While there is a push to go global with every business, it is imperative to think locally. Local markets tend to generate the largest amount of income for most businesses. Nearly 50% of small businesses surveyed stated they have a clear marketing plan. If you develop a good plan for marketing locally, you will be ahead of the pack.
What makes for good local marketing? Is it simply throwing your name on a board at the local high school? The answer can take many forms, but it always comes down to being smart in how you approach it. Make decisions that actually reach local markets in order to generate more new customers. Here are ten good ways you can promote your business to a local market.
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Cross-Promotion with Other Businesses
You are not the only business in your market wanting to garner more business. Talk with a business that complements your own.
Offer discounts when they have referred customers and return the favor. Businesses with more volume sales have a better chance to convert more new customers for your business.
Get Locally Optimized Web Content
Take some time on Google Analytics, Trends, and Search Console to discover keywords you should be using. This will give you keywords for better marketing. Make sure to attach local tags on these keywords.
For instance, if you are using the keyword “expert gardener”, you should alter it to “expert gardener in Atlanta, GA”. This identifies not only the keyword but puts a location on it as well. When people are searching for a gardener in Atlanta, GA, they are more likely to find your business. When they do engage with your business, use an automated email follow up to make sure you are keeping the conversation going.
Maintain Reputation Management with Optimized Social Media
Social media is a great place to get local recognition. Make sure you are posting consistently with up to date news and updates. People react better when they don’t have to question whether the posts are up to date.
Also, when you maintain your reputation through social media, you get the chance to stay on people’s minds. When they see something going on, they are likely to respond.
Remember, according to Slideshare, 48% of US consumers engage with brands through social media.
Engage with Customers through Feedback
According to Inc, 84% of customers rely on online reviews. With so much attention on reviews and feedback, it simply cannot be ignored. As such, encourage your customers to leave good feedback. Use a promotion, like a raffle, for those who have given good feedback.
Respond to all feedback in a positive manner. The idea is to show that you care about the feedback you receive and that you are willing to make changes when needed. You can even use a follow up tool to get the ball rolling with instant replies to feedback.
Creatively Support Charities
Simply giving to charity is not enough for local marketing. Get more involved by working with the charity to promote your business. Ask those who are donating to make a commitment to purchasing from your business as well.
Offer a discount for certain donation levels that can be used when they make a purchase. This puts your business in a good light by being charitable but also creates more potential for future sales.
Review and Improve Title Tags and Meta Descriptions on Content
When people are looking for businesses locally, it is not enough to rank high. To convert more traffic, your title tags and meta descriptions need to be on point.
Title tags should be less than 60 characters. It should indicate clearly what your business is.
More important is the meta-description. This should be less than 160 characters. This gives a short description of what the post is about. It is what drives higher click through rates. If not created, Google will just put in whatever it wants to.
Host Community Events
Always be involved in your community. When you have a local event, it endears you to the local community. It also offers you the perfect opportunity to post about what you are doing on social media and on your website.
Make sure the community event is germane to your business. This way, you have a greater chance of connecting with future customers. All first-time customers have the potential to be regular customers.
Build Landing Pages for All Business Locations
Regardless of how many locations your business has you need a landing page for each one. This helps you to be ranked locally when people are searching online. If you only have one page, the location of the headquarters will be identified and nothing else.
Expand Business with VIP Cards
Find local businesses with a high employee volume. Work out a deal with the business owner to provide staff with a VIP card. The VIP card entitles staff to receive a discount or freebie. Once they have purchased once or twice, there is a likelihood they will continue to do so.
Make sure the VIP cards have a time limit to them. This creates a sense of urgency. It also limits the number of discounts or freebies you will have to endure.
Get Face Time with People
Talking to people face to face is still a very effective local marketing method. It humanizes your business in a way you cannot through any other means.
When you are out and about carry cards with you. While you are pumping gas, spark up a conversation with a fellow gas pumper. Introduce yourself and talk about your business. Offer them a card for a discount or freebie.
As you can see, there are many different ways to promote your business locally. As you start to bring in more first-time customers through these marketing techniques, they will convert to regular customers. Keep in mind while you are promoting locally, you should still be thinking globally. Be ready for the possibility of expansion and plan for that eventuality. But never take your focus off of what is in your local market.