If you're running a business, you need a way to reach new customers. Hopefully, you've realized by now that local online marketing is no longer on the optional list; it's mandatory. If your business doesn't have an online presence, you’ll have a hard time reaching your target audience.
Just about everyone you know goes to Google when they're looking from something. And since we've been in the middle of this pandemic, that impulse has been reinforced a thousand times over.
If your online game is weak, when your target audience searches for a product or service you offer, your business isn't going to show up and they will most likely end up with one of your competitors who has a better online presence than yours. Kinda sucks. Especially if your product/services are superior and prices are more reasonable.
So if you're ready to up your local online marketing game here are a few tips to get you moving in the right direction.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
I'm sure you believe that you know who your target audience is. After all, they're the ones you were thinking of when you came up with your particular product or offer a service in the first place. But hold on Smokey! It’s not that simple. Knowing who your target audience is only one piece of the puzzle. You have to figure out how to help them find you and then convince them to buy from you. The first part involves keyword research.
Find out what your users type in when they search for products/services that you are offering. For conversions, you have to create marketing avatars or brand personas within your target audience and chop your audience up into a few broad segments (with little to no overlap), then strategize how you can target each segment.
2. Create a Local Online Marketing Plan
Local online marketing, or any online marketing for that matter, is not a "quit hit" kind of engagement; it's a serious long-term play. And before you stick your toes into these waters, you really ought to have a plan. Life is no fairy tale where everything will start going your way when you meet the right person (or thing, i.e., local online marketing). A good plan should entail everything from local SEO and the channels you want to target the tools you'd use to create your marketing content.
3. Optimize Your Website For Your Local Audience
Once you know both your target audience and local keywords that you’ve to target, you can get started on your website. That’s where you are likely to get most of your conversions (especially if other marketing channels also divert traffic to it).
You’ll have to create your website’s content around similar keywords, so Google knows who to show your website to. But that’s not the only ranking factor that will get your content highlighted, especially when you are competing with older, more established websites. The advantage that you have over others is that you can really go granular with your local online marketing. Meaning, don't slap articles on your website about what you do, pop a few in there about where you are.
Remember, Google's algorithm is smart, but it's not too bright, so give it every hint you can about where you are and who you're trying to reach. Oh and here's another tip, go after those unique keyword variations which are less competitive. A wins a win, so stack up as many as you can.
4. Social Media
So one of the marketing mantras I live by is that you can't make people look at you, but you can stand where they are looking. That means that even if you hate Facebook with a white hot passion, you should still pay attention to it and a few other social media outlets as well as your website.
I'm personally not a fan f Facebook, but I cannot deny the fact that a lot of the eyeballs I want to look my way, are trained on Facebook everyday, several times a day. I'm certain, the same holds for you.
Of course Facebook isn't the only social media hotspot online, I just hate that one in particular. But that's just me and it doesn't help this article along much so let's just move along. When it comes to your local online marketing campaign, there's some goodness over there in social media land.
Do you need to hire a social media manager to be ultra-vigilant on all of your social media platforms? Hardly, you just need to be present and consistent. There are tricks on how to do that, but they're beyond the scope of this particular article. Just know that you don't need to run yourself crazy to have a viable social media game so you don't have a viable excuse.
Your first step is to get in the game. Fire up a Facebook page, an Instagram and a Twitter account. If you're not sure how to do that shoot me a line and I'll walk you through it.
5. Leverage The Sense Of Community
This should be at heart (or somewhere near it) of your content creation strategy associated with local online marketing. Incorporating local themes and a feel of the local community in your website design as well as your content can help you attract more consumers because they might find you more relatable.
Okay, let me try that last paragraph again. Create content like you're writing for a friend. If you put stale and lifeless into your local online marketing, you're going to get stale and lifeless back.
Local Online Marketing Conclusion
Local online marketing isn't hard. Tedious? A little, but it's not hard. The challenge is usually in knowing where to start and what to do next. Oh, and having a shortcut or two couldn't hurt.
From website creation to running a full-fledged local marketing campaign, you can do almost all the things yourself after investing some time. My local marketing course is a great place to start. If you're one of my marketing or website management clients, you've already got access to it.
Just log into the site and dig in. It's designed to take you through the fundamentals and get you ready for the hardcore stuff in case you're in a competitive market. If you're not a client and you want access just click here to sign up.
However, whether you take a peek at the course or not, you'll still need to get your local online marketing game in gear. Your future customers are out there online looking around. You need to go stand where they're looking.