Previously you saw five tips for successfully marketing based on your location using check-in apps, mobile optimization, Google+ Local, search engine optimization, and review management. This time we’ll discuss the benefits of focusing locally with Twitter, defining geo-fences, pay-per-click location-targeted advertising, offering relevant incentives, and offering hyper-local content. It’s not “mandatory” to engage on all of these fronts. So, please don’t get overwhelmed with this list. We suggest, if you want to tackle this on your own, that you find a couple that work easily into your already busy schedule and pursue them consistently.
Tip 6: Focus locally with Twitter. When optimizing your social profiles for local, you should pay special attention to Twitter. Twitter is not just a broadcasting tool, it is also a platform for local discussion, and your input to the local community through your tweets can be a major influence for customers in choosing your business over others. You should follow local discussions and check out the followers of other local businesses in your industry, including your competitors. You can even use the Twitter maps app on Bing to see various tweets that were sent in your area, giving you a good read on local topics and helping you identify the interests of local people and businesses.
Tip 7: Wikipedia defines geo-fences as the virtual perimeters for real-world geographic areas. This is an important concept for your local business as you attempt to focus on your local customers, but it also makes an important research point when deciding where to advertise. Take a look at other businesses within your geo-fence and identify those that are power players in the local market and have similar customers to yours. You can then work to advertise at their locations and on their websites, focusing your marketing resources and ensuring correct targeting of customers.
Tip 8: Pay-per-click advertising has often been seen as a poor way to gain customers, because it has traditionally been done in a way that scatters your ads into the wind and you end up with just as many accidental ad clicks as you do clicks from legitimate customers. You get a much better return on investment when you target your ads carefully using specific and relevant keywords and filter by geo location in order to serve ads to people who are most likely to become customers. If you have a business that is very focused, for example a veterinary clinic, having your ad show up when someone searches for a vet in your area creates a high level of intent on the potential customer’s side and is very likely to result in a click on your ad.
Tip 9: Offer incentives for your customers to bring you more business. We touched on incentivizing customers in Tip 1 when discussing check-in-based social media, but it can go beyond that. Incentives are a huge part of location-based marketing. While you are a local business, your customers can find your products or services elsewhere, so aside from just engaging them online and optimizing your web presence, you need to offer a reason to stay loyal to you and to bring in friends. This can be something as simple as offering a discount to the original customer when he or she refers a friend who makes a purchase. Another great example of using this marketing technique can be found in many local coffeehouses. An overwhelming majority of locally owned coffee shops offer their customers loyalty cards (buy 10, get one free type business cards). This is instituted in many different food services businesses, but can easily cross over to service-oriented businesses as well. Customers like incentives, so get creative with what you can offer through your business.
Tip 10: Using hyper-local content. If, through the use of the other tips you have read about here, you discover that your target customers can be defined to a very small and specific location, hyper-local content may be a good route for you. Once you have identified your region (refer to geo-fences in Tip 7), you can begin to focus your website content and social media on that specific area. Get a feel for what is important to the people in the area and start talking about it. What emotional attachment do your hyper-local customers have to the area? Use this information to increase your relevancy to those customers and their friends in your area, attracting attention to your business, not just because of your industry, but also because you are talking about the same local things they view as important.
Doing business successfully on a local level requires keeping track of your online presence and ensuring it is properly focused so that your business comes to mind – or at least to local search results – first when people in your area are in need of your products or services. By focusing your Internet presence locally and actively engaging with the people in your community, you will become more effective at reaching the people your business needs in order to be successful with your location-based marketing area. Combining these online location-based marketing tactics with your existing local offline marketing and promotion strategy will boost your company’s visibility and should bring more potential clients through your door.
If you need assistance in developing an online and/or offline local marketing strategy for your company, please feel free to contact AGI. We have developed many local, national, and international marketing plans that have proven to be very successful. Simply fill out the quick contact form on the right or give us a call at 925.984.2441.