When it comes to advertising spend, most small businesses probably can’t compete with big corporations. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a splash in your local market. With some strategy, creativity, and hard work you could see great success with local advertising.
Here are eight ways for small businesses to score big with local advertising:
1. Take advantage of Google My Business
Arguably one of the first steps any small businesses should take is to set up a Google My Business profile. This is how to get your business found on Google Maps and in Google Search.
A Google My Business profile also gives you a chance to showcase your brand. You can post photos, promotions, and information in the Q&A section to help increase customer confidence. This profile also lets you collect and respond to customer reviews, which can be an effective way to build brand loyalty and display your professionalism.
While not as popular as Google, you can also create business profiles on Bing and Yahoo Local to reach potential customers using those search engines.
2. Create or claim local business listings
Beyond Google, you also want to create or claim local business listings on other popular sites. This includes places such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, Angie’s List, and Foursquare.
You don’t need to create an account everywhere, but you should do some research to determine where people may be looking for your type of business. For example, an accountant probably wouldn’t list their business on Foursquare, but they might consider adding a profile to the Better Business Bureau site.
3. Get active on social media
Customers are turning to social media to find local businesses more and more. From February to May 2020, Facebook searches for local business increased 23% and two-thirds of their users visit a local business Page at least once a week.
Like local business listings, you don’t need to be on every social media site. Focusing on one or two that make sense for your small business may yield better results. If you run a more visual business, for example, Instagram may be the perfect place to share photos of your products and shop.
4. Optimize your website for local SEO
Many small business owners don’t know much about search engine optimization (SEO), let alone local SEO. However, optimizing your website so it’s more easily found in local searches may help build your business.
If you’re serious about SEO, hiring an expert to help you optimize your website and local business profiles may be a wise investment. They can make recommendations to help customers find you in search engines when they search businesses “near me” (local SEO) or by product (regular SEO).
5. Place display ads on local news sites
Local newspaper websites are one of the top places people go to for local information. This creates an opportunity for small businesses to reach potential customers in their area.
Display advertising is a type of online marketing that shows ads on website across the internet. Placing them directly onto local news sites helps you get in front of readers in your area. Use display ads to build brand awareness or share a deal or promotion.
6. Try print advertising
Print ads and direct mailers may seem obsolete in this age of internet, but they could help boost your small business. These methods help ensure that your message is reaching people in a specific area, chosen by the newspaper’s delivery area or in neighborhoods you choose.
Tracking numbers and promo codes can be used to help gauge how successful these types of ads are for your business. They can also compliment your online advertising efforts by building brand awareness.
7. Run a customer loyalty program
Everyone likes free stuff, right? A customer loyalty program is one way to reward current customers and encourage them to keep coming back.
Loyalty programs can be tailored to work for your business. You choose the incentive and how often customers can earn rewards. For example, a coffee shop might offer a free small coffee for every 10 drinks purchased. A simple punch card or stamp system is an easy way to help customers keep track of when they’ll earn their next reward.
8. Be part of an event
Meeting local customers face-to-face is a great way to introduce them to your business. Depending on what your business does, you may be able to join a local festival, farmers market, or charity drive.
If in-person events don’t make sense for your business, there are other ways to meet new customers. You could hold a live streaming product demo, host a webinar, or put on a small workshop.
Helping small businesses succeed
A strong local advertising strategy could help your small business grow and thrive. Even if your ad budget is small, there are many ways to reach new customers, build your business and create brand loyalty.
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