If much of your business comes from local customers, then local marketing should be a priority. Even on a limited budget, targeted local marketing initiatives can be some of the best ways to maximize your marketing dollars. Here are five marketing ideas to increase your local presence:
Online Business Listings
Make it easy for people to find you by listing your business with Google My Business. Then you're sure to be located when people search for you on Google Search or Maps. According to ComScore, 78% of local mobile searches resulted in a offline purchase(usually within a few hours). Appearing in a local search can have a direct impact on your business.
In addition to Google, be sure you're listed in all of the other significant online directories including Yahoo, Bing, Yelp and YellowPages (to name a few). Make sure your business listings are complete, correct and consistent on all these major sites.
Also, join your local chamber of commerce to ensure that your business is included in their online directory.
Facebook Local Advertising
Local ads can help you reach your nearby target audiences. Hyper local Facebook advertising is an easy and affordable way to get in front of people in your neighborhood, city or county. Facebook ads ask you to simply enter your business address and the area you want to reach around your business. Your ad featuring a photo and message will be routed to people in that vicinity. Your ad will show up in the Facebook newsfeed of people near your business at any time, on any device.
Ask for Reviews
Let your fans sing your praises- they're your best local advertisement. According to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Encourage happy customers to review you on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Yahoo!Local or Angie's List.
Participate in Community Events
Local events can be a worthwhile way to meet potential customers and introduce them to your business offerings.Be sure that your target audience will be in attendance at any events you commit to. Plan out your marketing strategy ahead of time and ensure proper event staffing, brochures, product samples, ways to capture leads and take payment.
Connect with Local Journalists
If you regularly read the local newspapers, you're probably familiar with the reporters that cover your city or industry. Make an effort to form professional relationships with these journalists and they may end up reporting positive things about your business. Start by following local reporters on social media including Twitter. Comment on their articles, Retweet or Share their posts/articles and ask questions. If you periodically provide these journalists with credible, helpful or newsworthy information, you're likely to see the fruits of your labor.
What free or paid methods do you implement in your local marketing efforts? Please share below.