9 Local Marketing Tips for your Small Local Business
Aisling Brennan, 06-May-2016
For a local business, marketing can be quite daunting. Budgets are tight. Resources are limited. And audience's attentions are increasingly fragmented over hundreds of different media, apps, platforms, even social media networks.
So, how does a small local business market their shop or business to create the necessary awareness needed to survive? Given small business owners (most likely) limited time and resources, I recommend focusing on what you can do well, rather than trying to do everything adequately.
I. Target your audience.
Don't market your business to everyone. Segment your audience and focus on niche markets. Create personas to identify key segment and identify what media/messaging will best resonate with them.
II. Ensure your website is mobile optimised.
- Focus on the mobile web experience: ensure there's no horizontal scrolling with crisp, responsive imagery and forms that render well on any device.
- Include address and hours of business.
- Highlight multiple contact methods (phone, email address, Facebook details, Twitter handle, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.).
- Streamline the call-to-action so the user knows exactly what you want them to do on your site (call to make appointment, stop by during business hours, email for more details, etc.).
III. Get listed online.
- Optimise your website for local search so business shows up in location-specific queries.
- Claim and optimise your local listings (Google My Business, Bing, Yahoo, Foursquare, Yelp, etc.).
- Ask for reviews & get listed on review websites (Trip Advisor, Yelp).
- Read Search Engine Optimisation 101: A Beginner's Guide.
IV. Use social media to build relationships.
- Find which social network is right for your audience.
- Build your social media profile with custom relevant and regularly updated content. Aim to blog once/week, post on Facebook/Instagram/Linkedin 5-10 times/week, tweet 25-30 times/week.
- Use your social media page to engage with your customers and foster long-term relationships.
- Encourage loyal customers to share feedback online (Facebook, Yelp, Google+).
- Listen and monitor conversations and reviews about your business. Respond promptly to all feedback – accept criticism, acknowledge the experience and apologise, if applicable.
- Get 5 Social Media Tips for Newbies
V. Leverage local targeted advertising
- Google Adwords allows for specific geographic targeting so your ads can be very targeted.
- Facebook Advertising is great way to target local audiences – ensure you include geographic targeting options along with specific interest categories.
VI. Use Email Marketing to build relationships and foster loyalty amongst your target audience
- Communicate with your audience regularly updating them on your news, stick, exclusive offers and promotions.
- Grow your subscriber list by adding opt-in form on your homepage, landing pages and social media profiles. Also ask at the cash register.
- Read 8 steps for Small Business to get started with Email Marketing
VII. Master Retargeting
Display ads to those who've already visited your website is a highly effective way to spend your limited ad budget. The ads appear on other websites but keep your brand top of mind as they continue to browse the web. Get in touch for more information.
VIII. Support your local community
- Partner with another complementary local business (preferably targeting same audience) & host charity event.
- Sponsor a sports team.
- Give an educational class.
- Give freebies at local events (even branded balloons, bubbles work!).
IX. Don't forget the old school tactics:
- Local media – write an article for the local paper. Share informative content. Advertise, if funds allow.
- Word of mouth – encourage WOM by offering referral programmes, giving great customer service, being 100% honest, build relationships with influencers (bloggers, journalists), and becoming the subject matter expert in your field.
- Coupons – great for encouraging repeat business and customer loyalty
- Signs – get your business name emblazoned on storefront/your car
- Network – exchange business cards with other local businesses. Cross-promote with other local business. Speak at local LEO events.
As always get in touch if you've any questions, or need help with any of the above. Good luck!
• 5 Social Media Tips for New Business
• 13 Steps to Improve Local Marketing for your Small Business
• The Ultimate Guide to Marketing your Start-Up
• 20 Tips to Creating a GREAT Website: Tips for your Small Business
• 40 Tips to Get Your Small Business Started on LinkedIn
• 10 Tips to Improve your Facebook Business Page
• Is Twitter Worthwhile for your Small Business?
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