As a small local business, it can be difficult to make a big impact in your community, especially starting out. In fact, nearly 50% of small businesses don’t make it past five years. But don’t let that discourage you, you can learn from their mistakes.
For one, being a small local business owner comes with some advantages. For example, people in communities love their towns and develop strong loyalties to their favorite locally-owned businesses. The only thing you need to do is figure out how to create a local marketing strategy that caters to your audience.
Not sure where to begin? No problem, we’re here to help get you started. Keep reading for our top five tips on how to capitalize on local marketing and thrive as a small business owner.
1. Define Your Brand
First, you need to develop and define who you are and why your company exists. This is known as branding. You need to send a message to the people in your community that appeals to their passions, beliefs, and needs.
Start by establishing a niche. What specialty or unique services do you offer within your industry? This niche needs to make you different and/or better than your competitors to help you stand out from the crowd.
Once you’ve established your niche, you can identify your target market – the people who will benefit from and most likely buy your products or services. This target audience is whom you will target with your local marketing strategies.
Based on your audience, you can start crafting your brand and logo to create maximum appeal. Then, you can determine your mission statement and overall message which you will use to communicate why people should do business with you.
2. Perfect Your SEO
Next, you need to create a user-friendly website that’s optimized for both computers and mobile devices. This website needs to be easy to navigate and intuitive for users of all ages and backgrounds. Furthermore, it must be aesthetically pleasing, yet not overwhelming with too much visual stimulation.
Once you have your website built, you need to start thinking about your SEO strategy. If you don’t know anything about search engine optimization, it may be worthwhile to hire a local SEO marketing company. They will help you drive traffic to your website from the local market (i.e. your target audience).
As a local business owner, it’s important to focus your SEO efforts on the local community. For example, if you are a beauty salon or contracting company, having millions of website visitors from around the world won’t do your company any good. Don’t fall for a marketing company that promises hundreds of thousands of website visitors when your town only has 25,000 people.
Aside from hiring a local marketing agency, you can improve your SEO by:
- Adding a blog to your website full of topical articles
- Researching and incorporating effective keywords
- Using internal and external links
- Getting backlinks from other websites to boost SEO credibility
- Using multiple forms of media embedded with SEO coding – text, headers, titles, images, videos, etc.
SEO is the absolute cornerstone and staple of building an online presence. It is the primary means of directing traffic to your website.
3. Get Active on Social Media
Now, you need to start spreading brand awareness across multiple platforms. Your website is incredibly important, especially your blog and product pages. However, you need to use all of the online resources available to you to drive people there.
Social media is one of the best all-inclusive platforms for growing a company. Over 72% of Americans use at least one form of social media. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Tik Tok.
You can use these platforms to gain followers, promote your products, and drive traffic to your website. Post engaging articles and high-qualities videos and photos to get people’s attention.
You can also use paid social media marketing to reach untapped audiences within your community. You can dictate who sees your ads based on specific locations, age groups, genders, and more.
Paid ads also provide valuable insight into ad performance. You can see how well each ad performed based on user engagement (likes, shares, comments, link clicks, and more). This information can help you streamline your marketing strategy.
4. Use Content Marketing to Connect With Your Audience
When creating your local marketing strategy, remember that the average consumer sees something like 4,000 to 10,000 ads a day. Mostly, we’ve learned to tune them out. Therefore, impacting consumers has become all about content marketing.
Instead of constantly trying to market your products or services, market your content. Write articles and post videos that provide value to your target audience. This content should speak to them on multiple levels and:
- Talk about their passions
- Solve problems
- Provide advice
- Explain how to do things
- And more
Use content marketing to humanize your company. It’s one of the best ways of building a relationship with potential customers. Meanwhile, posting articles about things in your industry presents you as a credible authority in your field.
5. Affiliate With Other Local Businesses
Finally, don’t forget about the local marketing technique of affiliating with other local companies. Just because you own a business, it doesn’t mean you’re completely on your own. Find other local businesses you can partner with to form mutually beneficial relationships.
These businesses should have similar interests but not because they’re competitors. For example, a local gym could partner with a supplement or health food store. Alternatively, a realtor could partner with local contractors and lending services.
Working synonymously, you can drive traffic to one another’s businesses by offering special referral discounts and promotions. You can also promote their business at your location using their business cards or banners. This affiliation can be integrated online as well via websites and social media profiles.
Need Help With Your Local Marketing Strategy?
Owning your own business is no walk in the park. There are no safety nets or promises of success. Everything dollar you make, you have to work for.
However, with the right local marketing strategy, it doesn’t have to be such an uphill battle. If you need help with digital marketing, we’ve got your back. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business thrive.