Are you a retailer, installer, or business owner looking for ways to locally market your brand without breaking the bank?
Effective local marketing consists of a mix of search engine optimization, social media advertising, business reviews, cross promoting and attending local events. Let’s look at each of these in depth.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
More and more people surfing the web are looking for local businesses. Local SEO means you’re optimizing your presence on web search engines so that your business shows up in a location-specific query. Most of the searches that happen on mobile phones are local searches—you want something right now, so your smartphone is the way to make that happen. According to Google research, local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within one day.
Local SEO can help your business reach the top of the search engine results page (SERP), which is an excellent way to increase visibility for your business. If you can work to improve your local SEO, you should earn a space in the local results.
So how do you get started with local SEO? Here are the basics.
- Are you producing quality content on your website?
- Do you go above and beyond with certain wordage that makes your products stand out from other businesses selling the same goods?
- Do you offer something unique that customers won’t find anywhere else?
Content is key. Think about keywords. If you want your page to be found for particular words, it’s a good idea to actually use those words in your copy.
According to DMR, 65% of Facebook users log on daily. Creating a Facebook page is the easiest way to market your brand. A Facebook page has the potential to reach a wide audience, is easy to set up and, best of all, it’s free. Here are some tips to get the most out of your business’s Facebook page, according to kissmetrics.com.
- Make your profile photo your company logo, and use a picture of all your employees as a cover photo to humanize your brand.
- Use the “About” section to tell potential customers what your company does, why you’re different and any other interesting details. Be sure to include your hours of operation.
- Post useful information to your Facebook wall. What you post to your wall will show up in the news feeds of everyone who has “Liked” your page. Therefore, make sure what you’re posting is useful to your fans. Here are some ideas of things you might want to post to your wall:
- Links to articles related to your company or your industry
- Coupon codes for customers (or potential customers) to save on your products
- New product announcements
- Ask your fans questions. Open-ended questions usually garner the best responses. Asking opinions on a new product idea or project shows your customers that you care about what they want.
- Study your statistics. Facebook offers great analytics for pages, so make sure you monitor them regularly. If you see a growth in fans, look at what you’ve posted recently and see if you can figure out a reason for the trend. Then post more of that kind of content.
According to BrightLocal’s latest consumer survey: 92% of consumers read online reviews, and 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. This means you should get involved in review sites—Yelp, TripAdvisor, Yahoo! and Bing Local, etc.—which are all a part of local SEO and creating that online local presence.
Here are some other ways to garner reviews for your business:
- Put a “Review Us” link on the home page of your website, urging customers to use the link.
- Using remarketing tactics to generate reviews. Add a link on your online payment confirmation page—such as “Love us? Leave us a Review!”—after a customer makes a purchase. You can also print this on the bottom of your physical invoices or receipts to customers.
- Ask customers in person. Ask what they enjoyed about their experience, and what you as a business owner could improve on. According to BrightLocal, 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to.
Keep in mind, if someone leaves you an unpleasant review, always respond in a healthy way. Make sure your response happens within 24 hours, and that you are able to contact the customer to make it right.
This marketing tactic is a win/win for you and the people you’re cross promoting with. Not only are you helping other companies achieve their goals, but in turn, they will help you achieve yours.
In order to successfully cross promote, you must partner up with a business that targets the same customers you do, but with a product or service that doesn’t compete with yours. For example, if you are in the business of selling fitness watches, consider teaming up with the organizers of a local 5K run—you promote their run and get people to sign up, and they can send customers your way to buy a fitness watch to track their run. According to buildfire.com, “By marketing each other within the shop to their customers, particularly when the particular retailer didn’t have precisely what the customer was seeking, tremendous revenue increase was recorded.”
Here are some ideas of cross promotion:
- Display each other’s flyers prominently in your store
- Offer gift certificates or coupons for each other’s products
- Business card drawings/giveaways
- Joint events
Attending Local Events
Attending local events/trade shows is a great way to meet other business owners and potential customers. It’s free advertising in your own backyard! Here are some benefits of local event marketing from signpost.com.
- It gives your brand exposure. A properly marketed event attracts media, therefore boosting your business.
- You will make valuable connections. Remember when we talked about cross promoting?
- Social media benefits. Make sure you post on your Facebook before, during and after the event. Encourage attendees to check in at your event, take photos and post them to Facebook. Create a hashtag for your event and promote it in advance so that customers will remember to use it for their social media posts.
While you’re at the event, make sure you gather email addresses of potential customers so you can let them know about upcoming specials, contests, giveaways or other important information. It also should give them a direct link to your website. However, don’t bombard potential customers with too many emails, as this can turn them off to your business. Only send an email when you have something important to share.
Utilizing true effective marketing all comes down to the time and effort you put into it. These 5 local marketing tactics will help you network, build relationships with potential customers and keep your brand fresh in their minds.