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Guide to Local Marketing for Your Business for Beginners

by | Mar 9, 2017 | 0 comments

For many smaller businesses, looking for potential clients in your immediate geographic area is essential. While certain types of businesses can work virtually with customers almost anywhere, it’s unlikely that somebody many, many miles away will make a special visit to your clothing boutique or hire you for their gutters to be cleaned.

If your business depends on attracting a steady line of local customers, then consider these marketing measures that can help you reach people locally.

Chamber of Commerce

Many businesses join their Chamber of Commerce to allow them to rub elbows with various other businesses in the region. Remember that Chamber meetings will probably attract other business owners, therefore unless you’re in the business-to-business space, they are likely not going to be your end customers.

Getting involved with your Chamber is a good idea for building strategic partnerships and associations. If you’re an event planner, you might partner with a cake pop maker and a photographer to provide one another with referrals. Or in the event that you an exterior decorating company, you will probably find it beneficial to cozy up to real estate agents.

Another reason to join your local Chamber of Commerce is normally that members have the opportunity to get free online promotion. A lot of people don’t realize that the Chamber of Commerce would publish news and announcements on their behalf free of charge. All you’ve have to do is ask and you’ll get yourself a nice press release that includes a powerful link, because it’s from a website with authority and trust.

Local associations

If there’s a local association in your business niche, joining could help you amplify your marketing efforts. Let’s say you run a RV Campground. State or local camping and campground associations promotes local campgrounds on their website as well as in a printed directory, and they also actively advertise which increases the referral traffic to your website.

While it would be too expensive for an individual business to attend trade shows, the camping association attends trade shows and promotes area campgrounds on their behalf. Another key benefit: sharing best practices with others in the same industry.

Canvassing

Many businesses forget the simple approach to canvassing; perhaps due to the misconception that canvassing is door-to-door solicitation. Unlike solicitation, which is usually more directly linked to active selling, canvassing is a means to provide information regarding a product or service.

Consider which other businesses focus on similar clients or complement your offerings, and ask to leave some of your brochures with them. For example, if you’re a local health food store, a nearby yoga studio or fitness center might let you leave brochures or post a flyer on the bulletin board so that you can capitalize on the health-conscious clientele.

Local Events

Events can be a highly effective way to bring exposure and foot traffic to your business. There are two methods for you to go about them:

  1. 1.Create and sponsor your own event, around your business specifically.
  2. 2.Participate in a recognised event to leverage an integral audience

Hosting a grand opening in the first couple of weeks or months of business operation is an ideal way to present your business to the community and boost your visibility in the region. Further down the road, you can even host other events on important occasions such as your business anniversary or on themes like consumer appreciation. Don’t neglect to advertise your occasions for the best attendance. You can alert the local news media or inquire that your event be promoted in the upcoming events portion of your town website.

Many cities and towns also host various other annual events that may seem sensible for your business. Check with city hall or the Chamber of Commerce about holiday occasions or craft fairs, for instance. You might be in a position to serve as a sponsor or sign up for a booth to showcase your services or products. In addition to the onsite exposure, several local events also include vendors within their advertising and on their dedicated website. Having your business name, address and contact information shown on a high-quality, locally relevant site increases trust by association. Similarly, if local trade shows seem sensible for your audience, check out the registration costs to see if you can showcase your business with your very own vendor booth.

You can even increase traffic and goodwill through fundraising. Find a cause you are passionate about or that aligns well with your business values, and partner with a charity. You can donate a portion of sales on the day of the fundraiser, or you can take part in existing fundraising initiatives like a gala, charitable walk or 5K run/walk by sponsoring the function or donating a raffle item.

Social Media

With more than one billion users and the capability to leverage group pages that directly reach your target audience, Facebook is one social media platform you should use in your business’ advertising efforts. Here are a few methods for you to leverage Facebook:

  • Start by following various other businesses to comprehend their consumer bases and posting technique.
  • Be sure to join any town-specific Facebook groups and ask for permission from the page administrator to post and introduce yourself as well as your business.
  • Facebook ads is a powerful method to create a business page’s Facebook following to ensure that you’ll have a spot to promote events, specials, promotions or new products and services.

The capability to laser-target Facebook ads right down to zip code and miles within a zip code is among the best methods to market your business. Running specifically targeted Facebook advertisements is an extremely effective way to reach people within your region.

Review Websites

When potential customers seek out your business online, reviews that are positive encourage them to buy, while negative or lack of reviews motivate them to look somewhere else.

Here are some online review sites that each local business should become aware of:

  • Google Places and Google+
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Angie’s List

First, determine if your business is listed and if the info is correct. Google My Business is certainly a powerful tool, but you should also claim and optimize your profile on all relevant review sites such as Yelp or Houzz. Search engines can penalize businesses with inconsistent details such as different hours, addresses or telephone numbers on different websites, so make sure that the information within those profiles is as consistent as possible.

Then, check to see what customers say about your business and take the feedback seriously. Reviews may validate everything you already understood about your business or provide some areas for improvement to light. And if you’re getting too little positive or any reviews at all, don’t hesitate to actively solicit. As you encounter happy customers, politely ask them to post a review about your business. Focus on Google first and broaden to various other sites from there.

Tap into the local resources available to capitalize on advertising prospects in your area. You may find that a band of local wellness experts publishes a directory of providers or that your town promotes small businesses on its website. This list is simply a start, so make sure to search for other marketing opportunities that could be specific to your region or industry. Getting involved in your community is an excellent way to market yourself and discover different ways for your marketing initiatives to materialize.

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Crestview, Florida, USA

mark@mamurphy.com

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