Marketing isn’t one of those skills that can be mastered overnight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t begin implementing strategies to promote your business today. While the exact formula for marketing success remains unclear, there are some general steps you can take to develop a plan and achieve your marketing goals. Here are 9 local marketing strategies to successfully market your business.
1) Find your target audience
Before you can begin marketing your business, you must figure out your target audience. For example, if you’re starting a retail store, your target audience will likely be college students and young professionals in your area. Put yourself in their shoes: what do they care about? What are their problems? How can you reach them and connect with them on an emotional level? Once you know what their pain points are and how they want to spend money on solving those issues, it will be much easier for you (and more lucrative) to market towards that audience. Write down some notes so you can return to them when planning marketing efforts! If sales aren’t happening as quickly as expected, take a hard look at why.
2) Know how they want to be reached
It’s easy to forget that everyone is different. What works for one business might not work for another. Get to know your potential customers and figure out how they want to be reached, then give it to them. If you’re already struggling with how best to reach them, read our tips on going beyond your online presence and look into traditional marketing methods as well. Once you have a good idea of how they want to be reached, tailor your marketing approach based on their wants and needs and what will appeal most strongly to them.
3) Create visually appealing content
Captivating photos and videos is more likely to be shared online, leading to increased traffic and engagement. Invest in professional-quality tools, such as a smartphone with a good camera or affordable photography equipment to help you create visually appealing content. Ask an employee or client to take photos of your business if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself; just make sure they know what they’re doing! Consider posting content on sites other than your own site, such as Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube.
4) Perfect the timing of each message
Nothing turns people off more than a constant flood of messages from you—no matter how valuable the information. Instead, send each message at the right time for that message. The best time for your customer is when he or she is ready for it, not when you are ready to deliver it. This will result in a better customer experience and higher response rates—and that’s the name of the game!
5) Give helpful information in every message
Although it seems like common sense, making your messages helpful or giving something away for free should be at the top of your list. Don’t just promote. Give your prospects a way out of their current bind by offering tips or valuable advice that helps them resolve whatever problem they’re facing in their everyday lives. Ultimately, you want to help people solve problems because that makes you more money and establishes you as an authority figure—which leads us to our next point…
6) Gather feedback after each campaign
Measure your campaign’s effectiveness by asking customers for feedback. Although their answers may not always be 100% honest, any data you can gather on why people are buying from you is valuable knowledge for future marketing campaigns. It might sound harsh, but if a customer isn’t being completely truthful about why they bought from you, find out what made them decide to give you their money. Is it something you could replicate? What kind of follow-up could encourage more sales in similar situations?
7) Stay consistent with messages on social media
Sometimes, marketing a business is as simple as speaking with one voice. We’re all different, with different tastes and opinions, but social media messages are often tailored toward a specific kind of buyer: your existing customers. Stay consistent with your message (and tone) on social media platforms so you can effectively share news, content and information. Don’t overwhelm followers with too many updates or marketing materials; be helpful and informative while also looking out for ways to provide value through social media interactions.
8) Communicate with customers like a human being, not an advertisement
To succeed in business, you have to be genuine with your customers. People are too good at sniffing out inauthenticity; instead, really listen and try to understand their wants and needs—that way, you can communicate with them like a human being, not an advertisement. If a brand is open and honest about what it does and why it does it, that’s going to influence its success one way or another.
9) Make Local SEO to attract more customers
As a startup, one of the most important things you can do is focus on your local SEO. This will help you attract more customers and get your business off the ground.
Here are 4 ways you can use to get started:
- Start by claiming your Google My Business listing. This is free and easy to do and will help you appear in local search results.
- Make sure your website is optimized for local keywords. Use tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to research relevant keywords for your area.
- Create informative blog posts that focus on your business and location topics. Provide valuable content to people searching online so they have good reason to click through and visit your site.
- Get found on social media channels – add links back to your site in your profiles or create new channels specifically geared towards serving people who live near you (e.g., Pinterest boards).