Want to go global? Then start local with your marketing

Digital marketing expert Annie Everill makes the case for focusing on the customers on your doorstep when planning your new enterprise's marketing strategy.

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No matter what industry you’re in, a marketing strategy and the success that follows can seem like a whirlwind of ideas, processes and opportunities. Although marketing can offer broad possibilities in terms of global exposure and fast growth, your local audience should remain the centre of your efforts, especially for startups and small businesses. 

What is local marketing?

Local marketing is a form of marketing that specifically targets customers and audiences that live within a specific geographical location and distance from a company. This type of marketing strategy opts for a more personal approach, using relationships, loyalty and connections to successfully market goods and attract new and existing customers. Due to such an influx of digital solutions, many modern-day businesses are jumping straight into national or even global marketing, often dismissing their local customers and the benefits this can bring. 

Benefits of a local marketing strategy

Having a local marketing strategy in place offers a number of benefits for businesses looking to establish a powerful presence in their community. Even if you’re looking to venture out of your local area, having this strategy in place can be a good starting point for any business and can always be amended later down the line. 

Here are some key benefits of local marketing:

Tips for Successful Local Marketing

Testimonials and reviews

One of the most important parts of any business is the feedback that comes from customers/clients. These testimonials or reviews not only present your business in a positive light but will also encourage other customers to shop with you and build a solid reputation for others to appreciate. If your Google business account is filled with negative feedback, chances are, customers will avoid it. Local marketing is one of the easiest ways to build testimonials as it’s so easy to build relationships and gather returning customers. Make sure to ask for reviews after sales and when you get them, post these on socials or other sites for better exposure. 

Collaborations and events

As well as doing all the digital marketing, it’s also important to actively get involved with your local community. Participating in things such as fairs, charity work, sporting events and shows offers you the opportunity to get your name out there, speak to new potential customers and find partnerships with other local businesses. 

Design a mobile-friendly website

One of the most common phrases found in mobile search is ‘ near me ‘. Used when customers are looking for a specific service and want to find quick, efficient and convenient results. This means that ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is key for a successful local marketing campaign. Those who are using mobile search, and specifically local search terms, are more than likely looking for businesses that they can access easily and contact with no hassle. Making your website mobile-friendly will mean ensuring its display is optimised and features such as page speed are working effectively. 

Using social media

From setting up a business account to commenting on community groups, social media offers an abundance of local marketing opportunities. Using social media to target those living in your area or region is a great way to advertise products but also build connections in a modern, convenient way. Social media platforms allow you to direct message customers, gather reviews, reply to comments and questions, promote competitions and produce fun content such as videos or infographics. 

Researching your audience

There is no point in making a marketing strategy that your audience isn’t going to see or be interested in. And that’s why doing prior research is a necessity, especially when it comes to local marketing. Researching your audience and analysing the customer journey will ensure you are taking the right steps in advertising your brand and using techniques they can connect with. For example, if you’re a local nursery, you’ll want to use strategies and platforms that you know parents are using whilst also researching the terms they are searching for and what content they enjoy. 

Organic SEO

Implementing a strong strategy for organic SEO will ensure you are creating effective content and web materials for your customers. These strategies will help to get your website at the top of search results, especially when people are searching for local terms. For example, if you own a restaurant, your website will pop up in the results for searches such as ‘ restaurants near me’ or ‘Italian restaurants near Cambridge’. In order to get the most out of organic search, you’ll need to focus on SEO features such as keyword research, backlinking, and content creation metadata. 

Annie Everill - Digital Marketing Executive at Imaginaire

Annie is a digital marketing executive for the Nottingham-based agency, Imaginaire, a marketing house focused on helping small to medium businesses succeed online through digital strategies such as SEO, web design, PPC, social media and content creation. Covering a range of different topics and industries, Annie’s expertise lies in content creation, blog writing and on-page SEO.

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