A steady stream of paying customers should be the primary goal of any local business. When your scope and customer base are local, your most pressing task is to raise your profile in the places nearest to you and let their residents know what you do and why you do it best. Here are some specific ways to tweak your local business advertising to motivate customers to choose you.
In a competitive market, you need to set yourself apart from everyone else and explain loud and clear why what you offer is superior or unique. Always remember to frame this within a local context.
If there are five businesses nearby selling something similar to you, find a way to differentiate yourself, and highlight what you do better. Turn your difference into your strength, and customers will come to you.
Strong messaging is the blueprint for sales success, so choose wisely what you highlight about yourself. Depending on what product or service you offer, you could promote aspects of your business such as:
It sounds obvious, but remember to make sure you can actually back up whatever claim you make about yourself in your marketing!
The more local you can make your advertising, the more customers will identify you as a part of their community. If you want to establish a loyal local customer base, this can be a real strength. If you can customise your offer to reflect a community tradition, or regional sporting team, landmark or event, you should quickly increase your standing among your neighbours.
You can also use special offers to motivate people to visit your business. For instance, vouchers that are only redeemable in-store are an easy way of getting people through the door.
It’s free to register your business on Google Maps; all you need to do is list yourself on Google My Business. This is an incredibly beneficial tool for all local advertising. Once you’ve registered, your business will appear on Google Maps, and interested local mobile users can see you whenever they check the app. You will also appear in local search results, which Google give a lot of prominence to. This is a free service, and you should be making the most of it! Why not learn in more detail from our step-by-step guide to claiming your listing on Google My Business?
Social media can be a precious tool for businesses who lack the resources to invest in costlier marketing. That said, it can also be quite time-consuming. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter allow you to engage with your community, and can be a great route into the local conversation, allowing you to demonstrate your roots in the area and promote special offers and in-store exclusives.
You can join and post in local community groups to get your voice heard. There is also a local recommendations feature on Facebook where people ask for business suggestions, so if you form a healthy relationship with your customers, you might even find they do some of your promotional legwork for you by championing you to their friends!
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Local business advertising via mobile channels allows you to reach your audience as they use apps or websites on their smartphones. Banner and video ads also let you set the geographic area you want to target, keeping things within range of your business. You can choose a radius distance, or even specify one based on live traffic conditions.
With a mobile campaign, you can tap into an ever-growing audience, reaching local people when they’re out and about or looking to make a quick purchase. You can even do this via text messages to customers informing them of time-limited special offers that might interest them.
According to Google, 50% of people who search for local businesses on their smartphone visit a shop within a day. Google Local inventory ads showcase your products and shop information to nearby users. When users click your ad, they arrive on a Google-hosted page for your shop, called the local storefront. They can use this to view your products, find opening times, directions and more. Google’s unique reach makes an extensive use of its services a no-brainer for advertising to people in your vicinity.
Used together, these six methods can profoundly boost the number of customers you get through your door. Some of them are dependent on others - for instance, figuring out your unique selling point is a prerequisite for any advertising you do, and registering your business with Google Maps will add a valuable new layer of available information to your ad campaigns.
It’s really up to you which of these methods you choose and prioritise. But remember - the best local business advertising campaigns will use a combination of them all to achieve the best results, so why not get started now?
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