Digital marketing has disrupted the traditional marketing status quo, providing business owners more opportunities than ever to reach target consumers worldwide. And as technology evolves, so does digital marketing.
Businesses and marketers must keep up with emerging trends or risk being left behind and losing customers.
The first step in staying ahead of the curve is understanding what digital marketing entails and implementing a strategy that will work best for your company.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the process of using online channels to promote and sell products or services. The aim is to reach your target audience and convert them into leads and paying customers.
Digital marketing is one of the most essential elements of any business’s overall advertising strategy. It can be leveraged to reach millions of potential customers at a much lower cost than traditional marketing methods.
The world of digital marketing is vast and complex; there are endless ways to advertise your products and services online. And one of the most effective strategies for businesses to widen their audience reach is to focus on local marketing.
Your business can have the best product or service in the world, but if it’s not being marketed to the right people in the right way and at the right time, it will never reach its full potential. Local marketing initiatives can help you do that.
Why Local Marketing is Important
The importance of local marketing is realized in the following ways:
- Focusing on local-level initiatives is an excellent way for businesses to build trust within their community. When potential customers see that a company is involved in local events and contributes to shared causes, they are more likely to support their endeavors with online reviews and purchase their products.
- Local marketing can also help businesses stand out from their competitors. Customers in a small community are more likely to support local enterprises that have invested in their little corner of the world.
- And finally, local marketing is valuable because it quickly generates word-of-mouth marketing. When consumers see that a business supports their community, they will be eager to tell their friends and family all about it.
Digital Marketing Strategies for Local Businesses
Local businesses must adapt their marketing strategies to remain competitive in the digital age. Fortunately, several digital marketing techniques are especially effective for local businesses.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves optimizing websites and all online content to make it more likely to appear in search engine results when potential customers are looking for businesses like yours.
Localized SEO is crucial for small businesses because potential customers are more likely to look up stores nearby. Optimizing your content for local keywords can ensure your business is visible in search results.
You must also set up business local listings on directories like Google My Business and Yelp. Make sure all your business details and contact information are up to date, post engaging photos of your products, and list your business in as many online directories as possible.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a model in which advertisers pay a fee each time someone clicks an ad. It’s a way of buying site visits rather than organically earning them.
PPC is a great way to drive traffic to your business website if you’re looking for immediate results. You can use it to complement your SEO efforts as well as your other marketing activities. When done right, PPC can help increase your visibility online and get more leads and sales for your business.
Another important thing to remember is that customers are more likely to trust and engage with businesses where they have a personal connection. One way to do this is by getting involved in the community and being active on social media.
Maintaining a strong social media presence to market your local business means connecting with potential customers and building relationships with your brand.
How to do Digital Marketing for Local Businesses
Online marketing for local businesses can be challenging—there are so many different platforms and strategies to cover, and it can be hard to know where to start.
Take it one step at a time, and begin with the following:
Optimize Your Website
Your website is your most important online asset and should be treated as such. To ensure that your website continuously drives leads and sales, you must optimize all content for search engines and conversion.
Here are a few tips to optimize your website:
- Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions
- Optimize your website for mobile devices
- Use engaging visuals and videos
- Use compelling calls to action on every page
- Test and measure your results
Explore Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most efficient ways to reach your target audience and promote your product or service. You can create and send personalized messages to your subscribers and customers and track their engagement with your brand.
Email marketing can nurture leads, build long-lasting customer relationships, and drive sales. It is an essential tool for any business that wants to create a trustworthy and successful online presence.
Leverage Video Marketing
Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience and promote your products or services. Surveys show that online consumers are more likely to watch a video than read an article or blog post, so you can quickly capture their attention.
There are many ways to leverage video marketing to show off your brand’s personality and engage your customers.
Use Social Media
With more than 4 billion active social media users worldwide, there’s no denying that these platforms can help businesses connect with customers and create a community around their brand.
Here are a few tips for using social media effectively:
- Create eye-catching, engaging, value-adding content. Share blog posts, infographics, images, videos, and other types of content that will interest your target audience.
- Build and maintain relationships with your customers on social media. Take the time to respond to comments and queries to show that you are invested in their experiences.
- Use social media to create a community of people with similar interests. This community will expand your network within the area and show your followers what you value.
