Having a small digital marketing budget but aren’t sure what to do? Read these 10 ideas to get the word out about your local business.
When did you discover your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, or antique store?
Probably through your friends. Or maybe you just passed by a nice sign one day. Perhaps they ran an impressive marketing campaign.
A social media post from an influencer or an advertisement on social media from a company can do wonders for a local business.
The issue is that local businesses usually have a difficult time finding budgets for marketing.
Often, they lack the resources that large corporations and commercial chains have to invest in advertising, celebrity collaborations, and so on.
Nevertheless, marketing is not necessarily expensive.
You simply need to be creative.
The purpose of this article is to share some marketing ideas for local businesses that can be implemented without spending a lot of money – even for free.
#1) Establish a partnership with a local influencer
Even if you don’t have the budget to hire an Instagram influencer with 1 million followers, micro-influencers can be just as effective (if not more so).
Is there anyone better suited for collaboration than a blogger or an industry expert who lives nearby?
Getting in touch with such an influencer can be difficult, however.
Searching Google will likely return larger accounts and popular names rather than microbloggers.
Moreover, it’s hard to get Google to focus on a specific town for this purpose.
It’s time to install social listening software.
Such tools can identify accounts that talk about particular topics with a given number of followers.
Additionally, the settings let you choose your town to ensure that only relevant results are returned.
Alternatively, you can look through profiles by limiting the number of followers to the minimum or maximum.
Make contact with the people you think would be a good fit!
Give them a tour of your store or offer a free product in exchange for their attendance.
The collaboration is mutually beneficial. As they connect you to their audience, you raise your brand awareness by helping them create content.
#2) Create a local narrative for your business
stories are loved by everyone
Creating and consuming stories is perhaps one of the most essential aspects of human existence.
A good story can enhance your brand’s appeal.
Make up a lovely anecdote about the building your business occupies, or create a character who will always sit in the same seat with this specific drink in your cafe.
It isn’t always necessary to make everything up – instead, you can do a little research on the town and discover some interesting and unexpected facts about it.
You might find something that will increase your client base if you speak to local historians and visit archives and museums.
As soon as you have the narrative, incorporate it into your brand.
Include it on your website, social media, and reviews.
Post about it on your blog and social media.
Let your marketing messages remind people of it.
#3) Organize your town’s content to make it search-friendly
A local SEO campaign is a great way to get more customers. By increasing traffic to your website, you will increase foot traffic to your store.
Nevertheless, this is a way that businesses everywhere should be focusing on.
Generally, businesses optimize their website for the most common search terms; for instance, “buy furniture Nashville.”
My content is meant to be entertaining rather than informative. It aims to tell locals and visitors about your town while simultaneously promoting your business.
It is important to incorporate both goals into your social media posts, articles, or videos.
Listings are a great way to accomplish this.
A list of the top five coffee shops in your area can be an excellent way to mention your business organically and offer value to potential customers.
In order to avoid promoting your competitors, choose a topic that allows you to represent many businesses.
For instance, creating an article about amazing dating spots can include cafes, museums, and sightseeing spots in one list and only mention your restaurant.
Keep your timing in mind as well.
It is extremely effective to promote your business during the holidays.
After that, produce a guide titled “What to do with your family in (town name) on (holiday name)” containing some holiday-related products and activities.
Both the search engines and potential clients will be pleased.
#4) Participate in local Facebook groups
There is no better way to reach your audience than through Facebook Groups.
Joining a Facebook Group in your district gives you a chance to learn more about your clients while promoting your business at the same time.
When promoting on Facebook Groups, be careful not to sound too salesy.
Putting out new offers and discounts every day is not what you want to do.
While this type of spam might be tolerated within a group, it is unlikely to make people want to learn more about your company.
As an alternative, you could initiate conversations that would allow your business to grow organically.
Your personal account would be a sneaky way of doing this, or you could be more genuine, announcing your local business status without hiding your identity.
The best way to accomplish this is to actually give value to the people.
For instance, you are the owner of a bookstore and you would like locals to know about your establishment.
