• Jenna Eustace

3 Steps to Drive Customers to Your Local Business

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

Local marketing referrers to a marketing strategy that targets customers within a specific location. With the current economic climate and given Covid 19’s effects on small businesses, we believe now it is more important than ever for small businesses to be putting time and thought into their local marketing campaigns.

Local marketing is used by brands both big and small. Some global businesses have great success is tailoring global campaigns to suit individual locations and markets. An example we are all familiar with is Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. Coke researched regions most popular names and printed them on the labels of their bottles sold in those region. This resulted in great personalisation for customers along with a lot of social media coverage for Coke. But we’re going to delve into this looking at businesses on a smaller scale than Coca-Cola...

Local marketing, AKA “neighbourhood marketing”, is especially important when the business has a physical location. The key to cracking this marketing strategy is having an insight to the behaviours of the local market. In most cases, this is the easy part. Maybe your business has been located here for a number of years so you’ve gotten to know the people in the area, maybe it is the city you grew up in. If that isn't the case, don’t worry, but do your research and get to know the locals. Some things to keep in mind during your research: who employs the local market? What is important to them? Is there a successful sports team in the area? Where do they go to eat and drink? What are their pass-times? Being able to answer these questions will better enable you to make the decisions on where and what you put in front of this market.

Here are a few steps you can take to develop your local marketing easily today:

1) Get Online, and better yet, mobilize your online presence:

Don’t ever underestimate the power of mobile. I search variations of things such as “Sushi near me” or “Fuel station near me” about 10 times weekly and as we know, most modern shoppers are doing the same thing. This is why it is vitally important that your business has a Google Business Account. A Google Business Account will allow you to create a company profile that will then appear in Google search results and Google Maps. The more information you provide in your profile, the better. Include information such as your opening hours, a link to your website and your phone number. Make it as easy as possible for your customers to get in contact with you.

When your customer is searching on the go and they land on your website, it needs to be mobile responsive. This helps to build credibility with your customers and clients. Again, make it as easy as possible for your customer.

2) Establish a strong local presence on social networks:

It might sound obvious, but it’s an important one. Growing your social media following organically requires high-quality, shareable content. With that, when possible and as often as possible, tag the local area in your social posts. Stay relevant and offer promotions that coincide with local events (An offer on drinks in your bar when the local football club win a game, date-night packages including dinner and a bottle of wine during isolation periods).

Analyse your competitors social accounts and make sure whatever they are offering, you have a better, counter offer. When it comes to local marketing, especially in a smaller region, keeping one eye on your competitors marketing activity is of the upmost importance.

3) Be active in the community

People are proud of their hometowns and neighbourhoods, support the community and become a constant presence. When people think about home, they should be thinking about your business. Get active with the schools, sports teams or non-profit organisations in anyway you can. Be seen to be helping and improving the community.

Another way to be present within the community: Don’t neglect the local media. People trust their local radio stations and newspapers. Invest in radio advertising or a spread in the newspaper, you’ll know pretty quickly if this medium is working or not for your business. Don’t forget to ask your customers where they heard about your business.

These are just a few of the hundreds of ways you can improve your local presence. These are all relatively easy steps that can be implemented today. Don’t let your competitors get a head start on these and start implementing effective local marketing right away.

OPM offer many services in both online and offline marketing, see a full list of services here.

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