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12 Marketing Strategies to Promote Your Local Business

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Capturing new customers in your local market can be a challenge. Not only can people be set in their ways and routines, but local marketing channels can also be expensive and scarce. This means that creativity is a must when developing a strategy to promote your local business.

The good news is that there are lots of ways business owners can maximize both high-tech and low-tech options to promote their business.

What’s more, local promotion doesn’t have to break the bank! Understanding where you’re most likely to find success with your customers will be the key to success in this area.

In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive list of ways to promote your local business. We’ll also take a quick look at what the statistics say about marketing locally. Let’s get started!

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Why Your Local Business Needs a Marketing Strategy

Succeeding in the local business market can be tough, so having a solid marketing strategy is vital for building up your revenue and clientele. When small businesses succeed, it’s good for everyone.

In fact, small and local businesses have a huge impact on the national economy and employment rates. In that regard, it’s important to understand the local business landscape when it comes to online search and customer habits.

For example, it’s useful to know that online reviews definitely matter in this business category. In a recent survey, 82% of consumers said they read online reviews before visiting a local business.

This means you’ll want to focus on tools that will help with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Additionally, it’s smart to encourage customers to leave positive reviews for others to see.

Of course, this is just one digital marketing strategy. Throughout the rest of this post, we’ll look at other marketing ideas — such as leveraging tools like online listings, getting involved in your local community, improving customer care, leveraging social media platforms, creating blog content, and more.

How to Promote Your Local Business With These 12 Marketing Tactics

Promoting your local business effectively can require a multifaceted approach. This list of 12 marketing ideas will give you a place to start.

1. Tidy Up Your Online Listings for Greater Visibility

Creating a free online listing for your local business can be the most effective way to get its information out there. An online listing is essentially any place you can list your business and its relevant information for potential customers to see.

With options such as Yelp and Google My Business, you can make sure the right information about your business is on the web.

The Google My Business login page.

Getting started with the latter platform simply requires you to search for and claim your business. Your account is free and enables you to manage all of your information on Google. Therefore, it’s vital to keep these details up to date.

2. Revamp Your Website or Start a Blog to Engage Customers

If you’re looking for new ways to engage with customers online, revamping your website and starting a blog are both worthwhile approaches. WordPress is an ideal platform for doing this, as it is both beginner-friendly and flexible. If you’re looking to make over your site or begin blogging about your business, we can’t recommend WordPress enough.

To help you customize your site, you’ll find themes and plugins for all niches. Of course, to get started with a website for your business, you’ll also need a reliable web host and some interesting content to promote your shop!

3. Work on Your Local SEO Tactics to Boost Search Visibility

It’s been shown that local search has the highest conversion rates of all local advertising channels. This means that it’s important to fine-tune your site so it ranks well on every major search engine.

We mentioned Google My Business previously, but it comes into play here as well. Some of your local SEO work can be done through that platform. You’ll want to aim for becoming a listing in the “3-pack.” This is the list of three businesses that appear under the Google map in a search with local intent.

Three search results under a Google Map.

Another way to boost your local SEO is to build up as many local citations as you can. A citation is anywhere online that your business’ name, address, phone number, and website URL appears.

Ultimately, SEO is something that’s a lot easier with the right tool. There are thousands of options to choose from, but SEMrush is a solution we feel comfortable recommending.

It comes at an affordable price with all the features you need to improve your website’s rankings: keyword research and content audit tools, a powerful backlink analyzer, and easy-to-read insights to your competitor’s top terms.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, give their competitor insight tool a try in the box below — just type in a URL. We’ve also worked out a free two-week trial with them so you can see if they’re a good fit without committing.

4. Launch a Mobile App to Boost User Engagement

Mobile internet usage accounted for nearly half of all web traffic early in 2019, and researchers predict that it will continue to rise. With that being said, it makes sense to create a way to engage with your customers on their mobile devices.

If you have the resources to hire a programmer, that’s the simplest solution. However, there are other ways to create an app that don’t require too much technical know-how. Apps can include handy features such as loyalty rewards, coupons, business news, and more.

5. Run a Contest to Keep Users Engaged and Interested

Everyone loves to win stuff. That’s why running a contest can help you draw in customers. Whether you run your contest online (via social media or your website) or directly in your store, it’s something your audience is highly likely to share.

What’s more, online, users are 99% more likely to share a contest with others if it improves their chances of winning. You could invite your customers to help you design a new logo or a piece of branded gear.

