Local marketing strategies

Local marketing strategies
Ekaterina Ryzhikova
October 20, 2021
Last updated: October 23, 2021

Cafes, car washes, hair salons, bakeries, as a rule, attract an audience from the area where they are located. A person more likely will not go to wash the car or get a haircut across town, so there is no point in spending money on advertising for the entire settlement. Localization will allow your business to attract the maximum possible audience as potential customers.

 

What is local marketing?

Local marketing refers to any activity aimed at attracting customers within a certain location. One of the main benefits of a local marketing approach is that it allows businesses to communicate with customers on a more personal level. Knowing more about the local audience makes it easier to determine what types of goods or services will be in constant demand, which will make it easier to meet that demand and build a reputation in that community.

 

Strategy is important in local marketing. It defines a clear sequence of actions that lead to the desired result. All activity, in this case, will be directed in one direction. However, beginners often make mistakes. Most often this happens due to a too wide territorial coverage or a desire to attract everyone, without understanding the needs of your target audience. When you do not understand who to contact and are trying to attract everyone at once, it means that you have incorrectly defined the boundaries of your target audience and have expanded them too much.

 

Too wide coverage is when you are trying to level up over too much territory. According to a study, people are less likely to spend more than 20 minutes commuting to a retail store. In this case, your ad will simply be irrelevant to them. Also, the choice of place depends on the regularity of his visit. If purchases are made on a daily basis, then the person will prefer to on the way from work. On average, for regular purchases, people choose places within a 3-5 minute walk. To visit a cinema or a clothing store, customers are willing to walk a little longer. It is estimated that on average the road to them can be up to 20 minutes. From the data presented, we can conclude that it is inappropriate to spend efforts on those who are further than this radius.


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Local marketing strategies

Social Profiles 

SMM (Social Media Marketing) is the direction of business promotion on social networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, and others. Used correctly, social media marketing for local businesses is one of the most effective strategies.

 

Social networks are now used by everyone. And more and more often people not only post photos and watch funny videos, but also shop. You only need to determine which social network your customers prefer to use. The main advantage of this local marketing strategy is that it is absolutely free.

 

SMM allows you to:

●       create a page for your company, brand, even a separate outlet;

●       publish on it announcements of promotions and sales, company news, information about new products and services;

●       add a shop tab with goods to the page - with a photo, price, and a "Buy" or "Order" button (this option is available in many social networks).

 

Therefore, many small local companies (nail salons, clothing stores, spas, and many others) use pages on social networks instead of a website: they publish information, accept orders, respond to customers, inform about changes or order status, and so on.

 

If the budget allows, companies can use paid advertising options within each network. This will help build brand awareness and drive visitors to your retail locations. On social networks, you can accurately focus on your target audience in a specific location, thanks to the extensive demographic information that users provide themselves.

 

Print Advertising

Use print ads. Here we mean both advertisements in local newspapers and magazines, as well as a variety of print advertisements:

●      flyers;

●      business cards;

●      leaflets;

●      booklets;

●      posters.

Local media. Although the print press is increasingly giving way to digital media, it may well be that there is a newspaper in your city that is very popular among locals. The cost of placing an ad in such a publication is usually low, so it makes sense to use this channel to attract customers. Especially if your target audience may be among the readers of this publication.

 

Advertising printing materials. The use of printed advertising materials is also quite effective in local promotion. Here are some local marketing ideas you might want to use:

●      post advertising posters in your area and on local public transport routes;

●      leave your business cards and brochures in the lobby, at the reception, in the waiting rooms of other companies and organizations near your location;

●      to place such materials in companies offering related or related services and goods, will be especially effective. For example, you can leave business cards of a construction contractor in a hardware store, and a spa brochure in a fitness center.

 

For all its conservatism, print advertising can last much longer than digital. An online ad will disappear from the monitor screen in a minute, while newspapers and business cards can lie at the reception for a long time. In addition, competition for ad space is often much lower in offline space.

 

Local SEO

Local search engine optimization (SEO) is an excellent local online marketing tactic that can help your business reach more leads.


1.   Increase the citation of your NAP

NAP (Name, Address, Phone) is the core of your local online profile. The local term "citation" in relation to local SEO means that there are references to this information about you on various sites on the Internet.

 

Citations contribute to your local promotion in several ways: 

●    Improves the ranking of your company in local search, when a user searches, for example, in Google for a product or service, specifying a city, district, or other georeference. The more mentions, the better the ranking.

●    Improves the visibility of your business in local search. If you have posted a local profile on several resources, the entire first page with search results may be occupied solely with links to your company.

●    Creates additional channels for attracting customers. For example, some of the users are used to looking for shops, gas stations, cafes, and other local companies on Yelp, others on Google Maps. By posting your profile on such resources, you will be in the field of visibility of these users.

●    Confirms the veracity of key information about your company. Before getting in the car and heading to your store, pharmacy, or salon, a customer must be sure that he will find you at this address. If your name and address are the same in several mentions, this is a good signal to the consumer. Therefore, it is so important to ensure that NAP is always up to date and accurate across all sources.

 

2.   Create a Google My Business Profile

All information that you enter in your Google My Business profile will automatically be transferred to the SERP and Google Maps. It is important to write as much as possible about your company in your profile. In addition to contact information, it is worth indicating the direction of your activity, conditions, and work schedule. You can also prescribe how your company differs from competitors. Add a logo and a photo, also link to the official website.

 

The information you provide in your profile will affect:

●      The list of keywords by which the search engine will offer your resource in the SERP;

●      Ranking position;

●      User ratings and first impressions.

 

To speed up optimization, follow these guidelines:

●      Describe the benefits of your company. Think about why a potential customer should contact you and what you can offer them. In the description, use keywords by which search engines will include you in the SERP.

