The local business and eCommerce landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. With the rise of online, mobile, and eCommerce marketing tools, businesses have had to adapt their marketing strategies to keep up with the times. As we move into 2022, local businesses need to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
In this pocket guide, we’ll explore the latest trends in local business marketing, and give you some practical tips on how to make the most of them. So whether you’re a small business owner or a marketing agency, this pocket guide will help you to develop a successful local marketing strategy for your business and give you the insights you need to make your local business marketing efforts a success in 2022.
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What Is Local Business Marketing?
In order to understand local marketing better, it’s important to first establish what it is. It is defined as the process of promoting a service or product within a certain geographical area. Local marketing is a powerful tool to drive customer acquisition and retention. It is the most cost-effective way to build awareness of your business in your local community.
The next logical step in effective marketing is to think small. Local marketing is a strategy that best suits niche markets and will allow you to receive local feedback and cater to the needs of your customers. Local marketing is a great way to reach local consumers and increase foot traffic.
Why Local Business Marketing Is Important?
As the world changes at a rate we can’t physically keep up with, brands need to be able to adjust constantly to what consumers want. Growing your brand doesn’t have to be rocket science. Focus on being present in the communities and creating a good, locally-oriented marketing strategy; you’re set!
Here are some benefits:
- You can reach the right audience
- You can take advantage of local market insights
- Local marketing is more economical and affordable
Local Business Marketing Strategies
You’re probably eager to get started with local marketing now that you’re convinced of its benefits. You can start by reviewing the most important offline and online tactics listed below:
Make Your Website a Localization-Friendly One
A localized website is more relevant to your local customers and audience. Adding terms specific to a particular location is a good place to start; for example, replace “restaurant” with “The best restaurant in Toronto.” To find relevant local keywords, use free tools like Google Trends, Google Search Console, and Google Autocomplete. Always make sure to include nearby locations in your content. You can also optimizate your website with tools.
There are free website heatmap tools to track website visitors’ activities to find out how your localized website performs. Using heatmap, higher engagement is indicated by warmer colors, while lower engagement is indicated by cooler colors and it gives you a perfect visualization of users’ behaviors on your website. There is another way to track your local customer’s activities on your website which is session recording. It helps you to know your nearby customers, their interest in you, their complaints, and many more data. Hotjar is a tool that can help you in this regard.
Take Advantage Of Local Influencer Marketing
Influencers who live locally are a new generation of influencers that have evolved from nano-influencers. Local influencers typically have between 1K and 10K followers and tend to target their local areas. They will only post content that is local or in partnership with local companies.
As you know, most consumers consult with those around them before making a purchase. Exactly, this is how influencers work on a local level. It’s said that consumers will find nano-influencers as if they were acquaintances or friends, which could make more trust in influencers’ messages.
Thus, local influencers are more effectively able to spread a positive review since they are closer to your target audience than any other form of influencer. You can find local influencers mostly on Instagram. But to make your search easier and more reliable for the relevant trustworthy local influencers you can refer to an agency for influencer marketing or use an Instagram influencer marketing platform that makes it convenient. You can always reach out to blogger outreach service in order to create more traffic.
Conduct Local SEO
Local SEO involves localizing your website and creating local pages. Managing your local listings is also critical but we will open it later in this guide. Here are a few local SEO tips:
- Add city and street names to the title tags
- Create a local business schema for your pages
- Ensure that your URL structure is localized
- Locate relevant inbound links
- Have a knack for writing location-related content for example:
- Add a success story about one of your happy local customers.
- Mention sponsorships with local organizations or belonging to any local industry.
- Encourage local meetings and events.
Keep your location data up-to-date, for example, when you open a new branch, close a branch, change working hours or change your product range.
Improve your Google My Business account
Google My Business has a huge impact on your business’s rankings on local search engine result pages. If you want to be in local search results, you should make sure to have a good Google My Business profile. When people search for a local business, this is what comes up first. The top Google My Business result will almost always have the most traffic.
With a strong GMB presence, customers will be able to find your business address, reviews, phone number, website, and any other information they need. Now, Where do you begin? Start by creating an account on Google My Business.
Afterward, include as many details about your business as possible. Verify that all the information in your GMB profile is accurate. To help maximize your reach, be sure that the information on your GMB profile is consistent with your website and any other listings. Choose the right industry, and make sure you find appropriate secondary categories. Any type of local business must cover the following on its GMB profile:
- Business address
- Business website
- Phone number
- Email address
- Opening hours
- Photos of your business
That way, you can tailor your GMB account with added features and customizations.
Localize Your Online Advertising
There are plenty of searches that are relevant to your location. Due to its large share, it is not surprising that local ads are becoming more significant. Google launched many exciting new features for entrepreneurs such as local service ads and smart bidding for retail sales. It’s still interesting to advertise locally through Google, even if your brand has few locations.
Google Ads lets you target your audience in a very specific way, based on location. As your Google Business Profile includes your locations and area-specific search terms and ad content, you can attract new customers even if you don’t have a huge advertising budget. Local ad campaigns by Google boost sales near you.
Localize Your Social Media Channels
With social media, you can quickly and easily connect with (potential) local customers. Several social media platforms have options for geotagging, or including your location on a profile or post. Here are five social media possibilities that we felt were important for you to know about:
- Get involved in local communities, share local hashtags
- Use social media ads
- Get in touch with other local businesses and collaborate with them
- Include user-generated content in your campaign
- Bring attention to your community
Take Advantage Of A Direct Mail Marketing
There are still effective “traditional” marketing channels amidst all the digital noise. Direct mail is still among them, and many people proclaim that this practice has lost its effectiveness. Still, even the youngest and most technologically-inclined consumers appreciate direct mail. Technology is also evolving rapidly; QR codes, Augmented Reality, and NFC are no longer novelties. There is even the option of sending video mailers today.
Direct mailings are more successful when they are localized and personalized. Personalization goes beyond the traditional ‘Dear ___,’ and should reflect individual attributes. it is customizable and tailored to the person receiving it. For example, you can use customers’ previous shopping behaviors to send promotional offers tailored to their needs. The response rate is obviously improved by this multichannel strategy.
By 2022, local business marketing will be all about community involvement and creative content. To succeed, businesses will need to focus on developing a strong local presence, investing in local SEO, using social media to reach customers, and creating content that resonates with their community. With the right strategy and tactics, local businesses can thrive in the new landscape.