What Is Local Marketing?
To understand local marketing, we first need to define marketing. According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is:
“the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
Whereas Merriam-Webster defines marketing as:
the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service
Ok, what about the word local. Well, the Oxford English dictionary defines it as:
belonging or relating to a particular area or neighborhood, typically exclusively so.
So, if we combine the later two, we get the following definition of local marketing:
the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service in a particular area or neighborhood.
Why Is Local Marketing Important?
There are numerous reasons why local marketing is so crucial. The first and most obvious reason is that you want to increase the number of prospects and ultimately new clients to your local small business for the local area you serve.
Local and localized marketing methods are designed to target, engage, and attract those local clients.
The second reason local marketing is crucial is that people are actively searching for local businesses. Research has shown that 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. It is also said that Google receives approximately 3.5 billion searches every day, which correlates to 1.6 billion of them having local intent.
As a local business, you not only want to show up in these types of searches, but you need to do everything you can to make sure you do, as these types of searchers are the most likely to become clients.
Without a good localized marketing strategy, you could be missing out on getting in front of buyers searching for your services in your area.
8 Main Types of Local Marketing
Now that we've covered what local marketing is and why you need it let's look at the various types of local marketing. While there are many types, you need to understand what each type is and which ones are necessary or best for you in developing your localized marketing strategy that works for your small business.
How to Use Local Marketing to Grow Your Small Business
Local marketing involves a wide range of methods and tactics designed to increase awareness of your small business, attract new clients, engage with existing clients, and promote your brand.
The best local marketing strategies include a variety of local marketing strategies or types that work together to help you achieve your business goals and objectives have local intent, so local SEO is a must-have strategy.
1. Local SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is certainly something you've heard of before. The experts at Moz define SEO as:
A marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines.
In other words, properly practiced SEO helps make your website visible for potential clients when they are searching on Google, Bing, or Duck Duck Go for keywords or terms related to your products or services.
SEO encompasses the art of optimizing your website both on the backend and in your content for specific keywords and topics that your target audience is likely to search for. It also has to do with the structure of your site, load time, and mobile-friendliness.
What about local SEO? Local SEO boils down to this simple process:
Search engines will crawl over your website, social media page, directory listings, local content, citations, and links, to gather information to send relevant local search results to inquiring local customers.
Basically, local SEO involves optimizing your content for local search intent and considering offsite elements such as your local listings to assist you to enhance visibility on search engines, review sites, and local listings such as Google Maps.
Remember, research has shown that 46% of all Google searches have local intent, so local SEO is a must-have strategy.
2. Local PPC
Paid search advertising, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, or search engine marketing (SEM), is a marketing approach that allows you to place advertisements on popular search engines such as Bing or Google.
With paid search ads, you only pay for clicks on your ad, not how many times a searcher sees your ad without clicking on it or impressions, which is commonly stated as cost per thousand or CPM.
According to Google, if you want ads to show on the Google search site, an “ad can appear above or below search results on Google Search. They can appear beside, above, or below search results on Google Play, in the Shopping tab, and Google Maps, including the Maps app.”
PPC advertising or online advertising allows you to target your ads to the type of clients you want to reach and filter out those you don't. This can be an effective technique for your small business to not only reach out to interested searchers but also raise brand awareness.
When you run PPC advertising, you have the option to localize your campaign in a variety of ways. As with any ad, there are geotargeting options available to ensure that your ads are only seen to searchers in a specified location.
Local PPC ads can also be launched by including local keywords into your bidding strategy and turning on location extensions in Google Ads. These are used in local PPC campaigns to attract clients to your small business by appearing in search results and Google Maps, as well as in the Google Display Network.
3. Localizing Your Website
Every small business, even local small businesses, must have a website. Your website serves as the central hub for your business, to which all of your other marketing efforts should direct interest and traffic. It also functions as a potent local marketing tool in and of itself.
Here are a few key things you need to make sure you do on your website as part of your local marketing efforts:
- Include your contact information, including your name, address, and phone number (NAP).
- Include geographic landing pages with information about a service and the area you service.
4. Social Media Marketing
Another local marketing technique to consider is social media marketing, which includes having a presence for your business on social sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn (if it makes sense for your small business)
You may include business information like your address on your Facebook and Instagram sites, and you can add a location to your photographs and posts, helping potential consumers in your neighborhood or service area find you.
You can also use location-specific hashtags on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to assist local users in finding your site.
5. Local Listings
Business listings, such as Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) and Yelp, enable searchers to find information about your small business in SERPs and mobile apps. Local listings are constructed around your essential business information, such as your business name, address, phone number, and website.
Searchers will use the information on local listings to read reviews, find out where your business is located, or contact your company directly.
If your local listings are incorrect, you may miss out on prospects and even clients that are eager to hire you, and your local SEO may suffer as a result. Google and other search engines use information from local listings such as your NAP to decide how trustworthy information about your company is available online.
