Small businesses are often at a disadvantage, especially when their competitors are big companies. Marketing to a national or global audience can be impossible.
That’s why many smaller organizations focus on the local market and grow from there. This marketing approach is a lot more realistic and can lead to serious revenue.
However, dominating your local marketplace doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll need to take a methodical approach to ensure your marketing efforts don’t fall flat.
To help you out, we’re going over 10 tips for local business success.
1. A Good Keyword Strategy
Your website isn’t doing much good if it’s not showing up for the right search queries. A lot of this has to do with the keywords you’re focusing on.
In addition to your products and services, keywords should incorporate geography. For example, targeting phrases like “sporting equipment Atlanta” helps attract website visitors looking for sports gear in Atlanta.
You can perform keyword research using Google AdWords to find which phrases rank well. It may also benefit you to work with a professional SEO specialist.
2. Take Advantage of Business Listings
A great way to get more local exposure online is by creating business listings. Adding yourself to these directories will help your search engine ranking and direct local consumers to your business.
Start by creating a Google My Business profile. Then list yourself on sites like Yelp, Bing, Yellow Pages, and the Better Business Bureau.
When creating your listings, make sure all your information is consistent. You can also pay for business listing optimization to improve your results.
3. Online Reviews
It’s now commonplace for consumers to read online reviews of a business before buying from them. This is the modern version of word-of-mouth marketing.
Online reviews also help you rank better in search engines. That’s why it’s important to get as many reviews as possible and leverage them.
Ask customers to go online and post a review after they’ve done business with you. Then, add these reviews to your website and social media accounts.
It’s also important to respond to any negative reviews. This shows you’re proactive and care about the service you provide.
4. Community Participation
Becoming a strong presence in your local market requires you to stay active in the community. After all, businesses are what drive local economies.
Start by becoming a member of the local Chamber of Commerce. This will put you in touch with other business owners and keep you informed of industry-related events in your area.
It’s also important to participate in local charity events. Consider sponsoring one at your business and help local groups that need assistance.
5. Build Your Reputation with a Good Experience
Business growth won’t happen if you don’t build a healthy reputation in your community. Local consumers need to think of you as a reliable, high-quality business.
The customer experience you provide has a huge impact on your reputation. Working with your business should be easy, pleasant, and rewarding.
Make customer service a top priority in your stores. You should also ensure you provide excellent online service. Doing so means people will recommend you, which goes a long way in a local marketplace.
It may take some time for your website to start ranking well and converting customers. If you’re sick of waiting and want to boost your online exposure now, consider a PPC campaign.
PPC, or pay-per-click, allows for highly-focused online marketing. The process involves paying for advertisements that show up when a person searches a specific keyword phrase. You pay a small amount each time someone clicks on your ad.
The great part about PPC is you get to pick which keyword phrases to connect with your advertisement. This gives you complete control over your target audience.
7. Go Mobile
How many times have you been out running errands and looked up businesses on your smartphone? Many people do this daily.
As a business, it’s imperative you have a mobile version of your website. If you don’t, you’re missing out on tons of business.
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile search. A web developer will need to incorporate responsive design so it displays and functions well on smartphones and tablets. The investment is nothing compared to the profits you’ll enjoy.
8. Social Media Marketing
A great way to enhance your online exposure and interact with your local customers is to engage in social media marketing. This is another digital channel you can’t ignore.
Creating business profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is your first step. However, you need to keep these profiles active if you want them to work for you.
Advertise sales, new products, and promotions on your social media accounts. When your followers share these posts, it’s like free advertising.
You can also consider doing a social media giveaway. This will boost user engagement and help spread the word about your business.
9. Build a Local Network
Making local business connections is crucial if you want to dominate the local market. It’s also a great way to find new vendors or partners that could help your business.
Attend local business events like trade shows or conferences. Meet as many people as possible and make it a point to stay in touch.
10. Email Marketing
Sending out high-quality email newsletters is a perfect way to stay on the minds of current customers. It also helps you attract new business.
Each time you have a sale coming up or are releasing a new product, use a newsletter as a promotional tool. You can even offer a discount code to recipients.
Sending holiday emails thanking customers for their business is another great way to stay connected to your local audience.
Find Business Success in the Local Market
As a small business, it benefits you to make an impression on your community before branching out to larger audiences. Tackling the local market will instill you with knowledge and experience that will come in handy down the road.
Use the 10 tips discussed above and start improving your local reach today.
We hope this article has given you some good ideas. Feel free to have a look through the rest of our site for more business tips and information.