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The Key to Successful Local Marketing

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October 21,2016

By Claire Holland, agencyEA

 

Reaching today’s savvy customers requires focused marketing and a personalized approach. For small businesses, it’s especially important to know who your audience is and what they truly want from your products or services.

Here’s a look at ways to know your customers on a local level and design a marketing campaign that meets their needs and boosts your sales:

 

Do your due diligence. Do you know what elements comprise your target audience — age range, level of education, family makeup, etc.? Obviously, the more information you have, the more customized your marketing efforts can be.

Conducting market research helps identify the target audience’s needs and challenges — paving the way for creation of marketing materials that demonstrate how your product or service will make their lives better.

 

Reach out to the community. Probably the most effective starting point is reaching out to the local community in which your business is located. Whether through in-person introductions, email outreach or social media engagement, the support of the local community is essential to the success of your small business.

 

Explore opportunities for cross-promotion. Generally, the best cross-promotional results come about when you and your fellow local business have aligned brand values, target audiences and your products or services complement one another. Ask your new local business partner to offer a special discount on your offerings and reciprocate with an equally attractive special offer for your partner’s business.

 

Make sure your website is updated and optimized for mobile customers. Your site must be as informative, engaging and user-friendly as possible. This includes optimization for the ever-increasing numbers of mobile shoppers. While they’re on the move in their daily lives, consumers who live and work in the local area should be able to easily pinpoint your physical location on their mobile devices.

Also, double-check every online listing of your business to ensure there’s no discrepancy with your contact information (address, phone, URL, email).

 

Engage on social media. Social media platforms are very useful for connecting and engaging with your local community. Don’t waste time posting frivolous tweets or messages. Focus on promoting special digital sales and discounts, and incentives that reward your followers for sharing news of these deals with their followers. Generate buzz with time-limited contests that feature your product or service.

Just remember to include a single, easy-to-understand call-to-action that sends interested visitors to your website landing page or to sign up for your business newsletter.

 

Develop customer-focused content. Your localized marketing outreach efforts are meant to highlight ways your product or service benefits prospective customers, not to promote what’s important to you. People will respond most enthusiastically to social media content that empathizes with their concerns, ambitions and desires.

“Educating and persuading your prospects is much more involved than telling them what you do,” notes content marketing expert Brittney Ervin. “Those deeper connections with your audience depend on you understanding them, and placing their concerns at the center of your message.”

 

Build relationships with local media. Local news organizations, sites and networks have amassed their own following and exert significant influence in the area. Build a relationship with members of the media by:
 

  • Identifying the right person at each media outlet (that is, someone likely to be interested in topics related to your business and industry)
  • Pitch ideas to these people that have broad public appeal — tied to current events or cultural trends, if possible
  • Offer to serve as a local expert, someone a time-crunched reporter can call on for a knowledgeable sound bite

 

Over time, this approach will achieve awareness and trust in your brand, as well as establish credibility with key audience segments.

Successful local marketing is the result of research, strategy, creativity and persistence. Focus on what makes your local community tick and your marketing efforts will pay off.

 

 

 


 

Claire Holland is Director of Marketing Communications at agencyEA in Chicago, a brand experience agency specializing in experiential, digital and traditional engagement. She guides the strategic vision of the company’s brand, messaging and voice, while supporting and evolving brand strategies for clients. Holland also oversees all of agencyEA’s internal and external marketing communications, including digital marketing and public relations.

 

 

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