Many small businesses can benefit from focusing their marketing efforts on a more local audience. Local marketing allows you to establish a loyal audience who are likely to bring in repeat business. A survey by the Better Business Bureau indicates that consumers are 84% more likely to trust small businesses over larger companies. In fact, the US National Retail Federation found that 49% of consumers have made a purchase with the intention of supporting a small, local business during the covid-19 pandemic. There’s a lot to gain from targeting a more local audience, so here’s how to go about it.
Localise Your Website
Your business website is a valuable piece of digital real estate, so don’t waste it. In addition to optimising your website for search engines, it’s also possible to localise it for customers within your area.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to research what local consumers are searching for, and choose keywords and phrases that directly reference your local area. Tools like Google Analytics Keyword Planner, AnswerThePublic and Rank Tracker are very helpful for this.
Make sure to claim your business on Google Maps, too, as this will allow even more local customers to find your business and access your contact details.
Local Landing Pages
If your small business has multiple locations then it’s worth creating an individual webpage for each branch. This allows you to localise each one so that more customers will discover you through Google searches. Furthermore, each branch may have different opening hours or offerings, so a separate webpage for each one allows you to keep your information up-to-date and accurate.
Your social media page should be about more than just your basic business information. In addition to posting daily, you should use social media sites to position your business as a pillar of the local community. Engage with your customers, show appreciation for your area and put your own local spin on the latest viral trends.
Sponsor Local Events and Charities
There’s no denying the power of digital marketing, but when appealing to your local community in-person events can be even more powerful. By sponsoring a local event – such as a fete, talent show or trivia night – you greatly increase your brand visibility and position yourself as a business that really cares about its customers. You may even be able to land press coverage this way, further increasing your reach.
Donations to nearby schools and charities are another fantastic opportunity to get your name out there and cultivate customer loyalty. Look after your community and they will look after you.
Partner with Other Local Businesses
Creating a joint venture partnership with another local business is an excellent way to increase brand visibility and attract new customers. Choose a business that doesn’t compete with your company, but does share your audience and values. Together, you could co-host events, cross-sell products or partner on exclusive discounts.
If your audience extends far beyond your local area, then it may be worth showing appreciation for the nearby community through offering them a discount or giving them early access to your latest products and services. This is a great way to spread goodwill and encourage local customers to come to you, rather than shopping around.
Make a Splash
Narrowing your marketing focus to a local audience is a straightforward and cost-effective way of growing a loyal and supportive audience. The above strategies are low- or no-cost ways to encourage local engagement and attract repeat business. Ultimately, targeting a local audience is a fantastic way to boost your bottom line and see your business achieve success, especially in the current economic climate.