Thanks to the internet, you can make sales and conduct business with quite literally anyone in the world, but there’s also an attentive audience ready to buy from your company right in your backyard. Reaching these potential customers requires a strategy that markets your company to an audience within a short distance of your shop or within your service area. Thankfully, there is no shortage of tools and tried-and-true methods that can help boost your business’s profile in the neighborhood. These five local advertising tips can get you started.
Some effective strategies for reaching local marketing niches include, but certainly aren’t limited to, the pillars listed below:
The first strategy on this list is perhaps the foundation of all good local online marketing approaches. To create a Google My Business listing, request a postcard to verify that you are authorized to make this listing, then fill in every section of your page with the required information. It’s that simple!
Google My Business (GMB) listings are particularly important for local businesses, as more than 90% of internet searches are conducted on Google. Placing your information front and center on the world’s largest search engine ensures that information about your business is organized and easy to find. Be sure to keep the information on your listing up to date, including details about holiday closures.
A complete GMB listing shows your company’s address, phone number, a link to your website, hours of operation, and photos related to your business, product, or service. Additional information can be added depending on the business; for example, restaurant listings will auto-populate with ratings from review websites and options to order online. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Google My Business added a “health and safety” section to listings which explains the protocol for employees and customers at the business, such as mask requirements. GMB listings also integrate with Google Maps, which helps people searching locally find your establishment faster.
Did you know that the top three items on an internet search results page get more than 75% of all clicks for that search? Take this statistic as a reason to prioritize getting your company ranked highly in local search results.
Local SEO works just like other search engine optimization tactics, except this strategy prioritizes achieving rankings within a particular city, county, or other localized region. This means that the results are more likely to be relevant to the customer. This is particularly true for businesses like repair services, which may only travel within a certain radius and do not want leads from outside their service area.
Notably, prioritizing local SEO makes the most notable difference when taking searcher intent into account. In the case of local SEO, this often means a searcher is diligently looking to make a purchase or hire a professional that works in their area. The term “Chicago electrician” is a great example: Chances are the person searching for it is actively looking to hire an electrician in Chicago. This search term is far more pointed than a more general term like “do I need an electrician” or “how much does an electrician cost” — tying location to the search term signals a readiness to purchase. This is where you can strike!
A great example of local SEO comes from Chicago electrician group Wizard Electric. When you Google “Chicago electrician,” Wizard Electric ranks within the top three results. That’s because the company anchored its SEO efforts on capturing the local market within their service area. While precise results will vary slightly depending on where you’re located, the fact remains that Wizard Electric focused their marketing efforts on local SEO and has achieved great results.
Local business owners play a unique role within their communities. As locals, they have a unique perspective on what’s happening in their communities and fully understand the impact they have on their neighborhoods. That often naturally leads to leadership roles within the community, and in some cases, those who conduct business within their local communities gain their reputations through the leadership roles they take on. That can look differently depending on the business and community needs: Some may participate in a local chamber of commerce, donate goods and services to a local fundraiser, or take action that makes waves in the community.
Stepping up and taking action lends itself naturally to local business promotion as it helps raise brand awareness about your company in your region. An example of this tactic comes from a vegan restaurant group in Philadelphia. For a stretch in April 2021, the group’s owner made headlines in local media by raising all employee wages to $15 per hour. In aligning her business with a cause important to her city, the group’s owner drew meaningful attention to her restaurants.
People love stories, and that doesn’t mean just TV shows or books. Individuals relate to one another every day through tales of past experiences, common interests, and inspiring triumphs over life challenges. This naturally fits with your brand identity as your story can greatly influence your “why” behind your business. Company owners like yourself can leverage this for local marketing purposes, often in ways that don’t resemble marketing at all.
Take Cafe con Libros in Brooklyn, N.Y. as an example. For a brief period late in the 2010s, many residents in Crown Heights and neighboring Brooklyn neighborhoods shared Instagram stories highlighting the cafe. That’s because Cafe con Libros’ owner told stories of her cafe’s triple duty as a cafe, intersectional feminist bookstore, and safe space for female-identified people. This combination drew a wide diversity of customers without ever appearing ad-like or ingenuine, all while staying true to the brand’s mission and vision.
A social media contest geared toward bringing locals into your store naturally engages your neighbors with your brand. After all, who doesn’t love a freebie?
A recent social media giveaway by the vegan protein bar brand No Cow is a shining example of how you can use this strategy. For its Spring Forward campaign, No Cow gave away items, including highly sought-after Yeti coolers, to participants who were given several ways to enter the contest (and provided the company with customer contact information in the process). If you’re looking to put together something similar, offer convincing and desirable free items that will motivate your customers to enter the contest, and make it simple to enter as well.
Local marketing efforts are most successful when they are easily tied to your company, and brand identity is essential to making that happen. Here’s why:
Effective local marketing strategies reach highly attentive and motivated customers who are ready to make a purchase. It doesn’t take a lot of money or people-power to get started, either: It all begins with a great website.
With the Namecheap website builder, you can easily create your business’s web presence without needing to know any code. Site Maker makes it easy to drag and drop the designs you love, add your locally oriented content, and get online with just a few clicks. Through your website, you can showcase your brand’s story, deliver important information and contact details, and use powerful features like Google My Business to help drive local traffic to your business.
Site Maker includes everything you need to host, design, and update your website, so you can keep things fresh and running smoothly around the clock, all without needing a website design firm to do it for you. Tap into the power of local marketing by building your own custom website with Namecheap.