Local Marketing: Killer Tips and Strategies That Work

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 22, 2024

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Local marketing is a crucial part of a broader marketing strategy for new startups and small businesses. It helps your brand reach a wider local audience and increase the chances of attracting customers. 

But, as an entrepreneur, how can you boost your small business’s connection with the local audience?

This article will walk you through tips and strategies to help improve your local search marketing.

A food truck seller recommending food to his customers.

What Is Local Search Marketing?

So, what is local search marketing exactly?

Local search marketing is a strategy that focuses on reaching customers near a physical store or business. 

Essentially, it’s about targeting people in the same area as your brand. In simpler terms, it’s a way for local businesses to appear in search results. 

It benefits businesses of all sizes – enterprise brands, large chains, and single-location businesses. This ensures that potential customers find them easily online.

A woman in a face mask looks at flowers at a local market stall as she walks past.

Why Is Local Online Marketing Important?

Local SEO is crucial for businesses. It helps them appear higher in search results, making it more likely for potential customers to reach out. 

Various types of businesses benefit from local SEO. This includes those with a physical location, service-based businesses, and multi-location franchises.

Here are a few stats that tell why local online marketing is important:

  • Quick Conversions: Google reports that 76% of people conducting a local search visit a business within 24 hours. 28% of these result in a purchase.
  • Location-Centric Searches: About 30% of all searches processed by Google are location-related.
  • Google Maps Reliance: 86% of people rely on Google Maps to find a business location.

Now, let’s find ways you can market your local business. 

Owners of a small café are busy devising a plan to sell their local brand.

How To Market Local Business?

Do you know that 88% of consumers who do local searches either call or visit a store within 24 hours? This high percentage shows how crucial it is for customers to find local companies. 

So, the main goal of local search marketing is to boost brand awareness among nearby consumers.

Do you want to know how to market local businesses so potential customers can easily find them? Here are six local search marketing tips for your small business that work.

1. Optimize for Local Search

With Google Business Profile (GBP), your local business shows up when people search for it or related keywords on Google. 

It’s free, which is great. The results feature nearby businesses and even include yours on Google Maps. 

To get started, make a profile with your company name, contact details, and industry. Then, you can verify your GBP listing. 

Once verified, you can include a bio and images, upload blogs, make offers, send messages, add reviews, and see analytics. Plus, it’s easy to update. 

You can also strengthen your online presence with a local link-building strategy. Using citation sources like “Yellowpages.com” tells search engines like Google where your business is located. 

Your Google My Business profile has an excellent function that enables you to set a service radius, like 10km.

Make sure you regularly add fresh content or blog posts since posts expire after seven days. Schedule at least one post a week to drive traffic and engagement. 

2. Run Google Ads

As the leading search engine, Google lets you target potential customers in a specific area with pay-per-click ads. 

You can choose from various ad formats like Google Search Ads, Google Local Services Ads, and Google Shopping Ads. 

Running Google Ads provides many benefits, such as more inquiries and better sales. A strategic ad approach can also build long-term benefits like improved brand awareness and recognition. 

This often leads to referrals and more sales down the line.

3. Create Unique Landing Pages for Each Campaign

Many local businesses waste money by not monitoring conversions or creating local landing pages. For effective Google Ads campaigns, you should follow a simple flow chart: 

Click Ad > Go to Relevant Landing Page > Convert

When designing a landing page for a local audience, remember these key tips: 

  • Include only one clear CTA.
  • Use a descriptive hero image that complements your value proposition.
  • Answer your target audience’s common questions to instill confidence.
  • Make sure the contact number is click-to-call.
  • Utilize sticky menus to keep essential information and CTAs visible at all times.
  • Test your local landing pages thoroughly.

4. SEO Optimize Your Site 

Another effective way to get your products and brand into the local market is by optimizing your site for organic search. 

Start with keyword optimization and conduct keyword research when you run out of clever ideas. 

Short-tail keyword competition is tough, and competitors who have been around longer likely already rank for them. 

