How to promote your local business
Do you know that 20% of new businesses fail every year, unable to weather the storm that is online business? Well, this number might not be wrong. If you don't have a proper marketing strategy in place, the chances of your business having an early death increases by a significant amount.
Especially if you're a small business owner.
If the above stat stating that 20% of new businesses fail in their early days is true. Then the fact that 46% of consumers said they were more likely to shop at a small business is also true. To be a part of the percentage where these customers shop, you need Local Marketing for Small businesses.
In this blog, I'll share with you the complete tutorial on how you can grow your small business with local marketing.
Ready? Let's go!
What is Local Marketing?
To put it in simple words-
Local Marketing is targeting your local customers in your local area, or within a certain radius, using marketing strategies meant to sell your products or services.
An example will be a local lunch place. This lunch place will use Local Marketing to spread the word about its business, and the types of foods they serve to attract new customers and grow its business. This is done with the help of Local Marketing.
Local Marketing is also known as Location-based Marketing because its main serving area is the nearest geographical location.
Why is Local Marketing important for Small Businesses?
If you want to spread the word about your small business, while making a long-lasting impact on your customers, local marketing will help you do that. The benefits of Local Marketing are numerous.
Local Marketing can prove to be a very effective form of marketing, as it mainly focuses on communities in your local area. Localized Marketing helps more people know about you and your business, and it also separates you from the crowd of the same businesses.
And the best part? The ROI is very high in comparison to what you spend on marketing. As local marketing targets specific types of customers in a specific location, the amount of investment spent on marketing is often low and inexpensive as compared to other forms of global marketing.
How to determine if Local Marketing will work in your industry?
Local Marketing can typically work for any business but brings the best result for brick-and-mortar. You might be wondering, why?
Brick and mortar get the best result for local marketing because of their target customers.
Now you just can't imagine someone flying across countries to dine in your local restaurant, right? But you can imagine someone situated in another country buying your offering if you're a Marketing Consultant.
The reason is that the Marketing Consultants business is not affected by his client's living location, but a restaurant business depends on its customer's local area.
Challenges faced by Small Business Owners when it comes to Marketing
Local Marketing is one of the best ways to start and grow your small business, but it also comes with some challenges that you must be aware of. When it comes to marketing, basically any type of marketing, small business owners often face these challenges.
Lack Of Resources
Lack of resources is the first challenge of marketing as a small business owner. More times than not, being a small business owner means wearing the hats of all departments. As a small business owner, you're the marketer, as well as the designer, and the designer while being a CEO. And this can cause you time. Plus, there's not much free resource always available on the internet meant for your business specifically.
Managing a small business comes with a lot of trial and error, and experimentation to see what works for your business.
Most small businesses don't have the kind of budget needed for Marketing. While local marketing is relatively cheaper than global marketing, investment in the form of money is still needed. You need to have a clear budget in mind that you'd want to stick to if you're targeting local audiences.
Competition From Larger Brands
Small businesses also have the fear of being undertaken by bigger brands. Imagine Mcdonald's taking over your local burger or snacks shop. This becomes a huge hurdle in the path of a small business owner. Local Marketing, here helps you create immense brand loyalty toward your customers. You might not be able to target large audiences, but the upside to this is the customers you'll acquire will stay with your brand. If you treat them right.
Adapting To Trends and Technologies
Marketing is never static. Nothing in marketing remains the same. Changing customer preferences, advancements in technology, and newer trends being introduced in the market require a lot of attention. This can prove to be very time and energy-consuming, as not everyone has the time to be aware of the changes and adapt to them quickly.
How to do Local Marketing for small businesses?
Now that you know about the importance and challenges faced by small businesses, it's time to get into the juicy details. Here are 9 steps you need to take to build your small business with the help of local marketing.
1. Know Your Audience
The first step in the process of doing local marketing for small businesses is knowing your target audience. Whom are you selling to? This means starting with your brand identity.
Your brand identity will be the first thing that will come into people's minds when they'll hear your name. You need to think of 3 words that associate with your brand. Are you more of a fun, cool, and pop-loving brand that loves to use pop references everywhere?
Or are you a formal, suit and tie brand that loves talking in numbers, and facts?
Defining your brand identity will help you find your target audience easily. Once your business knows its identity, it'll be easier to attract the same crowd.Identifying your buyer persona is the next step.
