We often fall prey to the notion that bigger is better as business owners and marketers. “If we just did more, bought more, or increased our budget, we would get better results,” we reason. But what if that isn’t the case? What if it was the polar opposite?
It’s the year 2022, and many astute marketers and brands realize that bigger isn’t always better. They’re learning that aiming smaller is one of the most effective ways to build a successful brand. We’re talking about making your marketing strategy more local.
Local Marketing’s Influence
Local marketing may appear to be something that small, niche brands or startups do when they don’t have the financial resources to launch a full-fledged marketing campaign. But don’t pass judgment too quickly. There’s a reason why some of the world’s most successful brands are narrowing their focus and emphasizing local marketing more. Here are a few of the immediate advantages:
- Purchasing habits. Did you know that 93 percent of consumers spend 20 minutes or less on average to make routine purchases? While Amazon.com and other eCommerce sites are still popular, most people still buy the majority of their daily necessities from local businesses. As a result, having a local marketing presence makes sense.
- Searches in the area. On a daily basis, roughly 33% of online consumers use the internet to look for local businesses. A further 16% of people do it several times per week. That means nearly half of all internet users are actively looking for local businesses.
- Recommendations from people you can trust. Here’s something to think about: Word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals from friends or family members make 83 percent of consumers more likely to buy a product or service. Because most friends and family members live in the same local market as the consumer, having a local marketing presence is even more important.
- Engagement. If you look at Facebook pages, you’ll notice that local pages account for 72 percent of brand engagement. This includes feedback, direct messages, and social media shares (which are all high-value engagement activities). Non-local pages with a broader audience typically receive low-value engagement, such as likes and views.
When you add up all of these advantages, you can see how valuable local marketing is (particularly when you stack it up against your existing marketing strategy that attempts to reach a broader market).
5 Local Marketing Strategies and Techniques
There are several things you can do to maximize your local marketing results if you want to be successful. Let’s look at a few of these strategies:
1. Select a Specific Market
A well-defined target market is the foundation of successful local marketing. To put it another way, you must know who your target audience is.
Targeting a specific local market, such as Nashville, TN, isn’t enough. Within this market, you must determine who your ideal target customer is. Consider factors such as age range, interests, careers, political and religious affiliations, desires, frustrations, and so on as you create your target customer profiles.
Your local marketing efforts will be more effective if your target audience is more specific. On the front end, spend some time fleshing out these details.
2. Make an investment in local SEO
It’s time to focus on local search engine optimization once you’ve defined your market (SEO). Given that nearly half of all online users use Google and other search engines to find local businesses, it’s a no-brainer to invest in local SEO. The following are the main components:
- Technical SEO. While everyone wants to jump right into keywords and content, the truth is that without a solid technical SEO foundation, your local SEO strategy will stagnate. This entails properly configuring your website to optimize things like tags, titles, page structure, URLs, site speed, security, and usability.
- Local keywords. Keywords are a big part of SEO. You must prioritize the right local keywords if you want your pages, ads, and content to be served to people who are in your target audience. You can use a variety of tools to conduct keyword research, including these eight.
- Content. Keywords can be used in a variety of ways, including PPC ads, but they’re most effective when they’re integrated into your content strategy. Content is, in fact, the fuel for this entire local SEO engine. Google uses website pages and blog posts to drive traffic to your site.
- Backlinks. Backlinks are regarded as trust signals by Google and other search engines. When they see dozens of backlinks pointing to pages on your website from authoritative websites, it tells them that your content is valuable. As a result, link building is a critical component of a proactive local SEO strategy.
When you invest in local SEO, you instantly increase the visibility of your brand on the internet. In other words, when people search for keywords related to your products, services, or niche, they are more likely to find you.
3. Take advantage of location-based services
If you have a physical storefront or building, you can use location-based services to boost your visibility and potentially increase foot traffic.
Foursquare, Google Places, and Facebook Places are all popular location-based services. These services are free to use, and they allow you to connect with people in your area.
4. Collaborate with other small businesses in the area
Using the connections, resources, and relationships that other established businesses already have is one of the fastest ways to establish a presence in a local market. This can be accomplished by forming partnerships (whether official or unofficial).
Partnerships can take on a variety of shapes and sizes. The ultimate goal is to assist other businesses. When you assist other businesses by adding value to them, they will be willing to reciprocate.
During the pandemic shutdowns of 2020 and 2021, the power of business partnerships was perfectly demonstrated. Businesses that had strong partnerships with other businesses were able to pool resources and leverage them to stay afloat. Those who ran their businesses from their own private islands were much more likely to fail.
5. Participate in Community Events
There’s no better way to connect with customers than to meet them face to face and interact with them. What better way to engage people in person than at a local event?
Attending local events allows you to meet new people and form connections. This strategy works especially well if you have people on your team who are outgoing. Here are some local event marketing ideas:
- Local events can be sponsored. Are there any upcoming local events to which you could attach your brand through a sponsorship? Not only does this help you raise brand awareness in your local market, but it also builds goodwill between your company and the event’s organizers. (Not to mention that it allows you to network with the other event sponsors.)
- Attend a local event and rent a booth. Sponsoring an event and renting a booth at a local event can be beneficial (like a tradeshow, outdoor market, or festival). This allows you to meet new people, talk about your business, and possibly make some sales.
- Participate in charitable events. Non-profit events and activities are held at every local market to benefit a specific cause, charity, or group of people. You might be able to sponsor, volunteer, or contribute some of your products or services.
These are only a few suggestions. Bring your team together and come up with some new ideas. Every market is different, and your city may have some unique opportunities.
Local Marketing Can Help You Grow Your Business
Local marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme that produces immediate results. It takes time, patience, and forethought. However, if you give it a few months, you’ll be rewarded with increased penetration, visibility, and, ultimately, a higher return on your marketing dollars.
The only question is whether you’re willing to put in the effort.