As you navigate the turbulent seas of marketing, don’t lose sight of one of your most important audiences: your local market. However, you may need to use targeted strategies to reach this audience. Local marketing differs from other marketing practices in that it relies heavily on building relationships within your neighborhood or within a certain radius of your business.
What is local marketing?
Local marketing is a type of marketing that specifically targets customers who live some distance from the business location. This method allows businesses to market goods and services to potential customers who live in a certain city or zip code. Small businesses often overlook this marketing strategy, as many of them draw inspiration from large conglomerates.
There are many ways to reach local markets. Not all strategies will work for all businesses, but these marketing tips can guide you.
14 local marketing strategies
Many local marketing strategies involve adapting some proven marketing tactics to attract this local customer base. These ideas can help you start building your own successful local marketing strategy.
1. Know the audience.
The first and most important step in developing any marketing campaign is knowing who your audience is. You not only need to know which group the ideal client belongs to, but also have an idea of the ideal client’s interests and what will interest them. You also need to know where your audience is. For example, which social media platforms do your audience spend the most time on?
2. Target the audience.
Now that you know who and where your audience is, you need to reach them. Build your campaigns around the interests of the public. Use the keywords they will search for. Do advertisements that explain how your product or service solves a problem the audience is having.
3. Get involved in your community.
Find local events and participate. Volunteer for a cause in your community and wear t-shirts with your logo on it. Give away prizes in contests and contests that will engage your community and make them want to come back to your business.
4. Take advantage of local directories.
An easy way to generate local traffic is to make sure you appear in local search results. You can do this by listing your business on sites like Google My Business and Yelp.
5. Collect and post testimonials.
People are more likely to post negative reviews than good ones, but when you find positive reviews, share them and post them on other sites. When you have positive interactions with customers, encourage those customers to write and share great reviews.
6. Use local media.
Don’t underestimate the power of local media, especially in a small town. Local newspapers, radio stations, or broadcasts can be very effective if you are looking to generate more foot traffic.
7. Run local search engine marketing campaigns.
You can use software like Google Ads to create campaigns that generate local traffic both online and in-store. Explore pay-per-click campaigns and other advertising options that can help you optimize your marketing spend and reach the right audience.
8. Work on your search engine optimization (SEO).
Search engine optimization, especially organic SEO, is all about creating content and making sure you have a technically sound website with the goal of reaching your customers without (or additionally) paying for ads.
Organic SEO can be a big investment that takes months or even years to pay off, but the benefits are immense. This strategy becomes more important as search engines like Google refine their technologies to deliver more relevant results to searchers, including local search results when people search for restaurants, lounges and other services near. their current location.
9. Use social media to engage audiences.
Social media can be a great way to connect with an audience in a professional yet human way. Use the social channels that your local target market is on to answer customer questions and have conversations with your audience.
10. Organize contests or promotions.
Promotions like contests can be great tools for engaging a local audience. Be creative with your contests and offer prizes that your ideal customer would want. Offer promotions to celebrate local events or to connect with the community in other ways.
11. Establish yourself as an authority.
Write blog posts that answer customer questions about your industry. This not only helps SEO but also gives your business credibility and helps you stand out from your competition.
12. Cross-promote with other local businesses.
When done correctly, cross-promotion can be a very effective marketing method. As the name suggests, this is a mutually beneficial marketing method that involves two or more businesses promoting each other to their customers. This allows each business to gain more customers and increase overall sales. This method provides immediate exposure to a wide range of potential customers with minimal effort.
13. Organize or sponsor local events.
Another great method of local promotion is to organize or sponsor events. Whether you choose a seminar, dance, banquet, or any other event that you think will attract the audience you are looking for, this method is often effective because you allow people to have a good time and / or get information.
14. Have a mobile friendly website.
Mobile searches are one of the best ways for local customers to find and view information about your business. It’s also now a key factor in SEO, as more traffic comes from smartphones and other mobile devices than ever before.
If you haven’t optimized your business website yet, it could do wonders for your local marketing. Those using mobile search are already in your area and are looking for local businesses to patronize. Making sure your website displays correctly on iPhones and other smartphones could boost your business overnight.
What is the Pareto principle and how does it relate to local marketing?
Named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, the Pareto Principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. For example, only 20% of your marketing campaigns are responsible for 80% of your success, or 20% of your customer base represents 80% of your sales.
With the Pareto principle in mind, you need to track your marketing efforts and find the most effective strategies for engaging with your audience. Once you’ve found the 20% that are most successful, devote the majority of your efforts to those campaigns and platforms. This is especially important for small, local businesses that may not have a lot of money or room to experiment.
Local Marketing FAQs
In what other ways can your business stand out and attract more local customers? Explore these frequently asked questions to identify other strategies that may work for your business.
How is local marketing measured?
Local marketing measurement is a multi-pronged approach that involves tracking digital and in-store metrics. Data collection and analysis is essential, and data can come from many places. In-person sales data can be pulled and analyzed from your point of sale systems, for example. However, it is important not to rely on these alone, as they exclude a wide range of customers outside of the store. Digital metrics like website analytics, your digital advertising return on investment, and the information your customer relationship management (CRM) software collects all play a role in measuring the success of your efforts.
Who benefits from local marketing?
Any business whose location is heavily dependent on foot traffic can benefit from local marketing. Restaurants, hair and nail salons, drugstores, hardware stores, ice cream parlors, gift shops, record stores and many other businesses that profit from the traffic of curious passers-by would do well to invest in strategies local marketers that encourage these potential customers to visit.
What are some examples of local marketing campaigns?
While the term “local marketing” certainly refers to small businesses and community organizations, many large or global businesses are developing local marketing strategies to reach more people in a particular region where they want to increase their sales. Here are some successful local marketing campaigns to study:
- Airbnb: This travel agency went from a rental platform to a provider of local travel experiences in 2014, renaming the company to reflect these new values. To connect with individual regions and countries – a sprawling mission, given the size of the company – Airbnb developed country-specific social media campaigns, distributed a print and digital magazine tailored to each region and hosted experiences for tourists led by locals.
- KitKat: The word “Kit Kat” resembles the Japanese expression “kitto katsu”, which translates to “you will surely win”, a phrase roughly equivalent to “good luck”. Understanding the coincidence, Nestlé looked at the extra meaning the Kit Kat brand has taken in Japan. The company created a campaign that allowed Japanese customers to print good luck messages on Kit Kat bars and mail them to loved ones. By understanding what was going on on the ground, Nestlé was able to build a stronger connection with customers while earning around $ 11 million in free media in the process.
- Nike: The global sportswear company has run several successful campaigns to attract customers from all over the world. In China, Nike annually launches a Chinese New Year themed shoe. In London, the brand launched a campaign specifically aimed at young city dwellers called ‘Nothing Beats a Londoner’, showing different sports being played across the city by locals wearing Nike gear. This approach helps personalize a brand that may seem too big to be personal.