For many small businesses, it’s vital they spend every last penny of their working capital strategically and effectively. Since the vast majority of small businesses sell their wares to the local community in the immediate geographic vicinity. One suggestion would be to allocate resources for a small business “local” marketing campaign.
This means the small business marketing campaigns will primarily target the local population in one specific area. In some ways a local marketing campaign can be more restrictive than a nationwide focus, but there are many advantages to using a local marketing strategy, such as spreading brand awareness and potentially boosting sales.
Optimize your online reviews
Before patronizing a business and buying anything there, nearly everyone looks to the online reviews first. In fact, 92 percent of respondents to the BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2015 said they now read online reviews. This is up from 88 percent in 2014, and indicates that shoppers care a lot about what previous customers have to say about a particular company. Individuals will even immediately research a company online the second they hear the name of it, often with no intention to buy anything, but just to gain a sense of what the company offers.
One way to truly optimize your online reviews is to get the categories and information correct for all the major review sites. Yelp, Angie’s List and Google are all good review websites to start with, as well as your local Yellow Pages.
Claim your Local Listing
Search-engine giant Google offers a Local Listing that lets businesses of all sizes claim their company so it shows up online. Unfortunately, 15 percent of local companies have yet to claim their listing while 25 percent were unaware whether they have claimed it, according to Reach Local’s 2016 Local Marketing Report.
The Google Local Listing is a crucial way to ensure your small business shows up at the top of the search engine results page. The higher your ranking on Google’s SERP, the better your chances for your ideal potential customers seeing the listing, leading to greater success for your local marketing campaign.
Utilize proximity targeting with AdWords
The local marketing campaign is all about attracting shoppers from the immediate area. One of the best ways to hone your message so it singles out just those people who live within a certain number of miles surrounding the store is using proximity targeting. You can do this by using radius target through AdWords. With this technique, you can target customers who live a specific distance from the store, whether it’s two, five, 10 or 100 miles away.
As noted in Wordstream, you can easily master this technique in a few easy steps:
- Go to the campaign level and select settings > all settings > edit locations > advanced search > radius targeting
- Input your small business’s address and then select search
- Create locations for however many miles your local customer base spans
Proximity targeting also lets you adjust your bids for a given location. Wordstream recommended the following formula for creating your bid adjustment of reach spot: Location Conversion Rate / Average Conversion Rate – 1 = Bid Adjustment. This lets you alter your targeting based on off conversation rate data.
Boost your offline strategies
While digital marketing solutions are an efficient and cost-effective way to generate and convert leads and then track the subsequent sales, offline local marketing strategies offer several benefits as well. Offline tactics provide you a chance to get out there and mingle with potential customers, giving you the opportunity to shake their hands and personally invite them to come and frequent your small business.
There are numerous ways to incorporate an offline component to your local small business marketing strategy, including:
- Community involvement, such as volunteering or fundraising for a local cause
- Sponsoring teams, events or charities
- Handing out flyers, business cards or other promotional material
- Team up with other local businesses
One mistake many small business owners make is not tracking their offline marketing strategies. Don’t succumb to the same fate, and be sure you establish metrics for determining which tactics are effective and which are a waste of resources. This can include asking new customers how they heard of your business or handing out a special coupon that you can collect and track.
Leverage alternative funding
No matter which options you choose to incorporate into your local small business marketing campaign, chances are they’re going to cost money. Even relying solely on free marketing techniques such as social media still require an investment of time, which can cut into your ability to work on other revenue-generating projects. By using a merchant cash advance, you quickly and easily access the necessary capital to properly fund your local small business marketing campaign and start taking the steps to reach your next milestone.