A Practical Guide to Local Marketing
With B2B eCommerce currently in a boom — projected to grow by 18.7% by 2026 — a significant proportion of this emerging sector is from local audiences. And while transactions in local markets tend to occur in-store, businesses still need online marketing to reach these audiences. Although they might be within a 20-kilometre radius of your business, 74% of B2B customers still prefer to research their options online before getting out.
For this class of people, businesses need tailored marketing strategies that incorporate unique tactics with the usual online marketing strategy to not only connect with them but also improve customer experience.
Every newly settled business understands how much of an asset — or a compulsory ‘friend’ — a platform like Google can be when locating other service providers within the neighbourhood. Well, if these businesses had passed on investing in local marketing, chances are that you wouldn’t be able to discover them — which means they’re leaving money on the table.
Suppose you operate a business where a local audience forms a significant chunk of your target market and run several service areas or a brick-and-mortar location. In that case, you need a local marketing strategy.
Let’s dig into the ‘what’ and ‘why’ and outline a few strategies you can adopt:
What is local marketing?
As the name implies, ‘local marketing’ is a strategy comprising marketing tactics targeted at prospective and existing customers in the same local community as your business.
It’s also called ‘local store marketing’ or ‘neighbourhood marketing’. While it's always best to cast marketing nets wide, businesses (especially B2B companies) must keep in mind that funnelling down their local geography can significantly improve the performance of their marketing campaigns. This is particularly important for small and medium-sized businesses with no big budget to compete and want to achieve the same results from a wider audience as the bigger companies.
Why is local marketing effective?
There are many reasons why local marketing is effective.
First, when people search for businesses online, they typically look for something nearby. If your business appears in local search results, you are more likely to get noticed.
Second, local marketing allows you to target your advertising to a specific geographic area. This ensures that your ads are being seen by people who are actually in your target market.
Third, it can be very cost-effective. It is often cheaper to target a small geographic area than it is to advertise to a wider audience. And because local marketing is more targeted, you will likely get a higher investment return.
Finally, it can help you build relationships with customers and potential customers in your community. When people feel like they know and trust a business, they are more likely to do business with that company. Using local marketing techniques, you can develop a base of loyal customers who will keep returning for more.
5 Local marketing strategies that you can adopt
Local marketing is an absolute no-brainer for B2B companies that could generate a lot of buzz or go viral within your neighbourhood.
To pull it off expertly, you can steer clear of the complicated stuff and adopt simple tactics that’ll help you improve your reach within your locality.
Below, we highlight 5 strategies you can incorporate to improve your local marketing:
1. Optimise your website for a local audience
As a marketer, you probably already have a keen grasp of SEO and other tools to increase website traffic.
What you may not know is, for local marketing, web content and SEO keywords must be optimised even further to align with the queries, search intent, and interests of the local audience.
For instance, you can use “best plumbing supplies in Stockholm” instead of “best plumbing supplies”. You can also embed maps on your website to direct customers to your business location.
To optimise your website for your local audience, you must make it mobile-friendly.
Mobile devices account for about half of the worldwide web traffic.
By optimising your website for these devices, you can potentially double the size of your audience.
Making your website mobile-friendly also means having a responsive design that fits well into any screen resolution. Unsure about the mobile responsiveness of your website? This Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool accurately reports what to fix if unresponsive.
2. Be intentional about participating in the community
To achieve sustained success in a local community, businesses must first build a profile as responsible members of that society.
To do this, you can strategically sponsor, host, or participate in some other way in community events to boost visibility for your brand among locals.
You can also collaborate with other businesses in the community, especially brands whose products or services complement yours.
These are not precisely strategies for online marketing, but they are tactics that have been applied successfully by local businesses for decades.
One way APSIS can draw your brand closer to your local community is through segmentation and Marketing automation.
You can easily segment audiences within your local area and automate flows that target them with (local) promotional content.
By tailoring your flows to your customer’s needs, behaviour, and the shared sense of belonging in your local area, our Marketing Automation tool can significantly increase your chances of conversion.
3. Utilise Google My Business
The Google My Business tool is one of the most revolutionary tools created by the company for business owners in its over 2 decades of existence.
Think of it as a virtual business card - directly publishing your business’ location, opening hours, contact information, and other important data on the results page.
Customers tend to use google to research products/services before they even begin contemplating their options, and with Google My Business, your business can be placed front and centre among the search results for people in your local community.
To make the best out of this feature, claim your Google My Business panel and update the information to match your current particulars. You’re hardly helping your business if it comes up every time your product or service niche is Googled but leaves your local audience with a phone number you no longer use.
In the same token, you should explore claiming listings on other 3rd party websites, like Yelp.
Customers often rely on these platforms in searching for options in their community.
Making the best use of them can open your brand to a lot more traffic.
4. Optimise your social media
Social media marketing isn’t just restricted to the big conglomerates with outlets everywhere. Even smaller local brands can leverage social media to drive traffic to their business. But your social media pages must be optimised to identify with your local community. You can include location tags or the name of your community in your social media handles or profiles, after which you can engage with the audience and encourage positive reviews. And don’t just post promotional content and then leave it at that.
The real way to build a local audience online is to participate in local topics, festivals, etc.
5. Localise your paid ads
Digital advertising media allow you to localise your ads to a specific location. Rather than spend your marketing budget showing ads to audiences far outside of your location, you can simply include markers that direct your message to your preferred audience.
Further, advertising doesn’t have to be solely digital. Although you might argue that they are in decline, there is still a place for traditional local media.
Since people still depend on these media sources, especially for information related to their communities, you can effectively reach them through local TV and radio stations, newspapers, and other media.
Here are some best practices to help you get the most value out of your local marketing strategy:
Personalisation is always a game changer in business marketing.
One of the biggest advantages that local businesses can have is individual relationships with customers and other stakeholders in their local community. And this doesn't just happen by chance. But, by customising your offerings and messaging to align with the needs and interests of your customers, you can endear your business to them.
With APSIS, you have multiple tools for personalisation at your disposal.
Besides our Marketing Automation tool, which helps you send the right message to the right customer — and at the right time, our Email tool features row segmentation that allows you to display personalised content to the Profiles that receive your email.
You can also create standalone (landing) pages and forms featuring on-site messages tailored to your local audience only.
Word-of-mouth is fast becoming a driver of local economies.
Customers tend to prefer businesses that have a positive track record with stellar reviews as social proof of this. So, encourage your customers to leave reviews on your website, Google My Business, and other third-party websites.
Market Locally for a Global Reach with APSIS
Whether you want to make a huge dent in the public consciousness in your next marketing campaign or you want your brand to become the talk of the town, local marketing remains an affordable, easy, and effective way to spin a good yarn about your business within your local community.
This way, you can create and nurture meaningful relationships with customers, earning you repeat business that can increase profitability.
By adopting some or all the strategies we have outlined in this article, you can tremendously improve the visibility of your business in your local market to improve your bottom line.
For over two decades, APSIS has provided intelligent marketing solutions to thousands of users across Europe.
To see how we can help you better market your business locally, Book a Demo!