If you have a local business, it’s important to engage in digital marketing to attract more local clients. Many local businesses make the mistake of believing they should only use online advertisements and other forms of online marketing if they have a business beyond their immediate community. However, with online ad capabilities nowadays, it’s easier than ever to target target customers in your local area and help them learn about your business. That said, there are specific realms of digital marketing that it’s important to include in a local business marketing strategy, and others to avoid. Nailing down strategies that can target those in your city should be a top priority for your local business. Here are six ways to grow your local business through digital marketing.
1. Facebook Ads
Because it’s remarkably easy to create a target audience in Facebook ads by location, many local businesses utilize Facebook advertisements. However, Yael Bendahan, a digital marketing strategist and visibility coach, stresses that the sales funnel attached to the ads needs to be conversion optimized. “Facebook Ads can't fix a bad funnel or offer - they will simply amplify the results you already have,” she noted. You’ll be wasting money if your funnel doesn’t convert. Test out different funnels on smaller audiences, then make adjustments before spending your entire marketing budget.
2. Youtube Commercials
YouTube Commercials can also capture your target audience. In fact, Aimee Tariq, COO of WebMetrixGroup, shares that “YouTube commercials are the most effective form of paid traffic advertising because it leverages the search engine history of the user with google AI.” Even better: it’s recommended over Google, because the AI crafts the message to a warm audience at a fraction of the cost of google adwords. Inevitably, that means higher ROI for your business.
Instagram is another ideal place to connect with customers near you, using features such as location tags and hashtags by your city or state. From there, you can message potential customers with large followings and offer a free product or service in exchange for an Instagram post or story. Haley Jean Marie, founder of media marketing and content creation company The Salt Influence, also recommends using Instagram to engage with and support other local businesses. “Yes, it’s social media,” she reflects. “But we need to ground social media back into the human experience - being authentic and making connections with other businesses on social media will help grow an authentic community.” To get started, plug in your city in the ‘locations’ tab and see which small businesses pop up.
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Engaging on social media through the aforementioned three advertisement types certainly helps with SEO, but bolster your business’s internet presence even more by optimizing your website. Cyle Patnode is the founder of Your Online Advisors and specializes in helping businesses rank well in their local areas. “Regularly post on your Google My Business page and completely fill out the information section inside your Google My Business dashboard,” Patnode recommends. “These two simple actions, in addition to implementing a google review strategy, can place your business on the first Google results page.” The higher your page ranks on the Google results page, the higher the chance of local customers finding out about your business.
5. Content Marketing
Content marketing can also assist with SEO ranking. Used to describe adding blog posts to your company’s website to rank higher, this content is a great place to appeal to your local customers. For example: if you run a skincare company and you’re based in Scottsdale, tailor the content to protecting your skin in the Arizona heat. This way, keywords around skincare, Scottsdale, and Arizona will rank you higher. Come up with blog topics that specifically answer your target customer’s problems and questions. Alina Petrov of Semrush advises, “creating content with no understanding of what works for your audience and your brand is a waste of time and resources.”
6. Email Marketing
Finally, engaging in email marketing is a great way to keep your current customers coming back. There are a number of creative ways to build an email list of your customers. If your local business is a brick and mortar store, Pam Neely of GetResponse recommends having a tablet for customers to type their email into rather than a signup sheet to appease any hard-to-read handwriting. Other ideas include hosting events in your area and adding attendees’ emails to your mailing list, or asking to email their receipt instead of printing it.
Focusing marketing efforts on these six avenues will have more customers coming through your front door - or onto the homepage of your website - in no time.
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