How to promote your local small business?

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How to target your local customers and promote your business in the community?

For small businesses, Local Marketing is the ultimate lead generation tactic.

It can generate foot traffic in their brick-and-mortar locations. Still, it can also power up SEO efforts, boost search rankings, increase web traffic and brand awareness, drive visitors towards e-commerce store or social media accounts, and offer in the exact geo area the business works.

Similarly, owners of franchised businesses may also employ local marketing to promote their specific locations, supplementing the larger franchise’s regional or national marketing campaigns.  

It aims to target audiences close to the location of a business with messages reflecting the local market. Tactics like local influencers, advertisements, or hosting public events are all examples of local marketing. 

Location targeting allows to pick and choose specific geographic locations to advertise in. In addition, when you buy ad space, track your analytics so you can measure performance.

What is the best example of a Local Marketing strategy for a small business?

If you have a local business or are a freelancer working in a specific territory, you can implement some simple techniques. Most importantly, many of these do not require a large budget but only commitment and perseverance.

Let’s consider two types of local businesses: in the first example, we could treat a typical local restaurant and in the second, a Nutritionist.

Local Marketing strategy example 1: a local restaurant

Let’s say you have a local cuisine restaurant with few seats, and you only have a Facebook page. On the other hand, after the forced closure due to the pandemic, you would like to resume business but stay a new impulse and make yourself known on the web to attract tourists and new customers, for instance.

What could you do on a tight budget? Above all, how to guarantee a post covid level of security?

1. First, create a Google My Business listing. It is a free tool with which you can build up your profile and increase your brand visibility. What Google My Business can do for you?

  • It shows all your main data (address, telephone contact, map);
  • You can list your services and show your menu;
  • It gives you the possibility to write posts, announce promotions or offers, inform potential customers about any closures or openings;
  • You can post photos of your restaurant or dishes, collect reviews and much more.

To clarify, even here, SEO is critical. For example, when filling in the fields and the description, consider the keywords with which the user could find you to appear in the local pack or on the first SERP page.

2. If you want to intensify your visibility, professionalism and flexibility, you can think of creating a simple site or one-page website. It will be an additional space where you can show who you are, tell your story, give emotions through images and videos of your dishes and the hard work behind them.

Furthermore, to avoid unwanted phone calls or messages, you could integrate an online booking system, collecting telephone or email contacts to be used in case of problems or in any case to send communications and cultivate connections.

Likewise, you can also think of creating a QR-CODE. In fact, once scanned, a user can access the online menu, some discounts or the booking system itself.

3. Social Media is the easiest and cheapest way to make room for yourself in the competition. However, you should know how to use them. The “where” will be defined after done market research. Usually, the restaurant sector has a significant impact on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook. The “how” to use social media to not fall into banality and the typical restaurant is vital. Posting only photos of the dishes is sometimes not enough.

The user sees such content every day. A social strategy in a saturated market requires creativity, innovation and a sense of community.

4. Build citations. Try to advertise in local newspapers, contact expert cooking bloggers to ask for an interview, register on category lists.

5. Get out in the community and partner-up

Try sponsoring a local sports team or back a community event. If your main goal is brand awareness in your area, consider partnering up with other businesses in your area that might share similar clientele. Co-marketing events can bring attention to both your businesses without using up too much time or money.

Local Marketing strategy example 2: a Nutritionist

Here you are some valuable tips for professionals that provide services to a specific locality:

  1. Develop your Brand: build up a professional profile, associates it with a logo, a brand name, use keywords everywhere you like to introduce yourself.  Try to enrich relationships with professionals in the sector or build a valuable network with which you can collaborate.

2. Build up and optimize your website

  •  Create a dedicated Contact Page with NAP details: name, address, phone number and email. 
  •  Make phone number clickable on mobile devices;
  •  Add a map and locations;
  •  Add schema.org to the head section. It creates a common language between the major SE and helps them to understand what your website is about.
  • Try targeting a hyper-local keyword with a specific city, neighbourhood or even street names in them. You can even create landing pages for customers in certain areas and write blog posts and articles targeted to their needs and interests. 

3. Go local on Social Media

Tag locations and geographic areas in your social posts. For example, you can also include your local keywords in your hashtags, profiles and bios. The more search engines see your brand about those local terms, the better you’ll rank for local searchers. Facebook allows advertisers to target based on location.

4. Claim your listings and reviews profiles

Listing your business in online directories can be a great way to associate your brand with a specific geographic address and location.

For instance, you’ll want to claim is Google My Business, Facebook, Yahoo Local, Bing Places and Foursquare, Tripadvisor, Trustpilot.

Using the latest Google My Business Messaging tool, brands can turn their Google listings—along with some help from their mobile phones—into live chat devices to connect with buyers and potential customers on the fly.

5. Localize your paid ads

Add your local keywords and city name into your headlines and copy, and utilize location extensions where possible. In Google Ads, you can even link to your Google business page or include your local phone number. After that, you should optimize for mobile advertising with “Near Me” Searches and Google Local Inventory Ads. It is easier for online shoppers to locate and identify inventory available in a company’s local store(s).

Conclusion

To sum up, executing a tremendous and successful local marketing strategy is not impossible, but it requires more attention. Creating relationships with the local community and operators in the sector is not easy.
Meanwhile, you may have in front of you people who are not familiar with technology, the daily challenge to grab your place in the market could be a daily stimulus to do better.

Valeria Di Lonardo

Digital Marketer Freelancer| Ita & Eng| I help professionals and small businesses find the simplest way to boost their activity.

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