Local Marketing can help you reach your ideal local customer quicker.

Business owners are busy serving their customers and doing what they do best, and they often leave local marketing to either chance or something that they get to when they’re not busy.

Today, many businesses compete in their local market. Gaining the favor of local customers can be quite a challenge. The main reason is that companies need to cater to the needs of local customers, in order to win them over and outrun their competitors.

Navigating the local market is oftentimes more daunting than trying to reach out to a broader audience, mainly because local consumers have specific expectations and demands.

What’s more, reaching out to such an audience requires a unique approach because local consumers have preferences when it comes to both media channels and how they interact with brands.

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In other words, if a company wants to be famous on a local level they need to be not only visible but also able to win over local consumers with exceptional offers, aside from gaining and holding their attention, to begin with.

Fortunately, there are various tactics companies can explore that will help them reach out to their local target audience. With that in mind, here are a few of the best ways to reach your local customers.

Research your local market

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If you want to reach your local customers effectively, you need to know your surroundings first and understand your consumers quite well. The more you know about the local market and the consumers there, the easier it becomes to approach them.

That’s why research is an essential aspect of your local strategy. Without it, you can improvise at best but it’s better to ensure your approach will actually work than make mistakes that can cost you more than you’ve bargained for. 

46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. Click To Tweet

Therefore, take the time to research your target audience and their preferences, needs, demands, and expectations. Also, take a closer look at their core demographics so that you can tailor your messages to them the right way.

Last but not least, research the competition while you’re at it. Competitive analysis can help you determine what works and what should be avoided when reaching out to customers, as well as help you gain a competitive advantage at some point.

Be social on social media

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Digital marketing has to be part of your local marketing strategies and social media is a great channel. If there’s any good way to reach out to local customers, its social media platforms. Social media has become an essential factor for business strategies and it’s also quite relevant from a consumer point of view.

In other words, consumers are active on social networks and companies must be where their customers are. Social media presents a unique opportunity for your business to establish a good presence and reach out to its potential customers. 

97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. Click To Tweet

However, you can’t expect from your audience to start buying from you as soon as you engage them on social media. As a matter of fact, you have to establish a relationship with them first and nurture their engagement before you can start promoting your products or services to them.

That’s why you should communicate with your audience regularly, share relevant content with them and try to build a community of followers before you start making some sales.

Use Facebook Ads

Sometimes, despite your best efforts to create engaging and valuable posts on social media, your audience just keeps missing them. You might be tempted to boost exactly those posts that are not performing that well, but instead, you should be focusing on those that already generated some organic interest.

If your audience didn’t particularly like your post, chances are that the Facebook users you reach if you sponsor your post will feel the same.

Instead, focus your efforts on those that naturally spark interest among your audience and promote them to increase the visibility of your posts. That way, you will ensure that you’re putting your money into something that’ll inspire interaction and reach even more people.

Even though this is a pretty universal tactic that can be valuable for businesses operating at any scale, it’s particularly useful for those who want to reach the local audience.

Just chose your demographic targeting and set up an area around your local business to ensure that your best performing content is reaching your local audience.

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Run a retargeting campaign

Another great way to use Facebook Ads is retargeting. You can use Facebook retargeting ads to remind your customers of an unfinished purchase and prompt them to come back to your website or re-target those who interacted with your posts before to encourage them to like your page.

But your retargeting campaign doesn’t have to stop at Facebook. When it comes to re-targeting for local business, it’s also essential to target people who search for businesses in your area. To reach more people locally, use search engine retargeting.

You can even offer promotional offers, codes, coupons, or discounts in your retargeting ads to give your visitors an extra incentive to make a purchase.

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Engage with the local community

One of the best ways to reach out to local consumers and become more visible in the local market is to become a part of the local community. Local customers prefer brands who are engaged with the local community in some way.

You can contribute to the local charity, for instance, or sponsor and host local events. As an example, you can organize and sponsor a football tournament for the local kids’ teams. 

However, don’t stop there but instead, make an event where everyone from the local community can participate. You can hand out branded personalized water bottles to provide the crowd with refreshments and give a boost to your brand awareness in the process. 

In any event, the key is to give something back to the community so that the community can support your business further by purchasing from you. After all, it’s not just about effective local marketing but also about being part of the local market in more ways than one.

Leverage local SEO

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It’s very important to reach out to your local customers, but it’s equally important to provide the means so that customers can reach out to you as well. Building visibility is a two-way street, especially on the local markets.

That said, consider leveraging local SEO (Search Engine Optimization), in order to build local visibility, awareness, and credibility, among other things.

Many consumers, even the local ones, will research businesses before they decide to make a purchase. Local SEO is there to show them what you’re all about. 

As an example, you must provide relevant business information, such as a phone number, address, email, working hours and so on to local business listings, as well as search engines, such as Google.

However, local SEO doesn’t just help you rank well in the local market. As a matter of fact, it helps with your business credibility as it displays any positive reviews your customers left on your pages. 

Get positive reviews

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As you may already know, positive reviews are one of the best word-of-mouth marketing strategies, especially for local visibility. In fact, 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. What’s more, 92% of customers check the review before choosing to buy from a local business.

Unfortunately, people are more likely to write a negative review when they are dissatisfied with a service than when they’re satisfied.

That’s why it’s important to put an extra effort into encouraging your happy customers to leave positive reviews and try to make things right for those who had a negative experience with your business and left a negative review.

“Near me” or "close by" type searches grew by more than 900% over two years. Click To Tweet

One tactic that can actually work wonders is to simply ask. You’d be surprised how effective sending an email or a text message, leaving a short survey on your website after the checkout, or even asking your customers to write a review in person can be. You can even offer incentives to encourage your customers to give their two cents. 

Just make sure that you keep the process of writing a review as simple as possible. Customers love convenience more than anything, Choosing the right timing and asking open-ended questions that will help guide your customers can significantly increase your chances of getting more reviews.

Competing in the local market isn’t easy. Many brands believe that the smaller the audience, the easier it will be to win them over. However, local audiences have specific needs and expectations, and if your business isn’t able to adequately meet such needs it won’t be able to win them over anytime soon.

Wrap up about local marketing to local customers

Small business owners, e-commerce and brick and mortar stores, need to have well-defined local marketing strategies.  Marketing strategies like Google my business, email marketing, content marketing with blog posts all aligned to attract your best target customers.

Sure marketing takes time and effort to get it right. There is a lot of testing that happens in a great local marketing campaign. 

We’re listening.

Have something to say about local marketing? Share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or our LinkedIn.

Elaine Bennett, Digital Marketing Specialist, is a marketing specialist and a blogger, currently based in Sydney. Topics that she covers include marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, and SMBs. She’s especially interested in social media and technology. Loves coffee, music and video games.

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