Local Marketing – Targeting Your Local Buyers

Local Marketing

Marketing has always been a big part of a business. Today, its importance has grown exponentially and even if you are managing a local business, you must make sure that your efforts are focused and directed towards local marketing because this is what will take your small business to higher ground. The primary objective of local marketing is to focus on a geographically local audience, as opposed rather than to an entire market.

In order to build or develop your local marketing campaign, you need to embrace strategies that focus on building awareness (within your neighborhood or local vicinity). These strategies are often omni-channel, and can begin with direct mail featuring coupons, sales etc.

Although it can be tempting to assume that you should only focus on digital marketing when trying to promote your business on a local scale, it is important to remember that direct mail can still be just as effective. Consequently, you might want to try delivering or handing out postcards containing information about your products and services to your existing customers and beyond. There are some fantastic postcard template design tools online, so do not be afraid to reach out to a professional printing company for support with designing your promotional materials.

So, what else can be done to market your business on a local scale?

Local Search and Online Marketing Landscape

Trying to decipher the components of search engine’s results page is a challenging task. Whether you are a business owner, or a SEO expert, trying to figure out the sources where the online data is coming from is hard because all the information is a blend of social results, local results and paid advertising. For a local marketer who owns a Toronto SEO company, this tends to create a lot of complexity and difficulty in trying to build a local fan base.

Because of the all-encompassing results (social, paid advertising, organic), search engines tend to display on their search engine result page (SERP), businesses not only need to optimize their local website, but also any locally affiliated paid advertising and social accounts like Google+ Local Page, Facebook Profile etc.

In simple terms, for businesses who wish to succeed in local search marketing, it is inherent that they make effort on both organic SEO and social media.

Ways To Target Local Buyers

Targeting local buyers should be a major part of any online marketing business, whether big or small. It is one of the best ways to generate quality leads and drive traffic to your site. In fact, research has shown that of the searches being performed online, around 80% are focused on local. Therefore, it is best that businesses start focusing on optimizing their local marketing strategy. Here are a few ways for businesses to start on their local marketing strategy.

  1. Local Website

When marketing online, having a search engine optimized website is indispensable. When marketing locally, businesses also need to optimize for the local buyers by incorporating location specific details to their website. Doing this will increase the likelihood of your site ranking higher on the SERPs. Because local buyers are more likely to search companies online by typing in their city name or mentioning their locality on the search bar, your company website is much likely to appear on the SERPs as far as it is relevant and related to the searcher’s query.

Apart from having the advantage of higher ranking on the SERP, a locally optimized website is a great way to get your local customers excited. You can display your products on your site for customers to browse before visiting your store, or have an online store to make it easier for them to make purchases.

Just make sure that your site is informative and frequently updated. Also, use keyword terms that are most likely to be searched by your target audience. For local marketing, the keyword phrases can be your city or neighborhood’s name.

  1. Local Search

Local search, basically refers to results displayed by search engines (Google, Yahoo!) for search queries containing geographically related keywords or having a local intent. This is similar to how you should optimize your website locally in order to get a high ranking on the SERP. However, local search is not limited to optimizing merely your website locally. Rather, it tends to focus on increasing your business’s online visibility and reach within a specific geographical region. Say for example you live in New York. It makes sense to have a specialized New York SEO company to help you rank. Be it your social media profiles, your site or any other online platform your business has a presence on, local search engine optimization aims to widen your audience base locally with the help of keywords that indicate a local intent.

It is truly amazing how because of search engines, you can directly target your local audience by positioning your keywords strategically. Keep in mind though, to use keywords that are used by searchers who are looking for a business like yours in a specific area.

  1. Local Social Media

Social media has become a fundamental part of online marketing. Increasingly, it has also been seen to lending itself to local marketing. As a result, it is immensely important for local businesses to establish their presence on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.

Here, let us take a look at how social media platforms can help you with targeting local buyers and improve your overall marketing strategy:

Invest in Facebook Local Awareness Ads: Facebook allows you to run local awareness ads which are designed to bring customers to your door. These ads are set up in a way that it appears to a specific demographic, thereby serving people near your vicinity.

You can turn on this feature by clicking on Facebook Ads Manager and following the instructions thereon. Local awareness ads offer businesses two options to determine their target audience. You can either choose to target your audience based on geographical location, or design a custom audience which reflects the characteristics of local buyers. Not only do these ‘Local ads’ offer various combinations when it comes to targeting local audience, but they are also affordable as you can customize your ads by budget.