Instead, you should focus on long-tail, geo-specific keywords. These are effective because users employing long-tail keywords usually have a clear intent and are more likely to engage. 

Similarly, those using geo-specific keywords know where they wish to do business. 

For instance, if you’re targeting B2B services in an area, don’t optimize for generic terms like “digital marketing” or “marketing.” Rather, create niche-oriented, location-based pages with long-tail keywords, such as “Digital Marketing for B2B Companies in Los Angeles.” 

This ensures that your pages appear in search results when users look for “digital marketing companies near me” on SERPs.

5. Encourage Reviews

Besides checking your website and contacting you, potential customers rely on others’ opinions to understand your business. 

If your business is listed in a directory without reviews, they may choose a competitor with reviews. Make sure to optimize your local search marketing by encouraging customers to leave positive reviews on directories. 

Moreover, you should actively interact with customers, respond to reviews, and seek feedback to demonstrate your dedication.

6. Host/Sponsor Local Community Events

Digital marketing is effective, but connecting with your community is also valuable. 

Connect with your community by hosting or sponsoring local events to boost brand visibility. It also helps you land local press coverage, making it easier for a local audience to discover your business online.

In addition to these tips, you should incorporate hyperlocal social marketing strategies to boost your reach and visibility. 

Two female baristas are finding the best social platform to market their local brand. 

Hyperlocal Social Media Marketing Strategies You Can Use

When it comes to location-based marketing, small businesses, and new startups have a major advantage over national (and global) brands. 

This is because you know customers well and what happens on-site, be it local events or weather. In short, you know the local culture. 

You can make necessary adjustments in your company when you notice changes in consumer buying behavior. 

This is especially true for hyperlocal social media marketing

It’s a marketing strategy that targets potential customers in a specific local area using various social media channels. 

Often, local or small brands use hyperlocal social marketing to reach local customers. Not only does it help increase foot traffic, but it also boosts brand awareness. 

Here are a few hyperlocal social marketing strategies you can use for your small business:

Set Goals From Get-Go

Typically, the main goal of hyperlocal social marketing is to increase brand awareness. But it can be utilized to boost sales for specific products. 

Setting goals upfront aligns your targets with your brand aspirations. Once you set SMART goals, it’s time to create a social media marketing strategy.

Choose the Right Social Media Network

Each social media channel has its strengths and weaknesses. 

Consider your target audience: which platform do they prefer? For a younger audience, try Instagram; for a more mature one, consider Facebook. 

This doesn’t mean you can use only one social platform – use as many as your budget allows. 

Using various social media platforms can help generate revenue, achieve more goals, and obtain leads. However, if you have budget constraints, you can begin with one platform and expand as your business grows.

Run Social Ads

According to one report, Facebook is the largest social media platform worldwide, with over 3 Billion monthly active users. 

Use Facebook’s local awareness ads to reach customers near your physical store. Make sure to specify your store’s location and the advertising radius to display your ad content. In addition, you can target customers based on age, gender, and location. 

Regardless of your target audience’s age, people always browse social media. This is why you should invest in Facebook’s local awareness ads (hyperlocal ads) to boost foot traffic.

Customize Content for the Local Audience

You can create customized content by leveraging local events. 

Let’s say you have a small business that deals with refreshments. If your town has an upcoming festival, you can partake in it and share it on social media. 

With users actively engaged on social media, your participation won’t go unnoticed.

Employ Local Hashtags and Geotags

Hashtags help your brand get noticed by nearby customers. Although you can use as many hashtags as possible, it’s best to limit to 5-10 to avoid looking spammy. 

Make sure to employ relevant hashtags – a blend of popular and niche hashtags – to broaden your audience.

On the contrary, geotags help people find location-based services or products. Encourage customers to post videos and photos on Instagram with geotags to create social proof.

This helps potential customers easily find your local business. 

Collaborate & Engage Locally

Believe it or not, engaging with customers directly helps provide valuable feedback for your brand. Not only can you hear their problems, but you can also find effective solutions to improve their experience. 

