The Importance of Local Marketing
With the increase in the use of mobile device, local searches have also increased. Add this to the fact that everyone seems to always be on the go, businesses need to be able to reach their target market in a more localized way. With easy access to “what’s near me”, shop local and “my location” one-click searches are being performed more than ever. For big chain stores this isn’t much of a concern but for small businesses, especially those that rely on foot traffic like; restaurants, dentists, flower shops, and cleaners, local marketing should be a top priority. How can you shift your marketing plan to reach more of your local audience?
Why is Local Marketing Important?
1. More people are doing local searches.
More and more consumers are searching locally for what they need. Nearly 4 out of 5 individuals use search engines to find retailers that are close to them. If you are a small business this means there is a greater chance that customers are looking for what you have to offer and unless you are marketing your business in your local area you aren’t going to be found.
2. Increase use of smartphones.
Where are all these consumer performing their searches? Right from their mobile devices. Over 80% percent of people reach for their phones when they are searching for businesses. Not only are they using their devices to simply find local stores but they are doing searches on hours of operation, directions to the establishment, to check if the specific item they are looking to purchase is available at the store and looking up the address or other information about the business. It has become easier and more convenient for consumers to gather all the information they need about a place of business from their phones. This is also making it easier for them to quickly decide where they are going to shop.
We would like to use our business as an example.
Google Event Photography in your mobile browser
Our Google Local Listing shows up at the top of organic search results, which contains basic, most important, contact information.
You can discover more info about our business, photographs better describing us, and directions. That information is available within two finger taps:)
3. Higher foot traffic.
With an increase in the use of smartphones to find businesses, businesses who are found on these searches frequently see more foot traffic to their stores. Half of the smartphones users who performed a local search end up visiting the location within a day. Not only do these local businesses see an increase in foot traffic, but close to 68% of the consumers who visit the location, make a purchase.
4. Increase in demand.
Not only is it important to market locally to grow your business, it is what consumers want to see. Nearly 4 out of 5 individuals agree they would much rather see advertisements for businesses that are in close proximity to them then the generic big box stores. With advertisements becoming more local, whether being based on a zip code, city people are much more apt to visit a nearby store.
Reaching Your Local Market
The number one way small businesses should focus on when trying to reach their local market is through mobile devices. Ensuring your website is mobile optimized will mean your local consumers will find your information easily when they land on it. You want your business name, phone number, address, and hours of operation to be quickly found when consumers do a search, if they can’t find this general information within 3 seconds of visiting your site they are more likely to exit and find another business. This 3-second rule also relates to how fast your website will load on their mobile device.
Listing and Map Services
Setting up location-specific accounts for your business will result in consumers easily finding your small business. One of the most common ways people are performing searches for local businesses is through map services like Google, Bing, Apple, and Yahoo. This way they will be able to learn the general information about your business such as location, store hours and products. Once they have this general information, they will move on to making a decision about whether your business is the right fit for them. They do this decision making by looking at reviews from customers that are also left on these map service sites. When it comes to local marketing you should take the time to list your business on Google My Business, which will help your small business get found when people are looking to find your business or others that are similar. Also try listing your business on popular directories including Yelp, Bing, MapQuest and Yellow pages to name a few.
Taking the first step to list your business is a great introduction towards improving your brands searchability. To increase your chances of attracting nearby customers, it is essential to show your potential clients the important reasons as to why they should buy from you. A significant factor is the quality of your content. When a potential client is first introduced to your business it is quintessential to showcase your products and services through high-quality photos and videos. Currently, the quality at which you present your business is extremely important as there are many vying to grab your attention. In doing so, potential clients are then able to see why they should take advantage of your business.
Searching with Map Services for business proofs to be more efficient
Also, searching with Map Services is a lot faster and easier than searching for local businesses via browser
Display and Youtube
Advertising on different video and display platforms can also help your business gain more local attraction. For example, Google’s Youtube and Display Network offer a number of marketing options such as, video and banner advertisements, where one could focus predominantly on branding and another can focus on telling the story about your business to ultimately capture the audiences attention for a much longer period.
With these two types of advertisements, Video and Banner, having them perform more efficiently is the ultimate goal for any marketer or business owner seeking to grow. These advertisements allow for target audiences be based on their recent searches or a more specific target location. This would enable your business to be placed in front of your potential audience during times where they may be searching for similar products or services. Advertising in this manner is highly based on how one can grab the audience’s attention, making it essential to only display the most important information combined with a strong visual presence. With this in mind, your business is performing the best steps necessary in acquiring significantly more business.
The way which people in today’s market are searching and shopping for products and services is changing ever so quickly. Keeping up-to-date with the rapid changes it is important for your business to be discovered prior to your competitors. Since only about 6% of small business have websites and not all of these sites are mobile optimized, it is extremely important for business owners to shift the focus of their marketing plans towards these efforts. Your local marketing strategy should include mobile site optimization, local map services listing and advertising through Youtube or banner displays. These simple steps will increase your small businesses visibility significantly and grow your business in the market where your business is established.