Appealing to local customers via local marketing online is now easier than ever which is ideal if you’re a small or medium sized business looking to tap into a local audience. Technology can be used to market at town or even individual postcode levels, ensuring you’re communicating the right messages to the relevant audiences in key locations. For a local business it makes sense to market within a defined geography and employ local marketing techniques to do this. And it doesn’t have to have an expensive price tag either. Here are some local marketing quick wins that you can take online:
The internet is an increasingly powerful local marketing tool. As a first step, you can get listed with GoogleMyBusiness so customers searching Google and Google Maps find your contact details.
Free Index is another free online directory. Customers can post reviews and the more positive they are, the higher up the index you go. Basic listings on sites such as Thomsonlocal.com and Yell.com are also free and are ideal tools for local marketing online.
Another important step to ensure local customers find you online is to optimise your website for local searches via SEO. At its most basic, this means including your operating area in the keywords of all pages and page title fields and adding as many relevant back-links (links from other local websites) as possible.
Increasingly, social media is also lending itself to local marketing online. Restaurants, bars and shops, for example, might consider listing on Foursquare, a free location-based mobile app that uses global positioning data to allow people to share information about shops, restaurants, bars and other attractions. In fact as an example, I’m just back from a 4 days in Tallinn and Riga. Estonia is a tech powerhouse, with online voting and tech training from primary school onwards. In 2003 the code for Skype was created here. So it’s no surprise that one of the best ways to explore is to pull on a pair of headphones for a BlueDrum virtual tour via an ipad. And after a day of pounding the city’s cobblestoned streets, you are ready for a bite to eat. And guess what? You’re likely to choose those restaurants and bars that were suggested to you within your vicinity whilst on your tour. And we did.
Social media is very much centred around the idea of community and it allows small businesses to directly communicate with customers. Conversations are a two-way street. Make sure you’re replying to people who interact with you on social media. Engage with strong social influencers, such as bloggers that your customers read or individuals with robust followings. Use Facebook to allow your customer to check in to your facility and on Twitter build up some Lists. For example you can create a list of industry influencers and “listen” to their tweets, or create lists for separate segments of your Twitter contacts to engage with them in different ways.
Engaging the online community is core to social media and one of the keys to your success for local marketing online.
To ensure you are spending your time wisely, measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Put in tracking mechanisms so you can measure how successful each technique is. Ask all new customers how they heard of you.
But make sure you track what is important to your business. On social media, B2Cs, for example, often care about engagement and brand awareness. This means metrics such as likes, shares, comments, followers and retweets. B2Bs, on the other hand, put more weight on the clicks, conversions and website traffic coming from social channels.
Look at the numbers to see where your leads are coming from, when and how they convert and what types of content produce the greatest returns. From there, you can determine what to tweak for the best possible performance, and what to discard or modify.
Remember keep evaluating the answers to these questions
Why should people buy from me when they can buy from the competition?
Overall, though, your business needs to have a clear customer value proposition. Without one a digital strategy will struggle to win over a slightly jaded and over-stimulated audience. Ensure you address the fundamental needs of your customers and your digital marketing strategy will deliver.
For more information on how to set up local marketing online for your business give the team a call on 01992 582824 or contact us online – we’d love to see how we can help.