How Local Marketing Works and Which Types Best Suit Your Business
Marketing your business on the Internet has several very unique levels or areas where you could be focusing some or all of your efforts, but one area that many businesses seem to forget about, or maybe just don’t fully understand, is local marketing online. Being able to pair your local marketing strategies with online marketing efforts can wind up paying off in a huge way but that doesn’t solve the all too common problem of where and how you should be focusing this winning combination of marketing techniques.
Local Marketing Is Business Specific
Being able to determine how your business compares to other businesses within a different industry can really help you determine how much of your marketing efforts should be local. Comparing the size and capabilities of your business, relative to the rest of your industry will indicate how much effort to invest in local marketing, and also help you determine what types of local marketing tactics will work best for your business.
Let’s do a little local industry comparison to help get a better understanding of what types of businesses see the most success from local marketing efforts.
Plumbers get all of their work locally. They are locally driven and would benefit highly from every type of local marketing effort that exists. And, they benefit equally from new and returning customers. The moving industry is a little different when compared to the plumbing industry. Most people only move a few times during their lifetime. Because of this, moving companies will not get the greatest benefit from all types of local marketing because people are not always looking for a moving company, as most customers are new, but also may pick a mover based upon reviews and testimonials. Restaurants are similar to both, in that they depend on good reputation with existing customers and being nearby to people most likely to become new customers.
Types of Local Marketing Efforts
Consumers come in two basic forms. There are the consumers who are informed and ready to make a purchase. These are the consumers who need no additional information to in order to make a purchase. They are ready to buy.
The other type of consumer is very different. These are the type of people who are not yet ready to make a purchase. They still need some convincing. They might feel the need to do some more research or they might be inspired to buy with something as simple as a coupon. They may even still be deciding between buying from a national chain or a small business. If your business thrives on referrals, incentivizing those can keep new customers coming to you. Being able to determine what type of consumer your business attracts will help you determine what type of local marketing efforts are worth your time and money.
Should you be focusing on brand awareness, or should you be focusing on earning a sale? Movers can benefit more from brand awareness because when it comes time to move, a familiar brand will always be chosen over an unfamiliar brand.
Plumbers might benefit more from offering a coupon or a 24 hour service in their local marketing efforts because consumers need plumbers in emergency type situations. People are more responsive to coupons and service related marketing efforts in situations like this. This doesn’t mean that plumbers can’t benefit from brand marketing because they can. It simply means they might get better results by putting more of their marketing efforts towards a different type of local marketing.
Knowing where your consumers can most easily find you is also critical. This goes well beyond having a website that’s well optimized for local search (which should be your starting point). It also pays to not only know what platforms your potential customers are using to find brands like yours, and then establishing your presence on those platforms. Most local businesses benefit from being on Yelp, but Facebook, Google+, Angie’s List, Brown Book and many other reputable business directories are worth investigating for their potential benefit to your company’s consumer reputation on the internet.
What type of local marketing should your business be taking advantage of? Let your customer base tell you.