What is Local Area Marketing and How Can It Help My Business?

What is Local Area Marketing and How Can It Help My Business?

Thursday, May 27, 2021

When it comes to brick-and-mortar businesses, especially those offering in-person experiences such as in the healthcare, food, or fitness industries, capturing local customers is essential.

Consumers make their spending decisions not only on the quality of products and services, but also on proximity and in cases such as healthcare, commitment to the community. Sure, people may drive a few extra minutes for a premium service, but they’re unlikely to travel much further than that.

All this goes to show that local area marketing is absolutely essential. Here’s how you can get start targeting local customers today.

What is Local Area Marketing?

Local Area Marketing Definition: A marketing strategy that targets potential customers within a specific radius from the physical location of a business. Usually, this radius falls within 10 kilometers.

What is the point of engaging in Local Area Marketing?

The point of this marketing strategy is to target local customers that can become repeat clients for your business.

Why is local area marketing important?

Local area marketing is important if you have at least one brick-and-mortar location and especially if your business requires primarily in-person interactions. By focusing on the local market, you’re targeting potential customers that are more likely to come to your premises (versus interstate or international audiences).

It’s pretty pointless to cast a wide net, marketing to too large an area. Especially if you’re a clinic offering in-person appointments or a restaurant focusing on the dine-in experience, your neighbours should be your #1 marketing priority.

What are some examples of local marketing?

Local area marketing examples include using local tags on social media, using local SEO online, connecting with your community through events, coupons, referral programs, and more.

And don’t be fooled into thinking that local marketing can’t work on a large scale. There are local area marketing case studies of campaigns that went viral! While that’s not the goal and shouldn’t be your main objective, great local area marketing can offer amazing results both on a local and global scale.

How do you market to a local area?

You can market to your local area in the following ways:

  • Localise your website
  • Claim your business online
  • Invest in local SEO
  • Give out coupons
  • Send email newsletters
  • Localise your digital advertising
  • Create a loyalty program
  • Use local tags on social media
  • Use a referral program
  • Participate in your local community
  • Focus on local media outlets
  • Leverage online shopping activity
  • Use local influencers
  • Hold local events
  • Share your story

Let’s break down each of these methods below:

Localise your website.

The importance of local area marketing for small business

Your website should be optimised with your local customers in mind. That means adding location-based keywords, relevant local language, and a location page with your address and a map to easily find your business.

Claim your business online.

There are countless third-party directories and review sites that highlight local businesses. Make sure you claim your website on these websites to increase your web traffic and earn your business more trust online.

You’ll also want to claim your business through Google My Business. This allows your details to come up when people use Google Maps.

Invest in local SEO.

Search engine optimisation is always important for digital marketing and using local SEO is key.

To use SEO in your local area marketing, Sydney businesses, for example, should be including Sydney in their keywords as well as keywords with more specific suburbs like Bondi or Cronulla.

So, instead of Australian yoga studio, you’d be better of with yoga studio in Sydney CBD.

Localise your digital advertising.

Similar to the way you should localise your SEO, it’s also smart to localise your paid digital advertising to target your paid ads to a specific area.

After all, when people are searching for a specific store or in-person experience, they want to find businesses within that specific area.

Give out coupons.

The importance of local area marketing for small business
Image Source: Credibly.com

Who doesn’t love a coupon?! Local coupons are a great way to capture local customers. Use Direct Mail to send coupons to residents who live near your business, especially if you’ve just launched a new location or you’re offering a special promotion for locals.

Send email newsletters.

Email newsletters are amazing targeting tools and not only help you connect with your audience, but you can send specific messages to specific segments of your audience based on location.

Email marketing is important regardless of your local area marketing, but it’s an easy way to keep your neighbours in the loop.

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Create a loyalty program.

Whether you use a simple punch card or some other kind of rewards system, loyalty programs help to ensure your local customers keep coming back.

Use local tags on social media.

The importance of local area marketing for small business

Social media is an important part of engaging with your customers.

Adding a Location Tag:
Simply adding location tags to your posts can transform your current social media marketing strategy into a more local area marketing tactic.

Tagging other local businesses or local accounts:
Same goes for tagging other businesses or social accounts in your captions. This will cross reference different accounts and potentially draw in more eyes on your business.

More and more, people use social media as a search engine and you want to ensure your local business pops up when they search for businesses in their area.

Use a referral program.

To boost your local client base, referral programs are super effective. Around 92% of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends more than they trust any other type of advertising.

So, a referral program rewards your clients for sharing your business with their family and friends (building brand loyalty) and you’ll find new customers who are likely to actually try out your products or services. It’s a win-win for loyalty-building and customer acquisition.

Participate in your local community.

The importance of local area marketing for small business

If you’re looking for more local customers, start by giving back to the community. When you’re involved in your local area, people definitely notice. Locals will feel good about supporting a small business that’s so intertwined with the area at large.

Focus on local media outlets.

Contrary to how things might seem, local media is anything but dead. So, make sure you’re advertising on local radio stations, local newspapers, and on you local TV news.

