Finding Customers where you need them: 7 marketing ideas for your local business.
Around 20% of small businesses fail within their 1st year, which might sound encouraging until you learn that only around 30% survive by their 10th year. Key factors that lead to their doom include financial issues and bad products.
Another is a poor marketing strategy.
This is why for local businesses, local marketing is important. Although your target market is smaller than that of a bigger company, you still have to work on establishing your business.
This is where businesses fail—when they are inconsistent in their marketing efforts. They may also run out of ideas for good strategies. If you’re guilty of the latter, check out the local marketing ideas below and see if there’s something for you.
1. Use Facebook to Share Local Content and Promotions
No matter who your target market is, they likely have a Facebook account. This makes it easy for you to reach out to them and drive up your sales with a good social media marketing strategy.
An example of online marketing for local businesses is to create local content. Write articles like the top attractions in your area and share it on your Facebook account. The goal is to increase your visibility, but it will help if people end up sharing your post to their friends as well.
Facebook is also a good platform for posting your latest promotions. Offer discounts, a BOGO deal, or even a contest and let your customers know.
2. Optimise Your Business Listings Across Online Directories
Have you ever noticed the box on the top of the search results with local businesses in it?
This is the local pack, an element of Google’s search results page that shows you the most relevant businesses to your search along with their information like your phone number, operating hours, and rating. It also includes buttons that lead to the business’ website and to Google Maps for directions.
This is where local businesses should aspire to be as it will make it easier for customers to discover you. To increase your chances of ending up here, create a Google My Business listing first. It should include all your details as well as photos and your position on the map. You should also claim your business on online directories like Yelp. Make sure your business information on all your online listings is accurate. This will further increase your chances of ranking as it won’t confuse Google.
3. Start Getting Reviews from Your Customers
Most consumers look up reviews of a particular product or service first before they try it out. If they don’t see enough reviews of your business, they might go for a competitor with more positive reviews.
Create a system to get customers to create a review of you. Registering on Yelp and other directories will help as it will make reviewing you easier.
If you have your customers’ emails, you can send review invitations. Some companies have even taken to creating an app that can send review invitations for them. If you have a Facebook account, as you should have, you can message them there as well.
4. Create a Unique Landing Page for Each Local Marketing Campaign
For your every marketing campaign, make sure to check your conversions. You may not be getting the results you want from one campaign, but you’re not checking to see if so. This is a waste of money and effort that you could have used for an effective one.
One way to do this is to create a custom landing page for your every campaign. Include a clear call-to-action, a clickable contact number, and other important details.
5. Support a Local Cause by Sponsoring a Charity Event
As a local business, it’s imperative to let your customers know you’re a part of the local community. A great way to do this is to sponsor a charity event for a local cause.
An example is raising funds for winter clothes for the unfortunate. A clean up is also a good idea; the key is to make sure it benefits the local community.
You could also organise the event yourself if you have the resources. What’s good about this is it won’t only raise your brand awareness and sales, but it will also help address an issue in your community.
6. Partner with Another Local Business
An effective yet cheap opportunity to double your brand awareness is to partner up with another business in your area. What you’ll do is cross-promotion, wherein you’ll help each other’s marketing efforts.
Find a local business with different products and services to avoid competition. It’s preferable if they have the same market as you so their customers will be more likely to buy from you, too.
Your local marketing strategies could involve you promoting their business and them doing the same. You could showcase their services in your store. Then, they can showcase your products in theirs.
This is not necessary to do, though, as you could agree to only share the costs of flyers, for example. You could also do a promotion together or promote each other on your social media accounts.
7. Create a Referral Program for Customers
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool that comes in a natural way when your customers like your product or service. You can encourage them toward it, though, by launching a referral program.
This is effective because 83% of people trust recommendations from friends or family. They’re more likely to try your business out if they’ve heard someone they know has had a wonderful experience with you.
It should be simple enough for a customer to do, like sharing a unique link and having their friend or family member use it. The program should also include a suitable reward, like a discount, a free item, or store credit.
Need More Marketing Ideas?
One or more of these local marketing ideas should be appropriate for your business.
If you need more help with marketing, in general, why not check out our other blog posts?