Despite the many companies out there with a huge national or even global presence, many businesses still operate almost solely at the local level. If you are a local business owner and you aren’t sure how to proceed with your marketing campaign, the 10 tips below are sure to help.
Both Google and Facebook give you the opportunity to target your ads to specific demographics, so use this to your advantage. Target locals who would be most likely to use your service or buy your products. Run these local ads often, and you’ll increase your local brand awareness and recognition.
It’s hard to hand out business cards and flyers at the national level, but locally, it’s one of the best ways to market your company. Just be sure your cards, flyers, brochures, and other materials look professional, are free from errors, and provide valuable information – as well as contact information.
A Chamber of Commerce is a fancy term that describes a network of local businesses that work together to help further one another’s interests and improve the overall commerce in a local area. If you haven’t joined yet, consider doing so. There are typically numerous opportunities and benefits available for members.
Get together with other businesses in the area – ideally, businesses that complement yours and share the same demographic – and find unique and fun ways to promote each other. If you run a bakery, for example, consider pairing up with a dairy for a special “cookies and milk” event. Similarly, if you are a mechanic, consider partnering up with a local auto dealership.
In towns and cities of all sizes, local sports teams are important to the community. If you want to get your name out there and make it memorable, consider sponsoring a local softball or hockey team. You might also choose to host a fundraiser for the YMCA or local shelter. These things will all help you become better known in your area.
If your business is too small or too new (or otherwise financially strapped), consider volunteering your time rather than your money. Hand out water at a charity marathon, get involved with Habitat for Humanity in your area, or spend some time in your local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or food banks.
Absolutely everyone loves the chance to win free stuff (or get free stuff), so hosting a giveaway is a great way to make your business known in the local area. Advertise through Facebook, put an ad in the paper, and even ask radio stations to mention your giveaway. As an example, you might run a giveaway in which the first 10 people who buy something in your store that day receive a free t-shirt or a free dessert from your partner business.
Email marketing is always relevant, even if your business only operates at the local level. Think about options like a blog link you could send, weekly or monthly coupons to include in the email, or even just a newsletter that gives customers information. Just remember that you need to give people a good reason to sign up by offering a benefit.
Search engine optimization is important for every business regardless of its reach. If you only operate within a specific city, county, or state, be sure that your SEO focuses on that location. Fill out your Google My Business listing, register a Yelp account, and find other local directories that may be unique to the area. Then, optimize your site with local keywords and phrases.
You and your employees are some of the most powerful marketing tools available for your local business. Whether you have one employee or a dozen, you should all serve as brand ambassadors to help your business grow. Wear business T-shirts in public, talk to people out on the street, and hand out business cards when the opportunity arises.
Your local business has the potential to truly thrive, but it’s important that you take the time to think about and carefully plan your marketing campaign. The 10 tips above are all great ways to ensure your business grows (along with your revenue) for many years to come.