Creating a successful local business marketing plan for your small business can be stressful. It requires a lot of patience and research. But if everything is done right, you will find it easier to reach new clients, generate leads and bring in a great return on investment.
Which makes you wonder, what marketing channels should you utilize in order to promote your business and bring in new clients? Here are a few marketing tips to help you on your journey.
Supporting local media and newspapers and forming relationships with them can come a long way.
Reach out to your local journalists and bloggers and offer yourself as a source of valuable information for your community. This will not only bring you so much needed exposure but will also demonstrate your expertise and help build trust in your products or services. Media outlets will also gladly create backlinks to your website if you bring value to the table. This will generate local organic traffic which is critical for Local SEO or even foot traffic to your store.
A great way for local small businesses to get exposure is to connect with other companies and promote each other to their client bases. Consider collaborating with like-minded businesses that are not your direct competition and introduce each other to your social media base. It’s mutually beneficial since it introduces your clients to a new business while allowing their target audience to learn more about you.
Another great way to boost your local brand awareness is to connect with local influencers that are relevant within your niche.
Google Business Profile (aka Google My Business) is a core element of local SEO, and it’s important to highlight just how crucial it is that your listing data is accurate and kept up to date.
Research suggests that 50% of consumers visit a store or a business the day of performing a local search, such as “dentist near me” or ”restaurants near me”, and that 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online. Meaning you’ll want to keep your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) consistent across all your listings, not just your Google Business Profile.
One of the cheapest and most effective ways to grow your small business online is through social media marketing.
If you are not currently active on social media, it is time to change that! Social media has become a part of our life and keeps growing day by day. It’s a great way for you to connect with customers, build relationships, increase brand awareness, and generate leads.
And the good news is you don't have to pay somebody to use social media as your marketing tool for your small business and it's not that complicated. Few things to keep in mind:
Most online platforms offer great tools to help you target your content to the right audience.
Facebook Ads, for example, is a great tool for local marketing that allows you to target a specific location within your city. On top of that, you can also use other parameters like age, education, gender, interests, job title, and so on.
The ability to set your spending budget can help immensely since it allows you to reach new potential customers without overspending.
Instagram now also allows you to advertise using its Shopping tool.
Every local business should consider claiming local listings on Yelp, Bing, Google, Apple Maps, and so on. If you don’t have your business listed on all the major local business directories it is time to do so.
Then you can start encouraging customers to leave ratings and reviews. Customer reviews are a crucial element of any small business marketing strategy. It helps boost your local authority, makes your business appear legitimate and trustworthy not to mention that word of mouth is one of the best ways to promote your local business.
Local search engine optimization or local SEO is the process of optimizing your business’s website to make sure people who live in your business’s geographical region are able to find your website online when searching for related terms such as "breakfast near me" or "Italian food downtown Charlotte".
For small businesses, it's easier to achieve local search rankings than trying to optimize a website for national audiences competing against large brands that spend hundreds of thousands on their SEO.
Local SEO is essential for small businesses and one of the best investments you can make. It doesn't matter how insignificant you believe your business is, as long as you have a well-optimized website, you can apply local SEO to your business and increase your revenue. Your website doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to meet certain standards. For example, site structure, loading speed, and security are extremely important for SEO.
Luckily, if you decide to do it yourself, there are plenty of resources such as Search Engine Journal that can help you get your local SEO strategy right and rank higher in local search results. Should you decide to ask an SEO agency for help it is advised to go with your local company. Hiring a local SEO company provides you with experts that know the market that you are targeting and local trends. Plus they tend to cost lower than online and out of the area SEO teams.
Many local marketing strategies are free to implement and can be easily accomplished. It’s important to harness the power of all solutions that are available for your company and make the most out of them. These are just a few ideas to help get you started.
Being able to develop a local marketing strategy for a small business is a winning formula in today’s market. Commit to excellence, expand your reach with social media, and always ensure that you listen to your customers. All these steps will make it easier to grow and expand your business in the long run!
Whether you need help with your local SEO or other digital marketing strategies, the team of professionals at Zorka Web is just one click away. Meanwhile, enjoy our free website SEO audit and discover how to improve your current marketing efforts.