Why You Can’t Ignore Local Marketing
Any digital marketing strategy worth its weight in gold incorporates multi-channels and multi-platforms.
Some examples might include:
- Social media marketing
- Email and newsletter marketing
- Lead generation
- Content marketing
With potential customers now more accessible than ever, it’s even more important for business leaders to think about where engagement can happen.
It’s important to create a marketing strategy that uses multiple outlets in collaboration because consumers are balancing their time between varying platforms. If you want to be where they are you don’t really have a choice, you have to be just about everywhere.
Why Local Marketing?
One area of marketing most companies tend to overlook is local marketing. In fact, a majority of digital marketers believe that focusing on local markets is something of a waste. While it is true that local marketing may not be a fit for every business, there are some lucrative returns that it can yield. This is especially true as digital technologies blur the line between what is considered local and shrink our communities.
Small and medium-sized businesses — especially brick-and-mortar exclusives — have come to realize the full potential of marketing to their local area. While small-medium sized business might need to bring in local customers, but that’s not the sole benefit of local marketing.
Targeting a local market can reap several rewards. It can
- Create an uptick in local business and engagement- which can help foster proximity-based, long-term relationships.
- Establish your reputation and dominance in the local area. As your reputation grows, the power of word of mouth will help create a longer reach for your business. That will make it more likely prospects will venture to you from outside the immediate region.
One of the most well-known aspects of local marketing is local search and SEO, which ties your business to a particular market online. This is especially powerful when dealing with search engines and geographic searches.
With 93% of consumers traveling less than 20 minutes for products and services, it’s important to get your business locally recognized by sites such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Google. Everything from user reviews and recommendations to social sharing and Google business pages are tied to local search results. Furthermore, Google research reveals that nearly two-thirds of all mobile users prefer to do business with brands that have localized apps or mobile sites.
The Benefits of Local Marketing
Local marketing, which is also referred to as location-based marketing or geospatial marketing in some cases, is quite simple. The idea is to target a community around a particular business property, not necessarily the central position of your brand. Companies like Wal-Mart, which are spread across the world, might focus on location marketing for a specific store or region as opposed to their entire customer base. This distinction is important to make because local marketing matters no matter how big or small a business is.
Like any form of marketing, it can employ a number of methods and strategies from print and media ads to promotional events and experiences. It is especially beneficial for businesses that target customers who spend more time at home or within their local vicinity.
For an example of how a bigger business utilizes local marketing in a unique way, let’s go back to Wal-Mart. Their new Wal-Mart Grocery service allows customers to buy products online and then pick them up at a designated spot, located at their local store. Associates will collect the items purchased, bag them, and take them directly to a customer’s vehicle — offering an incredible amount of convenience. It’s clearly a service, however, that’s meant to target local customers around each store. You wouldn’t want to market the service to customers who don’t have access to it.
This example not only promotes the merits of a customer’s local Wal-Mart but also creates a unique experience. No matter how often someone uses the service, they’ll remember the ease and Walmart’s role in that experience.
It’s also important to remember that, when locally based, as the community grows and thrives so will your business. This is why you see many businesses — related in some way or not — supporting one another within the local community, to build-up revenue for all and create general success for the entire community. You can see this in action via Pennsylvania Chamber’s All Business Podcast which highlights a variety of local business in the central Pennsylvania area. All businesses highlighted on the podcast are locally based and help contribute to the surrounding communities.
You could do something similar by striking up a partnership with local businesses in your area, creating a newsletter, podcast, or other innovative customer experience. This is not only a marketing tactic but helps build a sense of community between the businesses and their customers.
Where to Start?
Important or not, it might not be clear where to focus your local marketing efforts. Here are some quick tips to get you started:
- Develop a mobile-friendly website and optimize for local search
- Include local address information, operating hours and contact details for relevant aid centers
- Provide multiple contact methods and points of contact to local users
- Have a local focus social media account with relevant content posts, like talking about events happening in the area
- Engage locally targeted promotions and advertisements, including local search
- Employ locally relevant keywords such as street and city names or even local trends
- Use retargeting to bring local customers back into the fold
- Claim and optimize local listings including Google business pages and similar opportunities
- Monitor and respond accordingly to online reviews
- Deploy a mobile app to target hyper-local customers
- Measure, monitor and assess your progress with the help of analytics and business intelligence tools
Don’t forget it’s a good idea to build up a presence within the local community by sponsoring events and programs. Attending local community fairs or social gatherings is another way to build a local reputation.
Get Local: The Time Is Now
It doesn’t matter what size your business is if you’ve ignored local marketing you’ve been missing out on a huge subset of your audience. Even if you only prioritize for local search, that’s better than doing nothing.
You may also want to read: Event Marketing for Local SEO: Effective and Natural Link Building Tactics
Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_iqoncept‘ / 123RF Stock Photo
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