An example of a design contest.

Running a contest in your physical store can be as simple as collecting business cards for a monthly drawing or highlighting a customer of the month. Either way, this is a fun and popular option that’s great for any kind of local business.

6. Form Local Partnerships With Influential People

Collaboration can be the key to success in many business situations. If your community has a need that your business can help meet, why not partner up? Joining forces with organizations or even other businesses will show customers that you’re community-minded and trustworthy.

Just as influencers make an impact on social media marketing, you can use your local influencers in the same way, whether they are online or in-person. This might include inviting them to host an event at your business, or asking them to endorse your product. Word-of-mouth marketing works!

7. Host an Event to Benefit the Area

Local company owners have the unique opportunity to use their businesses for the good of the community. Not only can you add to the local economy, but you can leverage your brand to help raise funds or otherwise benefit your area.

When implementing this strategy, you’ll want to choose a cause that aligns with your brand practices and values. If you can partner with a local organization, that’s even better! In fact, hosting an event in your shop or organizing a volunteer day to help out in your community are all ways you can be philanthropic while also promoting your business.

8. Get Involved in the Community by Joining Chamber Groups

Almost every community has a local chamber of commerce. These groups are designed to help support the growth of local businesses and joining them is a highly-recommended practice to build brand awareness. Checking your local chamber benefits is a good first step.

Local chamber of commerce benefits.

As a member of your chamber of commerce, your community will see you as a trusted member of the local economy. Second, most local chambers offer a number of discounts to helpful resources for local businesses (such as printing and marketing services). Additionally, you can offer discounts to chamber members to encourage support of your business.

9. Build Up a Newsletter and Subscriber List for Enhanced Communication

An email list is a valuable tool for keeping your customers updated and engaged. You don’t want to overdo it, but regular communication with your customers can lead to valuable word-of-mouth recommendations.

You can use both online and in-store techniques to attract subscribers. There are many tools available for building your newsletter and email lists. If you don’t have a branded, custom email for your business, that’s also a smart step to take before you start sending out messages.

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10. Encourage Loyal Customers with a Rewards Program

Loyalty programs are a common option for many small and local businesses. It builds good connections with customers when you’re able to offer rewards for their loyalty.

There are plenty of examples out there to work from, such as Dunkin’s “DDPerks” program.

Dunkin’ Donuts reward perks.

Whether you create an app for loyalty rewards or simply print punch cards, your customers should appreciate the gesture.

In fact, 69% of consumers report that their choice of retailer is impacted by where they can get the best rewards. Businesses also report that even a 5% increase in customer loyalty can have a big impact on their annual profits.

11. Maintain Regulars With Improved Customer Service

When you are a frequent patron of a business, it’s likely due in part to the way you’re treated. If you employ staff at your local business, it might be worthwhile to tackle your overall customer service as a group and establish some goals and norms.

Holding a training session and providing professional development materials for your employees are two ways you can start building a culture of customer care. Additionally, you can involve your customers in the process by asking them for feedback or creating a recognition program for your employees.

12. Offer Seasonal or Themed Discounts to Boost Sales

Shoppers tend to be creatures of habit. So you can take advantage of many holiday-related and seasonal opportunities throughout the year. This might mean getting creative and hosting a Christmas in July sale or latching onto fun, quirky occasions such as “Pi Day.”

Newegg’s Pi Day sale.

This enables you to promote your business outside of run-of-the-mill shopping holidays. You can appeal to bargain shoppers, and keep sales up during the times of year when you might otherwise see a dip in profits.

Small Business Marketing Made Simple

Mastering the skills needed to effectively promote your local business can take effort. However, there are many ways small business owners can get creative and engage with regional customers. Mixing and matching the items on this list can help you build the perfect toolbox of local promotion techniques.

Above all, remember to tidy up your online listings and create a Google My Business account, brush up on your customer service, and connect with your community through events and partnerships. All of these strategies can help boost those vital online customer reviews for your brand.

If you’re looking for more ways to grow your business, we’ve got you covered! Check out these helpful posts for tips and tricks to get your local business on the map.

Are you ready for a big rush on your local business? Implementing these promotional techniques and showcasing your hard work with a professionally-hosted website should have customers lining up down the street!

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About the Author:

Ellice comes to us from House DreamHost, the first of her name, Gatekeeper of All Things Content, Protector of the Brand and Ruler of Social Realms. tl;dr - Ellice is the Content Marketing Manager at DreamHost and oversees all social media and content efforts.