Going Local

7 Steps to Go Local

Global brand recognition is the holy grail that the vast majority of businesses aspire towards, but let’s face it, competing with the global marketplace isn’t all plain sailing. Which is why you should consider dominating the local marketplace first and foremost before thinking on a global scale. 

Utilizing local marketing strategies can help unlock new doors for you and your business, be it a brick-and-mortar business or an online business, but which tactics should you put to use? This post attempts to provide you with the rundown you need, so keep your eyes glued to the screen. 

1. Take Advantage of Social Media

It’s highly likely that you’re exploiting social media in some way to benefit your business, but are you really making the most of social media? Are you aware that a simple hashtag has the power to help your business or brand attract more customers than it does on a usual basis?

Finding active hashtags that are dedicated to local businesses requires that you do quite a bit of digging. You can use Trendsmap to gain access to a visual map that shows geographic hashtag trends so that you can find out which hashtags are trending in your area quickly and easily. 

Influencer outreach is another effective strategy that can help your brand garner more credibility and awareness. An influencer is someone that can help promote your brand to a large audience by virtue of their trustworthiness and authenticity. You can learn more about influencer outreach here

There are plenty of other ways you can go about taking advantage of social media, especially if you own an online business. However, you want to use social media correctly, so that you don’t come across as too sales-y. This in-depth guide will help you exploit social media correctly. 

2. Always Improve Your Local SEO

Generating more traffic to your brand’s website will ultimately lead to more sales, and one of the most effective ways to go about boosting traffic is SEO. In fact, SEO should be a priority for you, as statistics show that 97% of consumers use the internet to look for local businesses. 

To reach that 97% of consumers, you’re going to need to take advantage of Google+ Local. This is a tool that helps web searchers look for and share local business information. It also improves the chances of your business popping up near the top of Google SERPs.

You should keep in mind that Google tends to display business profiles that are 100% complete, so make sure your Google+ Local profile is complete. Moreover, you want to include your hours of operation, as Google tends to take that into consideration when a search is conducted.

Google+ Local offers a wide range of business categories; your job is to check off the categories that are relevant to your business. For instance, if you have a fast-food delivery business, you’re going to need to check off categories such as Fast Food Restaurant and Delivery Restaurant. 

3. Solicit Legitimate Online Reviews

This point ties into improving your local SEO, but we felt the need to grant it a dedicated section in this article to emphasize its importance. You should know that online reviews play a huge role in determining local carousel rankings, so make sure the reviews on your listing are on point. 

Putting aside the whole SEO aspect, what do you usually do before you decide which business to patronize? You go online and read reviews on the local businesses in your area to determine the ones that are worthwhile, correct? The same applies to how others will view your business. 

However, you should completely abstain from prompting others to write fake reviews for you, as it can result in Google suspending your listing or giving you a penalty. Both scenarios can inflict serious damage on your rankings. Your online reviews should be service- or product-specific. 

4. Advertisements and Promotions

The internet offers various means of runnings ads and promotions that are based on location. In other words, you can create ads that are meant to target groups of people in a particular area. A great example of a platform that can help promote your local business is Facebook Business. 

The awesome thing about the Facebook Business plan is that it’s easy to use and keep track of. Alternatively, you can try running location-based ads using advertising platforms such as Google Adwords and TripAdvisor. Such tools increase the chances of locals stopping by your business. 

Again, we feel the need to stress how important it is for you to avoid the hard sell when it comes to running ads and promotions. Your ads shouldn’t really come across as ads; you want to keep them subtle, helpful, and even humorous from time to time in order to garner people’s attention. 

5. Consider Using Email Marketing

Relying on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for building a name for your brand is a tactic that a lot of businesses use. But relying on such platforms alone can be pretty constraining because it doesn’t offer you a way to communicate with consumers.

Did you know that 91% of all consumers in the US still use email on a daily basis? Also, did you know that email marketing is estimated to elicit 3x the purchases elicited by social media with an average order value that’s 17% higher than that of social media platforms?  

It’s sad to see small businesses putting all of their eggs in the social media basket while email marketing goes undervalued and underutilized. We strongly recommend using email marketing tools such as Mailchimp to create personal interactions between your business and consumers.

Benefits of email marketing:

  • More beneficial than social media
  • Email is an action-oriented platform
  • The results are easily measurable
  • It’s a highly-customizable platform
  • Economic and super cost-effective

6. Customer Experience Is Everything

Local customers are the backbone of any small local business, which is why it’s crucial that you provide your customers with the best experience possible so that they’re tempted to come back and promote your business to other people that they know in the area.

When it comes to providing optimal customer experience, you don’t really need to go overboard with tactics and strategies, simply provide your customers with unforgettable service, convenient hours of operation, and do your best to incorporate customer feedback into future decisions. 

7. Consider More Conventional Tactics

The internet is a powerful resource that you should make the most of as far as advertising your business, but did you take the time to think about how businesses in the past have established their reputation? Just because the means aren’t new and fancy doesn’t mean they’re ineffective. 

Consider traditional advertising methods such as word-of-mouth marketing, in-store displays, or even broadcast media. We also recommend you utilize print-based advertising, as studies show that most people prefer to consume information in print form, rather than from a screen. 

Final Thoughts

Establishing your brand or business as part of the community is far more attainable than gaining international recognition. We’re not saying that you should let go of your global aspirations, but if you’d like to see quick results, going local is what you should do.