Digital Marketing Ideas For Local Businesses
There is a problem for local businesses, it is often more difficult to find a budget for marketing activities. They often don't have the resources of large commercial chains and corporations to devote to advertising, celebrity collaborations, etc.
Not sure what you can do with a small digital marketing budget?
Marketing doesn't have to be expensive. You will have to be more creative with it. In this article, we hope to inspire you with marketing ideas that local businesses can do on a tight budget - or even for free!
Here are 10 ideas for promoting your local business online.
1. Collaborate with a local influencer
You may not have the budget to buy a promotional item from an Instagram blogger with 1 million followers, but micro-influencers can be (if not more) effective. And who is a better collaboration candidate than a blogger or industry expert living in your area?
The problem is, how do you find such an influencer? A simple Google search won't do it - it will probably show you larger accounts and popular names but not microbloggers. Also, it's hard for Google to focus on a specific city for this task. What you need here is social listening software. These tools can find accounts with a certain number of followers that talk about specific topics.
On top of that, you can choose your city in the settings to make sure you only get relevant results. You can filter your search results by min and max number of followers and browse profiles. Choose the right ones for you and contact them!
You can invite them to your store and show them around or offer a free product.
It is a win-win cooperation. You help them create content, and they raise awareness of your brand by connecting you with their audience. Pro Tip: You can also create social listening alerts with your brand name and look for influencers who mention your business organically. There may be a blogger who is your regular visitor and you don't even know it. If so, you can leverage these relationships to further advance your business.
2. Write Your Business in Local Stories
People love stories!
This is perhaps one of the most important parts of the human experience: creating and consuming stories. You can create a story around your brand to make it more memorable. Create a character who sits in a specific spot in the cafe and has a special drink, or make a nice anecdote about the building where your business is located.
Sometimes you don't have to invent everything. You can also find out a little about the city's history and learn some unexpected and exciting stories. Talking to local historians and visiting archives and museums may help you discover something that will get you even more customers.
Once you have a story, build it into your brand. Add it to your website, social media, and review site descriptions. Create social media posts and blog posts related to your story.
Make sure it appears in all your marketing messages so people remember it.
3. Create Searchable Content About Your City
Local SEO is a great way to get more customers. First, drive more visitors to your website, then drive more store visits. However, this is not a creative marketing idea as it should be done by all businesses. The problem is that companies tend to optimise their websites for their most obvious needs. For example, "Buy Wellington furniture".
We are talking about a more interesting nature. The goal is to let locals and visitors know about your city while promoting your business. Both goals should be expressed in a social media post, article, or video. Lists are an excellent type of content here. For example, an article about the top 5 coffee shops in your area is a great way to organically mention your business and provide value to potential customers. Of course, you don't want to advertise your competitors, so choose a theme that allows you to represent different companies. For example, you can write an article about great date spots, including coffee shops, museums, and tourist attractions in one list, but only include your restaurant on that list.
Also, consider the timing. Holiday marketing is an effective way to draw more attention to your business. We offer vacation-related products and activities and publish a guide called "What to do with your family in (place name) on (vacation name)." This will please both search engines and potential customers.
4. Join and Get Involved in Local Facebook Groups
A Facebook group is a place for your audience to hang out. Kill two birds with one stone by joining a Facebook group in your area. Learn more about your customers and promote your business at the same time. The ultimate advertising rule in Facebook Groups is to not oversell.
I don't want to post about discounts and new offers every other day. Even if this kind of spam is tolerated in a group, people are unlikely to care about your business.
What you can do instead is start a conversation to grow your business organically. You can do it covertly through your personal account or in a more authentic way without hiding the fact that you are a local business owner. A great way to do this is by actually trying to give people value.
For example, say you own a bookstore and want locals to know about your bookstore. You can ask group members if they are interested in joining a book club and what books they would like to read. It doesn't have to be a reference book. Anything can start a conversation, like whether or not you allow dogs in the store. Your goal is to start an attention-grabbing discussion, but be careful with controversial topics. They can get a lot of attention, but you will certainly put a lot of people away.
