Create a local marketing strategy
1. Define your target audience by considering the specific demographics within your locale that would benefit from your products or services.
Consider what benefits and solutions that your products or services aim to fulfill. What kinds of people might be facing a problem that they could resolve with your business’s help? Some factors to consider include: Age. Gender. Occupation. Income level. Hobbies or interests. You should also consider industry-specific criteria. For example, if your business sells a mobile app that is currently only in development for iPhone users, you can narrow down your target audience to focus on people who use an iPhone or have shown interest in Apple products.
2. Claim your Google My Business listing and make sure all the information is complete and up to date.
Make sure all the information displayed is correct, especially: Business name. Address. Phone number. Hours of operation. A working URL to visit your website. Brief description of your services. Professional photos showing the outside of the building, the inside of the building, and products. Links to your social media accounts. This will make it convenient for local customers to learn about and find your business, whether it’s their first visit or they’re returning customers.
3. Optimize your business's website for local SEO.
Consider using local terminology and referencing local areas in your website content. Find out what local keywords are being searched for by doing some keyword research. You can use a tool such as Google Keyword Planner, Moz, SEMrush, or Answer the Public. Search for keywords that include your location, have a relatively high monthly search volume, and low overall competition to identify relevant local keywords that will be easier to rank for. Update your title tags and meta descriptions for all of your web pages to include the city or area your business serves in order to provide relevant local information. You should also add your business name and location to the alt-text for each of your website images.
4. Optimize your business's social media by including location-specific information in each of your account descriptions and following other non-competing businesses in your area.
This information will make it clear at a glance where your business is located and the surrounding areas that it serves. Following other local businesses that are not your direct competitors can help you network and make your social channels more visible in local circles. Another way to do this is by joining Facebook or LinkedIn groups for local businesses.
5. Develop a content strategy that engages your local target audience across multiple channels.
There are several ways to put out content tailored to your local target audience. Choose the methods that will resonate well with your target audience and industry. Some of these ideas include: Social media posts: Create or share posts that highlight local areas of interest, charities, and organizations. Local hashtags: Use hashtags in your social media posts that include the name of the city or area where your business is located. Email campaigns: Curate an email subscriber list through an opt-in on your website and design special promotions, offers, and other content to send directly to your subscribers. Direct mailers: Advertise new products or services, sales, or special promotions in a direct mail campaign that reaches local residents. Blogging: Focus some of your post topics around current local events, and optimize each of your blog posts to mention your business’s location naturally in the copy. PR: Manage a positive reputation among your target audience through news or magazine coverage of your business.
6. Host periodic giveaways or special promotions to boost brand awareness and incentivize customers to visit your business.
Creating some opportunities for your customers to win gift cards, enter a special giveaway, receive discounts, or participate in special sales are all great ways to reward customer loyalty. Consider hosting occasional contests on your social media channels that require participants to enter the giveaway by tagging their friends or sharing the post to their own social circles to increase your reach organically and boost awareness around your brand.
7. Target paid ads with social media, search ads, and retargeting campaigns to increase traffic and conversions from your local target audience.
Consider investing in ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, or Snapchat, depending on which platforms you include in your social media strategy. Run an ad campaign that targets the specific demographics and behaviors that align with your target audience. Narrow the scope even further by setting a radius around your business’s location for your ad to run so that your message is reaching only local prospects, leads, and customers. Consider running a retargeting campaign with Google display ads, or on social media with Facebook or Instagram to recapture leads who previously visited your website or interacted with your content to keep your business top-of-mind and encourage conversions. Invest in Google search ads or display ads to make your ads visible to web users who are actively searching for solutions through SERPs or browsing content on other websites. Set the Audience Targeting on your ad using identifiers such as Demographics, In-Market, Custom Intent, or Similar Audiences to customize your target audience based on their identities, interests, and behaviors online.
8. Encourage your customers to write reviews online by providing an excellent customer experience.
Don’t solicit your customers for reviews. Not only can this be off-putting for your customers, but the practice also goes against the Terms of Service on platforms like Yelp, and doing so could end up hurting your rating. Instead, you should focus on delivering the best service for your customers consistently. You can also nudge customers discreetly to write a review without outright asking for one by making links to your Google, Facebook, or Yelp pages easily accessible. For example, you might include these links at the bottom of a follow-up email thanking them for a purchase or for signing up for a service with you.
9. Engage with your customers' reviews and comments online.
Make time to personally reply to both positive and negative customer reviews. This will reflect well on your business because your audience will notice that you take the time to listen and respond to their feedback. Responding to negative reviews presents you with a chance to apologize to a customer if they had a bad experience, and allows you to communicate how you plan to rectify the situation. Responding to positive comments and reviews gives you a chance to thank your customers for their feedback and patronage.