Do you have a small business and are looking to attract customers in your local area? Businesses such as restaurants, cafes, hairdressers and shop fronts usually have a predominantly local client base and should therefore focus on localised advertising. Effective local advertising can help you target your ideal customers and will get you better known within the local community. Once you have a few loyal customers who love what you do, word of mouth often does the rest!
But in this modern-day and age, we have so many different ways to advertise, so how do we know which local advertising methods are the most effective? In this article, we look at some of the very best ways to advertise locally!
Make sure your location is listed
First things first, there is no point in advertising to a local audience if no one can work out where exactly you’re situated. Make sure that your address is listed on your website, your Facebook page, your Instagram page, and anywhere else that you may advertise your business.
Ensure that your address is also listed on Google Listings.
Work with a local influencer
Advertising through influencers has proved to be one of the most successful and affordable marketing techniques of our time. While it may not work for certain businesses, it can be exceptionally advantageous for businesses that fall within the beauty, fashion, hospitality or tourism industry.
Offer something in return
It works by offering a local influencer a free meal, free clothing items, or a free stay in exchange for them posting about your business and sharing their thoughts with their followers. In some instances (especially if the influencer has a large following), they may also require payment for their services.
Create more local followers
The major advantage to this is that the majority of their audience will most likely be from the local area, and influencers’ followings are known for being incredibly loyal. So by them just posting one or two things to their Instagram and Facebook, you could find your own following doubling and see many more customers walking through the door.
Pick brand ambassadors
If you really enjoyed working with a particular influencer, you could always ask them to be a brand ambassador in which you’ll form an ongoing relationship/deal with them, and they will be a representative of your brand. Ensure that you pick your brand ambassadors wisely as their behaviour and what they post on social media will be a reflection of your brand.
Facebook truly offers small businesses a world of opportunity for advertising, including:
- Facebook marketplace – Directly list your products and services on Facebook’s marketplace. Your location will influence the people who see your ad. This service is also absolutely free.
- Post on groups – Post your products and services on local community groups if the group guidelines allow for advertising.
- Paid advertising – Pay to create a Facebook ad that targets a very specific group of people, which can be location-based.
- Connect with your audience – Facebook provides you with the opportunity to connect with your audience.
While some people believe that Facebook is outdated, it is still a great place for businesses to advertise their products and services. This all depends on the demographics of your target audience, of course!
Optimise your website for local searches
Think of your website as an advertisement for your business. It needs to be a good representation of what you stand for, be attractive and appealing, and clearly list the products and services that you offer. To optimise your business for local searches, you should:
- Create a Google My Business profile with clear details of your business.
- List your website on numerous local directories.
- Add schema markup to your website coding.
- Use your local area in your keywords when implementing SEO techniques.
Partner with other small businesses
Partnering with another local small business is a great way to gain each other’s customers. For example, a local tattoo studio and a local coffee shop could partner so that with every tattoo you book, you will get a certain percentage off your next coffee at the nearby coffee shop. There are many ways that you could partner, including raffles, giveaways, and even hosting a community event together.
If you are looking to attract local customers, you need to find innovative ways of connecting with other local businesses and becoming an integral part of your local community.
Create a blog for your business
Create a blog for business in which you give tips and tricks, report on the latest industry news, and provide something valuable for your customers. This will act as a fantastic piece of marketing material so long as you remember to use the right localised keywords and share your blog to your social media pages.
Get customer reviews
Customer reviews are an advertisement in themselves! Ensure that you get customer reviews by sending emails prompting customers to write them. You can gain customer reviews on Google reviews, Facebook, and you can even create a review section on your website. Reviews are actually more important than ever before as many people need to read about the experiences that other customers had at your establishment before going there themselves.
You should also monitor and respond to reviews. Bad reviews can be very scary, but it will look good on your part if you deal with negative reviews in a mature and responsible way. This way, potential customers know that you hold yourself accountable and deal with situations instead of ignoring them.
Reviews will also help you improve your overall service as you’ll gain valuable insight into what customers like and don’t like.
It’s important to remember that not every one of the abovementioned local advertising methods will work for your particular business. It will all depend on your needs, your target audience, and what industry you’re a part of.
If you are struggling when it comes to connecting with your local target audience, you should look into hiring a sales and marketing firm to advise you on the best possible options for your situation.