If the group is interested in participating in a reading club, you can ask it about the types of books they’d like to read.
There is no need to talk about books: You can talk about anything, like whether to allow dogs in your store.
You want to begin a conversation that will draw attention, but don’t pick a topic that will cause controversy.
You’ll certainly alienate a lot of people, despite the fact that they can generate lots of buzz.
#5) Utilize Your “Localness” With Digital Marketing
As a local business, you have an advantage over corporations and chains, since their shops are spread out all over the place and can’t be targeted in specific locations.
You can take advantage of this by creating hyper-targeted ads yourself.
To create such ads that are aimed at local communities, here are some tips:
- Find out what drives search impressions using Google Search Console.
- Include your Zip Code or street name in your ad and make sure it is visible.
- Be sure to mention the distance to your location in your targeted ads.
#6) Ensure that all reviews are handled
It’s not the most creative idea to ask for Yelp reviews or monitor your business on Yelp.
Local businesses often overlook the fact that review sites are not the only place people discuss your business.
When it comes to reviews, social media, blogs, and forums are equally important.
Social media gives everyone a chance to reach an audience, even if that audience is just their family and friends.
These people might comment on your business as well.
It’s great if they tag you and you see it – but what if you miss the post, either because they didn’t tag you or because you have too many notifications?
Positive opinions are an opportunity to market your products and services; you could reuse them, save them, and use them in future marketing materials.
Whether it’s a negative opinion or a positive one, ignoring it will lead to a reputational crisis.
Be aware of every time your company is mentioned, both on review platforms and elsewhere, using a social media monitoring tool.
Several free options are available, such as combining Google Alerts and Tweetdeck.
You can also choose a more robust social listening tool that provides real-time notifications, covers more sources online, and organizes your mentions with handy filters.
#7) Get in touch with local media
You’d be surprised at how influential local newspapers and online media can be!
Be sure to establish contact with your local media as you develop content for your own website and social media.
As a local business owner, you will be able to participate in topical discussions about local businesses in your town and even comment on the latest news events.
This will benefit their SEO.
Additionally, your insights and commentary will establish you as an active member of the community, which will draw more attention to your business.
#8) Immerse yourself in event marketing
If possible, organize an event for the locals if your business allows it.
Nowadays, if you don’t set a goal of attracting customers to your physical store, it can even be an online event.
To make an event more meaningful, select a purpose that everyone can relate to – for example, perhaps a community issue needs more attention and funding to be solved, in which case you could organize a charity event to draw attention to it.
Local Facebook groups or social media ads can be used to promote the event.
Engage in conversations with new people at the event and establish connections.
This will make people feel welcome and entice them to repeat their visit.
Organize regular meetings or a series of events for long-term marketing success.
#9) Run a contest on social media
It is no secret that Christmas is one of the most popular holidays in the world for a variety of reasons, but one of them is the endless exchange of gifts. Gifts are loved by everyone!
In spite of the fact that you do not know your customers, you can try giving out small presents to promote your business.
Launching a contest is a great way to attract more foot traffic to your business. Ensure you promote it throughout your social media and website.
Perhaps you can offer free products or services to the first 20 people who come to your store on a certain day.
Businesses that are just opening can use this strategy to spread the word.
#10) Create a local partnership
It’s important for you to be part of your local community as a local business owner.
Make connections with other business owners in your local area.
In addition to having a support network, you can exchange experiences with them.
Networking with other businesses is a good way to gain exposure.
It may be possible to find local brands and businesses that complement, support, and target similar audiences as yours. Look into cross-promotional opportunities with them.
By utilizing this strategy, you achieve two things at once: first, you reach out to more people, and second, you utilize the goodwill of your partners.
Alternatively, you can construct a support network that represents your interests by building relationships with local businesses.
Get started by engaging on social media with local businesses.
Make bundle offers with each other’s products, promote in each other’s stores, and organize events together.
To jump-start, your local business, use these 10 tips.
Focus on your strengths and make use of the resources at your disposal. Investing money in advertising is ineffective when you can leverage the power of the community.