Marketing is one of those assets that usually scare off local business owners. That is not entirely unreasonable, as many small business owners don’t have the time or resources to implement local marketing on a grand scale. Even if they do, they can’t endanger the integrity of their business with the likely but risky chance of getting more customers in the long run. Now, does that mean you should forget about local marketing altogether? Of course not!
Nowadays, getting a small business up and running is a very difficult thing to do. When you are desperately looking for a way to increase sales, your neighbour might steal all of your customers. It’s all basically a race, and gaining a large local following is the key to winning this race.
Today, we aim to present seven (relatively) risk-free and cheap options for businesses to garner more customers on a local scale. Four of these options are more aligned with digital marketing, and the remaining three are more along the lines of traditional marketing. So, without further ado, let’s start!
1. Create A Website (Or Optimise Your Already Existing One)
Ok. We are getting the obvious one out of the way first. In 2022, it doesn’t matter if you own a super traditional restaurant, a very modern tech store, or a private law firm. Either way, you need to build a website. You would miss out on so many things if you don’t have a website, and one of them is the chance to find more customers. But since owning a domain name with a bunch of unindexed web pages isn’t enough, hiring an SEO company is essential. Experts at local SEO company Melbourne believe that optimising a website’s local SEO is the first step towards pulling more local customers towards your brand.
2. Complete And Optimise Your Google My Business Account
Google My Business is the ultimate platform for businesses that want to establish a presence online. It’s also one of the most important pillars of local SEO. Whenever users Google something along the lines of “restaurants near me” or “best hair salon in town”, they are usually greeted with a minimum of three results based on location. All the business information of those results, including name, address, phone number, etc., are part of their Google My Business profile. The more complete they are, the more are their chances of earning more clicks. If you want your website to take advantage of Google My Business, take your time to optimise your profile.
3. Take Advantage Of Social Media
In this day and age, many businesses are created and developed just by creating an Instagram page (and working on it to gain more followers and optimising that page with good content and reliable marketing and advertisements, of course. It’s obviously not as simple as creating an account). If you are dedicated to taking some time and establishing a presence on different social media platforms, you stand to benefit a lot. There are many business tools for platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn that you can use to develop your business on a local scale. Decide on a content strategy for your local audience in order to create a sense of community (more on that later).
4. Mobile Optimisation
If your marketing scheme doesn’t include mobile optimisation, you are doomed to fail. Sure, website, social media, and Google My Business accounts are essential, but how do your prospects and customers interact with these features? With their cellphones, of course! In 2022, 79% of mobile users have made a purchase online. That is a massive number of people to lose out on if you don’t have a website that is made for mobile usage. If you are thinking about dedicating a part of your budget to implementing local SEO, consider mobile optimisation as a top priority, especially if your business is e-commerce. Spending money on mobile-friendly design, compatible payment platforms, good UI and UX for mobile phones has never proved to be a bad investment. You can also go the extra mile and make a mobile app, but that’s a topic for another blog.
Advertising, be that using digital means like PPCs, email marketing and even SEO itself or traditional means like creating brochures and banners, is an unavoidable step towards expanding one’s business. The thing is while prioritising your work over advertising is a solid choice, it takes a long time for your business to start earning sufficient revenue, especially if you have a small business. Even if you are creating good content for your website or social media pages, it takes a long time for those to gain customers. That’s why working with a marketing agency or dedicating a team in your firm to marketing could go a long way to help your business.
6. Create A Sense Of Community
One of the advantages of being a small business owner is the ability to be closer to your customer base. If you have the chance to create a sense of community with your customers by planning events, offering discounts, answering questions, and making fun content, take it! The amount of trust and loyalty that could be established between you and the people is definitely a win and could lead to a huge jump in sales numbers. Try to be close to your audience by answering their questions, responding to their Google reviews, holding competitions, and so much more. Why be a faceless company when you can be a famous figure?
7. Get Feedback
When looking for ways to analyse your business strategies, looking at data isn’t enough. You need some constructive criticism. A lot of people are afraid to actively seek criticism. That’s maybe because they are afraid to receive destructive comments. But the only thing that a businessperson should be afraid of is the consequence of not actively seeking feedback. Not only is listening to people’s comments about your business a great way to identify the problems in your management, customer service, business strategies and the like, but it’s another perfect way to establish trust with consumers. When you ask for your customers’ opinions, you are basically saying “We hear you, we trust you. Help us be better for you!”. How would you feel if one of the small businesses in your neighbourhood treated you like this? You would surely feel like becoming a customer and helping that business get better by sending your feedback.
All in all, there are so many ways to gather more local customers for your business. A lot of those ways are quite expensive for startups, sure. But if you are willing to dedicate your time and resources to defining a smart marketing strategy, you can turn a lot of prospects into customers and save much money in the process. It’s a win-win for everyone! Just know that all these marketing ways and almost every other marketing plan takes a while to actually be useful for everyone. Not only is it a race but a game of patience and endurance. So don’t be disappointed if the short term results aren’t to your liking. Just keep pushing forward and plan every strategy based on the potential of your business and the needs of your customers. Eventually, you will reach a stage where you are happy with the results.
My name is Tim Tyler, a writer and a fan of most things online. I write about web design and
development, digital and traditional marketing, small businesses, and social media-related
subjects. Currently working for a local SEO company Melbourne to provide quality SEO and