Local marketing is a strategy that allows customers to be reached near small businesses. For brick-and-mortar businesses such as specialty shops, coffee shops, restaurants and others that depend heavily on foot traffic, it is important to target customers within the same area.
You can combine local marketing strategies with an ecommerce website to attract customers to your store and to capture the attention of local buyers. Like other strategies in your marketing plan marketing software can help you improve the effectiveness of your local marketing efforts.
Local search engine optimization (or SEO) can increase your brand awareness and online presence. Local traffic will be drawn to your store and website by appearing on the first page of search engine results pages for queries related to products or services.
Listings and profiles
A business profile for the top search engines is one way to increase your business’s ranking in search results. Google’s free Google Business Profile is a great place to begin. You can provide essential information about your company, including its address, phone number, website link, and personalize your profile with photos, logos, and images. Your profile will be available on Google Search and Maps once it is complete.
Bing Places is also available for free and allows you to claim your listing or create it in a similar manner. To prevent unauthorised changes, you can also add photos to your listing and request a PIN.
Yahoo Listings, managed by Yext allow you to provide basic information about your business free of charge. To ensure that this information appears on Yahoo’s site, and to access advanced listing features span>, you will need to subscribe.
Yelp for Business and Nextdoor, Apple Maps and Foursquare are all platforms that allow customers to find you. Tripadvisor is a good option for hospitality businesses, while Houzz or Angi are great for those in home design and repair. You should also create a Facebook page for your business and include a description, contact information, location, and hours of operation.
Website optimization tips
You should also keep your business profile up-to-date on search engines and third-party websites. These optimization tips can also be helpful for local SEO.
Use “local” keywords to include phrases specific to your local area.
Create content relevant to your area and local customers.
Add your business name, address, and phone number to every page of your website.
Determine the target keywords your ideal customer searches for. This could include a combination of your product or service and your location.
Create helpful pages for your website. Answer customers’ most frequent questions. Include your local keywords.
A responsive website design allows your site display properly on all devices including desktop, mobile and tablet.
Add meta tags to your HTML code. These are snippets that describe the content of a page.
Email marketing campaigns
Email marketing campaigns can reach existing and potential customers within your locality. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.
To identify contacts in your local area, segment your contacts by location.
Use to send emails to local contacts with discounts, coupons and other details.
Provide personalized service to customers who visit your business.
Keep in touch with your contacts via newsletters or other automated email campaigns.
Collect contact information from website visitors through pop-ups or other forms.
Direct mail promotions
Local marketing does not have to be limited to digital strategies. Local marketing can also be used to attract locals, even though it is more expensive than digital communication. Direct mail can be used to promote your business’s coupons, discounts, and other events. You may also wish to send out direct mail to your local contacts.
The United States Postal Service will help you promote your small business to the local community. You can view the mailing routes within your area as well as demographic information such income, age and household size using the USPS Every Door Direct Mail Tool. To help spread word about your business, you can choose the most compatible routes with your target audience.
Participation in Community events
Participating in community events and organizations through sponsorships, or other participation means is a great way to get to know locals, build brand awareness, and associate your business with them.
Direct mail, email, or text marketing can be used to announce your participation. A CRM (customer relationship management platform) can make it easier to send messages to the right people.
You’ll probably benefit from the event’s advertising, which usually lists participants businesses and sponsors. However, offering branded merchandise is a great way to increase brand awareness.
Liz Froment contributed to this article.
This article was originally published on Fundera, a subsidiary to NerdWallet.