It's easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest marketing techniques as more and more come our way, but it's always important to take a step back and make sure that you have a good foundation in place and none of your previous tactics are slipping.
In local marketing, businesses put a lot of effort at the start and then let it fall by the wayside as the year moves on.
2016 is the perfect time to refresh some of these "must-have" local techniques. Check out these Local Marketing Tactics for Boosting the Growth of Your Small Business:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Local SEO means you're optimizing your website for the local web search so that your business shows up in a location-specific query. For example, "Laundromats near me" or "best coffee in New York City" would both be considered local searches.
As Google prioritizes local listings and puts them at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), it's an excellent way to gain visibility.
When it comes to local search, there is less competition because you're only dealing with your competitors in the area. So, it's easy to get the results you want and bring in the targeted audience.
Google's research on understanding consumer's local search behavior reveals a great information for small business owners.
50 percent of mobile users and 34 percent of tablet or computer users visit a store within a day of their local search. It means local SEO has a great impact in increasing business sales.
Keep one important thing about local SEO in mind:
You don't have to be a company with one or two physical locations to get the benefit. Even if you're a national company, or you work only online, local SEO can still make an enormous difference in your business.
How do you get started with local SEO?
It's a big topic, but it mainly has to do with making sure you have local accounts on all of the major search engines (Bing, Yahoo!, and Google) and use of right local keywords for the target audience and area. You can learn more here to understand the importance of local SEO for small businesses.
Social networks aren't always the first thing companies think while building local marketing strategies, but Facebook advertising is an exception.
It's an inexpensive way to advertise your business to the target audience. Like Google, Facebook also knows buying and click patterns of all their one billion plus users. They are experts in putting the ads in front of a relevant local audience.
Ask for Reviews and Get Listed on Review Websites
Reviews are becoming the "must-have" in 2016 for all companies, particularly, who focus on local search marketing. According to a BrightLocal study, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Get your products listed on all of the major reviews sites -- notably Yelp, TripAdvisor, OpenTable, Consumer Reports, Amazon and more -- and then make sure that you're managing those websites.
In other words, keep your information up to date and completed, and always be ready to tackle the negative reviews in a healthy way.
Although you aren't allowed to offer any gift for an excellent review, build more confidence by working hard on your product's improvement. It will lead to better reviews in future. As Google and consumers like to see companies with strong reviews, get ready for more sales.
By putting a "Review Us" link on your homepage, talking with your loyal customers, and urging your social community to get involved, you can help increase your numbers over and over again.
Work with Complementary Companies in Your Area
It's tough to work with your competition when it comes to local marketing, but you can build your online empire with complementary companies. This sort of partnership can help you spread the word to the same audience.
For example, a content marketing agency in the area may want to team up with a web design company, a dog treat company may want to team up with a dog groomer, or even a lawyer may find it beneficial to partner with a personal finance accountant.
Recommendations go a long way. So, this is an excellent way to put yourself in that position and earn trust.
Attend, Speak, and Host Local Events
In other words, get involved in the community as much as possible. If you can sponsor a little league team in the area, it leads to a great exposure.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce and event committees to get involved and get your business out there. Contact with the journalist in your area. Advertise in the local papers, and even host your event to get people excited about a product launch or simply bring the community together.
If you're the type of company that can create memorabilia for your business, hosting your local events or setting up a booth at other events is the perfect place to make this happen and, hopefully, see some free exposure in the future.
Are you applying some other local marketing ideas?
I'd love to hear your views in the comments section.