As a small business owner, you might think that large companies have an easier time marketing themselves. After all, they have a huge budget and an entire department to develop and implement marketing campaigns.
What they don’t have is the same local advantage that your business has. As a local business you know your customers and you know the local market better than anyone else. Especially better than those bix bog competitors.
If you’re looking for some ideas about online local marketing, here are the top eight local marketing ideas for small business:
1. Get Listed Online
A registered business automatically makes it into some online directories, but you want the most optimized local experience you can get. Make sure you’re listed on Google Local place pages, Yahoo, Bing and the most popular review sites. Don’t forget about your chamber of commerce either – new residents often go there for business info, and some Chambers send out information to new residents that could include your marketing materials.
2. Ask for Reviews
Because search results appear by the companies with the best social clout, it’s important to not only ask for reviews but also make it easy for customers to review you. Be sure to provide links to review sites on your website and in your email marketing to make reviewing even easier for your customers.
3. Highlight Your Contact Information
Your business name, street address, and local phone number—not a toll-free 800 number—should be prominently displayed on your website and appear consistently online. Search engines check for consistency in that information.
4. Participate in Local Events
Sponsor or participate in local community events or host your own. You’ll get publicity in local newspapers and on social media as people share and talk about the event. While it’s best for business to consumer operations, it can benefit business to business organizations as well.
5. Optimize Your Site for Mobile
Your mobile site should be easy to read and navigate. In addition, make sure you are listed on Google Maps and Facebook Places so you can take advantage of the fact that 40% of local searches are for local businesses.
6. Use a Loyalty Reward Program
If you use it consistently, a loyalty program is a truly valuable way to continually engage with customers. There are many platforms out there for small business owners. For example, Belly turns smart phones into loyalty cards, and Swipely sends rewards to debit and credit cards.
7. Stay Active on Social Media
Small businesses can gain at least 25% of new customers via social media, which is great because search engines look for and reward social activity. Many small businesses use social media to collect feedback from customers, provide customer service, share new promotions and new product launches, talk up events, share fun photos, interesting stories and more.
8. Share Promotions
Instead of just sharing vouchers, discounts, and promotions via email marketing, share them online and via text. Seventy-three percent of consumers look for discounts and coupon offers online, 59% of customers visit a business specifically to use coupons, and 90% of consumers read texts from businesses within three minutes of receiving the text on their phone.