Local marketing is how a business can reach a target audience who live, work in, and visit a specific geographic location.
That definition helps, but I want to see some examples with pictures. No worries!
Below are some great examples of local marketing, and their benefits. And, if you get to the end, I'll give my recommendations of a local marketing strategy, and why I think you should adopt it.
Local Marketing Example #1: Local Online Ads
Ads can be designed to reach people who are physically located in your targeted geographic area. Platforms like Google, Facebook, Beacon and others can run ads on their platform or ad network which can include apps and other websites.
When you build an online ad, you are able to target geographic areas like: countries, states, counties, cities, and even a radius around a location, or place of interest.
For example, let's say you own a bicycle repair shop in downtown Springfield. A customer in your targeted area of Springfield, MA, who searches for bicycle repair shops can see your ad, click on it and call you about his flat tire.
What are the benefits of running local ads?
The main benefit to local online ads is they can reach your target audience very quickly. These can be great for last minute sales or offerings. And, as long as you have an active campaign, your ads will continue to appear to online users.
Local Marketing Example #2: Local Sponsorships
Another form of local marketing is sponsoring local teams, events and activities. Almost, every community will need business partners to help fund their local soccer leagues.
You can find local sponsor opportunities by reaching out to your local chamber of commerce or city hall.
These opportunities offer a lot of value as they benefit the community and reach locals from a variety of demographics. Local sports sponsors are seen by parents, events like Mud Runs reach those interested in fitness, and local concerts are attended by music fans.
What are the benefits of local sponsorship?
Local sponsorships often directly benefit the community which is especially important to residents of that city or town. This can establish trust with local consumers when they see your brand.
Local Marketing Example #3: Local Partnerships
Local partnerships or sourcing is another form or local marketing that can get you in front someone else's audience, that might like what you offer.
For example, a restaurant can partner with a local farm and reach each other's customers. The farm can show that their ingredients are used at a local restaurant. And the restaurant can feature the local farm's ingredients in their food.
A great example is how Big Y, a local grocer in New England, will sell food from local farmers and make sure the consumer knows where the food comes from.
What are the benefits of local partnerships?
Local partnerships show your support for local business and has the potential to reach a whole new audience that you may have never considered.
Local Marketing Example #4: Local Search Marketing
Local search marketing is about having your business get discovered in online search by local consumers. This marketing approach is different because it means your business will reach the consumer at the moment they are looking online for your services.
For example: A consumer will search on Google for a product or service that you offer, and find your business in the process. Not through an advertisement, but simply through their own research and discovery.
Below is a search for 'nursing scrubs near me'. The results below the ads are the organic results that include local businesses. And this is where a majority of people will click.
What are the benefits of local search marketing?
Local search marketing allows your business to reach the consumer without any advertising. Consumers will:
- Discover your business on their own
- Encounter your business at the moment they are looking
- Requires investment in your website
This is by far my favorite method of local marketing because your investment is in your website. Unlike advertisements that go away when you stop paying for them, local search marketing can continue and increase over time.
My recommended local marketing strategy
I recommend local search marketing first and foremost. To be clear, that does not mean you shouldn't use other local marketing channels.
Why do you recommend local search marketing first? For several reasons.
Reason #1: Local search marketing invests in your business
All other marketing channels lead back to your business online. And local search marketing (aka SEO, local SEO, SEM) is really an investment in your website and online presence.
This includes providing your visitors with a great online website experience that is fast, easy to navigate and adds value to your visitors.
Let me share a quote John Mu who works for Google. He says in response to a question about SEO,
"...I'd work on creating great content and finding useful ways to promote it to real users. Make something awesome and talk about it."
The context of the tweet is in response to someone using bookmarking sites. What's important are the actions he tells them they should take with their website.
- Make something awesome
- Talk about it
Local search marketing or local SEO is the act of making something awesome. For a local business, that can include building a fast, easy to use website that has the information your audience, located in your city, are looking.
Reason #2: Local search marketing still dominates
According to a 2019 BrightEdge study, about 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search. Organic search is what I showed you in the Google search screenshot above.
It's not the ads that drive most traffic, it's the organic results.
Does that data include local search? Oh yes!
Google's own study from 2014 showed that 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information. That study is older, and may seem irrelevant, but more data is showing that number could be higher.
A report from 2019 by Uberall and Ecommerce foundation showed that 88% of consumers (that's 4.4 out of 5) go online to search for a location that sells the products or services they need.
What this all means is, consumers still discover local businesses through local search.
Reason #3: Local search marketing is affordable
There are two approaches you can take, depending on your budget. One route is the do-it-yourself option.
DIY= Less money, more time
I created a DIY SEO guide for business owners that you can start using today for free. It only costs you your time.
Even with a small marketing budget you can have someone do-it-for-you. Costs can vary, so you'll want to be careful. Here is a post on what to look for in a quality local SEO agency, and how to avoid scams.
DIFM = More money, less time
Having a professional marketer help you with local marketing can free you up to focus on other aspects of your business and save you a lot of time.
Local marketing is a plan to reach a target audience who live, work or visit a specific geographic location.
Does your business have a local marketing strategy?
If you don't, consider booking a consultation or downloading a free local SEO checklist.
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