Sailing the stormy seas of marketing is no easy feat. It's of vital importance that you as a marketer don't lose sight of a very significant part of your audience - your local market. To ensure that you're reaching potential customers and clients in your locale, you'll need to employ some intelligent, targeted strategies.
What is local marketing?
In a nutshell, local marketing is a method of marketing which specifically target customers who live within a certain radius of the company's location. Local marketing is a method which allows companies to market products and services to potential clients who reside in a specific area, city or district. It is a method of marketing which is often overlooked by smaller businesses as many of them opt to use marketing strategies which they glean from larger companies.
Of course, there are several means to reach out to local markets. However, not every strategy will work for every company, but these marketing guidelines are an excellent place to start.
1 - Identify and know your audience.
The first and most imperative step for the successful development of any marketing campaign is establishing who your audience is. Knowing what group the ideal customer falls into and having an idea of said customer's interests is crucial. By establishing this, you'll be able to gauge what will appeal to them.
Firstly you're going to have to find out where your audience is based. What social platforms does your audience utilise and spend the most time on? Make use of your company's social platform analytics. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and most other social media platforms boast invaluable data which you, as a marketer, can optimise through ads, but more on this later.
2 - Target your audience.
Once you established who and where your audience is based, you need to ensure that you're reaching them. Create your campaigns around audience interests. Compile a list of keywords which they might be using in their Google searches. Hire an SEO specialist to help determine your keywords you should be using. Be sure that your ad efforts explain how your product or service works and solves a problem that your audience might have.
3 - Community involvement.
Find out about any local events which take place in your community and participate. Offer to volunteer for causes or charity drives in your local community and consider wearing merchandise with your company logo. Donate prizes for competitions and contests which will aid in engaging your community and make them return for repeat business.
4 - Make use of local directories.
A trusted method of driving local traffic is to ensure that your business shows up in local search results. You can do this by listing them on South African directories or portals such as such as Business.co.za
5- Gather and share testimonials.
It's no secret that we as humans, love to post negative reviews more than positive ones. However, should you receive positive feedback, ensure that you share and post them on other sites. Should you experience positive engagements with clients, encourage them to write share positive reviews on your website and social channels.
6 - Utilise local media outlets.
Never underestimate the power that local media possesses, this goes without saying if you're in a smaller district or town. Local radio stations and newspapers can be instrumental if you're interested in the generation more local foot traffic.
7 - Create and run local SEO optimised campaigns.
Make use of software such as Google Adwords to develop SEO campaigns which drive local traffic online and in-store. Explore pay-per-click campaigns as well as a myriad of other SEO options.
8 - The power of social media.
As mentioned above, social media is a vital means of connecting to an audience professionally and humanly. Your social media platforms should be used to engage with your local audience, answer queries and respond to and resolve any complaints. With Facebook and Instagram, you can promote your posts and target specific customers in your locale.
9 - Run competitions.
Promotions such as contests can be exceptional tools for engaging a local audience. Be inventive with competitions and offer prizes that the ideal customer would want to win. Offer promotions to celebrate local events or to connect with the community in other ways.
10 - Host and sponsor local events.
Another notable method of promoting your business in your community is through the use of hosting or sponsoring local events. Whether you host a golf day, a park-run, live music event or a seminar, be sure that it will attract the demographic you are seeking.
11- Optimise your website for mobile.
80% of users used a mobile device to search the internet in 2019. 40% of online transactions take place using a mobile device. Mobile search is one of the top ways that local customers will find and view information about your business. If you haven't already optimised your website for mobile, we strongly suggest you do this.
Several expert marketers live by the Vilfredo Pareto Principle. The principle states that 80% of your results are driven by 20% of your efforts. For example, 20% of your marketing efforts are responsible for 80% of your success, or 20% of your customer base accounts for 80% of your sales.
Keep the Pareto principle in mind when tracking your marketing endeavours. Test, optimise and gauge which strategies perform the best in terms of engaging your audience. Once you've determined which 20% is the most successful, spend the majority of efforts on these campaigns, strategies and platforms.
Finally, when starting or growing your business it's important to find the right marketing agency to help you kick into gear. We are fortunate enough to work with some amazing marketing partners, one of which who is our industry expert, Barrk Marketing.