Local marketing refers to the marketing strategies a business uses online to get their products or services in front of people in their local area and engage new and potential customers within a specified radius with the intention of turning them into diehard fans. Typically, local marketing is used by businesses that have a physical storefront in their community, such as restaurants, bars, spas, car dealerships, dentists, and physiotherapists.
Who implements local marketing?
Local marketing is used primarily by small businesses — stores and restaurants with a single location or outlet. Owners of franchised businesses may also employ local marketing to promote their specific locations, supplementing the larger franchise’s regional or national marketing campaigns (which promote the franchise’s name and products, but not specific locations).
For what kinds of customers is local marketing effective?
Local marketing allows a company to develop a repeat customer base in the immediate vicinity of the business’s location. The standard radius of influence is about 50 miles, but could be even less than that in more urban areas, where local traffic and neighborhood density is much higher.
People like to shop and eat near their homes; it saves time and is more convenient. Residents create their own “mental maps” of the surrounding area, with favorite restaurants and particular stores quickly and easily remembered. They develop shopping and eating habits based upon these maps, engaging in a great deal of repeat business.
Yet at the same time, new businesses are always moving in (and other businesses are closing), so these maps are constantly updated. Therefore, any store or restaurant—and particularly new ones—has to work to advertise its presence even in its own surrounding neighborhood, in order to get onto these mental maps.
Businesses in different neighborhoods will apply local marketing tactics to different consumer segments, as identified by socio-economic standing, demographic composition, and purchasing values—but assuming that a business’ location was planned as opposed to random, the consumers who live in the neighborhood are already the types of consumers who are interested in that business.
Advantages of local marketing
Local marketing when done properly you will get enormous advantages for your business:
1. Higher and faster market penetration
With local marketing you will have direct access to clients, your brand will be present at the channels used by your potential clients, you will know what are the most popular social media platforms and which are the main sources of information for your customers as a consequence you will be more efficient in your strategy.
2. Increase acquisition and retention
You will be able to better understand the particular needs of your clients and adapt the message accordingly, similarly, client service and after-sales service will perfectly understand and meet the expectations of your clients providing a remarkable shopping experience.
3. Improved customer satisfaction and brand loyalty
With local marketing, you will be able to perform a better design of your buyer personas. Thanks to that you will know exactly when, where and to whom make the offer. In addition, the creative process becomes simpler as you know your client’s specific needs you will be able to develop tailored content according to the different tastes, trends, events and other topics related to the location so the information you provide will be more useful and interesting for your customers.
4. Organically extending customer Lifetime Value (LTV)
Customer lifetime value is defined as a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. As a result of the foregoing, your brand will build long-term relationships with clients and therefore the LTV will be longer.
5. Improved competitive edge
Local marketing allows you to compete with your direct competition as a local brand. It also helps to gather marketing resources to be more efficient. Local positioning places you over your direct competitors especially if you optimize your location on Google maps what makes you the preferred option among the existing ones.
6. Become more attractive to investors
Sometimes money solves specific problems for your business or allows to grow your company faster, at some point you may have to decide if raising money is right for you. If this is your case, choosing a local marketing strategy will help you to be more attractive to possible investors thanks to the better penetration rate in the market and the worldwide coverage achieved.
How To Make The Most Of Local Marketing?
There are many ways to reach out to local markets. Not every type of strategy will work for every company, but these 14 marketing tips can guide you make the most of local marketing:
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 IndiaMart, Justdial, Sulekha and other local directories.
- Optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing
Google My Business (GMB) is Google’s free local business directory. If you want to appear in the search results on Google as a local business, then you’ll need to get a GMB profile.
The key to creating and optimizing your GMB profile is consistency. Google feeds the GMB profile data to search results, so everything you enter into your profile must match the details on your website, plus your NAP citations around the web.
- Confirm your information is up to date.
- Select the correct business category (and secondary categories).
- Check all settings and input fields are accurate and relevant.
When all your information is consistent, then Google can see you’re a legitimate business. The more information you provide, the better your profile will look in search results.
- Gather and post customer reviews
Customer reviews are extremely powerful. No one wants to experience buyer’s remorse. People are very motivated by reviews, and actively seek them out before spending a dollar at any business. In fact, as much as 95% of customers read reviews online before they make a purchase. And, 81% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. Therefore, adding a dedicated system of getting customers to leave reviews for your business is a surefire way to supercharge your local marketing results.
- 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.
- Run Google Local Services Ads
Google Local Services ads are pay-per-lead ads placed at the top of Google search results. If you have a business license in your state, have valid business insurance, and meet certain category requirements, then you’re eligible to buy ad space. Take it a step further and apply for a Google Guarantee to get endorsed by Google, which goes a long way in giving potential customers greater trust in choosing your business above your competitors.
Learn how to sign up for Google Local Services!
- 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.
- 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.
- Establish yourself as an authority
Write blog posts that answer customer questions in your industry. Have experts answer questions on websites like Quora, AnswerThePublic, and other advice forums and platforms.
- Cross-promote with other local businesses
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.
- 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.
- Mobilize your website
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.
Ultimately, every business is unique and your local marketing strategies should reflect which methods are best based on your product, service, and industry. The only way you’ll know that is by constantly measuring and improving data-driven decisions. Doing so will allow you to adjust your local marketing based on facts. Once you are committed to doing that, the sky’s the limit for growing your business.