While creating your buyer persona, you need to think more than just your customer's age and profession and dig a bit deeper into their motivations, fears, and pain points. This will help you craft a message that speaks to them, and makes them feel drawn toward your brand over your competitors.
Once you've your buyer persona ready, you can create your brand assets like logo, brand name, designing material, slogan, etc. By this time you should also have your USP ready. Knowing what separates you from the crowd will also help you in attracting more customers.
Hubspot's Buyer Persona Tool is a great help for anyone who wants to create a detailed buyer persona for their business. It comes with a detailed guide as well for better use. Look no further, if you want to create your buyer persona for free.
2. Refine Your Messaging
All the work you did on the first step will now help you in crafting the perfect messaging.
Always remember this slogan, It's not what you say, it's how you say it. The way you present yourself as a brand to others will completely make or break the deal. You want to come off as a human speaking behind a company name and domain.
You want your customers to connect with you as a human, so make sure your messaging is sympathetic and conversational with a bit of added humour.
While creating your brand message and USP, keep your target audience and brand identity in mind. An analytical audience who loves numbers, won't be attracted to a boy band or vice versa.
Create a message that speaks to your customers in a way that makes them feel understood while creating a long-lasting impact on their heads and hearts.
3. Determine Your Budget
Determining your budget plays a huge role in keeping your local marketing strategy intact. Having a marketing budget in mind will help you keep a track of how much you're spending on what. If you do this, you'll probably realize you're wasting funds on things you don't even need.
Most of the time business owners don't realize the expenses they're making and if that's even valuable to them. Determining your budget will also help you distribute the amount that you'll have to spend on Ads or tools you might need.
4. Set up your local website and meta tags and descriptions.
Having your service website set up with all local settings can bring more customers to your business.
Your local website will act as a map for every customer who doesn't know about your business yet.
Having your business information, plus the products/services you offer along with a contact page can help potential customers decide if they want to work with you, and contact you if needed. Plus, having a website for your small business looks professional to new customers.
While creating your website, you need to have three things in mind. First, think about your website copy. Think about your buyer persona, their pain points, and your USP to craft a simple yet effective messaging.
The second part is to make your website mobile-friendly. In simple words, make your website look good on a smartphone, as more than 61% of potential buyers are more willing to contact a small business if they've got a mobile-optimized website.
Last but not the least, switch on all your local settings. For more local customers to find you, you need to localize your website. You can do this by adding website content that is relatable to your local buyers.
You can also add region-based words and terms to your product or service page. For example, if you're an owner of a footwear store. You can add in terms like, “best sports shoes in Chicago”, or, “comfortable heels in Alabama”, etc. You can add these terms anywhere in your website copy, just make sure it looks original and not forced.
One more way to localize your website, and rank on Google Local SERPs. You can add in location pages. If you manage more than one small business then having these pages will make it easy for your customers to find and contact you. These pages usually contain your business name, address, phone number, email id, etc.
5. Set up your Google My Business listing
Google My Business Listing is by far the best and most used way to rank on Google LOcal SERPs. Listing your business on Google My Business will help people find all your information when they search for your business name, product, or anything related to your industry. There are other ways to list your business as well, online directories being one of them.
Review websites, online directories, and third-party websites are usually contacted to get your business information listed there. When you list your business name and website on these mediums you start getting more traffic to your website and in turn more potential customers.
The reason behind getting your business listed is so that people can leave you reviews. Social proof is the best way to get more customers.
If someone out there speaks highly of your products and customer service, more people are willing to buy from you. You can go to Yelp, Yellow Pages, Better Business Bureau, and Foursquare to list your small business.
6. Go online with Social Media
Having your business presence on social media can help you explode your sales without waiting for google to rank your website and listing. Having a company social media account depends on your buyer persona.
If your buyer persona likes to spend his or her time on Instagram, then that's the place where you'll promote your business.
For example, if you sell handmade candles to promote sleep, then Instagram might be a good place for you and not LinkedIn. Understanding your buyer persona and their preferred social media channels will help you make fast sales.
You can use local hashtags and your location to attract local audiences within your region. Hence making local marketing easy for you. Furthermore, you can also use the tagging feature to tag your picture on Instagram to attract region-based people.
To make things easier for you, you can also download the Nextdoor App. Nextdoor helps you connect with your local audience to talk, build a community, and buy and sell your services and products. You should check it out!
