Digital marketing for local businesses is very different from marketing for a national or global business.
Yes, we mostly use the same channels – but in different ways.
Local businesses target local people who are geographically nearby. They seem to be easier to reach without digital marketing. However, it has been a long time since consumers search online before actually buying anything.
More than 90% of users searched Google for local businesses in 2019. This field is an important step in growing your business.
What should you focus on while working on digital marketing for local businesses?
Social media for local businesses
1. Create strong bonds with the audience
Social media is an indispensable part of digital marketing, no matter how big your company is. On social media platforms we become friends of our target group and customers for a long-term relationship. As in all types of relationships, here we need to be compassionate and consider what they need.
2. Make your target audience feel like they are being heard.
Social media is not a channel to present yourself, but a great opportunity to help your audience and make their lives easier. In all virtual and physical environments, people are surrounded by advertising. A social media post with the label “Buy Me” is not interesting for people in the digital age.
What people want to see, in order to be interested, is “I can help you” when they buy me. Buying / selling part of the story is not a priority, but to provide an advantage it needs to be shown how your product changes its experience.
3. Be easier to reach
WhatsApp and Messenger are not just for talking to friends. They help local businesses to easily communicate with the target audience. With WhatsApp Business App, for example, you can “create a catalog to showcase your products and services and use special tools to automate, sort and respond quickly to messages”.
With Messenger, which you already use every day, you can quickly answer your potential customers’ questions. The availability in an app that people have on their smartphones is convenient and safe for them. So just be there via live messages or chat bots – or ideally both!
Local search engine optimization for organic engagement
4. Create a Google My Business account
Everything in order.
Start by creating a Google My Business account so you can be more visible on Google searches. Visibility is the first goal before getting involved in local SEO.
With the Google My Business account, your target audience can see you when they search for keywords on Google like tailoring near me, bakery, yoga school, etc.
After we’ve been seen, we’ll work on converting users into customers. The first key to doing this is providing accurate and up-to-date information so that you can be called quickly or visited your website with one click. Even if your opening times are clearly stated, they can visit your store without waiting. So and why, local online marketing can show results pretty quickly.
5. Ratings, ratings, ratings
Wait a second before reading more and remember your own experience with the reviews.
We all care about other users’ experience before paying for a product or service. So do your potential customers. Don’t hesitate to ask your customers to leave a review on Google to leave a more positive mark on Digital.
Reviews are not only beneficial for online reputation, but also for local search engine optimization. Search engines regard them as content and appear in search results. The ratings – preferably the positive ones – will help you increase your visibility in Google search results.
6. Create content based on local events
You want the content you share with your audience to grab their attention.
Let’s keep it simple: when it snows outside, sharing summer vibes as a way of marketing bikinis isn’t the best idea. Instead, you can try out hot spring-themed content or the benefits of buying it when it’s not high season. You can list all the festivals and gatherings in the region you are active in and create your content accordingly using SEO tools. So people will see you as “one of us”. This is a great opportunity to be a beloved brand.
Advertising to attract people around you
7. Advertise with local targeting
No doubt if all you choose to do is organic it will be difficult to reach a lot of people. That is why advertising is a must for local online marketing. Be active on both social media and search advertising to promote your business locally.
To advertise locally, select the region you are targeting to get known and find a language that creates a familiarity.
8. Participate in the community
Local businesses are usually expected to support the community by being a part of it. Even if your business is a shelter for the street dogs when it rains, the community will feel that you take care of the neighborhood. How can you adapt this idea to your activities on digital platforms?
Let’s look at an example: sponsor an event that benefits the community. In that case, you just enter without expecting to sell anything.
9. Create a loyalty program
Digital advertising shouldn’t just win new customers. Also, find ways to retain your current customers. Creating an email or WhatsApp group is an easy way to do it. A loyal customer is good for further shopping and is also your brand ambassador – in a natural way.
Digital Marketing for Local Business in 2021
10. Never forget that the digital field is constantly changing
User expectations and behavior in the digital arena change quite quickly. There is no doubt that we all need to update our knowledge of these hands-on opportunities through digital marketing courses year round.
An outdated digital marketing strategy is a waste of time and money. You can follow the newsletter and the latest posts on trusted platforms and also get feedback from your customers. Interaction and self-improvement are the keys to success in digital marketing for local businesses.