Every company needs an effective marketing strategy, but local businesses require a special approach. When your company serves a specific area, you need a marketing plan that focuses on driving brand awareness, sales, and customer loyalty within those geographic boundaries. After all, you need to boost your business's credibility and stay ahead of the competition without wasting resources on customers outside of your area. Find out how to develop a local business marketing plan with 10 efficient strategies.
1. Get Your Google Listing
When local customers search for your business online, you want to make sure they can access the most accurate, up-to-date information. That's why it's essential to sign up for Google My Business. With a Google My Business profile, you can provide the correct address, phone number, website, and hours every time someone searches for your company.
You can also add your business to Google Maps so local customers can find it more easily. Since customers can leave reviews and ratings, your Google listing can also deliver social proof.
2. Verify Your Business on Review Sites
Another key step to marketing a local business is confirming your listings on popular review sites. Since Yelp allows customers to add businesses to the platform, start by checking for an established listing for your company. If one already exists, you can claim it as your own and verify that the details are correct. If you can't find a listing, create a new Yelp page with the correct contact information and hours.
3. Set Up Social Media Pages
Next, take advantage of one of the most effective local marketing strategies by setting up social media profiles on all major platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If your company has multiple locations, consider setting up separate pages for each branch. Then develop a social media marketing plan that allows your local business to shine. For example, you can advertise specials and discounts, tell behind-the-scenes stories, and highlight your local community.
4. Focus on Local SEO
When you run a local business, you want to have control over the information customers see when they search for your business. Since the top three search results on Google receive over three-quarters of clicks, it's important that your website ranks at the top. You can improve your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) by focusing on local search engine optimization (SEO). For example, starting a blog is one of the best local marketing ideas since a blog allows you to create high-ranking content that appeals to your customer base.
5. Master Email Marketing
To stay in touch with current and prospective customers, collect subscribers and start an email list. Send email updates regularly to share news like product launches, special discounts, or helpful blog posts. Choose an email service provider that allows tagging so you can separate subscribers based on their local store. Then send hyperlocal messages to select subscriber groups, keeping them current on happenings at their favorite location.
6. Start a Customer Loyalty Program
When you're first learning how to market your business, you'll quickly discover that loyal customers can be one of your most valuable assets. After all, boosting your customer retention rate by only 5% can improve profits by as much as 95%. To encourage customers to return to your local business, launch a loyalty program. If you offer discounts and other incentives to returning customers, you can inspire them to return again and again.
7. Work With Local Influencers
For many local businesses, word-of-mouth marketing is more effective than traditional advertising. To spread the word about your business, develop partnerships with local influencers. You can send them complementary products and ask for a review or ask them to introduce your business to their social media followers, many of whom may be based in your area. You can also provide local influencers with affiliate links in an effort to boost product sales.
8. Launch a Co-Marketing Campaign
In addition to working with local influencers, partnering with other companies in your area can be one of the best ways to promote your business. Seek out companies that aren't direct competitors but that offer products and services that complement yours. Then brainstorm some social media, email marketing, or blogging campaigns that promote both of your businesses. You can develop co-marketing campaigns that increase local awareness or drive sales.
9. Advertise in Your Local Area
To get on your local customers' radar, take advantage of advertising opportunities in your area. Some of the most effective local advertising avenues include broadcasting commercials to radio listeners and creating billboards that get your customers' attention. Some other popular advertisement ideas for small businesses include placing ads in newspapers, local magazines, and circulars with a wide distribution throughout your area.
10. Try Unique Marketing Ideas
When you really want to stand out and capture local customers' attention, think outside of the box. Some of the most successful local businesses capitalize on original promotions, such as branded clothing and other wearable items or sponsorships from unlikely partners. To capture interest and drive brand awareness, your local business can also create online contests that customers can easily share with friends and family.
As you create a plan to grow your small business, remember that the right marketing mix is different for every company. Try these local marketing strategies to find out what produces the best results and then put the most effective tactics to work for your small business.