Leverage online shopping activity.

If you have an ecommerce sector, you can leverage this online activity to get more locals into your store or clinic.

For example, encourage in-store pick-up for online sales so that customers are more likely to pass through your doors and browse your shelves.

Use local influencers.

Influencer marketing is a huge industry and if it makes sense for your small businesses, reaching out to local influencers can be a huge boost for your business.

Hold local events.

To engage local customers and find new ones, hosting an event in your neighbourhood is a great way to get your name out their.

If you’re a yoga studio, maybe you’ll host a free class in the park. Or, if you’re a restaurant, maybe you’ll host cooking classes.

You’ll meet new people, give back to your community, and promote your business all at the same time.

Share your story.

Finally, one of the best ways you can market in your local area is by sharing your story. Make sure potential customers know why the community means so much to you.

Maybe you were born in raised in the neighbourhood or you came from abroad and loved the area so much that you opened a business there.

How can I promote my business in my neighbourhood?

A few local area marketing strategies you can use to promote your business in your neighbourhood include:

  1. Distribute print materials to your local community
  2. Become a local sponsor
  3. Set up a booth at local markets and neighbourhood events
  4. Host giveaways on social media
  5. Use A Frames and sidewalk signage
  6. Implement a suggestion box

Let’s deep dive into these strategies below:

Distribute print materials.

Make sure you’re investing in high-quality business cards, flyers, brochures, fridge magnets, or even car magnets to share with your local community.

These assets are not only beneficial in terms of brand recognition, but especially if you offer potential customers something of value like a coupon or guarantee along with it, they will hold onto it.

These assets build brand loyalty on a subconscious level. Plus, people like to be consistent and when they make the choice to take your brochure or save your flyer, they’re more likely to continue to do business with you in the future.

Become a local sponsor.

The importance of local area marketing for small business

Another common way to increase brand recognition and get your name and logo out there is by becoming a local sponsor.

You might sponsor a local sports team, an event at the state school around the corner, or a non-profit 5K in your suburb. Make sure your brand is showcased on jerseys, signage, and across all marketing materials for whatever you decide to sponsor.

Set up a booth at local markets and neighbourhood events.

Whether you grab a booth at the upcoming industry conference or you set up a marquee once a month at the neighbourhood markets, there are always local opportunities to spread the word about your products and services.

When you use this local area marketing strategy, you’ll be offering “swag” while demonstrating what you do or what you sell, all while connecting with potential customers� face-to-face.

Host giveaways on social media.

The importance of local area marketing for small business

Once you’ve localised your social media marketing, another local area marketing idea would be to host a giveaway for your social media followers.

Social media giveaways not only encourage people to engage with your content, potentially boosting brand recognition, but you’ll also gain foot traffic by encouraging giveaway winners to collect their prize in person.

Giveaways allow potential customers to create more memorable experience interacting with your brand. Plus, it’s also a quick way to establish relationships with other local businesses. By partnering with a local business for a giveaway essentially doubles the eyes on your business (for you AND the business you’ve teamed up with).

Use sidewalk signage.

The importance of local area marketing for small business

If you own a retail store, restaurant, or you welcome walk-in appointments, sidewalk signs can do wonders for inviting local passerbys to become customers.

Your sidewalk sign should make it clear you’re open for business!

Some businesses like to show their personality on sidewalk signs as well. A simple joke or fun fact on a sidewalk sign is known to get a lot of attention and people often share photos of these funny signs on their social media which can be wonderful free advertising.

Implement a suggestion box.

Last but not least, one of the best ways to figure out how to do the best local area marketing possible is by asking! Set up a suggestion box where locals anonymously offer ideas and tips to make things better in your business.

After all, great marketing always starts with a great product. So, ensure that you’re doing the best you can for all you current and future customers to make your marketing strategies easier to implement.

How can I advertise my business for free locally?

One of the best local area marketing plans to advertise your business for free is by starting a business partnership with another neighbourhood company. Plus, word-of-mouth marketing should not be overlooked and is a free way to advertise.

So, what does it mean to go into a partnership with another local business?

Basically, it’s a way to capture a larger local audience by sharing one another’s customer base through cross-promotional tactics. Let’s use an example to explain.

If you own a physiotherapy clinic, a beneficial partnership might be connecting with the yoga studio across the road. You’ll likely have like-minded audiences and similar customer avatars.

You might offer a discount on your services for yoga students while the yoga studio offers discounts for your clients. You can also co-host events, swap advertising space, and each display the other’s marketing materials in your lobbies.

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And finally, we couldn’t talk about free advertising without mentioning word-of-mouth.

Simply boosting your word-of-mouth efforts is an incredible way to advertise for free in your local area. Encourage clients to tell their friends about your business and make sure you’re bringing up what you do when it’s relevant and appropriate.

Long story short, don’t sleep on local area marketing. Use these tips and ideas to get started on your local area marketing today!

Want to read more about tried and tested strategies to boost your business?

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