energy into cultivating the best Twitter account.
Ideally your social media handles should be under the exact same name as your business. If those account names aren’t available, choose the closest, logical option that is still easily memorable for your customers.
Similar to partnering with local influencers, partnering with other local businesses establishes local, symbiotic relationships. It also shows your target audience that you’re a member of the community who supports other local businesses.
Find other businesses to partner with by proximity and similarity. Consider businesses physically close to your brick-and-mortar location that would make sense to partner with. There might be a business in your same building or on the same block that you could work with to drive foot traffic to both of your locations.
Look for other local businesses whose products or services pair nicely with your offering. You could offer a deal for a gift bundle between the two for upcoming holidays like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas. Creating these partnerships also puts you in the minds of other local business owners who can refer your business to community members.
Work on creating relationships with media personalities from local news stations, newspapers, and magazines. These relationships can benefit all parties involved because you’re providing content for reporters and they’re featuring your business. Having these relationships also shows you are an active member of the community.
When you email your press release to a local reporter, they know your name and are familiar with your business. Having these relationships potentially helps your email stand out, instead of automatically being deleted because they don’t recognize the email address. Already having a relationship with a local news anchor means you are in the forefront of their mind the next time they have to run a feature story on a local business.
Local deal websites can help draw in members of your target audience that weren’t previously familiar with your company. These types of sites typically already have a loyal following that’s regularly perusing for deals. It’s a great way for people to discover new businesses and products, and for companies to gain new customers.
Two popular local deal sites to consider using are Groupon and LivingSocial. When you look at creating your deal, make sure you decide wisely in terms of price and the number of deals you’re able to offer. You don’t want to create a deal that sells too well at too low of a margin and potentially causes you to lose money.
Consistent email marketing allows you to further connect with your target audience and keep your business in the forefront of their minds. Your e-newsletter content can dive deeper into your company, create buzz around upcoming product drops, and offer exclusive deals. E-newsletters should include a variety of content like pictures, blog posts, industry news, and local articles.
Recommended Reading: Email Marketing Strategies to Improve Your Audience Engagement
MailChimp and Reply.io are user-friendly sites that are popular for creating engaging e-newsletters. These sites offer analytics which allow you to see how many people are opening your emails and what content they’re interacting with. This allows you to further tailor your content.
Local marketing should target an audience within a specific radius from your brick-and-mortar location. The messaging should be relevant to your localized target audience. Several of the techniques discussed can be implemented quickly and easily, such as updating your business’s listing in local directories and on Google Business.
Techniques like social media and e-newsletters help you create an online relationship with your target audience that keeps your business on their minds. Sponsoring local events and fostering relationships with local reporters further strengthens your presence in the community.
Overall, local marketing is a necessity for any business with brick-and-mortar locations looking to connect with the local community.