When you market your products locally you raise awareness for your brand in the exact geographic areas you serve. Thankfully there are a number of local marketing strategies you can take advantage of.
Many of the strategies listed below are commonly used for international marketing. However for the purpose of this blog post we have explained them in a way that shows how they will help grow your business locally.
Put Effort Into Your Google Maps & My Business Account
If you’re a local business, you should put more effort into your ‘My Business’ account. This is the account you use to edit and manage your listing on Google Maps.
There are a number of steps you can take to get more attention from your Google Maps listing. You absolutely should make these changes since mobile searches for ‘where to buy’ has grown by 85% since 2015.
In the same study, it was stated that Google Maps has a market reach of more than 90% on Android users worldwide. Its presence is huge and nearly everybody is using it.
To begin with, you should aim to bring in reviews from happy customers. A good selection of five star reviews will help you to rank higher than other similar businesses in your area.
You can also edit your business title to include your real life business name with descriptors. For example, if you are a small cafe specializing in desserts, you could change your Google Map listing name from ‘Barry’s Cafe’ to ‘Barry’s Desserts Cafe.’
Adding descriptive words like this will help to improve your ranking for keywords related to your business when individuals search via Google Maps.
Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t go overboard – Google can remove or adjust your name if they feel you’re taking things too far. For example, ‘Barry’s Cafe – #1 Desserts & Sandwiches’ would not meet Google’s compliance guidelines.
Finally, you should put effort into creating captivating pictures of your business in action. Get a good view of the front of your business location so that people can see where it is located. Get some pictures of your staff working or of customers.
You can also use this opportunity to showcase your products in action.
If you are planning to release a new product but it isn’t ready yet, you could get your hands on a vinyl coming soon banner and set up a small stand at your business location, then take a picture of that.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media is an important tool for local businesses, just like Google Maps. It doesn’t matter how small your town or city is, people in your local area are using social media and you can use that to your advantage.
People often wonder which social media platforms are worth investing time into. We’d say the big three are very important. More speficially, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Facebook offers a unique opportunity for you to reach more customers through word of mouth. By that we mean everybody that shares or reacts to your Facebook posts, will have that interaction broadcasted on their friends timelines.
Unlike other platforms, Facebook is far more local and focused on real life friends and family. This atmosphere is great for local business.
Finally, Instagram is very useful for growing engagement and finding new customers. The photo-rich approach allows you to promote your new products very effectively.
On top of this, you can use location specific hashtags to get more local eyes on your product. Just tag your location to get your post to appear when people search for the area.
It’s important that you use visual content across all three platforms. Even though Facebook and Twitter let you send text-only posts, you should add appealing photos to each post.
Engaging visual content is at least 40 times more likely to be shared than any other type of content.
Local SEO and Search Competition
So far, we have focused on two important avenues for growing your business locally – Google Maps and social media marketing.
The most traditional online marketing avenue is also still very important for local business. We’re of course talking about SEO. In fact, 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information.
Search engine optimization works slightly differently for local results. You’ll have far less competition than when fighting against the rest of the world, which means it can be easier to rank higher when customers use search intent.
You can use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool to find which keywords are popular in your area and related to your business.
From there, you need to make good written content and on-page copy. These days, it’s less about stuffing your content with relevant keywords and more about creating valuable content that helps provide information related to each keyword.
Adding the necessary keywords is important, but your main focus should be to create good content and to create it regularly.
Create Content On More Platforms
There’s one very common trend in internet marketing that’s successful across all platforms – content creation.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on Google, Twitter, or YouTube, creating regular content can be beneficial for your business.
If you want to go all out and take it further than every other business in your area, you should consider creating content on even more platforms.
YouTube is a good starting place. Not only can you also use YouTube’s own separate search engine to rank for local terms, but you can also create meaningful content for potential customers that show off your products.
YouTube has over 1.5 billion users, making it the second biggest social network, if you can consider it a social network. No matter where you are in the world, there’s no doubt many people in your area are using YouTube.
Another platform to consider is Snapchat. This platform is great to grow a stronger relationship with your existing customers and it can be an excellent platform for teasing or announcing your upcoming products.
Finally, consider releasing mobile apps. Once again, both the iOS app store and the Google Play Store work as other powerful avenues for promoting your business and your products.
That wraps up our look at the best local marketing strategies for promoting your products and your business. Hopefully, these tips will prove to be useful for your own business.
Michelle Deery is a content writer based out of the UK and writes copy for Heroic Search, an SEO agency based in Tulsa. She writes on a variety of topics within the marketing niche. Her work helps businesses attain continued success. Follow her on Twitter: @MichWriting
I'm SEO specialist and certified Adwords consultant. I have been working in Search Engine Marketing for over three year. In addition working in SEO, I love writing about the subject and contributing to forum discussion in forums about various aspects of Search Engine Optimisation from link building to content development. Read more about me here