If you own a small- or medium-sized business, you’re probably always looking for tips and strategies for engaging in local marketing.
But given the number of opportunities out there, sometimes it can be hard to figure out where to look first.
Here are five actions you can take to bring your local marketing, and your profits, to the next level.
Local Marketing Tip: Localize Your Website Copy
There are several seminars worth of knowledge you can acquire when it comes to gaming local search results.
But, let’s back up for a second.
Potential customers in your area might very well be able to find you on the internet, but if you don’t look local, you can’t guarantee a sale or conversion.
So what does it mean for a company’s webpage to look local?
For some, it means tailoring your product and service pages to the area. This is so relevant B2B and B2C customers know you’re in the region, what your hours are, and what products or services you offer.
You should also be peppering these service area pages, and your company blog, with relevant observations about the region, including landmarks, events, and more.
In terms of engaging in effective local marketing, start by having a strong, locally-focused web presence.
Use Social Media to Engage with Local Communities
According to research, almost half of all consumers in the U.S. alone have engaged with their favorite brands on social media.
There are some instances where these interactions cap off a long customer-brand relationship.
But in other cases, impressions like these can be the first step on the customer journey through your sales funnel.
Either way, it can pay to put a local spin on your social channels.
For starters, there are lots of community pages where knowledgeable company representatives can chime in and offer seasonal advice or otherwise share their business-related expertise.
However, you need to be aware of quickly diminishing returns.
A Facebook group dedicated to environmentally conscious homesteading might genuinely be grateful for your pointers on the best time of the year to plant tulip bulbs, or which kinds of plants are best for the region.
They might not, however, appreciate a hard sales pitch on chemical fertilizer.
So know your audience before showcasing your local knowledge online—or even attempting to make a sale.
Sponsor or Take Part in Local Events
Depending on where you live, you may have more opportunities than you realize to elevate your profile using local events.
Some regions have major affairs which draw a lot of foot traffic, such as sporting matches, parades, farming and trade shows, races, school events, and more.
And you may be wondering how to choose which local event to participate in or sponsor. Here are some tips:
- Even if it’s difficult to measure the ROI of sponsoring the local Little League team, you can still get a general sense of your outreach success by looking for upticks in foot traffic or sales following matches and games.
- Think about what kind of publicity you might want, and what sort of impression your involvement in local events might result in. Consider a link on your town’s or city’s events calendar or business directory, a shout-out in a local news segment, or mention from a local paper’s columnist or blogger.
To create an even stronger sense of community involvement, ask your employees or even your customers to vote on which events they’d most like to see you get involved with.
Become Involved with Local Charities
Community and global citizenship have never been more important.
Thanks to multiple surveys concerning corporate social responsibility, we know modern consumers have decisively turned a corner when it comes to shopping conscientiously.
For example, in light of recent research, we know that:
- Eight-seven percent of American consumers will purchase a product if the company offering it advocates for social and political issues the shopper cares about.
- Seventy-eight percent of shoppers want companies to be more outspoken on matters of social justice.
For national brands, paying lip service to flavor-of-the-month civic issues is easy enough.
And it doesn’t necessarily require more than half-hearted engagement by the company in question.
Local businesses, if anything, have more at stake.
They have an even more meaningful way to tie themselves to movements and events that resonate with their communities.
When potential customers see your company vehicles at charity events proudly representing their colors and logos, perhaps thanks to a well-placed banner or vehicle wrap, they can’t help but come to associate you with the area.
Plus, vehicle wraps can deliver multiple thousands of impressions in just a single day.
Your employees can turn out for charity drives in force. Or your entire company could sponsor a regional or local charity event.
Companies that give back to the world are in high demand.
But, it should all come down to the area that helped your company’s success in the first place.
Consumers appreciate seeing a brand that stays in touch with their roots, keeping one foot in the community, no matter where else they may operate.
Join Local Business Groups
Finally, it’s important to remember that there can be lots of advantages to getting involved with a local business group.
Not the least of which is rubbing shoulders with other pillars of the community and potential B2B customers.
But how do you begin?
If you haven’t already, make sure you register your business with the local chamber of commerce.
Doing so can unlock doors such as:
- Inclusion in small business mailings and email newsletters.
- Invitations to display at job fairs, trade shows, and entrepreneurial workshops.
- High-value links from the chamber of commerce and local government websites.
There might even be tiered membership plans offered by your chamber of commerce. These may provide discounts for other local business offerings, office supplies or advertising opportunities.
With these and other potential perks, you can engage in potentially high-value marketing opportunities. And you won’t come across like you’re actively advertising to people.
If you want to find a chamber of commerce, you can visit the global website to locate one in your area.
Another business association to consider is the National Federation of Independent Businesses. They maintain a list of industry-specific trade and business groups which companies can get involved with.
And like the other entries on this list, it’s a small action that can deliver significant opportunities for you.
Try these suggestions to take your local marketing to the next level and reap the financial rewards.
They will pay off in more ways than one.