In order to get the most out of Facebook local awareness ads, you need to ensure that your ads are capable of captivating your targeted audience and ultimately drive foot traffic to your local store.

Optimize Google+ Local Business Page:

Since Google is the most popular and widely used search engine, it makes sense to maintain your business’s online presence on Google+ Local. When creating your business profile on Google+, make sure that you fill in your profile in detail with your local website and store’s address. You can also add photos and videos to your profile, and encourage visitors to leave reviews. Listing on Google+ will make your business much more accessible and easily found across search results returned by Google.

You will be amazed to know how much the time and energy invested in social media marketing can do for your local marketing strategy. Compared to other mediums, it is way more cost-efficient and likely to attract more local customers.

  1. Local Mobile

Ever since the emergence of smartphones, they has taken over traditional devices like desktops. People spend more time on mobile devices browsing than they do on desktops and laptops. In fact, statistics show that almost 40% people who are searching on Google via mobile devices are local searchers. These figures tell us that it is inherent to have a mobile friendly website if businesses want to capitalize on the local market.

Whether you have a separate site to cater to mobile users, or you employ a responsive web design that can be used for all devices, you absolutely need to invest in a mobile friendly website. Personally, I would recommend investing in a responsive web design as it is much more cost-effective and time saving. Because a responsive design adjusts to the screen size (irrespective of whether you are using a smartphone, tablet or a laptop), you would not need to run two separate websites (one for mobile users, and the other for laptop users). Thus, lowering your website maintenance costs as well as saving your time as you only have to manage one website that caters to everyone.

Useful Tips When Targeting Local Buyers

Here are a few tips that will make your local marketing strategy an all-around success.

  • Submit Your Business Profile to Popular Search Engines

The internet has become an increasingly powerful tool for marketing. People all over the world use it to search for businesses globally as well as locally. Google Maps and Yahoo Local are used every day by users which return with results of lists of local businesses and their profiles. Therefore, businesses need to submit their company profiles in the form of websites, social media presence and high quality inbound links in order to appear on the SERPs.

‘Google My Business’ lets you list your business for free and lets customers find your contact and relevant business details when searching on Google or Google Maps. There are various other online directories like Yelp and Foursquare which allow businesses to get listed and eventually draw more traffic to your website and store.

  • Incorporate Keywords that are Geographically Sensitive

In order to be found by your desired audience online, as the best SEO company Toronto it is a given that you incorporate keywords that your target audience is most likely to use to search for relevant businesses in your industry and locality. Local buyers are more likely to include names of cities, counties and other geographical terms which narrow their search results to local businesses which can cater to them. As a result, it is highly significant that local businesses include geographical terms (city, state, county, zip code) to enhance their SEO with respect to local customers.

  • Design Your Promotions Specifically for Your Local Audience

The best way to target and win your local audience is to create special offers exclusively for them in a way which drives traffic to your site. By making it clear on your online promotions running on your web page as well as on your social media profiles, that you cater to local customers, you can make the most of them. For instance, when you offer your customers online coupons (and other various offers) which they can use offline, you are guaranteeing that there is both, digital traffic (to your site) and foot traffic. Also, when sending out emails and newsletters to your subscribers, you can mention local events to show your customers that you are part of the community like them.

  • Run Adverts On Your Local Newspaper Website

When it comes to local news coverage, local news sources are widely popular among customers. While they may refer to international websites when searching for something globally, when it comes to local businesses, they will stick to a local news sources. Thus, advertising on a local newspaper’s website is a brilliant way to gain their attention and drive quality leads to your web page. Make sure that you mention a clear call to action in the form of your website link or business profile on your ad.

  • Create Content that Your Local Audience Can Relate To

Every business that has been marketing online is aware of the power content marketing holds. It is a very popular and effective way to spread word about your company and establish online presence. Again, because content marketing uses keywords to attract target customers, make sure that your content contains specific keywords that are likely to be used by your customers. Moreover, you should write regular blogs and in it share content that your local customers find useful and valuable.

  • Measure and Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your Strategy

Knowing which of your local marketing techniques worked and which did not is fundamental. You need to be aware of whether or not you are spending your time and resources wisely. The only way to do is to keep track of certain metrics and evaluate its success. You can do so by putting in tracking mechanisms for each of your techniques and if you are not able to understand the numbers clearly, hire a professional agency to help you evaluate your local marketing strategy.

Generally speaking, local marketing is carried by small businesses. Because they are not able to directly compete with a large competitor in another geographical location,their marketing strategy needs to be specific and targeted if they wish to attract customers.