No matter what type of business you’ve created, there are some benefits to marketing locally. Rather than targeting a national audience, you’ll target a local one, exploiting locally exclusive opportunities to reach the people in your city or county rather than the entire country.
This practice helps you eliminate a ton of competition, which could otherwise interfere with your effectiveness. It also allows you to spend less money, since most of your marketing and advertising opportunities won’t require as many resources. On top of that, you’ll be able to cater to a much more specific audience, rendering your ads more relevant.
The question is, how do you do it?
Local Marketing Ideas
These are some of the best strategies for local marketing:
- Event marketing. Does your town have a festival, tradeshow, or other gathering where you can set up a custom tent and advertise your business? These are typically great opportunities because you’ll get the benefit of significant foot traffic, provided you have a unique way of standing out. The fees for attending aren’t much, and you’ll have tons of flexibility for how you promote your business. For example, you could hand out promotional items for free, free samples of your products, or just talk to people and get to know more about your target demographics while increasing your brand visibility.
- Try local SEO. SEO is search engine optimization, the process of optimizing your site so it ranks higher in search engines. Competing at a national level in SEO is challenging and expensive, since you’ll be going head-to-head with businesses like yours from all over the country. But if you narrow your focus to your geographic area, you’ll save lots of time and money—and possibly get even more search engine visibility. Local searches function on a separate algorithm than Google’s national search algorithm, so there are some extra strategies you can use to take advantage of it, in addition to mainstay strategies like keyword optimization and link building.
- Speak locally. Guest speaking is a useful marketing strategy for several reasons. It gives you a chance to connect with an audience. It helps you network with other speakers and business leaders in your area. It lets you show off your expertise, and gives you the perfect platform to promote your core products and services. As you build your reputation in this area, guest speaking opportunities tend to fall in your lap; the biggest hurdle is getting that first opportunity. Talk to small business organizations in your vicinity to learn what opportunities may be available.
- Get in the press. Local newspapers and publications tend to be excellent gateways to your local population, so make use of them. Write up a new press release every time your business does something newsworthy, and build up a rapport with local journalists. Find their email addresses and send them periodic ideas for new stories, with or without your business directly involved; the tighter you become with those journalists, the better. You could also use a service like Help a Reporter (HARO) to connect with even more journalists.
- Pay attention to social media. Marketing on social media is a no-brainer these days, since it’s free to set up an account and even if you don’t post anything, you can still use it to learn more about your target audience. Follow other brands like yours in the local area and see how they’re engaging with their target audience. Follow consumers you hope to reach, and see what local events they’re attending and talking about. When you’re ready, start producing content or paying for ads that they’d want to see.
Bonus Local Marketing Tips
These strategies can help you improve your marketing outcomes, but only if you follow tips like these to make the most of your efforts:
- Know your audience. First, you need to be marketing to a specific target audience—not “everyone.” The better you know the residents of your local area, the more specifically you’ll be able to create messages for them—and the more you can engage with them one-on-one, greatly improving the effectiveness of your campaign.
- Experiment and compare. Don’t just pick one local marketing strategy and stick with it indefinitely. Conduct multiple experiments with many different strategies, and see which ones seem to work best for your brand.
- Tie everything back to ROI. Your return on investment (ROI) is the best measure of a strategy’s effectiveness. Always measure both the costs and total returns of a strategy so you can incorporate this factor into your analysis.
Local marketing isn’t always better than national marketing, but it does come with some impressive perks. Add these strategies and tips to your marketing arsenal, and your brand stands to benefit massively.