One of the top priorities for marketers is targeting and engaging audiences. That doesn’t just apply nationally but should also apply locally. And, for some businesses, local marketing is the only way to thrive. Implementing local marketing strategies empowers you to connect with customers in your immediate area and tap into the strength of an established community. Let’s explore the significance of local marketing together and look at effective strategies that will help you maximize your reach.
What is Local Marketing?
Local marketing is any strategy specifically aimed at promoting your business within a specific geographic area (usually the area your business is located in).
Why is this a useful strategy to utilize? It helps you attract and engage local customers—the ones that are visiting your physical location(s), making local purchases, and the most likely to become loyal customers down the line.
Local marketing leverages the unique characteristics of a community and uses it to establish meaningful connections—ones that will help your business grow and succeed.
Local Marketing Strategies
To effectively implement local marketing strategies takes some forethought and we’ve come up with a few different approaches for you to consider:
Localize Your Website
Your site may exist on the world wide web but that doesn’t mean you can’t tailor it to your local community. How does this work? A couple of options include optimizing for local keywords, featuring local testimonials, or highlighting location specific information.
For example, rather than generalizing with queries like “sporting goods store”, you can add an identifier such as “Kansas City sporting goods store” to grab local search engine attention.
Along the same lines, if you have more than one location, include that on your site and connect location specific information to it like different hours, special events, or a location specific promotion.
Provide a Great Mobile User Experience
In today’s digital world, it’s already more important than ever to ensure your audience is having a seamless mobile experience. However, when it comes to local business, this becomes even more crucial.
Say you’re in the mood to order some takeout—something that will be ready for pickup in half an hour so you can line it up with your lunch hour. You do a quick search for a local sandwich shop, but it takes way too long to load the menu for ordering and you’re experiencing glitches and lags when you try to put in your payment method to confirm. Frustrated, you exit and find much more satisfaction on a different site that gets you what you need quickly.
This is why optimizing your website for mobile devices is important. You could lose out on potential business if your users are faced with slow load times and mishaps.
Leverage Local SEO and Paid Advertising
There are several efforts you can put towards SEO and paid advertising to improve visibility locally.
One SEO strategy that’s easy to implement is claiming your business listings across the internet. Google My Business, Bing Places, and Yahoo! Local are all good places to start. Review these listings to ensure that they’re up to date and consistent. Make sure to use local keywords on top of location-specific content to help improve organic rankings.
Additionally, think about the paid campaigns you’re running whether that’s through Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other channels. Consider targeting specific geographic areas to help you reach local customers that are actively seeking the products or services you offer.
Fine-tune Your Local Marketing Pricing Strategy
This is where you take local purchasing power, competitor pricing, and unique community needs into account. Develop pricing strategies that help you come out on top. Examples of this include offering competitive prices, localized promotions, or weekly discounts that attract local customers and differentiate your business from competitors in the area.
A great example of this are grocery store ads you receive in your mailbox each week. Price Chopper is offering a set of deals that differs from Hy-Vee that differs from Hen House that differs from Whole Foods and so on. These are strategies to get local customers into their stores and compete with other grocers in the area.
Be an Active Community Member
One of the best ways to become a part of your community is to participate and actively engage with events, sponsorships, and partnerships. Being involved helps raise awareness for your brand as well as build important relationships with people and organizations in your local area. Not only are you creating trust, but you’re also building loyalty.
A few ways to show your commitment to your community are by hosting events, showing up and supporting local events, volunteering, or donating to charity. Larger companies, like Starbucks, have entire foundations dedicated to giving back.
Get Featured on the Local News
The news is one way of increasing your brand’s visibility. You can give this strategy a try by pitching stories or events to local media outlets. Think about local newspapers, radio stations, or online publications that you can get in touch with and provide them with a compelling story. This could be a press release announcing a new initiative or details of your upcoming charity drive.
One recent example of this is local Kansas City shops and bakeries getting recognition for their Taylor Swift-themed goodies to celebrate her Eras Tour coming to KC. Check it out here!
Get People Talking
Finally use the power of word of mouth to really amplify your local marketing efforts. Gather reviews, encourage local shares, and tap into authentic testimonials that provide valuable social proof.
- The power of local social shares: Get your local customers talking about you on social media by creating opportunities like an event or partnership where they can highlight your presence. For example, co-hosting events with other organizations and businesses can get you featured. You can then repurpose this content by sharing it on your own feeds.
- The power of reviews: A positive review goes a long way. You can encourage feedback by offering a discount, sample products, or add-on services in exchange for honest feedback. Don’t let negative reviews get you down. Just be sure to respond promptly and demonstrate your commitment to your customers.
- The power of video testimonials: Consider incorporating video testimonials into your content marketing strategy to build credibility. Have a satisfied client? Ask them if they’d be willing to provide you with powerful social proof by speaking on their experiences with your company.
Investing in local marketing strategies plays an important role in connecting your business with your community. This gives you the opportunity to drive growth and create a strong impact locally.
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