This guide is for people who are just starting out with local marketing, or have just started a local business and are looking for some guidance. If you’re a local business in the US, you’ve probably read up on the basics of digital marketing. Now you’re looking for a more detailed breakdown of different tactics you can use to attract and convert potential customers. This guide will give you a quick overview of the most popular digital marketing strategies and how they can be used to grow your local business.
Digital Marketing Made Simple
To get started, you’ll need a business website, social media accounts, email marketing, and a local business number if you have one. Most digital marketing strategies require you to have at least one of these to be successful. Online marketing is the process of getting potential customers to know about your business. By targeting the right audience and optimizing your content, you can get potential customers to know about you and eventually convert them to paying customers. Google Ads are the most effective way to start digital marketing for local businesses. It’s an easy-to-use tool that offers some great opportunities to make money by advertising your business online.
Digital Marketing for Local Businesses
Before we get into specifics, I want to lay down a few basic ground rules. First, understand that you’re not going to be able to grow your local business in just a few weeks. Or even a few months. It takes time, and you’ll have to make steady progress for a couple of years to get where you want to be. If you’re looking to launch a local SEO campaign and run it with nothing more than a few hours of work, I highly recommend reading Search Engine Journal. It’s a great resource to learn about what’s going on in the search marketing industry. Second, remember that there are a lot of competing local businesses out there. Yes, they all want your customers, but you’re fighting a lot of them on many different fronts at the same time. This is where the importance of a strong local marketing will set you apart.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an excellent way to engage potential customers in your area and provide them with valuable local information. Facebook is one of many platforms that can expand your reach within your local area. While many people know that Facebook is a great platform to market your business, it’s a bit more complicated than just posting a “buy now” button and hoping that people click it. To actually generate sales on Facebook (or any social media platform for that matter) for your local market, it all boils down to consistency and precision. It is not a secret that Facebook Page reach has gone down tremendously, don’t think of that as negative towards your business either. Facebook wants to prioritize posts from personal pages rather than people getting bombarded with business related stuff in their newsfeed. Using this knowledge to your advantage, go ahead and share any business page post on your personal page! Let your immediate network know about your business venture. Another great option of breaking through the newsfeed is to invest in Facebook Advertising. They can be a great way to promote your business in your local area to gain more brand awareness, traffic, and sales. To start, you simply need to find a product or service that you want to promote. From there, you can decide the relevant context and targeting for the ad to deliver.
SEO: Who Needs It? Short answer — everybody! Local SEO does more than target any particular keywords or industries, but instead encompasses a range of tactics. In order to make the most out of local SEO, you need to understand the search volume and competitive landscape. Here are some of the main principles that local SEO experts employ to improve your search rankings:
– On Page (technical SEO)
– Off Page SEO (backlinks, guest blogging, etc.)
– Google My Business (Check our FREE Guide)
– Local specific landing pages
– YouTube SEO (use Google’s ecosystem)
– Other Local citations (Yelp, Angies List, etc.)
Be very careful in the world of “Black Hat” tactics though. Black Hat techniques are considered to be against search engine guidelines and even though they work (they do indeed work), they are not long-term strategies. If Google, Microsoft, etc. find out you are using black hat techniques…you will be penalized. So don’t follow that bandwagon! If you are questioning if someone or an agency has been using black hat techniques to enhance your SEO, please let us know! We have no problem educating on some aspects of SEO. We don’t consider ourselves to be SEO experts but a few things we know how to do and we know what to look out for (how is that for transparency).
Content marketing is a strategy that’s gaining popularity in local marketing. How does it work? Well, the best content marketing will be personalized to your customers. This means that it needs to answer them specifically. But a ton of local businesses aren’t leveraging their customer feedback to create truly unique content. Instead, they use outdated templates that customers have seen before, or they rely on a cookie-cutter content marketing strategy that’s really nothing more than a bunch of unrelated image quotes (I’m inspired but…please just give us quality content). If you want to create content that truly resonates with your target audience, you’ll need to think outside the box. Here are some tactics you can try to help you do so: Videos of your service/product, pictures of the staff, relevant tips, audio content like a clip of a podcast feature, events, and there are most definitely more! The point is, we all understand that there is a general rule of thumb of when and how much to post but for local businesses, you have to bring out the quality (not quantity) to really set yourself apart.
Email is still a really great way to capture local leads. Email is convenient, people expect it and businesses know they can rely on it. This is the main way people in your local area usually get in touch with business services. So the better you can automate the process, the more you can focus your time on other aspects of marketing. MailerLite and MailChimp are two great platforms for running an email marketing campaign if you are getting started. Both platforms have free plans that will give you plenty of room to grow and be effective at the same time. They integrate with many other marketing tools and so it will save you a lot of time and effort. Email marketing is considered to have the highest return on investment compared to any other strategy. The re-marketing value from email is roughly $40 gained for every $1 spent! That is insane!
I hope this guide is helpful. Share it with your friends if they’re looking for a local marketing guide. Always focus on quality in the local market, you want to gain more customers/clients and become a thought leader in your area. There are more techniques for Local Marketing but this is a general concept to get you on the right track.