This year, fine-tune your local marketing strategy to put your business in front of those customers who are most likely to walk in your door. Many local businesses fall victim to very ambitious marketing strategies that just aren’t targeted to the right audience, wasting time and marketing dollars without the expected return. By focusing on the customers who are local to your business, you’ll benefit from a greater return and establish your business as a feature in your local economy.
Put your business at the top of their search
While customers research products and services on various sites, they’re still most likely to make their purchases locally. In the United States, approximately 7 billion local searches occur each month. Making your business more visible to these queries will put you in front of new potential customers. You need to show these potential customers that your business is in their community, ready to serve their needs.
Optimize your website using local search-friendly techniques, such as creating an individual page for each city or town you’d like to target. Enhance your local search strategy by taking the time to verify, manage, and optimize your business’s local directory listings online. Put forth the most accurate and up-to-date information to keep your customers well-informed of your products and services.
Take your local business mobile
In 2014, more users are browsing the web via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Take a look at your website’s analytics to see just how many visitors are accessing your local business’s website using these devices. If your website isn’t designed for mobile use, it’s not welcoming to these visitors.
If your website is not optimized for mobile use, you’ve got a usability problem. If you want to cash in on this mobile traffic, your local business needs a responsive website that looks good on a mobile platform — your website that’s built for desktop viewing will be difficult to read and navigate from a much smaller screen, driving visitors away. Show them your company is responsive to their needs and wants by giving them a site that’s easy to access from the devices they like to use.
With a mobile website, you can expand your local marketing strategy to target mobile visitors. Utilize SMS marketing and text message marketing, as well as your mobile website, to offer promotions exclusively to this audience. Link customers to your mobile website when you’re out in the community via QR (Quick Response) Codes printed on your business vehicles, business cards, and other marketing materials.
Get social with your customers
If your business isn’t already there, it’s time to hop on social media and start connecting with your customers and your community. A strong business profile on the right social platforms will put your business in front of customers on platforms they’re utilizing multiple times per day, offering great exposure for your products and services. With the right information, these profiles will make your company easy to find on the social platform and through search engines. Make sure your customers know you’ve gone social by adding linked icons to your website in an easy-to-spot area.
A great profile is only one piece of the puzzle. Once your business is on social media, you have to attract a following and keep them engaged. The right social content strategy will present your following with valuable information, showing them that your company is worth their follow. Utilize social platforms as a way to connect with your customers; encourage their questions, comments, and concerns, and be sure to respond! Your social profiles will be more harmful than helpful if you don’t dedicate the time needed to keep them updated.