Local Online Marketing is the use of various online marketing strategies (both inbound and outbound) to target customers within a limited geographical area.
Imagine a café in NYC. The target customers are mostly the people living or working within a few miles of this café. People from anywhere else are not likely to constitute the target market of this café. This is where Local marketing comes into play. It is focusing all your marketing efforts and dollars on a limited geographic market rather than a larger audience.
Since people use the internet for almost everything now, local online marketing plays an important role in bringing the local businesses and customers together. For instance, if the sink in your kitchen is broken, you use Google to find a plumber in your area. Similarly, you look for a nearby grocery store, a doctor, a café or a book store or any other nearby service on the internet.
So, business establishments are now increasingly using the internet to target consumers within a specific geographic area. This includes designing a localized website, local SEO, localized advertising as well as localized social media marketing.
Who Needs Local Online Marketing?
Any business whose target market is limited to a certain locality needs local marketing. Usually, it is a business establishment that has a physical presence in a locality. Say, a salon, a restaurant, a medical practice, a gym and such.
Earlier, it was believed that small single-store or medium sized multi-store establishments are the only businesses that need local marketing. But, now Global brands like Coca-Cola, Nike have joined the bandwagon as well.
Every market is different. The only way to connect with a certain market is by personalizing your offerings and marketing efforts for that particular market. Consider Nike’s “Nothing Beats a Londoner” ad campaign. It has been widely successful because it resonated with its target audience, the Londoners.
So, in a nutshell, you will need local marketing whether you are a brick-and-mortar store or an ecommerce store and whether your target market is a single location or multiple locations.
If your target market is just one location, you need to localize everything including your website, social media and advertising for one specific location. However, if your target market encompasses multiple locations, you will need to create separate local marketing strategies and localized content for each of your target locations.
Online marketing Platforms for Local Businesses
Now that you know what local marketing is all about, it’s time to learn what channels or platforms you can use to market your business locally.
1. Listing Sites
In just 2 years, the “near me” searches have increased by 200%. In order to be discoverable in these searches, you need to list your business on various online directories, websites and apps. The most obvious ones are the search engines. List your business on top domains like Google My Business, Yahoo Local and Bing.
Then there is an array of online directories and review websites where you can list your local business. Examples include Yellow Pages, Better Business Bureau Yelp, MerchantCircle, InsiderPages, Foursquare, local.com and many more.
Most of these websites let you list your business for free. Many of them like Google My Business, Yelp and BBB also allow your customers to write reviews and rate your business.
2. Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for location-based marketing. Many local businesses have successfully employed Facebook listing to reach their local target audience.
Additionally, you can use Facebook Ads for hyperlocal targeting. This feature allows you to narrow down your target market within a few miles of an area. If your business caters to consumers from different localities, you can use this feature to create different ads for each location.
Apart from Facebook, you can use popular social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn. New social media sites like Nextdoor can be of great use for local marketing.
Local online marketing is a must for all sizes and types of businesses. it is especially necessary if you own a local business. It encompasses all the digital marketing techniques that can help your business to resonate with locals. Your businesses needs local marketing to reach the right market and increase website traffic and conversions.