Do you own a business that focuses exclusively on servicing your local area? Then you’ve probably researched local business marketing strategies before. As you probably already know by now, marketing a plumbing business that services a twenty-five-mile radius is a lot different than marketing an ecommerce shop that can ship its products globally. In this article, we discuss five local business marketing strategies that will help you stand out from the competition!
1. Build A Great Website
This piece of advice probably doesn’t come as a shock to anyone reading this article. Let’s be honest—it’s 2022 and every business has a website. But notice that we don’t just say to build a website. Instead, we are telling you to build a great website. There’s a difference.
At Set Fire Creative, we work with a lot of small- to mid-size businesses. Many of these are locally focused companies. Want to know what makes a plumber stick out from the crowd? An awesome website. Want to know why? Because no one expects a plumber to have an awesome website.
Plumbers are only one example, but truth be told, there are many local service businesses that are in the same situation. Everyone in their industry slaps together a website and calls it good as long as it has their company address and phone number. They don’t care about aesthetics, branding, UX, UI, and user-friendliness. This is a golden opportunity to take advantage of as a local business. Make your site stand out from the crowd. Make a great site.
If you need help building a new website or updating your current one, reach out to our friends at Big Red Jelly. They have years of experience building sites for local businesses.
2. Get On The Map: Google My Business
Have you ever typed in something along the lines of “Food Near Me” in Google and seen the Google Map pop up with local restaurants? Okay, it’s 2022. I know you have. The real question is—is your business on the map? If not, make sure you get on there. It’s easier than you might think.
Google has many different products and services (some of which we’ll talk about later in this article) that help businesses grow their online presence. One such tool for local businesses is Google My Business (GMB). GMB is a free online profile for your business and is a must for any local business marketing strategy. To create one, follow these steps. Once you have followed the steps to create your GMB profile and have verified your location with Google, your business will now begin to appear on the map. Be sure to fill out your profile with as much relevant information as possible.
Once your profile is completely filled out and your business starts showing on the map, be sure to get Google reviews. Reviews build confidence with potential customers. I once reached out to a friend of mine who owns a carpet cleaning business to see if he was interested in running some digital marketing. He responded by saying that he has over two hundred five-star reviews on Google and, therefore, can’t keep up with the work he already has. That’s the power of Google reviews.
3. Run Local Online Ads
One of the keys to advertising is getting in front of the right people at the right time. One of the best ways to do this as a local business is by running online ads—social media ads and Google ads—in your area. If you have the marketing budget for it, running local online ads should definitely be one of the local business marketing strategies you deploy.
Google Search Ads
Get in front of people right when they need you by running Google Search Ads. Google Search Ads are the ads that appear at the top of a search engine results page (SERP) above the organic results. For instance, you might search “Dentists in Boulder, Colorado” on Google. When the results page loads, you will most likely see two to three Google Search Ads, the Google Map (as we talked about before), and then the organic search results.
We really like the idea of running local Google Search Ads for three reasons. First, running Google Search Ads helps you “cut the line” per se. Rather than having to work on your SEO rankings (which we still highly recommend doing), you can run Google Search Ads and show up at the top of the page. Second, when people search for something on Google, it means they are actively looking for what you have to offer. That means that people who arrive on your site via a Google Search Ad are already intent on doing business with you (or one of your competitors). Last, but not least, you are able to set location targetting with your Google ads campaign. Meaning, you can make sure your ads only appear in specific locations on a map.
Social Media Advertising
Get in front of people who you think are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer by running social media ads. With paid social media ads, you can target people based on age, gender, interests, and location.
Are you a rock climbing gym? If you are, you can run ads on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, and target men and women, eighteen to forty-five years old, who are interested in rock climbing and live within a twenty-mile radius of your gym. Neat, huh?
4. Get Creative With Your Marketing
This is easier said than done. Every company wants to be the next Apple or Nike, but not many local businesses have an experienced creative team at their fingertips. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to run some creative local marketing campaigns. Here are just a couple of examples of creative local campaigns we’ve seen.
Our friends over at Private Lable Chocolate help businesses be remembered by printing companies’ logos on chocolate truffles. Those companies are then able to send out the truffles (with their logos on the wrapping) to potential customers and clients. Want to get someone’s business? Try dropping off some delicious chocolate with your logo on it at their office or home.
When my wife and I lived in an apartment, a local real estate agent stopped by one night. We chatted for a bit and he talked to us about the housing market at the time and why he recommended buying. He then left us with a magnet that could hang on our fridge. Generally, my wife and I throw these types of items in the garbage. But this magnet not only had the real estate agent’s photo, name, and number, but it also had a baking measurement conversion chart (who can ever remember how many ounces are in a cup?). We still have that magnet on our fridge to this day and have talked with the real estate agent on several occasions.
These are just a couple of examples of creative local business marketing strategies. I’m sure you can think of a few examples on your own. Why not try some that have stuck out to you?
5. Get Involved With Your Community
My family ran a 10K last weekend in Provo, UT. One of the things that stuck out to me the most, as an advertiser, was how many sponsors there were. When we picked up our race packet with our race shirt and bib the day before, there were several flyers and coupons from local companies included. Not to mention, on the day of the race, there were several local companies at the finish line handing out free products to the racers. I had never heard of a lot of these companies beforehand. But now I have. They chose to get involved in a local event.
Look for events in your community that you can sponsor. Look for opportunities to get involved. You might not be sponsoring a 10K, but maybe your city is hosting a car show or a food drive. Get involved and get your name out there. People need to know you, like you, and trust you before they do business with you. Go where they are.
Now It’s Time To Implement These Local Business Marketing Strategies
If you’re a local business looking to take things to the next level, you’ll want to follow the marketing strategies I’ve laid out in this article. People won’t do business with you if they can’t find you. Be sure to use these strategies to get your name out there and go where your potential customers are. If you need help with the digital marketing side of things, contact Set Fire Creative today for a free consultation. We’d love to help your local business grow!
McCain is the founder and VP of Client Services at Set Fire Creative. When he isn’t busy helping his clients grow their business through digital marketing, you will most likely find him with his nose in a Stephen King book, eating spicy buffalo wings, hanging out with his wife and Blue Heeler Ozzy, or listening to Guns N’ Roses—sometimes all at the same time.