7. Tell people to leave online reviews
Social Proof leads to more trust in your industry, and your local marketing efforts. According to a survey by OptinMonster, the average consumer reads 10 online reviews before buying a product. Whenever a customer buys from your shop, make sure you ask them to leave you an online review.
You can use that review on your Google and other listings, websites, and landing pages to convert more customers.
Remember that people trust people, so make sure you include the name and photo of the person who has written that review.
8. Make the best use of localized email marketing
64% of small business owners use email marketing to target their customers. Combined with local marketing, email marketing can help you send content related to your business, discounts, and the arrival of new products in your store.
You can use Hippo, a part of Jungleworks Hyperlocal Stack to create a personalized and profitable local email campaign for your customers.
CRM software has options like filtering contacts with their locations. Once people give you their email address you can ask for their location. If they live in your location, you can filter them out and send them emails related to your business.
9. Collaborate with local business
Collaboration with other local businesses can bring more advantages to you. When other established businesses hold events, campaigns, or meetings, you can act as a sponsor or a participant. This way you'll be able to generate more awareness about your business.
This strategy works the best when you collaborate with someone in a relatively similar industry.
For example, if you collaborate to hold an event with a furniture hub, and you've got a painting business. Then the customers of the furniture hub might be interested in having their house painted as well. Doing this will help you take advantage of someone else's audience or customer.
7 tips to ace your Local Marketing Strategy
Here are 7 simple steps that you can implement to make your local marketing strategy bulletproof.
Stay focused on singular goals and objectives.
Make sure that your local marketing plan has small and doable strategies that you can work on. Having large goals won't lead you anywhere except burnout from doing so many things.
Being a small business owner, you already have too much on your plate. Make sure your goals are short and effective.
Understand the power of existing customers
It's easier to retain older customers than to generate new ones every day. Make sure you treat your buyer as the king in your business so that they keep coming back for more. Most of the time, they'll also come back with more customers and kind words for your business.
Invest in ads
You can also invest in online Local Advertising. While targeting potential customers with Google Ads, or Facebook Ads, make sure you're capturing their local information as well. See what works for you and double down on that Ad strategy.
Local SEO can help you attract local customers. More than 50% of mobile users use local searches and then visit a store in 24 hours. You can optimize your website with long term keywords that are relevant to your area, like “best beauty parlour in Alaska”, and then create locally related content as well using the same keywords. You can use Google trends to see what keywords you can target and rank for.
Lean into word of mouth as a promotion channel.
Word of mouth marketing is the best form of marketing, as people will buy from you when they see others voting for you. If someone else speaks highly of your business, to their friends and family.
Chances are, their friends and family will also come to you if they face similar problems. So make sure you provide the best product/service at the best price to your customers with awesome customer service.
Direct mail might not be a thing of the past. Delivering direct mail when it comes to the promotion of your business, or giving discounts works the best.
Events and Conferences.
You can also hold events and conferences to promote your new business, This will help you get more eyeballs on your business. Similarly, you can also participate in a local event with your business card.
Print Advertising is an age-old but proven method to leave an impression on your potential buyers. Distributing flyers, brochures, business cards, and lead magnets can help you increase brand awareness. You can always add in discount coupons, a buy one get one free offer to promote your print materials.
You can use Canva to create high-quality flyers, brochures, and other printing material for free. The best part is you don't need to be a designer to do that, the customizable templates in canva make it super easy for everyone to use.
Bonus: More Local Marketing Ideas for your Small business
Here is a list of additional marketing ideas for the small business you can use to boost your local marketing efforts.
- - Distribute local print marketing materials.
- - Become a local sponsor.
- - Invest in booth space at local events.
- - Hold a contest on social media.
- - Use a sidewalk sign.
- - Set up a suggestion box
Now that you're completely equipped with every single piece of information you need about Local Marketing. It's time to put these strategies into action.
If you're looking for a one-stop solution to all your small business problems, then make sure you sign up for Jungleworks Hyperlocal Stack. JungleWorks Hyperlocal Stack will deliver to you simple, actionable tips, tricks, and strategies that will help you grow your small business in no time.
JW Hyperlocal Stack offers you a frictionless ordering experience, delivery management, and a customer engagement platform.
Book a demo with our business experts today and get all the juicy insider strategies you need to grow your business locally. See you on the other side!