Local Marketing: Digital Marketing tips for beginners
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Local Marketing, also called “Neighbourhood Marketing” or “Local Store Marketing”, is the perfect strategy for those businesses that have a physical store and want to attract people to purchase their products or services there.
Are you curious to find out the advantages that Local Marketing could bring to your activity? Let’s see them:
- Increased acquisition and retention
- Improved customer satisfaction and brand loyalty
- Stand out among competitors
These are just a few examples of the benefits that you could acquire. If you want to find out more about Local Marketing and its different strategies, keep reading this article.
What is Local Marketing
Local Marketing is the activity of selling products and services to those people who live nearby your store or to people visiting that area.
In other words, it is the evolution of the Yellow Pages. Today, in fact, you just need a computer or a mobile device to find the store that best suits your needs.
But what are you supposed to do in order to be found by potential customers? First of all, you need to put your contacts on your website and make them easy to find. For example, if you have a store, you could enter your address and maybe even an interactive map with directions to reach you, as well as a telephone number and opening hours.
However, Local Marketing includes many different strategies that make use of:
- Business directories
- Local advertisement
- Mobile devices
Let’s analyze them in detail below.
Business directories are online cards that include key information about your business, such as your name, address and phone number. There also some optional features that you can add, such as photos and videos of the product or service that you sell.
If you want to take advantage of this Local Marketing strategy, you need to own a physical store or a company that sells local services, while virtual activities won’t have this opportunity.
Business directories appear in the major search engines, such as Yahoo!, Bing and Google, which have different indices of local business listings. Otherwise, you can explore the options offered by prominent local directories, social networks and review websites, some of which may be more specific to your industry.
Once your card has been approved, you can update and manage it at any time, checking and modifying the data regularly if necessary.
You can place local advertisements online through many different channels, such as:
- Search engines
- Business directories
- Review websites
- Social networks
On search engines, you can choose to show your ad when people enter certain search terms, and all major search engines allow you to limit the display of ads to people who only live-in certain areas and locations.
Business directories and review websites offer opportunities for advertising. Aside from inserting your online card, which is usually free, you can take advantage of paid features to run your ads in prominent positions, such as search results or even your competitors’ listings.
Social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn offer professional pages, as well as paid ads targeting local customers. Social networks are also able to detect the location of people and, just like search engines, allow you to show your ads only to those who are nearby, through local and relevant messages.
Local advertising is probably the best Local Marketing strategy because it really gives you the ability to take advantage of the presence of people near your store. First of all, your message can be targeted to those who are physically nearby the store. In addition, some local advertising channels offer unique features. In fact, you can enter the opening hours or show the ads only when you are open. Or you can guide customers with smartphones or mobile devices to your door with step-by-step directions, have them contact you with a simple click or have them read the reviews you have received.
Today, almost all of us go around carrying our smartphone. Your business can use this habit to reach nearby customers. So, if you have a physical store, how can you improve your chances of being seen by the people who need what you sell? The answer is easy, you just need a Local Marketing strategy!
First of all, you need to make sure that your website is displayed at its best on mobile devices, including contact details. Then, you will be able to benefit from some unique features of mobile devices. For example, many people allow websites and mobile apps to use GPS, which can detect where you are and provide directions to reach the desired destination.
Otherwise, if you have created an app that can be installed on the smartphone, the app can use GPS to send messages, such as commercial alerts, when potential customers are some distance away from the shop.
You probably already know that search engines are powerful tools for connecting potential customers and businesses. But did you know that they can show your business high in the results if searchers are nearby or are looking for alternatives in your geographic area? In fact, this is another Local Marketing strategy.
The first thing to do is telling search engines what “local” means for your business: start with the essential data and make sure your website includes your business name, address, or area where you offer your home services, location, telephone number and opening hours.
Then, add relevant content to help identify your geographic location: content is a great advantage for getting in touch with actual and potential customers. For example, you could create a blog or add photos and videos showing your shop or the neighbourhood.
The reputation of your shop is another factor to consider. Just like in the real world, some businesses are better known than others. In the online world, businesses that have had a website for the longest time or that boast multiple content and references will be rewarded by search engines on their results pages.
And don’t forget to take advantage of the local services of the search engines themselves. Using services such as Yahoo! Local, Google My Business or Bing Local will help search engines learn more about your business and know when to include you in the results. After entering your business card and confirming the location of your store or the coverage area of the services you offer, these local search indexes will be another way for online users to find you.
Local Marketing: how to improve your local ranking on Google
When someone searches for a business or place near their location, they’ll find local results across Google, in places like Maps and Search. To learn more, click on this link.
To improve your business’s local ranking, use Google My Business to claim and update your business information.
Learn ways to improve your business’s local ranking on Google with this video.
Update your business info for better visibility
You may find that your business doesn’t show up for relevant searches in your area. To maximize how often users find your business in local search results, ensure that your business information in Google My Business is accurate, complete, and engaging.
Do not forget to:
- Enter complete data
- Verify your location
- Keep your hours accurate
- Manage & respond to reviews
- Add photos
How Google determines local ranking
A combination of relevance, distance and prominence helps to find the best match for your search:
- Relevance refers to how well a local Business Profile matches what someone is searching for. Setting a complete and detailed business profile helps Google to show it for relevant searches.
- Distance considers how far each potential search result is from the location term used in a search.
- Prominence refers to how well known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking. Prominence is based on information that Google has about a business, from across the web, like links, articles, and directories. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’ local ranking.
Local Marketing: conclusions
Are you ready to set up your Local Marketing strategy now? You can choose to consider only a few of the strategies we have described or all of them, according to your kind of business and your goals.