97% of people use some form of online media to research local services or products before making the actual decision. It means that if you really want your small business to thrive, you have no right to ignore its online presence.
There is a common misconception that online marketing would cost you a fortune. And whether or not it was the reason why you have been ignoring it so far, here’s something you should know. Only 26% of small business owners have invested at least some time or money in online marketing. It means that you have to make a choice: be one of 74% and continue missing local lead generation opportunities or go the opposite direction and learn how to get the internet working for you.
In this article, we’ll share with you the most valuable 12 tips that you’ll be able to use right away and extend your business’ potential to the fullest.
1. Know your target audience
This is the number one thing you have to define once and keep that in mind for the future. Otherwise, you may find yourself knocking on the wrong door all the time, surprised why it’s always closed.
Identifying your target audience is crucial because this way you know exactly who your potential customers are, what do they search for, and where. This way you will create a marketing strategy that will end up getting you real clients and not empty leads.
It’s also important to analyze as much information as you can in order to create the most relevant content your potential audience is looking for. By doing this you ensure your page pops up in front of potential clients without you being pushy about yourself. This strategy will warm them up before buying instead of pursuing them to choose you.
2. Use social media to connect with your potential customers
Despite 97% of people use some form of online media to research local products online before making a decision, still, only 15% of small businesses use social media channels to increase traffic to their website.
Social media is the place where your target audience hangs out. This can potentially provide you with an opportunity to become friends with them right where they feel the most comfortable.
People buy from people. It means that reaching out to your audience through cold posts saying how cool you are might not work as you would expect it to. If you really want to connect with people who potentially may buy your stuff or use your services, you have to focus on your chosen strategy. Think of the interests your audience might have to research then groups and pages they may be members of to start engaging with them there.
Monitor potential places for your networking, respond to questions in the comment sections, create valuable content, use suitable hashtags and it won’t take too long before you see the difference.
3. Use localized lead magnets to build your email list
Using lead magnets is one of the most effective ways to get all the needed details of your potential leads. Because in this article we’re focusing on local business prospects, think of using localized lead magnets to make sure you gather emails from the local area only.
We recommend creating lead magnets with your local intent in mind, the ones your audience will be less likely to ignore. This could be creating a guide for buying a house in Edmonton, email-gated videos, ebooks, and all sorts of calculators to help users estimate property sale price or to get advice on something.
4. Properly target your social media promotions and Google Ads campaigns
PPC (Pay Per Click) advertisements in Google Ads are considered to be most efficient for local businesses. With its help, you can display your business’ website right in front of those users who search for the related products or services in a specific area.
We always recommend starting with small budgets to test how to use Google Ads, what works and what doesn’t for your type of business. Then, you begin to gradually increase your budgets because this way you won’t lose a lot of hard-earned money on learning and testing.
Facebook Ads are another way to grab the best leads to your website. It has 2.5 billion users and the most terrific targeting capabilities you will hardly find wherever.
If you decided to run a Facebook ad for generating leads as a primary goal, the platform will display it in a specific form by adding contact right in the newsfeed. This little tweak will get you 20% more leads when compared to those Facebook ads that lead to landing pages instead.
5. Your landing page should be localized
Keep in mind that landing pages are those pages where your leads will be heading to. That is why you have to build it with customers in mind because it will definitely be a deciding factor for effective conversion.
When users are looking for something online in a specific area, the likelihood of them choosing a location-specific page is high. That is why if, let’s say, you’re a service-oriented business localized in a couple of cities, it will be beneficial to build a separate landing page for each in order to increase engagement.
If you create a localized landing page you give yourself far more possibilities to rank higher when users are including location modifiers in their search terms like “near me”, “in Vancouver”, etc. Plus, this will lead to an increase in your conversion with Google Ads as well as with geo-targeted ads because search engines will display your page first as it will be considered relevant.
6. Make sure your page is optimized for a local search
There is no point in having a local business and ignoring local search optimization. While others spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to rank for high-relevant keywords globally, you have a huge advantage to easily rank for those exact keywords if you add local keyword modifiers. For example, instead of beating the bushes for the ways to get the first-page position for “best attorney”, you can shift your focus into “best attorney in Florida”.
Since Google provides you with the auto-complete suggestion when you start typing in some search terms or questions, you can use this to your advantage to use these exact words and phrases when describing your services. This way when a person searches these phrases, your business’ website will be showing up in SERP. At this point, all you have to do is to use a special tool to track your rankings and get notified every time some changes come up.
7. Include your business in local listings
When a person searches for something local on Google, the map pushes organic results underneath it, making it possible for businesses in that area to stand out when someone is looking for the related product and service online.
That is why you have to add your page to Google My Business to improve your visibility and increase your website’s SEO opportunities. Just imagine, one little action can become a game-changer for the number of organic traffic your site can potentially get.