5. Leveraging “Localness” in Digital Marketing
As a local business, there are advantages unique to businesses and chains. Because their business is ubiquitous, it's much harder to target specific locations. You can profit from creating highly focused ads like this yourself. Here are some tips on how to create ads that target people in your community.
Use Google Search Console to discover new ad group options based on search impression drivers.
Include your post code and street name in your ad to make it stand out.
Talk about the distance to your location with targeted ads.
6. Pay Attention to All Reviews
Asking for reviews and monitoring your business on Yelp isn't the most creative idea. However, what most local businesses ignore is that review sites aren't the only place people talk about your business. Social media, blogs, and forums are equally important when it comes to reviews.
Anyone with a social media profile today has an audience, even if it's family and friends. And they may post their opinions about your company.
Good luck if they tag you and see it. But what if you miss a post because they didn't tag you or you got too many notifications? If the feedback is positive, you are missing a marketing opportunity. It can be republished and saved for use in future marketing materials. If it's a negative opinion, you risk your reputation by ignoring it.
Use social media monitoring tools to ensure you're notified whenever your business is mentioned on review platforms and elsewhere. You can choose the free option. For example, a combination of Google Alerts and Tweetdeck. Or opt for a more robust social listening tool that offers real-time notifications, covers more online sources, and offers useful filters to organise your mentions.
7. Contact Local Media
Almost every city has a local newspaper or online media, and you'd be surprised at how influential they are. As you create content for your website and social media, don't forget to connect with local media. You can also participate in the latest material about local businesses in your city and comment on the news from the perspective of local business owners.
Their site links are SEO-friendly. In addition, your commentary and perspective can establish you as an active member of the community that draws more attention to your business.
8. Dive Into Event Marketing
Speaking of community, if your business allows it, host an event for locals. Given the connected world we currently live in, it could even be an online event if it weren't meant to attract customers to a brick-and-mortar store. The best option is to hold an event to make everyone feel connected. Your community has an issue that needs more attention and funding to solve, and you can host a charity event to highlight that issue.
Promote your event in local Facebook groups and place social media ads. Try to communicate and make connections with new people during the event. This way people feel welcomed and invited to come back. You can even set up a series of events or regular meetings for long-term marketing effectiveness.
9. Host a Social Media Contest
Christmas is one of the most popular holidays in the world for many reasons, but one of them is his constant gift-giving. People love gifts!
Your customers aren't your friends or family, but you can give them small gifts to promote your business. One way to increase walk-in traffic to your business is to start a contest. You can advertise through social media and your website. For example, you can offer a free product or service to the first 20 people who visit your store on a particular day. This tactic is perfect for newly opened businesses that need to make themselves known.
10. Form Local Partnerships
As a local entrepreneur, you are part of the community. Try to build relationships with other local business owners. Not only does this help you have a support network to consult and share your experiences. Regular communication with other companies offers many advertising opportunities. You can find local brands and businesses that perfectly complement and support your brand while targeting similar audiences. Consider offering cross-promotional opportunities.
This tactic kills two birds with one stone. On the one hand, it increases brand awareness and capitalises on the goodwill of its partners. On the other hand, building these relationships builds a supportive network of local businesses, a community in which you can advocate for your interests. You can connect and start engaging with local businesses through social media. Try selling the two products together, promoting each other's stores, or planning an event together.
These 10 tips are a great starting point for your local business. The power of community is far more effective than the money put into advertising.
If you are looking for a partner to ensure you maximize all the marketing benefits of being part of a local community, then DigitalxMarketing can help.
DigitalxMarketing Ltd has its head office in Wellington NZ with its support and resource centre based in the Philippines. DxM implements the latest digital strategies, tactics, tools, platforms and technologies to deliver integrated digital marketing services so your digital footprint can be found online.
Discover DigitalxMarketing today!