If search engines notice alternative spellings of your company's name, different phone numbers, or different addresses, you may be ranked lower in search results for relevant local searches.
6. Targeted Email Marketing
Sending marketing emails to a list of clients or prospects who want to hear from you is email marketing. You can take your email marketing a step further and segment your list out so you can better target prospects and clients with an email that speaks directly to them and their needs.
With targeted email marketing, you may send emails to people in a specific geographic area, allowing you to include location-specific graphics, wording, and other elements to tailor your email marketing campaigns further.
This local marketing strategy is an excellent way to increase brand awareness, stay in touch with people who aren't current clients and have offers to attract them to do business with you.
7. Local Sponsorships and Event Marketing
Event sponsorship or hosting an event is a tried-and-true local marketing technique that allows you to engage with your community while also giving back.
Local sponsorships are exactly what they sound like, a chance for your company to support local events or the local ball team.
When you sponsor or host an event, such as a lunch and learn or a business after hours, you may get your company in front of local consumers, raise awareness, and develop a good brand association, all of which can lead to more clients for your company.
8. Local Video Advertising
Most people don’t know this, but YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world!
When you run YouTube advertising, you have the option of selecting a target audience for your ads, including their geographic area. Targeting users in the areas you service puts you and your ad in front of those local buyers while they're watching videos on YouTube.
Local YouTube advertising can be great and used for highly targeted localized marketing strategies. The reason is it helps you drive traffic to your website or a specific landing page, engage with your clientele in a format they enjoy, or simply just build awareness with local audiences.
Tools for Local Marketing Success
Before you start with your local marketing, you need to have these six things in place:
- A website you can use for local marketing
- A way to track your local marketing success
- A way to manage your local leads such as a CRM
- Some sort of budget
- A local marketing strategy.
- The local marketing right partner
Is Your Website Ready for Local Marketing?
Your website should be the foundation of any and all your local marketing strategies. Here are five reasons why:
1. Your Website Is How You Set Yourself Apart.
Although social media profiles and listings are useful, you can't fully brand your content on these sites, and you don't have control over how or what information is presented. Your website should exude your brand, including all colors and graphics that fully reflect your brand. Your website also allows you to display information in the most impactful way imaginable.
You can differentiate your small business from the competition by having complete control over how you communicate your story.
2. All Your Marketing Strategies Depend on Your Website
All of your other marketing tactics rely on your website. Suppose you are thinking about running a local PPC ad for a new service you are offering. Sure, you could drive traffic to your social media profile, but then you are generating traffic for the social media platform, and you are more likely to lose the lead to their social media feed. Therefore without a website, your ad has nowhere to go!
3. Your Website Is How You Get Leads and Clients
Ads, social media posts, emails, and local listings should all point users to your website.
Why? Driving traffic to a single area, such as a landing page, helps you to establish a sales funnel. A good sales funnel can be one of the most crucial elements of your website.
4. Your Website Can Help You Improve Your Local Marketing Strategy
Driving traffic to one location allows you to collect data about your audience and improve your local marketing strategies. Website analytics can show you which channels provide the most traffic, which pages have the most engagement and even visitor demographics.
This data helps you better understand your target audience and determine which local marketing strategies are effective. Local small business owners have limited resources, so being able to identify ineffective activities is as critical as knowing what is working.
5. Your Website Puts You in Control of Your Clients' Buyer's Journey
Your website puts you in control of your clientele's buyer’s journey. Somehow when business owners start marketing, they forget what it's like to be on the other side of the table. Will Schultz of Impact Plus says, “Buyers don't want to be told what to do before they make themselves known to your company. They want to self-educate on their terms.”
It's a win-win situation if you can get them to voluntarily and confidently make the trip from discovery to contact, which allows you to close the deal and gain additional business.
Now that you truly understand the value of a local website, you can see how it can help you sell your services 24/7 and help you grow your local small business!
How Do You Track Your Local Marketing?
In order to know whether or not your local marketing efforts are working, you need a solid way to track them.
Here are a handful of tools that can help:
You should connect your website to Google Analytics and use it to track website traffic, time on site, who visits your site, and much more.
UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module and consists of five variants of URL parameters used by marketers to help track the effectiveness of their online marketing campaigns across different traffic sources and publishing media.
UTMs will allow you to see how users are getting to your website. You can create them to show you where someone clicked on your link, and you can tie them to your Google Analytics and track them as campaigns.
Call Tracking Technology
Call tracking technology assigns a unique number to each local marketing channel routing to your main number! Think of it as a shortcut to open an application. With this technology, you can generate a report showing each call's source, allowing you to see which local marketing efforts are driving the most leads.
While it may not be the most efficient or time-saving method, you can ask how your clients found you or heard about you directly. Just remember, if you go this route be sure to ask.
How Will You Manage Leads?
Let's face it you're not doing local marketing for the sake of it; you're doing it to attract more potential clients! As a result, you'll need a way to track the clients who come in as a result of your local marketing efforts.
