In today’s times to survive, a local business needs to know how to promote the business, whether it’s a new business or a small profitable business. Local businesses need to learn and adapt modern ways of marketing.
Every business today needs to have a presence online. According to the Local Consumer Review Survey 2020, 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year.
People must learn how to promote local businesses online. A common problem businesses hesitate to promote online, is due to the lack of familiarity with the digital world.
When you consider any new advertising idea, first identify your business’s target customer. Understand exactly who you are trying to reach. It is also important to understand where your local customer and potential clients look for information about your business. When you start a new marketing strategy, first identify and understand your target customer.
Below are the top strategies to promote your businesses online locally.
1. List your business online for free
It is important to make sure that your businesses show up when local businesses are searched online. For people to locate your business online you need to provide a medium. Local business listings are the cost-free and highly successful way to promote local businesses online.
Let’s look at some of the top listing platforms.
Google My Business:
Google My Business is a free tool. By creating a profile on Google My Business, it allows your business to appear in Google Search results and Google Maps. If your business ranks and shows up in the search results, your business is essentially promoting itself 24/7.
Your listing will have information about your business including address, phone number, link to website, directions, and business hours. You can add photos so people can get a better understanding of your business. Customers can also add photos and write reviews about your business.
Important statistics like how many times your business has been viewed and shown in search results are also provided by Google My Business.
An example of a business listing showing up in Google Search is shown below.
Another place where you can create a business profile is Bing. To drive traffic to your business, leverage as many sources as possible.
Facebook is the largest social media platform used in the world. It has 2.85 billion active users worldwide.
Facebook can be a critical source of traffic. Many businesses are shifting towards it. Hence, create a Facebook Business Page and fill in all the relevant information about your business. You may also use your page to engage with your audience by posting videos, photos, posts, and other content.
2. Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a set of tactics that bring your business in line with Google’s ranking algorithm. You should optimize for local SEO for local users to find you on the internet.
The SEO can be divided into two types:
- On-page optimization, which includes optimizing the content on the page to make it relevant to certain keywords.
- Add your business location to specific places on your website. For example, use location on meta description and page title.
- Use relevant keywords and correct language to attract the right audience.
- Use tools like Google trends and see which keywords are more popular in a certain location.
- Create high-quality content regularly.
2. Off-page optimization, which includes using social media for link building and public relations for backlinks. Off-page optimization requires active participation in various online communities and networking, to create a strong online reputation in search engines.
Understanding how people search for your product or service is an important part of SEO. Learn what keywords people use to find you and make sure your website’s content meets those needs.
If your business ranks high in search results, it is essentially being promoted for you by Google to those who are looking for what you have to offer.
3. Paid Advertising or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Paid online advertising is one of the key strategies in any marketing campaign. With SEM, the paid advertising, your posts appear in sponsored areas in search engines. The benefits of paid online advertising include exposure to a larger customer base, increased exposure to your brand, and higher click-through rates on ads.
You can use zip codes or geographic regions to choose specific locations, to target local audiences. However, it’s not just about choosing a specific location. When it comes to local advertising, you’ll need to produce content that speaks to your target audience in their language. Choosing the right keywords and the right language can attract the local audience.
However, it is important to remember that there are many different types of paid ad content, that can lead to success – such as Google AdWords campaigns and Facebook Ads campaigns. There are also several other platforms such as Bing Ads which can be used for this purpose.
You can check out this Neil Patel blog to get an idea about how to get started with paid internet advertising.
4. Create an eCommerce Website
Setting up a website for your business is a great idea. You can also make it a lot easier for people to find your products if they know the name of your business and type in the URL of your site.
The top benefits of having an eCommerce website are:
- It’s simple, you don’t need any technical skills to start selling online
- You can add different payment options
These days there are numerous platforms available that make creating an eCommerce website much easier and affordable. Simply create an account on one of these platforms and personalize your online retail store.
The following are some of the popular platforms for creating an eCommerce website:
- Big Cartel
- Magento Commerce
- Weebly and more.
