Why Online Local Marketing Can Make or Break a Small Business
Local marketing is currently one of the hottest topics for small businesses, and for good reason. One of the biggest strategic advantages of small businesses is their intimate presence in local communities.
Often, local people in your city, town or neighborhood will be willing to support your business, especially if your products and services have something unique to offer. There are many great online tools (and traditional “low-tech” marketing techniques) that make it so much easier to maximize your local marketing presence.
Attract More Customers
Advancements in social media and powerful mobile devices mean that it is now easier than it has ever been in human history to target and attract a large group to your business. Foursquare, for example, awards a ‘swarm’ badge to every check-in if your business receives 50+ people to attend an event at a pre-arranged time. Many people relate with being part of a group where they share similar values or sentiments. Attracting a crowd can be a real ‘buzz’ to your business.
Reward Loyal Customers
Every marketer understands that it’s more efficient to maintain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Check-ins provide a tangible way to identify your most loyal customers. You can then reward them with discounts, e.g. a free cup of coffee for every 10th purchase, preferential treatment such as the best parking spot or simply recognizing and appreciating them, e.g. pinning their photo on your ‘wall of fame’.
Improve Your SEO Ranking
Many location-based services rank highly in search engine results on the internet. In other words, they appear higher up the page in search results. By filling in your business details on the various location-based services such as Google Places, Foursquare, Yelp and Facebook Places, you stand higher chances of appearing higher up in search engine findings when somebody types in a relevant search term (e.g. Dentistry services, Frisco).
Acquire new leads
Location-based marketing is an effective way of converting foot traffic and online traffic as well into new and loyal customers. People who have never heard of your business or those who have never considered your service before can be persuaded to try your offers for the first time.
Some businesses entice new customers using various strategies such as ‘newbie’ specials every time a new customer checks-in. Once you attract a new customer, it is crucial and up to you to turn them into a repeat customer by satisfying their every need.
Convert Impulses into Sales
Location-based marketing helps to remove barriers to sales. Once a customer is physically at your store or virtually on your site, you have a far better chance of persuading them to purchase from you.
As a typical example, say the Google weather app on your potential customer’s phone says that it will be a rainy day. Then as they are surfing the internet, they get a targeted PPC ad that your business is offering umbrellas at discounted prices for new customers in the area. His impulse – to buy an umbrella – can be converted into a sale for your business.
Establish local authority
A small business is unlikely to dominate any particular market in a city. Nonetheless, strategic use of location-based marketing tools can make you a viral hit in your suburb or street. For most small businesses, this is all they need to double or even triple turnover.
By focusing your marketing efforts close to home, you can establish the kind of market dominance that is impossible to achieve on a broader scale.
The Increased Importance for a Strong Online Presence for Local Businesses
Over the past decade, online marketing has grown to become one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of local businesses.
Proper online advertising campaigns can help a business owner market the company’s products and/or services to a wider pool of clients, this is key to boosting the overall revenue for any business.
Similar to any marketing medium, managers must utilize all the various channels the media has to offer, in the most strategic and productive way, in order to achieve the best results.
The times have changed and keep changing at an increasing pace. The desire to support the local store down the street for most people outweigh their desire to save a little money at national or international retailers. Supporting local businesses is about supporting the community and the town where you live. In today’s unsteady and competitive economy, we all understand the need and importance of customer loyalty.