Here are three ways to manage your leads:
Use a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)
If you have a form on your website and link it to your CRM, then your leads are automatically routed into it. You can gather a lead's contact information between the form and the CRM. Then you can add details to their record, assign the lead to members of your team, and track whether or not you've followed up with them.
Many CRMs (such as HubSpot) will also show you where that lead came from, bringing your marketing tracking and lead management together in one spot.
Keep a Manual List
If you aren't ready for a free CRM solution, you can manage leads manually. Many small business owners may keep a shared spreadsheet to keep track of clients’ names, emails, and notes. The problem is when a new email, website chat, or call comes in, someone will have to be responsible for adding the contact information to the lead list.
Develop a Process for Following up With Leads
If you choose to use a CRM to manage leads, Google Sheets, or spreadsheets, you’ll want to ensure you have a process for following up with and engaging with them.
According to Google and the Corporate Executive Board, “35% to 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first” and “that today’s B2B customers are nearly 60% through the sales process before engaging a sales rep.”
To make your local marketing as effective as possible, you need a system to track new leads, follow up with them, and ensure that your hard-earned local prospects aren't left behind.
What’s Your Local Marketing Budget?
Before developing your ideal local marketing strategy, you must first decide how much money you have or are willing to invest in your local marketing efforts.
Many local marketing strategies, particularly those that allow you to get in front of people and produce leads rapidly, require a modest budget. Even a handful of the free or cheaper local marketing tactics necessitate some investment.
Many local small businesses will spend around 5-10% of their revenue on marketing. If you want to grow at a faster rate, then that number should be closer to 10% or more.
What Is Your Local Marketing Strategy?
After you have determined how much you can spend on your local marketing strategy, it's time to develop the best marketing strategy for your company.
Here are three things to remember:
Don't Underestimate the Power of Brand Building
When it comes to local marketing for small businesses, there are certain strategies that are particularly effective at bringing in new customers. PPC advertising is designed to entice visitors to take action, which is usually to learn more about or contact your company.
You Have to Spend Money to Make Money
While there are a lot of organic (read: free) local marketing tactics you can use to promote your local business and raise brand awareness, many of them are ineffective without their paid counterparts.
A Multichannel Local Marketing Approach Is Best
Because people are searching for local businesses such as yours in many different ways (map apps, social media sites, search engines, etc.). They will see the information about local businesses in those different places. Therefore, the best approach for marketing your local small business is to have a multi-channel one.
Multi-channel marketing is defined by many organizations, unsurprisingly, as communicating with and marketing to prospects and customers across many channels, online and offline.
The bottom line is you need to execute your local marketing over multiple channels. But the question becomes, how do you choose which channels and types of local marketing to focus on? This is where a local internet marketing agency can help.
Should You Work With a Local Marketing Agency?
In a 2018 survey, Constant Contact found that 95% of small businesses do some form of marketing themselves. However, 1 out of 10 would consider themselves “extremely marketing savvy.” Unfortunately, this means that most small businesses recognize their shortcomings, but they continue to try to DIY their digital marketing anyway.
While outsourcing or hiring someone may give you more control and less money in the long run, it can often cost you more than simply your time.
Here are five reasons you should consider working with a local marketing agency.
A Local Marketing Agency Has Local Marketing Experts
Just as you are an expert in your field, a local marketing agency will include individuals who are specialists in local marketing. These local experts will stay up to date on the critical marketing upgrades, latest algorithm changes, and updates, along with best practices. This allows you to focus on running your day-to-day business, providing excellent customer service, and following up on all the leads generated by local marketing efforts.
A Local Marketing Agency Can Determine Your Strategy
By hiring a local marketing company that specializes in local marketing, they can help you determine the best strategy and budget so you can meet your goals. A good local marketing expert will know the best channels to reach your clientele the best ways to engage with your clients and will be able to implement it all for you.
A Local Marketing Partner Can Track Your Local Marketing Efforts
By working with a local marketing agency, they can and will recommend the best tools (mentioned earlier) for your small business, but they can take care of the task of setting those up for you! A good local marketing partner will be able to distill all the data from all your various local marketing sources into one simple and easy-to-read report, so you know what is really working and what isn’t.
A Local Marketing Agency Can Optimize Your Marketing
When it comes to local marketing for small businesses, there are numerous ways to optimize your local strategy and local campaigns. If you choose to manage your own local marketing, you need to brush up on best practices, examine the data, and make manual updates and optimizations. However, if you partner with a local internet marketing agency, they can do this for you.
A Local Marketing Agency Saves You Time
When all is said and done, time is money. You don't want to waste time managing your small business's local marketing when you could be focusing on your clients or spending time with your family. By partnering with a local marketing agency, you can take one massive thing off your plate, allowing you to focus on doing what you do best: running your business.
Are you looking for help with your local marketing strategy? At Cube Creative Design, we are your Asheville marketing experts! We specialize in helping Asheville small businesses to better market themselves online.
Contact us using this form to schedule a free consultation and start your local marketing today!