If your business primarily caters to a local audience or you operate a brick-and-mortar store, a local marketing strategy is a must.
Local marketing is all about increasing your reach in a particular area and attracting customers to your store.
You’re likely already familiar with the top local marketing strategies— SEO, social media, content marketing, etc.
But how do these strategies help grow your business? In this blog, I’ll present how local marketing can help you generate more sales.
1. Get found in search with Google My Business
Think about the last time you found a new local business. Chances are you started with Google and browsed through the results.
You’re not alone. An estimated 90% of consumers have gone online to find a local business in the last year alone.
How do you increase search visibility for your business? Start with Google My Business— a platform that allows you to manage your online presence across Search and Maps.
Optimizing your profile can boost your local search rankings in Google. Be sure to include your operating hours, address, and a short description.
For example, check out this listing from Spruce CBD on Google My Business. A search for their business name displays a large Knowledge Panel in the search results:
This is critical for consumer trust and social proof.
A Google My Business profile also helps your business get found on Google Maps, the most popular mapping app in the U.S. with an estimated 154.4 million monthly users.
Don’t stop there. Next, create landing pages and optimize them for local search queries to increase your reach.
Here’s a good example of a location specific landing page from My SEO Sucks that was optimized for a local campaign in San Francisco:
Getting found in Google means more targeted traffic, which in turn generates more sales.
2. Build social proof with customer reviews
Consumers turn to customer reviews when deciding on a local business. If a business has mostly negative reviews, a potential customer will likely look elsewhere.
But a company that has positive reviews can attract more customers. A study from BrightLocal found that 91% of consumers are more likely to turn to businesses with positive reviews.
Customer reviews are effective because they’re a form of social proof—a psychological phenomenon in which we look to the behavior of others to guide our own.
Seeing a business with overwhelmingly positive reviews is likely to sway your decision. But if you saw mostly negative reviews, you’d probably think twice.
The results from the BrightLocal survey point to the importance of getting customers to share their experience about your business.
Ask your customers to leave reviews, use in-store signs to encourage visitors to share their thoughts, and use social media to get customers to share comments.
Customer reviews are a great way to build social proof, but never pay for them as some sites like Yelp have strict policies against such practices.
3. Showcase your products or services with videos
When customers shop at a local business, they can browse at their leisure and ask the shop owner questions. But they don’t have that luxury on a website. They can’t physically hold a product or test it out.
One of the more effective ways to demonstrate the value of your products (and sell more of them) is to incorporate videos on your pages. Videos can demonstrate the features and uses of a product in a way that pictures or text can’t.
Rebrandly offers a good example of how to do product videos right. Its homepage features a short video that visitors can watch to learn more:
About 66% of people say they prefer watching a video to learn about a product or service, and 84% say that video influenced their purchasing decision.
If you have a particularly complicated product or service, consider creating and adding videos to your pages. But keep them short and get right to the point. Consider taking a copywriting course to improve your messaging and motivate your viewers to act.
Another added bonus of incorporating videos in your local marketing strategy is you can upload them on platforms like YouTube and reach an even wider audience.
4. Increase brand awareness with social media
Google isn’t the only channel that consumers rely on. About 76% of people use social media to search for local businesses and nearly two-thirds (63%) made some form of contact afterward.
Social media is a marketing channel that your business can’t afford to ignore. It allows you to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.
There are different ways you can use social media to promote your business. For example, Drink LMNT uses Instagram to feature local partnerships:
Running a sales promotion is another great way to use social media to bring attention to your business. You could announce a flash sale or even a sweepstakes with free prizes.
Future Kind used Stories on Instagram to promote a giveaway of $1,500 worth of its multivitamin products:
These are just some ways you can use social media to generate more sales. Don’t be afraid to experiment with ideas.
An overly-promotional profile, whether on Facebook or Instagram, can be off-putting. Be sure to also mix in engaging content that’s relevant to your audience.
Refer a friend, spread the love, and get CASH! Help small businesses in your circles get organized, follow-up and provide great service by referring them to Keap. https://t.co/SnBB3KX5H3 pic.twitter.com/IVDJXMyfpO— Keap (@KeapGrowing) July 29, 2020
5. Build your authority with content marketing
Content marketing is the practice of creating content that’s relevant to your audience. Publishing quality content allows you to position your business as an industry authority.
This can be greatly impactful when tied with local marketing.
Blogging is one of the more effective forms of content marketing. Companies that regularly blog generate 67% more leads than companies that don’t. The reason is simple—content you publish to your blog increases your search visibility in Google.
Sleep Junkie regularly publishes new content on its blog:
It also optimizes each blog post for SEO. As a result, its blog generates a ton of organic search traffic each month.
But, it takes it a step further, sharing location specific content, too:
In addition to just local content, start creating interactive content based on local terms.
For instance, take Solitaired. How do you market a traditional card game to local audiences?
Start with keyword research to identify terms for which your audience is searching. Then focus on crafting a quality piece of content that informs rather than sells. You can even cover local events to generate traffic from local queries like “solitaire tournament in San Francisco.”
Other ways you can incorporate content marketing is to publish resources to your site or even offer something for free, something that Solitaired does.
The days of flipping through the Yellow Pages are long gone. The evolution of computers and new developments in technology make it easier for anyone to find a local business.
Today's consumers turn to different channels to find information online. Implement these local marketing strategies to reach your customers and generate more sales.