Want your brand or offering to be found by local audiences? Here are 13 great tips for local marketing strategies and tactics that work.
You can reach valuable leads through local online and offline marketing.
You must develop effective local marketing strategies to build your brand authority and attract more customers.
A digital marketing strategy is essential, regardless of whether you are starting a new business or already have one.
Digital and social media marketing are the most crucial parts of marketing a local business since, according to Google, “83% of U.S. shoppers who visited a store in the last week say they used online search before going into a store.”
We’ll cover some of the online marketing tactics and strategies we’ve used with great success in reaching a local audience.
Through Google Business Profile (GBP), your business will appear as soon as someone searches for your business or keywords on Google.
It is free, which is awesome.
The results will feature businesses within the vicinity of the person searching and even includes your business on Google Maps.
To start, create a profile with your company name, contact details, industry, etc.
Then, verify your GBP listing.
Once verified, you can add images and a bio, upload blogs, create offers, send and receive messages, add customer reviews, and see analytics.
Plus, it is pretty easy to update, so you always have relevant info online.
You can go one step further and set the business up with a solid, local link-building strategy.
Using citation sources such as Yellowpages.com tells Google where your company is located.
Plus, GBP has a great function that allows you to set the radius on services to a specific radius, such as 10km.
It is important to add fresh content or blog posts to your GBP account regularly.
Considering that a post expires after seven days, you’ll likely need to schedule a post at least once a week. Why is this important?
GBP posts can help drive traffic and engagement.
Do you have a sale or event coming up? You can promote anything related to the business on GBP.
If you’re not confident you’ll remember to upload a blog weekly, use content scheduling apps and tools like Semrush and Hootsuite.
As far as hyper-localized visibility goes, GBP is a no-brainer.
As cautious online users, the first thing people notice is often the reviews given on the GBP listing.
A positive review or testimonial can demonstrate to local customers that you are a business they can trust.
That goes a long way in moving customers through the sales funnel towards conversion or purchase.
So, how do you get reviews?
While I don’t advocate directly asking for reviews from your existing customers – and definitely not paying for reviews – there are less direct ways of reminding customers to post positive reviews.
Got negative reviews? No problem.
You can use negative reviews as a way to gather meaningful customer information.
Not only will you get insight on how you can improve products or customer experience (CX), but you can use the opportunity to turn the negative review into a positive one by reaching out to the customer and correcting the poor experience, product, or service.
The next step to getting your brand and product into the local market is to optimize your website for organic search.
The first and foremost way of doing that is through keyword optimization.
While a lot of this will be intuitive at first, you will soon run out of clever ideas and need to do keyword research.
Competition on short-tail keywords is fierce, and someone who’s been around longer than you is almost guaranteed to be already ranking for it.
So, focus on long-tail, geo-specific keywords.
These are ideal because people who use long tail keywords usually know what they want (they’re not tire-kickers), and they are more ready to engage.
Those who use geo-specific keywords know where they want to do business.
So, say you are a digital marketing company that provides B2B marketing services for businesses in a specific area.
It would be futile to optimize just for “marketing” or ”digital marketing.” That ship has sailed!
Rather, create pages on the site that are location-based, niche-oriented, and have long-tail keywords.
For example, you can create a page or blog called “Digital marketing for B2B Companies in California” or “How B2B companies in California can benefit from digital marketing.”
You get the picture.
That means search engine results pages (SERPs) will show results for users searching for “digital marketing companies near me.”
Content marketing is a big part of attracting a targeted audience, which connects to inbound marketing.
We have found that the more valuable, relevant, and consistent your content is, the more your target audience will engage with it.
But where do you start?
Create content that solves your customer’s pain points and that is evergreen.
There’s no shortcut when it comes to good content creation. Do the research, write for humans, and Google bots will love it, too.
For this, we love “how-to” blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, infographics, videos, and other long-form blogs (more than 900 words).
That way, your content will help prospective customers find your website when looking for solutions.
In this example, when the person enters a long-tail keyword, “best flowers for weddings,” Google brings ads that match the search term.
It also brings organic results. Best of all, it creates “People also ask” (PAA) questions.
These could include, “What is the average cost of flowers for a wedding?”
Why not use these as a guide for fresh content ideas?
This kind of SEO-rich, high-value content attracts new visitors to your site and establishes your brand as the leader and authority on the subject matter.
You’ll see better results for your business by integrating content marketing into your local online marketing strategy.
The look and feel of your website are as important as the words and content that make you findable on search engines.
However, while keywords will get the visitors to your site, your design and user experience (UX) will keep them there.
Use images and videos on your website that reference your location, neighborhood, and business so that there is a recognizable reference to your localized entity.
Also, the internet is evolving as rapidly as consumers’ needs are.
So, your website that was on the bleeding edge of design when you published it five years ago probably doesn’t quite toe the mark anymore.
It might be time for a redesign.
The most important thing to safeguard on your website is your user’s experience.
The site must be easy to use, easy to navigate, and easy to understand.
Customer relationship manager (CRM) solutions ensure we have a tighter grasp on our understanding of our customers.
Most CRMs can integrate with modern websites. But how does your website feed prospect data into the CRM?
