01 Feb 12 tips to boost your local marketing
Local marketing has always been important for businesses and retailers, but research on the evolving habits of consumers in Australia demonstrates just how crucial local marketing is.
Your customers are online. 86% of Australians use an online touchpoint when researching a product or service, and 63% turn to search when they need help with shopping decisions.
With consumers spending more time researching and considering their options when they are in that space between awareness and purchase, and with multiple retailers and businesses vying for their attention, it is even more beneficial to reach and connect with potential local customers in their research phase.
And if you don’t sell online, it’s important not to fall into the trap of thinking that being found online by consumers in the research phase is only relevant for online retailers, because it’s absolutely not. In November 2019 89% of Australians indicated they searched online before making an in-store purchase decision. We’ll say that again… 89%. Being found online isn’t just for online retailers. It’s just as vital for bricks and mortar stores too.
And when it comes to local… 61% of Australian shoppers saying that shopping locally is important to the community. And 79% of shoppers are open to buying from new retailers.
While ideally it’s something you should do yearly at a minimum, if you haven’t recently, now is the time to review your marketing activities to ensure you’re reaching your local community.
Not sure what to do to lift your local marketing? Here are some ideas to get you started.
12 tips to boost your local marketing:
- Be present and consistently active online and across your social media channels. This relates to your website, Google, Google My Business, Google Shopping, Facebook, Instagram, and reviews (eg. Google and Yelp). If you’re a B2B company, make sure you’re active on LinkedIn (on both your personal profile and business page). And don’t ignore reviews on Google and Yelp – respond to them.
- Find relevant online business listings (in addition to Yelp) and then claim and update the listing. Especially if it is a listing where customers can leave reviews.
- Actively ask your customers to leave you a review on Google and use positive reviews on your social media channels, website and email marketing. It’s one thing for you to tell your target market how great your product or service is, but it’s much more trusted and authentic when a customer tells your market how great it is.
- Test and use all the functions and detailed targeting that Facebook and Instagram Ads have available. Especially the function to set an ad to only show to users within a km radius, and to target users with a particular interest area.
- Regularly check and make sure your online shop is running effectively, your conversion rate is improving, the user experience is good, your automated emails are working (sales confirmation, welcome email, etc), there’s no broken links and your SEO activity continues.
- Develop and implement a customer loyalty program, to reward your customers and encourage your local community to become repeat customers.
- Engage with other businesses in your local area that complement your product or service and run some cross-promotions and integrated marketing activity with them.
- Get involved with your local community. Sponsor relevant local events or groups that align with your business and target audience, donate your time and expertise to local causes, run a free workshop, support local school initiatives that fit in with your business or maybe even implement a program where your team members can spend a paid working day helping a local charity. When you think about the activities that go on in your local community, you’ll come up with lots of great ideas to choose from.
- Build your business network and be active in your local business community. Join local business networking groups, your nearby trader’s association or even local council groups.
- Use your website, Google, social media channels and local groups to build your email database and start regular email marketing
- Review the experience a customer has when they interact with your business and see if you need to make any adjustments and improvements. And by that we literally mean experience what they experience. Such as navigating your website, submitting an enquiry on your contact us page (and evaluating the quality and timeliness of the response you get), calling your business, buying a product from your shop or website, signing up to your email list, etc. If you’re not able to do some of this yourself (eg. going in store to buy something or use your services) arrange a friend or close business contact to do it for you (like mystery shopping).
- Keep an eye on your local competition, including their services, pricing, and online activity and review your own pricing and online activity if you find they are out-pricing you or getting a larger share of the market.
The areas above may feel daunting or overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. And you don’t have to do them all. Note all the areas you want to address and improve and when you work through your plan keep it simple and focus on one area at a time. No doubt you are busy working in the business with limited time to work on the business, so tackling your action list in small bite sized chunks will keep it manageable and achievable.
And if you need support with your local marketing strategy, our team is here to help. We have a range of services and expertise in marketing strategy, social media, websites, search engine optimisation, Google and copywriting and would love to help you enhance your local marketing activity and have a positive impact on your business. Get in touch to find out more.
Source: Think with Google