When planning out digital marketing campaigns for 2017 and beyond, it’s only natural that you’ll think big. Your team or your agency will aim to get you noticed across a national and perhaps even global audience, but aren’t you forgetting something? For many businesses, a key source of sales, support and engagement is from local customers. At the other end of the scale, businesses which rely on local customers and don’t actually sell online neglect to do any online marketing at all.
Here are 6 essential online marketing tips to help you capture local business, no matter where you’re based:
- Don’t sell online? Still make sure you have a web presence. Even if a customer lives around the corner from your business, they may still rely on a quick web search to decide whether to use your services. If you have a website and a social media presence, you have credibility. You can also make essential information available, such as your phone number, opening times and product range.
- Engage with the local community on social media. You can’t reach everyone with posters and billboards put up locally. Using social media helps you to reach out to a wider area and let them know what you’re up to. Some of the local people who encounter you online may not have had any idea you existed, but they do now thanks to your latest social media campaign.
- Target your local area with online advertising. It can be costly, but it can also help to get the word out about your business among local customers. Social media platforms such as Facebook, for example, allow you to target certain customers within a certain radius from your postcode in its paid ads.
- Use locally optimised keywords. Start by adding a detailed ‘contact us’ or ‘find us’ page on your website complete with embedded map and directions. Then, start adding location information to the copy on your website where it naturally fits in. This is a great SEO strategy, which will help customers looking for what you do in your area to find you. Mastering local SEO isn’t easy, but there are resources out there which can help you get started.
- Post about community events. This is a key way to associate your brand with the local area, by blogging on your website and posting social media content about things that are going on in your area. You can also team up with other local businesses to promote and support each other.
- Encourage customers to leave online These help your search rankings, can help to turn interest to sales and also improve word-of-mouth recommendations that bring in new customers. Make it easy for customers to leave a review and ask for them as much as possible.
Have you had success combining online and social media marketing with local targeting? Please feel free to share your thoughts.