An enormous 85% of business owners depend on word-of-mouth referrals, showing just how crucial it is to reach customers in your local area. Local marketing strategies are slightly different to the techniques and methods youâ€™ll use for general marketing, as youâ€™re working hard to find, reach, engage and appeal to local customers specifically.
Local Marketing Strategies
Here are 20 of the best local marketing strategies you can use to increase awareness and your customer base in your local area:
Get Involved with the Community
Getting involved with the local community can be a surprisingly effective way to engage with local customers. Youâ€™ll meet lots of local people and build valuable links. You can get involved with your community by attending local events, sponsoring charity events or perhaps donating a little of your spare time volunteering.
Claim Your Google Local Listing
More than half of business owners still havenâ€™t claimed their Google My Business listing, which means that they canâ€™t manage and update vital information such as opening hours, address, images and contact details.
Run Local SEO Campaigns
This is one of the most important local marketing strategies, is it enables local customers to find you when searching for businesses, services and products in the local area. There are lots of ways to improve local search engine optimization, including making good use of local-focused keywords and regularly updating a business blog with fresh, engaging content.
Make Local Business Contacts
Partnering with local businesses, especially those in similar or complementary industries, is a great way to start expanding your local network. Start in online professional groups on sites like LinkedIn, making sure you do plenty of real-world networking too.
Advertise a Loyalty Program
The reason this is one of the best local marketing strategies is because customers love to feel valued. Create special offers and discounts for local customers only, perhaps bringing everything together in a loyalty scheme.
Start a Referral Program
If you need a boost in word-of-mouth marketing, why not push your customers to do it for you with an irresistible referral scheme? Itâ€™s simple to start, all you need to do is offer a tempting freebie or special discount for the original customer and the person they refer.
Bring Your Staff into Your Referral Plan
Who better to act as an advocate for your brand than your dedicated staff? Offer a bonus to staff for referring new clients and customers.
Advertise in Local Public Transport Hubs
To reach local customers, you need to think about the places around town they tend to go. Public transport stations and hubs are excellent for this, so put your ads up in rail, bus and other local transit stations in your local area.
Engage with Audiences on Social Media
With 800 million active monthly users, Instagram provides a wealth of opportunities for small businesses to reach out to new customers. Make sure to tag your location in your posts, as research shows that posts with a geo-tag receive a huge 79% more engagement from social media users.
Use Targeting Tools for Online Marketing
Social media platforms such as Facebook offer many ways to target customers in your local area. You can use paid advertising features to â€˜boostâ€™ posts, setting parameters to target customers within a certain number of miles from your business HQ.
Tell Your Story
If youâ€™re from the local area youâ€™re targeting and have a great story about how your business got started, make sure you tell it! Customers love to support a local business, especially one run by a hard-working local resident. You can create a video or do a series of blog posts and share them on social media.
Hold an Event
Throw a party or a launch event for your business or a new product and invite new customer to come to you. Putting on some free food, drink or entertainment is a smart move, as it provides an incentive to attend.
Get Reviews and Testimonials
Local customers want to use a business that they feel they can trust, which you can demonstrate with positive reviews and testimonials. Never pay for these, but simply email previous customers saying that youâ€™d really appreciate a review if they had a good experience.
Win Over Local Bloggers and Journalists
Who are the influential journalists and bloggers in your area? Invite them to an event or send them a product to review and see if you can get some positive local press.
Send Out Targeted Email Campaigns
74% of marketers find that targeted personalization increased customer engagement, so as part of your local marketing strategies, make sure youâ€™re tailoring your email campaigns to customers in the local area.
Consider Running a Coupon Deal Site Offer
This may not be appropriate for all businesses, but as coupon deal sites such as Groupon group offers by location, a special deal or discount could bring in a host of new local customers.
Offer a Free Consultation or Advice Service
This is a great way to demonstrate your expertise in your field, while getting potential new customers interested in what you do. They may come for free advice now, but theyâ€™ll likely come back to make a purchase later.
Advertise in Local Newspapers
Never underestimate the power of traditional local marketing strategies such as print media advertising. Ads and features in local newspapers, as well as mailed circulars, can attract the attention of local customers.
Get Yourself on Local TV
Whether in a news story about a charity event or a paid advert, you need to get your business into the homes of local customers â€“ all through the power of local TV networks.
Partner with Another Business
Could you team up with another well-known local business? For example, a design firm could team up with a printing company to refer clients and offer discounts.
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