Ericka Sheppard

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Is Local Online Marketing Worth Your Time?

What was your first instinct when it came down to exploring marketing for your business ventures? Did you hop onto Google and begin searching for marketing tips and strategies, or did you look for a marketing firm to handle your business needs? Regardless of whether you plan to manage your marketing in-house or a contract, depending on your operation, local marketing should remain front and center for several reasons. Whether you are operating a brick-and-mortar company on an in-person basis, it also reigns true for online-based businesses with a physical presence worth noting. Whatever the case, let’s delve into the idea of local marketing and see if it’s worth your time.

calm body of water

Neighborhood Marketing

If the bulk of your customers reside within the same city or state your business operates in, it doesn’t make much sense to advertise in another country, or does it? Many companies provide both in-person and online services while failing to recognize the specialized marketing tactics required by either one to advertise correctly. While advertisements on a national level, such as commercials and magazines, may serve as an income generator, you could be missing out on additional income by skipping out on local marketing efforts.

Local marketing, also known as neighborhood marketing, targets the local population over a mass market. Forms of local marketing may include a presence for in-town events, newspaper advertisements, mailers, local team sponsorships, and more. Not only do these practices drive repeat business, they also serve to attract new customers by carving out your presence in the mind of the local audience of their surrounding community. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t utilize online advertising tactics to target local customers. When done correctly, online marketing can also drive local traffic to your business.

local marketing efforts include advertisements

Local Online Marketing

How do you conduct local marketing from an online perspective? Most small businesses obtain valuable leads through local online marketing, enabling their company to reach new heights through unparalleled growth. Through optimized local search, website optimization, localized content creation, social media, customer reviews, and even managing your Google My Business account, you could start reaching an untapped audience you may have inadvertently neglected.

1. Local Search Marketing

Online users are not solely utilizing the internet to order UberEats, enjoy fan-created content, or discover the next big meme; they also use it to discover local businesses on a daily basis. In fact, over 85% of online users are looking to find a restaurant “near me.” From ordering coffee to discovering an exciting new boutique, local customers often take to the internet to enjoy the world around them. As such, local search engine optimization serves as an excellent local marketing tool to reach a new audience for your business.

The first step to local search optimization is obtaining and maintaining your Google business profile listing, which we will focus on in our final point. Secondly, after ensuring the layout is up to date and modernized, optimize your website and ensure it is responsive across all devices. This practice includes relevant keywords catered to your local and online audiences. 

2. Local Content Marketing

Content is one of the most valuable ways in which you may promote your local and online business. Consistency and regular investment are the two ways you may begin succeeding at your local online marketing efforts, including ebooks, blogs, downloadables, and more. Unfortunately, this is where most businesses draw the line, typically due to ignorance of overall simplicity. Ultimately, local marketing is an undervalued gem you should quickly reconsider if you want to improve statistics within your local market.

By beginning with thorough keyword research, you will be well on your way to creating content that works every time. Start with a quick Google search relevant to your industry, and look at the “People also ask” section for ideas. Not only will this method provide long-tail keyword suggestions, which work well for article titles, but it exposes untapped audiences to your brand. Striving to build brand familiarity and trust with your local audience will do more in the long run for your local online marketing plan.

3. Social Media

This one can feel like a two-edged sword, but it is another piece of the online marketing puzzle. Local businesses should utilize social media for several reasons, especially in terms of obtaining and nurturing new and present leads. It also presents business owners with the opportunity of reaching customers within their home, or even when they’re away. Work to engage them in fun raffles, quizzes, giveaways, and more. It further enables you to announce sales, the arrival of new items, products, services, and more. Plus, whether you prefer paid advertisements, or the opportunity to utilize organic advertising, social media does it all.

4. Customer Reviews

Back in the day, word of mouth served as the lifeblood of all businesses. Times haven’t changed. Nowadays, one negative review is all it takes to turn off an entire generation from visiting your establishment. By working to earn the trust of your customer base, one positive review at a time, you ensure repeat business for years to come. This involves your Google business profile like never before. Here you can manage customer reviews, reply, and even help to increase a rating through interactions. Encourage customers to leave a review or ask a question (to which you may also respond).

Unsure what to say? Sometimes a thank you is all it takes to let other customers know you value them as a customer. This doesn’t mean you only respond to positive reviews because negative reviews also require attention. For example, it’s vital that you reach out to the individuals behind a negative review to see how you can handle the unfortunate feedback in hopes of improving your business’s overall customer experience.

5. Google Business Profile

Although this is more a sub-item of optimizing your local search, the proper management of your Google business profile is possibly the most crucial aspect of local marketing. Not only is it free to claim your profile, but it puts you front and center of specific searches. Here you can add business info, such as hours of operation, phone number, a mini website, and local areas of service. Furthermore, you can treat it as a social media account with fresh updates and posts for your customers to see. It adds another level of interaction with your audience, as well, through customer reviews and the ability to ask questions you can answer in real time.

Final Marketing Considerations

Regardless of the nature of your business, chances are, it can benefit from some level of effort within the realm of content marketing. Because it doesn’t typically cost more than effort, local marketing is arguably the easiest way to delve into marketing for your business. If this sounds like “too much noise,” it never hurts to reach out to a marketing freelancer to get a jump on your next marketing strategy. Ready to get started? You can reach out to me here to get the ball rolling today!

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