One of the main concerns local businesses have when developing an online marketing campaign is affordability. Costs can potentially spiral out of control, with the desire to build campaigns across a wide range of channels. Most local businesses are targeting a specific audience, though, by reaching those with interest in their products and who are nearby. Thankfully, various strategies can be both cost-effective and targeted. The following examples can quickly become the go-to marketing strategies for local businesses across all types of niches.
Taking a broad approach to marketing can be costly and time-consuming. For local businesses, focusing on specific local areas will be a better use of your time. You can set up pages on your website, using local keywords to narrow the scope. Images can get posted with geographical data and regional keywords as the alt tag. If you are paying for advertising, major platforms let you target specific areas, so you can avoid reaching people who would never use your services. Competing with prominent brands is tough, but geo-targeting lets you focus your attention on the ideal audience.
Consumers have come to expect businesses to be present on the major social media networks. Even local businesses need a presence, with the potential to generate new leads and make additional sales. Social media can be free, but there are ways to invest steadily and make a return. Advertising on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be done gradually, ensuring you don’t spend your budget without any return. Mobile advertising can also track locations so that you can tailor ads based on proximity to your business.
Local events allow you to build your brand in the area that most counts. Attending a local event might not offer the same quick response as a targeted ad, but you can often make connections that last into the future. Local events frequently take place between business owners, offering a chance to network. You can, however, develop events of your own, possibly sponsoring sports teams or music productions. The best approach is to think about where your customers go and then form a plan that builds their interest. These events can later be promoted online, using forums and social media to market your endeavors.
Reviews have become an important part of online marketing, with local and global businesses focused on customer opinions. Many consumers will not use a company without first checking reviews. Sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google My Business, Trustpilot, and Facebook Ratings and Reviews all feature review facilities, but you don’t need to leave things to chance. While many of your clients will be happy to give positive reviews, they will usually need a reminder. You can make it part of your process to ask customers to leave a review, simplifying the procedure by explaining what needs to get done.
Local businesses can often find joint venture partners that don’t pose a threat to their sales. A hair salon could work alongside a spa to provide discounts to their customers. A bar could partner with a restaurant to reduce costs and offer more options to customers. There will usually be a related business to your own that could benefit from exchanging ideas, resources, advertising, and customers.
Adding an e-commerce element to your site can help cultivate a wider audience. Your location can be a benefit to you, with consumers often seeking out authentic sales experiences. Fashion, for example, is often promoted based on the site of the brand. Food products might get marketed around the origin of the ingredients. It is relatively easy to build an e-commerce store, or have one developed for you so that you could grow your audience without too much extra effort.
Content marketing is one of the most effective modern marketing strategies, working just as well for local businesses. Most towns and cities have several blogs, news sites, and video channels that are focused on the local region. Study the main platforms catering to your area, analyzing what content resonates with audiences. You can then develop content of your own that helps to increase brand awareness. Additionally, you can look for opportunities to expand your reach, targeting people further afield who are interested in the general niche.
By using these strategies, local businesses can reach a wider audience without spending a great deal of money. Online companies typically start low-cost campaigns, focusing on their ideal audience. As these marketers begin to see success, the budget is increased to broaden the target audience. Similarly, local businesses can use one marketing strategy, before gradually expanding their scope. Affordability is a major concern for most local enterprises, so using a smart approach to marketing will ensure you build at a rate with which you are comfortable.
If you have any questions about affordable online marketing strategies for your local business, our team would be happy to help! Call us today at (484) 893-4055.