When you have your Google My Business all set up it’s time to dive deeper into all the potential listings you can add your business into. It won’t take a lot of your time but will potentially increase leads to your page as users who are looking for services in listings have a high conversion rate. They already have a need to put their money into some local product or services and just need the listing to point them in the desired direction.
Here are the top local listings: TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Yahoo Local, Yelp, Bing Local, YP, GlassDoor, Whitepages, BizJournals, Angie’s List, Better Business, Bureau, CitySearch, Mants, and so many more.
8. Start your own blog
The blog is an incredible way to increase your brand’s awareness by sharing relevant expertise with your potential clients. It allows you to pop up right when people need you and build long-term relationships while solving issues for others and making their life easier.
Don’t start a blog if you wish to get quick results. This way it’s not a path for you as the content is a very time-consuming and continuous process. You need to build a content strategy in order to write on those topics your target audience wants to read about.
You shouldn’t glorify how valuable your services are, but make a hint that your business is dealing with those issues which made you have such broad expertise in the first place. This way you won’t sound bossy and pushy because people don’t enjoy direct selling, they don’t want to be treated like potential clients when reading a blog.
Also, a blog is a terrific tool to target your desired keywords and increase your SERP rankings for related terms. And you won’t believe what magic is about to happen after you’ve added your geographical location in blog titles and its URLs.
9. Make sure your site is optimized for potential conversions
You have to make sure your website provides the best user experience possible. This way when a user lands on your page, your content and design will do their job to lead the visitor through the sales funnel.
The sooner you optimize your website for conversion, the quicker you’ll get the desired outcomes. At this point, you have to create a user-friendly page filled with engaging content and clear messages in order to create lead magnets for every stage.
An effective way to do it is by providing valuable guides, checklists, and downloadable ebooks that will help you gather detailed information from your audience. You can also add CTA (Call To Action) buttons like “Estimate the Cost”, “Contact Us”, and others in order to track users that are ready to convert.
10. Don’t you ever forget about your leads
It’s not about collecting emails, but about keeping in touch with them in order to convert leads into clients. And no, it doesn’t mean that you have to start being pushier, this is the right way to spam folder.
In order to convert leads, you have to warm them up, motivate them and provide value. People want to be accepted as real human beings and not like a lead with full bank accounts.
For example, you can use a situation when people download a guide from your page to ask them whether they found it useful as a follow-up email. You can even automate sequences to ask your users for feedback or suggest checking out related content.
When talking about leads, it’s important to use every possible opportunity. For example, when you participate in some offline event, make sure to gather relevant contacts and follow-up them via email or with a short message on LinkedIn. This way you can encourage them to start communicating with you by simultaneously moving them down the sales funnel.
11. Use Giveaways to gather leads
Don’t ignore using all sorts of giveaways and contests as lead magnets. These are among the most efficient ways to grab relevant leads in bulk to start working with them later. It doesn’t really matter what sort of activity you’ll come up with because people will participate as long as you’re offering the valuable prize.
To make sure you’re gathering only relevant to your business leads, you have to pick a prize most related to what you’re offering as a business. This way you’d know exactly that people who wish to participate in your giveaway and want one of your services or products for free, might become your potential clients if you warm them up better.
The precious asset in every contest or giveaway is a database with the most relevant leads, their email, and contact information. That is why make sure you’re not hunting the numbers but the quality.
12. Use collaborations with influencers and other businesses
If businesses are in the same niche but cover different aspects of it, you may consider it the perfect chance to collaborate. This way you’re not competitors to each other and can use this technique to promote your products or services in front of a different but relevant audience.
Local businesses often use co-marketing to get more potential clients with less effort to get them. Look for reliable businesses in your area that compliment your diversity of products or services, settle goals you wish to achieve, and the way you’ll get there before going live.
It doesn’t have to be giveaways, you can combine your expertise to create the most valuable ebook, you can hold a live webinar and help people dealing with issues your businesses are solving, and whatever you might come up with.
You can also monitor your local influencers and make them promote your business. They can share their experience of using your product, review your services, run and promote a giveaway for you, etc. Here you have to make sure that the audience of this celebrity or influencer will be interested in your services and goods. Otherwise, it’s not worth the money. Here is a detailed guide on how to reach out to top influencers to take advantage for your business.
Collaboration is always a win-win for all so why not use it?
Being a local business has its advantages. And it’s not limited to the possibility of targeting high-volume keywords easier but in the number of other opportunities.
You can start implementing these 12 tips we were talking about in this article or you can ignore them all and keep working with what’s had proven outcomes till today. In this article, we just wanted to show you that local online marketing won’t cost you a lot, but your business will definitely benefit from it.
However, what works well for one local business may not be that efficient for the other. Online marketing is an unstoppable test and tries in order to find what strategies and techniques meet your goals the most.