In today’s competitive business world, making a name for yourself and connecting with your target audience comes with brand-new challenges and opportunities. While digital marketing methods have introduced innovative ways of promoting a brand, local marketing continues to play a crucial role in the success of small and medium-sized businesses. Implementing a local marketing strategy requires a thoughtful and bespoke approach, taking on board the unique attributes and preferences of your local customer base. This strategy involves understanding the local demand, building community relationships, analysing competitors and effectively promoting goods or services within your geographical reach.
By harnessing the strength of local marketing, there is an opportunity to build a strong presence in your community, form meaningful relationships and deliver sustainable growth. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to improve your local marketing approach or are a small business owner starting from scratch, this article will provide you with valuable insights and tips on how to create a successful local marketing strategy.
What is local marketing?
Local marketing refers to the strategies and methods used by businesses to promote their products or services within a clear geographical area or local community. Local marketing is a targeted approach that concentrates on engaging with a local customer base whilst improving brand awareness. Compared to broader marketing campaigns that target a larger audience, local marketing meets the specific needs, preferences, and behaviours of those in the chosen area in order to create a more specific, personalised approach.
Local marketing often involves a mixture of offline and online media to reach and connect with the target audience. Traditional methods such as print advertising, brochures, mail, and community events or boards are commonly used. In terms of digital media, businesses may use strategies such as online directories, SEO, local search ads and social media marketing.
What types of businesses benefit from local marketing?
Many businesses and industries can benefit from local marketing, however, specific business types require it, especially if they are client-facing, have a physical store or are service-orientated. Here are some examples of businesses that can benefit from local marketing.
- Restaurants and cafes: Local eateries utilise local marketing to promote brand awareness, increase customer reservations or walk-ins, and create a loyal customer base that repeatedly uses their services, recommends them to family and friends and leaves online reviews.
- Retail stores: Small-scale local shops, boutiques and fresh produce stores benefit from local marketing by attracting foot traffic and building customer loyalty within the community. Many smaller, local stores provide customers with convenience and reliability.
- Nonprofit institutions: Local charities, community groups, and nonprofit businesses can use local marketing to engage and collect volunteers, raise awareness about relevant issues, and attract local donations and support. Customers may be more likely to help out, volunteer or donate to a local group who are benefitting that area specifically.
- Service-based businesses: Occupations such as plumbers, interior decorators, electricians, salons or dog walking businesses target local customers in order to generate leads and recurring business. With most service-based businesses, customers want somewhere which is easily accessible, convenient and efficient, so local marketing will reach the relevant demographic.
7 Local marketing strategies to help promote your small business
Optimising your website for local users
Website optimisation is key to pushing traffic and is essential for any digital marketing strategy, for any business. But what does website optimisation mean for local users? Here are some essential features to include in website optimisation for local marketing.
- Making sure your website is mobile-friendly
- Using localised SEO and localised content
- Keyword research
- Updating title tags and meta descriptions
Landing pages for local locations
If your business targets multiple locations, whether that’s cities, towns or specific regions, creating specific landing pages for each will make the website easier to navigate and also promote localised SEO. These pages will include full website optimisation and also more relevant content and keyword phrases that are specific to that area. For more information on landing pages, have a read through our blog on how to create a successful landing page.
Create a Google business profile
One of the easiest and simplest ways to begin a local marketing campaign is to sign up and create a Google business profile. Google Business Profile provides users with details such as a business’s location, working hours, directions, contact information and imagery. Similarly, to help with local marketing, it is also a good idea to sign up for local directories.
Social media marketing
Similar to a website, social media accounts must also be optimised and localised. This includes providing up-to-date information, such as the location of the office/space, contact information, working hours and keeping consistent with posts and content. Here are some of the key ways in which social media marketing can be used for local marketing.
- Location tags and hashtags
- Local competitions/polls
- Customer communication through DM’s and comments
- Business collaborations
- Customer service
Collecting customer reviews
Testimonials and customer reviews are one of the best ways to promote your business whilst also creating a sense of legitimacy and reliability. When new customers search for your business or service and find a long list of positive reviews and experiences, they are much more likely to trust and invest in your business. These reviews can also be a great place to express the idea of community and build a positive personal profile.
Sponsoring local events or charities
When it comes to local marketing, the best way to get your business seen is through direct customer engagement, with local people, in local places. An example of this would be to sponsor local events or charities. This can also offer opportunities for content such as blogs, press releases and social media posts.
Localised email marketing campaigns
Email marketing strategies are effective and affordable and also allow you to filter users by location, making it a successful technique for local marketing. The easiest way to obtain location data along with customers’ email addresses is via a sign-up sheet in a physical location or an online form on your website. Within these campaigns, you can offer signed-up customers exclusive access to business updates, upcoming promotions or deals and build a tight-knit community.
Our local services work out what people are searching for the most when it comes to businesses like yours and then create a strategy to position you in front of them. Imaginaire offers our local SEO services with a simple monthly price, based on the area or areas that you’d like to target, with no long contracts to speak of (we hate them). We also help small businesses to get their SEO strategy right and then implement that strategy to produce tangible results. We live and breathe SEO and have done since Imaginaire was born over 8 years ago.
Get in touch today to speak to one of our experts on 0115 971 8908 and we’ll be glad to give you some of our ideas.