●      Make your company more recognizable. Place your logo and photos on the page. This will grab the attention of potential customers and increase the level of trust.

●      Publish thematic materials on your blog, website, or social networks, make collections, memes, etc. Stimulate user creativity.


3.      Track your ranking

Do not forget that keywords play an important role in promotion. Regularly monitor the keywords for your page in the search and how the situation is gradually changing. Consider which sites with your information appear most often in the search results. To assess the situation, it is not necessary to manually check the results of queries, you can use special resources like Google Analytics or Google Search Console. Verification is easy. The benefits of monitoring are invaluable.

 

After optimizing your website, you can see whether this led to an increase in traffic or not. In the case of local promotion, growth will show itself in the form of an increase in the number of calls and the number of built routes to your store on the map. Local marketing experts recommend data monitoring as a practice that will help you to form an up-to-date promotion strategy. So you will find out what is worth spending time, effort, and resources on, and what is not.

 

4.      Mobile version of your website

Mobile internet usage is constantly growing. An adaptive version of the site is no longer a pleasant bonus but has become a prerequisite for successful promotion. People often use smartphones to find the information they need or make purchases. This is convenient because it allows you to perform all these actions from anywhere. At the same time, according to statistics, many use smartphones for orders, even when they are in close proximity to a stationary computer.

 

Despite the fact that many sites already have mobile versions, a large percentage of the resources on the network are not adapted for smartphones and tablets. The standard website is designed for high-speed internet and contains voluminous graphics that need to be viewed on a widescreen. Since the download speed on a smartphone is several times less than on a PC, it will simply be uncomfortable to work with such a website and the user will leave, increasing the failure rate and ruining the statistics.

 

From a client's perspective, a good website should:

●      Load quickly and correctly;

●      Contain convenient and easily readable blocks, tips, and other elements;

●      Have a simple order form that loads adequately on a small smartphone screen.

 

If your site does not meet these requirements, then with a high probability the user will go to another website. It is important to understand that search engines give preference to pages that are optimized for different devices. This directly affects the ranking and is especially important for projects focused on a specific location.

 

5.      Reviews

For any business, reputation is everything. Therefore, you must actively monitor what is said about you on the Internet, as well as encourage customers to share positive experiences with you - so that others can see them. Read reviews, respond to them, and motivate customers to write about their experiences.

 

The benefits of reviews: 

Reviews give an idea of ​​what customers value in your product or service. Such information will help you to "protect" these key advantages of your business, to develop them, to form from them a unique selling proposition. While no one likes to read bad reviews, they are very valuable nonetheless. Negative reviews can help your business identify recurring issues and fix them. 

Timely monitoring allows you to quickly identify a bad review, respond to it correctly, perhaps even contact the client and solve the problem in person. This is important because the negativity left unanswered by the company spoils the impression of other customers about youк product. In addition, an outraged client can write a similar review to other sites, scaling the negative, which you absolutely do not need.

The number and dynamics of reviews (how often they are posted) affect your position in search results. Therefore, the more reviews you have, the more regularly new ones appear, the better your ranking.

Local marketing for small businesses like stores, beauty salons, car washes, and other companies that users are searching for near them, is ideal because it focuses on the target audience in a specific location. The consumer read at least 10 reviews on Yelp or Google Maps before choosing a company. Reviews on the Internet have almost completely replaced the good old word of mouth. To increase leads and sales, you need a constant stream of feedback.

Many companies do not pay much attention to reviews: some - because of the lack of resources (time, employees), others - because they do not fully understand the importance of this work. But if you make it a regular marketing task for the company, you will be rewarded with better search engine rankings and increased consumer confidence.

 

Email marketing 

Email marketing is when you send letters to the email addresses of your regular or new customers (who have left a request for a service or product). Letters go to the "Inbox" folder of everyone who agreed to receive your special offers and news by email.

 

Email marketing allows you to:

●      advertise new products and services;

●      report on promotions, sales, special offers;

●      provide personal discounts to a specific segment of your customers;

●      provide your subscribers with useful and informative content.

 

The email marketing industry is highly automated. You do not need to send emails manually, there are many special services for this. They help you to:

●      create letters with an attractive design without much Photoshop knowledge;

●      schedule mailings for specific dates;

●      create various automatic mailings: to customers who have put a product in the "shopping cart", but have not bought it; customers who have used your services - with a request to evaluate the quality of service.

 

Sponsorship of community events 

If your budget allows, you can allocate funds to help with various community events:

●      a running marathon in your city;

●      local school sporting events;

●      charity fairs, concerts;

●      activities that are closely related to your activity: for example, food courts, if you are a cafe or restaurant.

 

It is also a good option to support an animal shelter, hospital, or school. You can build a playground in the quarter where your target audience lives, help to improve the square, and the like.

 

How it will help you: 

●      Community engagement will bring awareness to your company and brand. Place your company logo or name on the athletic uniforms of the participants, organize branded tables with your products at a food court or fair. Visitors of the event will learn about you and remember your brand.

●      Sponsorship can help you build a good reputation in the eyes of your target audience or improve it.

●      You can talk about all this on your website and pages on social networks - this way more people will learn about the useful things that your business is doing. There you can also announce a fundraiser and publish reports on the purpose of spending. It will also increase the reputation of your local profile.

●      These activities are often featured in local newspapers and city online portals, which will allow you to get more links to your profile or website, and again, increase brand awareness and improve your reputation.

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Conclusion

Local marketing is a strategy that involves focusing on a specific geographic location and reaching customers in that market segment. It is a vast field of activity that includes: SEO, advertising, social networks. Implementing an effective local marketing approach requires getting to know your target audience. The importance of local marketing for small and medium-sized businesses in giving local businesses access to the target audience. The strategies described above can be used in various combinations to help attract new customers.

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