You can even collaborate with local celebrities and influencers to promote your services and products. They generate a positive buzz on your business page, which helps attract their subscribers to explore your business.

Like other businesses with a social presence, you have to post constantly and respond to customer comments and inquiries. 

This helps keep them informed about your business and build lasting relationships.

An influencer is checking the engagement of his Instagram posts. 

Instagram Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Over 70% of US companies use Instagram to market their brand, services, and products to more than one billion users. 

With a range of interactive features, Instagram marketing has become more crucial for small brands and new startups.

Here are a few effective Instagram marketing strategies to increase visibility and build a lasting community. 

Build Your Profile Basics

First things first: Set up the basics of your profile. 

An Instagram business profile needs a profile picture, business name, and category. Your page must also include contact details like phone, email, and address (if applicable). 

Make sure your profile is search-friendly to improve visibility. Create a ‘searchable Instagram username’ so users can find your brand easily. 

You should also choose a recognizable profile image like your logo. This will help new followers recognize you instantly as they scroll. 

Optimize Your IG Bio

Your Instagram bio acts as your profile’s homepage. When visitors come, it’s the first thing they see. 

Imagine you only have a few seconds to grab their attention – what key information do you want them to get? 

Use your IG bio to introduce yourself and your work. Add your company’s tagline or a brief description of the content they’ll find by following you. 

Additionally, you can use it to share promotions, announcements, or new product launches. Remember, your bio is a snapshot of who you are and what you offer.

Host Giveaways

Are you looking for a way to increase your Instagram audience? Host giveaways

One study found that giveaways can help IG accounts grow by 70% in three months. 

And the reasons are clear. Instagram giveaways help draw more visitors to your profile through likes, comments, and shares for a shot at winning.

To amp up engagement for your giveaways, collaborate with another brand for a shared prize. 

Multiple prizes will encourage more people to enter your giveaways. Plus, when you work with another brand, it doubles your content’s exposure. This introduces your brand to a broader audience.

Use UGC Content

Content creation is a crucial part of Instagram marketing, but it’s no easy feat. From brainstorming creative ideas and taking images to shooting videos, there are numerous things involved in each post.

That’s where user-generated content comes in handy. 

UGC is content created and shared by IG users. Typically, it’s in the form of images or videos featuring your product or business.

You can easily find user-generated content by checking tagged posts or exploring content with your geotag. 

UGC saves time in content creation and boosts social proof and brand credibility by featuring authentic content from real people.

Connect With Influencers

Every industry has its influencers, be it food, beauty, or business. These individuals are great at connecting with their audience and building trust. 

Interestingly, 37% of consumers trust social media influencers more than they trust brands.

If your marketing budget allows, consider partnering with an influencer for sponsored content. For small businesses, micro-influencers (those with around 10,000 followers or fewer) may be the best fit. 

They are relatable to your audience and often generate more engagement than mega influencers or celebrities.

Experiment With IG Reels

Instagram keeps rolling out new features like Stories, Lives, and Reels. Instagram reels are brief, creatively edited videos that let you piece together clips to tell a story. 

Here are some IG Reels ideas for small businesses:

  • Take followers through a day in the life of a small business owner.
  • Offer a behind-the-scenes peek into your process.
  • Share the story behind your brand.
  • Introduce your team members.
  • Give a virtual tour of your space, whether it’s an office, storefront, or restaurant. 

Small brands and new startups can also use Instagram Reels to share educational how-to videos with their followers.

Women discuss different local search marketing ideas to boost their local businesses. 

Looking for Local Marketing Ideas for Small Business? Let Path Social Help You

Do you run a small business that relies on local engagement? Or are you looking to improve your local marketing?

No matter the reason, you can effectively reach your potential nearby customers by using these effective, easy, and affordable tactics. 

Ready to take your digital marketing to the next level? Choose Path Social!

Not only do we foster organic brand growth on Instagram, but we also offer services to accelerate your Instagram growth. Connect with influencers and users and reach targeted audiences with our advanced algorithm and cutting-edge strategies.

Don’t wait to learn more about local search marketing – let Path Social help you. Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!