While you have the same opportunities as national businesses to market your business, there are distinct challenges for local businesses. Local businesses must be creative with their marketing efforts as they compete with larger, more well-known brands. If you want your business to thrive in a competitive marketplace, you need to have a cohesive marketing strategy that’s built around your local business.
Benefits of Marketing Your Business Locally
There are a lot of benefits to marketing your business locally. First, you’ll be able to reach many people who actually know you and care about what you’re doing. Second, it’s more affordable than most other forms of advertising. Third, marketing your business locally can help you build relationships in your community and culture. Last, these relationships will likely translate into sales and word-of-mouth advertising for your business.
Here are some tips for marketing your local business:
1. Identify Your Target Audience
There are many ways to market your local business, but the most effective methods are those that are tailored to your audience. The first step is to determine who your target audience is. Once you’ve identified your target customer, you can figure out how to appeal to that demographic. By narrowing down your focus and defining your target audience, you can make sure that any advertising or other outreach efforts are reaching the right people.
To identify your target audience, think about why your business was started and what problems you’re trying to solve for people who live in your area. For example, did you start a landscaping company because you wanted to give customers a more eco-friendly alternative to chemical-based lawn care? Or do you offer childcare services because you have an affinity for children and want to give parents a chance to attend social events without worrying about their kids?
The mission or goal of your business will help you determine your target audience and the type of information they would be interested in. And this can go a long way toward helping you ensure that your marketing efforts are working to bring in new customers.
2. Claim Your Google Business Profile Listing
One of the easiest ways to market your local business is by claiming your Google Business Profile, which will help your business appear in local searches. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar shop or offer a product or service online, claim your listing. This will allow you to update information about what you do and who you serve.
Once you claim your listing, fill out all the relevant sections about your business—your hours of operation and contact information. You should also add photos of your business location or products and services being offered.
3. Optimize Your Website for Local Users
These days, a majority of your prospective customers will find you online. There are plenty of ways to get people to visit your site, but one of the best ways is by ensuring that they will see it when they’re looking for a business like yours. People looking for a specific service in their community will often search for local keywords (for example, “roof repair Seattle”), and the first few results will usually be businesses that people consider.
You’ll want to make sure that your business name and its key products or services are included in the keywords used on your website. This is especially important when someone visits your site because they’re only looking for a particular product or service, and they don’t have time to read through your entire site. Be descriptive with your keywords, but make sure they fit naturally into the flow of your content as well. You should also include the area where your business is located in as many places as possible—in the title tag, meta descriptions, page headings, and content throughout the site.
It’s also important for your site to be mobile-friendly. Most people will browse with their phones or tablets, so don’t make it difficult for them to see what you have available. Make sure that all of your pages redirect properly and that all your links work properly, both on desktop browsers and mobile devices.
4. Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
Online reviews play an important role in how consumers make purchasing decisions, so you should encourage customers to leave reviews of your business on sites like Yelp or any other platform where you have an audience. It will increase trust with potential customers who read reviews before deciding where to do business.
If someone leaves a review on a review site, it will show up on search results when people look for businesses like yours in their area. One great way to get reviews is by offering discounts or coupons for people who leave reviews. This will encourage people to share their positive experience with others. Another option is to simply ask people who buy something from you if they can post a review online.
5. Start a Blog
If you’re not blogging yet, now’s the time to start. Blogging can help you build brand awareness, drive leads and boost traffic, because customers love reading about new products and services. It also allows you to build trust with potential customers by sharing useful information about trends in your industry or niche. Finally, blogging will help to establish you as an expert in your field — which is always good for business.
6. Be Active on Social Media
Social media is another great tool for marketing your business online. You can use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to connect with potential customers and share content that’s relevant to their interests. This is important because when people see you’re active on social media, they’ll be more likely to engage with your content on these platforms, which will help increase awareness of your brand.
Make sure that your social media accounts are updated regularly with news about your company and new products or promotions. You can also ask followers what they think of certain products or services and interact with them as much as possible so they feel like part of the team.
7. Use Localized Email Marketing
If you’re not using email to market your business, you’re missing out on one of the most effective ways to reach potential customers. Not only is email easy to set up and manage, but it’s also very affordable and has a high open rate. To target local customers, create an email list from which you can send out newsletters or other promotional materials regularly (such as once per month).
Send these emails using a service provider that lets you target specific geographic areas (postal codes). By using localized email marketing, you can make sure that your emails are sent to people who are interested in what you offer. This means that instead of sending out general emails to everyone within a certain radius, you’ll be able to target specific groups within this radius — like people who live in a specific city or neighborhood.
8. Participate in Community Events
Another great way to get your business name out there and establish yourself as an authority in your industry is by participating in community events. If there are any upcoming conferences or meet-ups related to what you do, consider attending them so that you can network with other professionals who might be interested in hiring you down the road.
Also consider partnering up with other businesses or groups in town and hosting an event together at a venue where you can all set up tables or booths for people to come visit during the event. It’s also important for you as a business owner to take part in these events, so take some time off from work and set up a booth where people can come and talk with you as well.
It can be difficult for local businesses to get noticed. Even if you’re in a thriving area, you may have several competitors nearby. Fortunately, these marketing strategies can help you improve your visibility online as well as offline.