What is local marketing? Local marketing is the method used by a business to reach a target audience who lives, works in, and visits that geographic location. That definition needs a display of examples to better understand what local marketing really looks like. That’s why we put together several real-world local marketing examples (with pictures).
Below you will find examples of local marketing campaigns, ways to implement them, and a summary of their benefits. At the end, we will give our recommendations for a local marketing strategy for your business, and why we think you should adopt it.
- Example #1: Local Online Ads
- Example #2: Local Sponsorships
- Example #3: Local Partnerships
- Example #4: Local Search Marketing
- A Winning Local Marketing Strategy
- What is local marketing? Closing Thoughts
Example #1: Local Online Ads
Online advertisements are designed to reach people who are physically located in your targeted geographic area. Platforms like Google, Facebook, and others can run ads on their networks along with app store apps and other websites.
Additionally, when you build an online ad, you’ll want 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, MA. A customer in your targeted area of Springfield, MA, who is looking online for bicycle repair shops can see your ad, click on it and become a customer.
What are the benefits of Local Advertising?
The benefits of local advertising in both traditional and digital marketing campaigns include:
- Reaching your target audience very quickly
- Ads will be seen by only the local community
- Build awareness to your unique value proposition
Local advertising is essential to building your business, especially when you rely on your community’s support to stay open.
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 a Local Sponsorship?
The benefits of participating in local sponsorships include:
- Financially benefits the local organization
- Sponsorships establish trust with local consumers
- Create local awareness of your brand
Contributing and sponsoring local events, organizations, and groups, creates deep rooted ties into the community.
Example #3: Local Partnerships
Local partnerships, or sourcing, is another form of local marketing that will get you in front of another audience, that may like what you offer.
For instance, a restaurant can partner with a local farm to reach a larger relevant audience. 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 sample of local partnerships is how Big Y, a local grocer in New England, will sell products from local farms and make sure the consumer knows where the food comes from.
What are the benefits of Local Partnerships?
The benefits of establishing partnerships with other local businesses include:
- Show of support for each other’s local business
- Reach a new audience
- Exclusive offers and benefits for each other’s customers
And this is just scratching the surface. Start thinking about another local business who compliments your products or services today.
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 very moment they are looking online for your services.
FYI: Local search marketing is a form of search engine optimization (SEO) or search engine marketing (SEM) directed at a local geographic area.
To clarify, 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, instead 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 will reach the consumer at the very moment they are looking for your product or services. The benefit for your business is that local consumers will…
- Discover your business on their own
- Click search results instead of advertisements
- Visit your website
This is one of our favorite methods 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.
Lastly, search marketing also takes advantage of free rank tracker tools like Google Search Console, so you can monitor progress over time. Unfortunately, other marketing channels can sometimes require on going fees in order to maintain analytic data.
A Winning Local Marketing Strategy
We recommend local search marketing first and foremost. To be clear, that does not mean you shouldn’t use other local marketing channels. (e.g. Reputation, Web3, Scavenger Hunts, Networking)
Why do you recommend local search marketing first? For several reasons.
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.
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 shown 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 the 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.
Local Search Marketing is Affordable
There are two approaches to take, depending on your budget. One route is the do-it-yourself option.
DIY or Do It Yourself means less costs, and more of your time.
We created a free local SEO checklist for business owners that contains 20 tasks to get started with. And our Local Business Online Toolkit has a free DIY version.
DIFM or Do It For Me means more cost, and less of your time.
Even with a small marketing budget you can have someone do-it-for-you. Make sure to can find out what SEO costs, hire a quality local SEO agency, and use our guide to avoid digital marketing scams.
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.
What is local marketing? Closing Thoughts
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.