Have you ever wondered how some small businesses are able to effectively compete against large multinationals and big box stores? The marketing landscape has fundamentally transformed over the last few years. Traditional tactics like print advertising, mailers, and cold calls just don’t have the same impact they once did. So, if you are a company that relies on your local community, how can you build your customer base? The answer is online marketing that targets location specific customers.

We all know that the internet has changed the way people discover businesses, products, and services. Long before they are ready to buy, a potential customer will casually look up information. For instance, a person thinking about installing new home windows may start looking up information six months before they are ready to actually make a decision. As they become more committed, they may start looking at company reviews online or ask friends and family for recommendations on Facebook. Overall, the days of just picking someone out of the phone book are over.

Nevertheless, consumers are using the internet to find local information, especially for businesses. However, while the internet opens a business to the entire world, many find it difficult to narrowly target local customers. If you want to attract new customers, local online marketing is the key. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Check Business Data Aggregators For Accuracy – Search engines and online directories use information from data aggregators to create and verify business profiles and listings. It is important to check sites like Localeze and Acxiom for mistakes and errors.
  • Take Control of Google My Business – If you are an established business, chances are that Google has a profile for your business, whether you have an online presence or not. You should take ownership of the profile so that you can control and update information.
  • Take Ownership on Local Directories – There are several major directory websites that are important. Those include YellowPages.com and Local.com, and more social directories like Yelp and Foursquare. Utilizing these listings will not online bring traffic from these sites, but also strengthen your Google listing.
  • Don’t Forget Other Search Engines – It may not seem like you get much traffic from other search engines, like Bing, but an effective use of their local platforms can help attract customers that other companies are ignoring.
  • Become Social – Today, customers expect businesses to have an active presence on social media. That said, it is best to target those platforms that make the most sense. For many companies, start with Facebook and Twitter. You can grow from there as needed.
  • Create Local Content – If you want to attract local customers, you must share locally relevant information. This can include everything from a local perspective on your industry to local public service type blog articles.

This article discussed the importance of local marketing online and how to get started. However, local marketing is much more than technology. Stay tuned for more articles about how to connect with your community.

Do you have qestions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about local marketing, or a related topic, pleaseĀ contact us.