Use In-House Digital Marketing Resources
There are some advantages to using in-house digital marketing resources instead of outsourcing this work to an agency. First, it can be more cost-effective to leverage the talents of your team. You will also have more control over the work being done and can ensure that it aligns with your company’s overall goals and objectives.
When your digital marketing strategies are done in-house, you also have direct access to all employees doing the work, making it easier to provide feedback and make changes as needed.
Explore Local Marketing Initiatives
You can use several local marketing initiatives to promote your brand’s products or services. For maximum impact, you can integrate these with your digital marketing strategies by including website and social media links to physical collaterals like posters and leaflets.
- Print ads are a great way to reach a local audience as you can place them in newspapers, magazines, or even direct mail pieces.
- Business directories are another great way to reach local customers. Make sure your Google My Business, Yelp, Foursquare, and other community business profiles are up to date.
- Coupon campaigns can effectively get local customers to try your product or service. You can place them in local newspapers or flyers and leaflets.
Local Digital Marketing Strategy Matters
Digital marketing is one of the most efficient and effective ways to connect with customers and promote your business. It’s also a very complex field that can be difficult to navigate.
If you run a local business, you may wonder how to create a digital marketing strategy to help you reach your target audience and grow your business. Here is a simple guide to doing so:
1. Set SMART Goals
A crucial step that will ensure the success of your digital marketing initiatives is to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based (SMART) goals.
Before making marketing plans, you must know what you are working toward. General goals like “increase sales” or “boost engagement on socials” are too broad and will not help you create a robust digital marketing strategy and may even lead to confusion and a lack of direction.
2. Consider Your Resources
Next, review your budget and existing resources to build a suitable strategy to market your business. Maximize your in-house resources and assets. If you prefer to hire a digital marketing agency, choose one that will help you meet your targets and remain within budget.
3. Maximize all Marketing Channels
Maintain all marketing channels available, such as your business website and social media like a Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Make the most of these resources to help connect with your target audience and maximize returns.
4. Optimize Your Website
Local website marketing is a great way to get your brand in front of local customers. It’s a targeted form of promotion that can bring in your target audience, and it is especially important if you have a brick-and-mortar location.
To optimize your website for local search, make sure it is responsive and mobile-friendly. Use local keywords in your content so your web pages will rank well on search results. And update your Google My Business listing so your business will show up on Google Maps and local business and service directories.
Local Online Marketing
If your website is not ranking high in local search results, you’re missing out on many potential customers. Leverage SEO, PPC, and social media marketing so your target audience can find you and your products or services. These local marketing strategies will increase traffic to your website, boost online impressions and interactions, and take your sales to the next level.
You should combine these high-quality marketing strategies with excellent customer service and other on-site engagement activities to strengthen your connections to local groups and customers.
Local Marketing Strategy Examples
You can expand your local reach in many ways: sponsor local events, support local charities, participate in trade shows, and more. It’s not all about your online presence.
Here are some real-life local marketing strategies that worked:
- The streaming service giant uses local marketing data to market culturally appealing and interesting films and shows to its global audience. Each country promotes a different set of shows that are appropriate to the expectations of its local audience.
Frito Lays Chips
- The snack company used American football for their Superbowl commercial and European football for UEFA Champions League advertisements.
- The modular furniture and decor company used local dialect to advertise their brands in Penang, Malaysia. The company used Hokkien to connect to their local audience, and many people in Penang welcomed the furniture giant. But even with this language change, the branding was still noticeably Ikea—a fantastic example of immersion while maintaining their brand identity.
Local Digital Marketing Can Lead to Success
In the digital age, focusing on local marketing initiatives might seem counter-intuitive. The internet has opened up the global market, and limiting your audience to the local scene might seem unambitious for some entrepreneurs.
But businesses need to start somewhere, and focusing on your geographic location is an excellent way to build your brand, expand your audience, and develop your image. Local markets are also largely reliant on technology, so there are many ways to gain more customers.
For example, the power of social media has made these platforms the ideal stage to promote services and products. Ignoring their impact is not a good move for any business that wants to cultivate relatability and build a connection with its audience.
Use local digital marketing strategies to bond with your local audience. Participate in local activities and initiatives to connect with leads, and engage with them to learn about their preferences and what will lead them to convert.
Investing in a professional digital marketing company such as ELK Marketing which specializes in local digital marketing is key to maximizing your local business success.
Contact Us today for a free quote to show how we can help your business succeed.