Marketing Locally: Hints and Tips
‘Know your audience’ is the first rule of marketing any business and absolutely vital for targeting key messages in the right way.
For many businesses, geography is a crucial factor in their client-base, and therefore focusing their marketing plan on a local level is essential for bringing in new custom.
So how do you engage with clients in your locality? Our Chester-based Marketing Manager Jess discusses her top tips for doing just that:
While Covid-19 might have put an end to face-to-face networking events, there’s still plenty of activity happening online to reach out to customers and complementary businesses locally. You could look into what business events are listed on eventbrite for your area, or if there is a Miba regional group. If your firm belongs to a professional body, there could be an arm of that you could engage with in your county. Or you could even look into something like ‘42 Under 42’ from Insider Media.
These opportunities often come with little or no cost, but are a great way to put your business on a local platform and gain the support of other local entrepreneurs and businesspeople.
Google My Business
Quick and easy to set up, Google My Business is superb for supporting your local customers to discover your business and how best to contact you. Head over to our ‘5 Free Ways to Market Your Business’ blog for more about the benefits of this free tool to showcase your company locally.
Media in your area should not be overlooked when marketing your business. Many regional radio stations, magazines and newspapers still receive excellent readership/listeners, and if you don’t want the cost of print or air time advertising, then most also have websites that garner good web traffic but don’t have the same price tag.
Free, local directories are also worth exploring; as you can target an area directly. These certainly shouldn’t be overlooked if your customer is typically older and non-tech-savvy – as many in this category still use local directories when searching for a service close to home.
Of course, another way you can get your name into local media is through sending them a press release; perhaps about a new product you’re offering, an award you’ve won or something fantastic your employees have done for a local charity.
It might sound obvious, but making your brand seen is so important. How often do you hear someone say “I’ve lived here for years and I never knew you were there!”? If that sounds like you, then make sure your signage is well designed and placed strategically to get seen by the largest number of people possible. Ensure your branding includes your location so that those who see it ‘out and about’ know you’re nearby e.g. Chester’s Outsourced Marketing Manager.
Think about other places you could put your branding too... perhaps on the side of company vehicles, staff uniforms and stationery. On all of these, including your location will hammer home to potential clients that your business is on their doorstep.
Here at Cornerstone Your Business, we really can’t reiterate enough the importance of social
media for modern businesses. The benefits are huge and the costs minimal or non-existent.
To promote your brand locally, you need to first get your pages set up well, including all those keywords about where you are. Follow other local businesses; explore the use of local hash tags; seek out bloggers who can share your key messages and might offer regional social media drives (e.g. #ChesterHour); ask your clients to comment on, like and share your posts; and don’t forget how useful paid-for Facebook adverts can be in targeting your desired customer.
The words on your website help your potential customers to find you in the first place (SEO) and then take an action (enquire further) once they have. So make sure your ‘Contact Us’ and ‘About Us’ sections are up-to-date and specifically reference where you are. You can also add blogs which highlight your region, and will improve your website’s SEO, and update your website with local examples of work you have done.
Corporate Social Responsibility is high on the list of priorities for successful big businesses these days, as it highlights an intention to think beyond profit and how that business can be more philanthropic, ethical and sustainable.
When thinking of a charitable cause your business can support, choosing local has many benefits. Your employees and clients are likely to have heard of it for starters, plus you can make a big difference to the financial needs of a local charity, unlike being a drop in the ocean for a larger charity. It also offers opportunities for free media exposure for both your business and the charity itself. And for you, as the decision-maker, you may be lucky enough to see the direct results of your business’s hard work to fundraise, such as a new piece of equipment for a hospice or a play area for local children.
Here at Cornerstone Your Business in Chester, we hope this gives you some food for thought on how to market your business on a local level. As ever, our Outsourced Marketing Manager is on hand to offer a free initial consultation on how we can support the marketing of your business, from strategy to implementation. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jessica on 07929 905229 – we’d love to inspire your marketing strategy.