Create a free WordPress website, and install any of the above to turn it into an eCommerce store.
At Indicus Infotech, we provide website development services and help companies successfully run their eCommerce stores. You can also check out our training courses on the website and eCommerce development.
5. Create Content Related to Your Business
Generating content for your business is an important part of any business today. As of the start of 2021, 81.8 percent of internet users carry out online searches for a product or service to purchase.
There are many aspects of your business that you can start generating content on. Even if you are new to content marketing. Some of the content that can be generated are Blogs, Infographics, Freebies, Videos, Tutorials, Case Studies, Webinars, and more.
- A business blog with posts on the latest trends in your industry. You can publish this on your company website or distribute it to other websites also for generating more traffic. Even if you don’t have a website, you can publish blogs on a variety of popular and free blogging services (for example; Medium, Blogger.com, etc.)
- Live webinars where people can attend for free. This will help you generate leads and showcase your expertise to them;
- Product demonstration videos that show how a product is used properly and can be shared on various platforms like YouTube or Facebook at no cost;
- Industry-specific social media pages where you post insider information related to the industry
6. Promote Your Local Business on Social Media
A significant and effective way to promote your local business for free is through social media. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Reddit are some of the popular social media platforms.
These platforms work great in finding prospects, who can then be converted into leads, customers, and brand promoters. On social media you can inform people about any business changes, changes in the schedules, as well as any events or discounts, offers for the customers. However, it is best to prepare a social media strategy to get the best results.
Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your local business. One of the best channels for this type of marketing is YouTube. You can demonstrate your product, make educational videos, tutorials, or how-to videos on YouTube channels.
You may also include videos in your blog posts to improve their SEO value. YouTube is very popular and therefore, very competitive. Some of the other video platforms that can be used to promote your local business are Vimeo, Dailymotion, and Twitch, etc. You may also create short videos on Instagram Reels.
There are many social media management tools, that make it easier to manage multiple platforms. Some of the user-friendly and cost-effective tools are Hootsuite and Buffer etc.
No matter which social media platform you use, your content should be relevant to your local audiences. Being engaged on social media can benefit your search engine ranking. Local audiences will be able to locate you more easily if you are more involved online.
7. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is becoming one of the most popular ways of promotion. Find influencers/celebrities within your niche and partner with them. Influencers have a great social media following, you can reach a large, relevant audience by having your business recognized or featured by one of them. This method allows your business to be more humanized.
Approach them with a specific request and offer something of equal value in return. Follow them across all their social media platforms, like, comment, and share their posts to warm them before you connect with them. In return for freebies or VIP experience, they may agree to promote your business.
8. Email Marketing
Email Marketing is still one of the most effective marketing strategies.
To promote your local business, you may use a segmented email list to design campaigns specifically targeted to your local audience. Having an email list is one of the ways to keep your customers engaged. Make sure your emails deliver value to your audience.
To encourage people to subscribe to your email list, you may offer them one time discount or other incentives. Or you can collect email addresses to send them rewards and exclusive deals if you have a customer loyalty program.
There are several email marketing tools, such as MailChimp, HubSpot, Sender, Omnisend, Benchmark Email, etc.
9. List Business on online directories
You must list your business on local directories. They contain all the relevant information on the local businesses.
Some of the local directories in India are:
Some of the other local directories are:
- Yellow pages
- Nextdoor etc.
You can choose to list in the online directories that are more appropriate for your business or industry. Make sure you keep the data consistent on all of them. Having a different phone number or a website address or showing different hours of operation on different directories could be confusing for your audience. If they feel confused, they may decide not to consider your company.
The users look at reviews on the online directories, to make a decision about their purchase. Therefore, make sure your local directories include reviews. If your business is on the local directories and the reviews, it makes it easier for people to find you and helps your SEO rankings as well.
Conclusion: Today, digital marketing is the new norm to promote your business. By implementing some or all of the above strategies correctly, you will surely see positive results. If you would like any further assistance with promoting your business online, you may contact us to discuss your options.