When used in conjunction with savvy social media marketing tools, local marketing tactics can help you reach new and conversion-ready audiences.
The face of marketing has changed a lot in recent years. Many companies are busy capitalizing on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, as well as some of the newer players on the market. But while there's no disputing that social media is king right now, you may actually be doing yourself a disservice if you focus on it to the exclusion of all else.
Local marketing is a tried-and-true way to reach consumers, and it can create a tremendous amount of buzz for your biz - whether you're a national brand or a single-location company. Here are six reasons to introduce local store marketing into your advertising campaign.
By concentrating your marketing efforts on a local level, you put yourself in front of a more relevant audience - especially if your business is local. When posting updates on your social media accounts, be sure those articles make their way to county or city newsletters, which can be found through an Internet search.
When you market at the local level, you're going to find yourself shaking hands with area business and government leaders, and those partnerships can prove quite fruitful when it comes to expanding your business. You might hear about commercial real estate opening up and events you can use for marketing purposes. To initiate those relationships, you could attend a digital marketing workshop hosted by your local chamber of commerce and reach out to other marketers.
Plenty of folks are spending and investing more money locally, mainly because of recent economic struggles. Just ask all of the people now banking at local credit unions instead of national banks. If, for example, you get your company to sponsor a kids' softball team by springing for the jerseys, not only do you get your name out there, you show that you truly care about the families in your locale. That can generate a lot more foot traffic and ultimately revenues.
Those business partnerships can lead to more creative, and possibly less expensive marketing opportunities. If you identify another local business or marketer in your area, try exchanging guest posts and linking back to each other's websites for some free, reciprocal advertising.
You might think word-of-mouth marketing has taken a back seat to social media recently - but it's actually alive and well. According to consumer research company Nielsen, 77 percent of respondents are more likely to purchase a new product when they learn about it from family or friends. To boost your business, add local company pages on your social media accounts through Facebook Pages or Google Plus Local pages, and see what kind of conversation is generated.
Although social media is virtually free, other forms of marketing are not. TV commercials are incredibly expensive and so are billboards. On the other hand, local online marketing in its various forms is generally a lot less expensive than those broader options - try Yelp, Manta, or a business account on HomeAdvisor or Angie's List if your business is service-oriented.
Be sure to track your results just like you would your social strategy, then weed out what isn't working and focus on what is. This could mean a including a coupon code with an online ad in a local newsletter, or adding a blurb onto a local business flyer that offers a 10 percent discount to anyone who mentions it. You could also have your sales team keep a journal listing how new customers heard about your business. Local store marketing may not overtake social media as king of the marketing landscape, but it's still a very effective option when building your business brand.
Have you ever used local store marketing?
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David Bakke is an Atlanta-based social media strategist and contributing member of the MoneyCrashers.com team. He is the author of the personal finance book, "Don't Be a Mule" and writes about small business marketing tactics, money management - including banking and credit cards, careers, and methods for people to get out of debt.
Hong Kong, May 5-6, 2015
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