Local marketing is a powerful tool. Here’s how to use it.
The beauty of the digital age is that, as a retailer, you can promote your products or services to a global audience.
But, as the online retail space becomes all the more saturated, finding new ways to connect with consumers is essential if you want to stand out in your niche.
One of the most effective approaches you can take to growing your audience is local marketing.
If you want to create connections that will boost brand awareness while building consumer trust, you need to embrace the power of local marketing.
Like with any well-established promotional strategy, your success will lie in your creativity and originality. To help you on your path to local marketing domination, we’re going to explore some offbeat strategies to grow your business.
But first, let’s take a glance at the “near me” search.
The rise of the “near me” search
“Near me” or “close by”-style searches have grown by more than 900% over two years.
According to Think With Google, droves of smartphone users are dropping ZIP codes or neighborhood terms from local searches, as most of them assume that the results will be automatically relevant to their location.
A “near me” search shows strong buying intent. These days, people want information that is tailored to their specific needs or desires “in the moment, ”wherever they are or whatever they’re doing.
If you show up in relevant local searches or appear before consumers in your locale at a time when they’re most engaged, you will accelerate the growth of your business.
Offbeat local marketing strategies you should try
Let’s explore the offbeat local marketing activities that will drive traffic to your business.
Get involved with community boards
Digital forums like Quora and Reddit are excellent platforms for joining local conversations and delivering content that offers value on a particular subject.
By finding questions or conversations from people based in your locale, you will be able to spark up a dialogue while sharing insights that highlight your expertise as well as your USPs.
This level of high-value local content will also help to boost your local search engine rankings. Get active on Quora, Reddit, and any online community boards or forums, create bite-sized articles that address specific pain points, and you will drive local traffic to your website.
Explore & optimize your Yelp categories
Many retailers overlook this point, but it’s essential: your success on Yelp has an impact on your overall marketing visibility.
Advertising your services on Yelp is an effective way to drive local traffic, but if the categories of your listings are inaccurate, you will dilute your success.
Check your categories and make sure that you’re listed in the correct niche and region.
We also recommend conducting a little keyword research. Choose one local search term that is relevant to your business as well as location (for instance, if you sell dog food in Santa Monica, you might choose, “best dog food store in Santa Monica”) and add it to your title as well as your description.
Doing so will enhance your Yelp performance and ensure that you show up in the correct local searches.
Highlight local heroes
Local marketing isn’t about search rankings and key terms alone—it’s also about community.
Area- or region-specific content is one of the cornerstones of local marketing. Beyond local news updates or area guides, one of the best ways to create a sense of community and build a real buzz around your brand is celebrating unsung local heroes.
To highlight the heroism of people serving their local communities around the world during the pandemic, Coca-Cola released a series of mini-videos on International Workers’ Day.
So far, these inspiring videos have driven an incredible level of engagement while sparking positive conversations online.
While you might not have Coca-Cola’s budget, by reaching out to businesses and heroes in your area and shouting about them with videos, social media posts, or blog posts, you will build engagement, benefit from cross-promotion, and put your brand on the local map.
Local hero spotlight content could include:
- Blogs, videos, or podcast interviews with different local business owners and pillars of the community.
- A social media miniseries that goes behind the scenes of the lives of local institutions, people, and business owners—“day in the life” content tends to earn healthy levels of engagement.
- Content that highlights worthy local events and causes that’s relevant to your niche and optimized with local search terms that your audience might be looking for.
Build super custom landing pages
Creating campaign-specific landing pages improves the customer experience (CX) and encourages more sales.
When you’re running a local retail marketing campaign or promotion, rather than adding a little extra copy to an existing webpage or relying on blog or social media content alone, you should build a dedicated landing page from scratch.
This will expand your online visibility—and, as a result, local reach—and drive more traffic to your business.
When we say “super custom,” we mean developing a landing page for a very specific region and purpose. Here are a few practical tips to steer you in the right direction.
- Add a vivid, descriptive banner or hero image that offers visitors an instant idea of what your local landing page is about.
- Weave regional key terms into your titles, subtitles, and main copy naturally to help your local search engine rankings.
- Use action words where possible, write as you would speak to remain conversational, and make sure your content has a clearcut beginning, middle, and end.
- Conclude with a very clearcut call to action (sign up, look at this, buy now, head over here, download, etc.).
- Check your visitor data regularly and keep testing your landing page, regularly making tweaks to improve its local performance.
- Use “sticky” headers or menus to keep your call to action or most important messaging visible as the local user scrolls down the page. The Search Engine Journal website offers an excellent example of a “sticky” menu and logo that remain fixed as the user scrolls on every webpage:
- Work with platforms and tools that will help you easily create effective landing pages.
Send & email local coupons
Exclusive discounts and coupons are a powerful way for retailers to drive traffic to their business while encouraging repeat sales.
Local coupons—both email and print—serve two sales-boosting purposes:
- Offering residents within a certain radius of your business exclusive deals and coupons to drive local engagement.
- Offering loyal customers coupons or deals to redeem at your store or with brand partners in your local area when they visit.
Both of these functions are incredibly effective, especially considering that sending out location-based coupons via mobile typically leads to a 9916% boost in incremental mobile revenue.
Well-produced print coupons sent via post will work great with local residents, and for a wider local marketing reach, email is still a powerful marketing medium. This revenue-boosting guide will help you plug your coupons the right way.
Embrace the traditional
In a saturated digital landscape, traditional marketing techniques will help you cut through local noise and connect with a wider range of customers.
By merging your online and offline activities, you will enhance your customer experience offerings while providing more value to visitors and residents.
To inspire your efforts, here is a guide to traditional marketing tactics that get results.
“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals.”— Jean Vanier
Local marketing is something every retailer should invest in regardless of niche or specialty. By creating content, offers, and experiences that appeal to consumers in your area and capturing the attention of visitors when they need you most (for example, when they’re punching a “near me” query into Google), you will drive more traffic to your business and encourage the kind of brand loyalty that will allow you to thrive in the longterm.
Want to connect with a wider audience? Read our guide to common consumer traits and how to leverage them to your advantage.