What Is Local Marketing And Why Does It Matter?
Marketing is something that every business owner cares about. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just started your business, or you’ve been in operation for a while—without marketing, it is next to impossible to get the customers that will sustain your business. If you’ve been looking into the different kinds of marketing and how they can grow your business, chances are you’ve come across local marketing resources before. However, the real question is, should you care about local marketing?
Local marketing refers to the marketing strategies that a business uses online, to get their products or services in front of people in their local area. Typically used by businesses who have a physical storefront in their community, local marketing engages new and potential customers within a specified radius with the intention of turning them into diehard fans. Clearly, local marketing can have its benefits for businesses like restaurants, bars, spas, medical offices, chiropractors and more. But, should you actively be using local marketing? Let’s take a look.
3 Trends impacting local marketing.
When it is done right, local marketing can be a gold mine for your business. But, without knowledge of the trends driving local marketing, it can be hard to decide what to focus on. Let’s take a look at three trends that are currently changing the face of the local marketing landscape.
It may not be talked about often, but customer reviews are powerful. The average person doesn’t like having buyer’s remorse. To make up for this, people are more motivated by reviews now than ever, and will actively seek them out before they spend a dollar with a business. As much as 95% of customers read reviews online before they make a purchase, and 93% of those customers use reviews to determine if a local business is good or bad. Adding a dedicated system of getting customers to leave reviews for your business is a surefire way to supercharge your local marketing.
As of 2018, 52% of internet traffic was mobile traffic. That means the majority of people surfing the web choose to do so on their mobile phones. No doubt, that also applies to customers in your local area. How can you use this information to inform your local marketing? The simple way to do this is to ensure that your business’ website is optimized for use on a mobile device. You can do this by ensuring that your website has a fully-functional mobile version that is adaptable to different screen sizes and browsers, as well as clickable phone numbers which make getting in contact with you easy. A simple change like this can drastically improve your local marketing conversion rates.
Technology has made everything more accessible, and because of this customer expectations are much different from what they were a decade ago. A good product or service isn’t enough to get customers through your door, instead, they look for a combination of speed and convenience. Every experience with your business should be founded on these two principles, from how fast your website loads, to how easy it is to get the product or service they pay for. Emphasizing these benefits in your local marketing with put you ahead of the competition.
Now that we’ve considered the trends, let us take a look at how you can start implementing local marketing for your business.
3 Local marketing channels you must master.
There are three distinct local marketing channels that you can start using right now, that will greatly improve your business’ popularity in your local community.
NAP is an acronym for Name, Address and Phone Number. The premise of this local marketing channel is the idea that your business’ name, address and phone number should be consistent all over the web. Since search engines like Google value consistency, ensuring that these key pieces of information are the same whenever your business is mentioned will help you to rise in the local search engines as Google will recognize your business as a legitimate one. In addition to placing your business’ name, address and phone number on your website, consider putting it other places online like your Chamber of Commerce's website or local online business directories.
Search engine optimization involves helping your website to rank on Google for specific search queries. Considering the fact that more than 3.5 billion searches are done on Google every day, a tiny fraction of those people are bound to be your target audience. Local SEO is a variant that specifically targets people in your vicinity. A simple way to do this is by including keywords that have a local flair. For example, if you are a dentist in Raleigh, you would include “dentist in Raleigh” as one of your keywords for your content.
Local sponsorships are another way to boost your business’ local marketing efforts. By networking with local businesses and participating in local sponsorships, you’ll gain visibility in your market. Ideas for this include sponsoring local conferences in your industry, purchasing a booth at a trade show or local fair, or even sponsoring an hour on a local radio station. There are many options available.
Ultimately, every business is unique and your local marketing should reflect that fact. What works for your business might not work for another business, and what works for theirs might not work for you. What this means, is that the key is in figuring out what works best for you based on your product or service, and your industry. And the only way that you will know what works for you, is by constantly measuring and improving. By choosing to make data-driven decisions early on, you’ll be prepared to adjust your local marketing based on the results you that see. Once you are committed to doing that, the sky is the limit for your business.