3 Local Marketing Best Practices Everyone Can Do

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Does your business primarily serve the local community or region where you live? Serving your local community can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. Many businesses haven't taken full advantage of local marketing. There are some effective ways to expand your business locally without spending loads of money or time. We think the following examples are things the average business owner or manager can do.

Ask Everyone to Review Your Business

For better or for worse, reviews on Google, Yelp and other sites have become a standard means of vetting a business. This is especially true for younger consumers, who are your future. Therefore, ask everyone to review you. Offer small discounts in exchange for reviews if extra incentive is needed. Encourage everyone to be honest.  Don't try to influence what people are saying about you. You'll be swimming against the current if you do.

Once every few weeks, search for your business and find out what people are saying. You can respond to reviews on some sites. Take the feedback seriously and improve what you do so you get better reviews in the future.

According to MDG Advertising, 74% of people usually use portals like Google to find local businesses. This tip and the following one; then, are vitally important.

Update Your Profiles

Usually, updating your business profiles is fairly intuitive. If you're a well-established business, there's probably an existing profile, or several, that you can claim. You should start by creating or updating a Google Local (Google My Business) profile and a Yelp profile. If you can, move on to Facebook and others. However, Google and Yelp are fairly straightforward and are probably the most important sites. 

Things you should include in your profiles are your hours, a brief introduction to your business, your address, and a link to your website. There may be other pertinent information you can provide. Anything that might help people find you and learn about you should be included. If you produce products; especially if you are a restaurant, encourage people to add photos of your products to your pages.

Forums are your friend if you can't figure out how to get this done. Search for entire questions, such as "how do I update my google local page?" and then look for a Google help page. Similarly, if you're looking for help with Yelp, it's probably best to locate a help page that's part of the Yelp.com domain.

Leverage Local Events

This tip is all about building your reputation with the locals. The events in which you take part help consumers relate to you and help them develop an understanding of your culture.

Be a Sponsor

If you have the funds, sponsor an event that you think your target market will attend. Be careful with this. If your target market is the elderly, you probably shouldn't sponsor a concert for a trendy, young band. If you get it right, though, this is a good way to advertise. You may even be invited to say something on stage.

Attend Networking Events or Seminars

There may not be any events pertaining to your specific industry. If there are; though, attend some. If not, attend events that relate to your business or to business in general. An example is marketing. In most cities, marketing companies and associations offer all kinds of seminars. 

Call or visit your local chamber of commerce or find out which associations have chapters near you and contact them. Even if an event doesn't pertain directly to your core business, you can learn helpful information or meet someone who can offer advice about your problems.

Here's the important part. When you've identified an event or an association you can contribute to, join up. There may be people who are looking for your knowledge. Like event sponsoring, this is a good way to promote your business and find leads.

Think Big

It's not always easy to get the exposure and generate the demand you need. The above tips should help you do so without taking too much time and energy. Set your goals high and reach for them. Now get out there and start marketing!

Keep in mind that this article only covers a few practices, all of which are relatively easy to do. There is a world of applications and tools that aren't user-friendly and usually require a professional, but which are useful in helping businesses gain leads and boost revenue. At isoTree, we specialize in web optimization and PPC lead generation. They are data-driven, software-intensive marketing strategies many businesses use. Should you want information about these things, we would be happy to introduce you to our services and help you understand what we do. Click here to contact us.

Jennifer Stainforth