For one, you could consider adding a pop-up on your website.
It could be an invitation to subscribe to your newsletter, view a limited promotion, or announce a new product launch.
When linked to your CRM, your lead generation landing pages will also automatically update your CRM, such as HubSpot or Salesforce.
Not only does this feed your pipeline, but it also improves first-party data and targeting and thus makes your marketing messaging that much better.
Also, localized campaigns can be launched via your CRM.
You can easily identify and segment customers and prospects by region if the data has been captured accordingly in your CRM.
Remember, the quality of data you capture is the quality of output you’ll get.
That can be used for personalized invitations to in-person events and activations, for email campaigns that are area-specific, and so on.
As I’ve always said, if you want sales, you need to advertise. Google Ads is just that.
While SEO is great for local organic search, you need Google Ads and other paid media channels to support your lead generation and brand awareness campaigns.
Google Ads is a keyword-driven, pay-per-click channel that allows you to target audiences based on keywords and location (amongst other things).
Your creative copy and solutions-driven content will help capture your local market until your SEO is in full swing.
When setting up your Google Ads, implement conversion tracking – which will help you optimize your campaigns and pivot toward optimal business success.
It also aligns marketing tactics with sales goals and ultimately supports business growth.
For example, one of our clients is a health and fitness gym.
We’re only targeting people within a 10 km radius around their seven gyms through Google Ads.
This way, we get maximum return on investment (ROI) on money spent.
Remarketing is an important element of your localized digital marketing arsenal.
That’s effective if your SEO or Google ad didn’t do the job the first time or the customer is still in the consideration phase of the buyer journey.
Remarketing supports other, more geolocation-specific tactics when considering how to strengthen your local marketing strategies.
So, if your Google Ads campaign (geolocation-limited) or your paid social campaign (likewise, demographics-oriented) sends traffic to your site, remarketing supports these by following those visitors around after the fact.
In the end, remarketing increases conversions, promotes brand awareness, and helps you stay top of mind with prospects.
If you rely heavily on phone calls to generate business, then Google call-only ads could prove invaluable and ideal for localized marketing.
That’s because, as with other Google products, you can target a specific demographic in your call-only ads.
It’s also a good option if you don’t have any specific landing pages simply because your product or service doesn’t need it, and a direct phone call just works better.
One downside of local online marketing may be that you will not receive all qualified calls.
Contrary to popular belief, your home page is not your landing page.
Your home page is your home page.
It is a summary of your website with many exit points to other pages, many different calls to action (CTAs) – such as “learn more” and “contact us” – and many different focuses.
A landing page has one job: conversion.
If you’re spending money on an ad campaign, you need those clicks to work hard.
To do this, you need a landing page designed specifically for that campaign, with lead-gen in mind.
So, the tried-and-trusted format is:
No buttons and links that take you away from the page.
No clicks are needed to expand sections. The only click available on the page is “Buy now” or “Submit” (or whatever the desired action is).
Rinse and repeat for each campaign.
Social media can be a great way to grow local brand awareness and engagement.
For one, community groups often already have all your desired customers in one place.
Remember, you need to be active on the social media channels your target audience prefers.
It might not be your local watering hole, so you need to get comfortable with using platforms like TikTok and Instagram for Gen Z and Gen Y audiences, while Facebook is great for Gen X and Boomers.
LinkedIn is ideal for B2B targeting.
Post organic content, like status updates, photos, and videos, or run ad campaigns.
Much like Google Ads, most social platforms allow you to geo-target your campaigns.
This is great for localized marketing.
For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar location, you can focus your social media ads on reaching all people within a 10km radius of your location.
These enable super-localized and targeted marketing tactics.
Video is now preferred over all other visual mediums by more consumers. In fact, 95% of enterprise B2B conversions are aided by video.
Keep it personal, keep it local, and direct your video content at the customer’s point of pain that you can solve.
Your video assets don’t all need to be ads. You can have testimonials and how-tos embedded into your site or published on YouTube.
Just make sure you tell a story and that – in the story – your customer is the hero, and you are simply the guide who helps them succeed.
Offline activations and events are one of our favorite ways of bolstering local marketing.
Working in conjunction with your online activities – such as email, ads, and social – this “boots on the ground” approach yields amazing results.
Take advantage of the physical proximity you have to your local customers.
Consider loyalty cards, charity sponsorships, referral programs, networking breakfasts, and other community-strengthening events.
All of these add tremendous gravitas to your brand and allow you to connect with your target audience locally.
With so many ways to be found online locally, we are confident your local target audience will discover your products and services.
Be sure to activate and be active on Google Business Profile.
Keep your website fresh and user-friendly, and remember to regularly add content (blogs).
Find communities on social media, and create ads on Google and social platforms that minutely reach your desired audience.
Find communities in real life, and create events and activities in which the local target audience can participate.
All of this contributes to brand reinforcement.
Finally, remember always to position your customer as the hero, as you solve their pain points right where they are.
Featured Image: Gonzalo Aragon/Shutterstock
Alex has more than 20 years of experience in digital marketing and growth across various B2B and B2C online industries. …
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