Businesses tend to think of their digital marketing campaign as separate from their local marketing strategy – and that’s a mistake. Local SEO should be an essential part of your digital marketing strategy. Successfully targeting your local area requires more than just a little advertising.
Don’t neglect the importance of marketing online to get more customers into your doors. Try one (or all!) of these five tips to improve your local digital marketing strategy.
1. Invest Resources in Social Media Engagement
Businesses have many tools available at their disposal to win over more customers. Social media advertising is worthy of its own tutorial. The good news is, you don’t have to know it all today. For now, here is what your business needs to know about using it to boost your engagement.
- Social media is one of the easiest ways to engage with current customers and reach out to new ones. There are nearly 5 billion active users on social media accounts, the average person has 7.6 social media accounts and spends a whopping 142 minutes perusing them every day!
- Social media advertising is cost-effective. Compared to other types of traditional media advertising, you can reach a more targeted customer (those more likely to convert) at a lower price point.
- Social media advertising works. Statistically, a person is more likely to make a purchase from sponsored articles or content compared to a banner ad simply due to repeated exposure.
Businesses have a few options available to them when it comes to social media advertising:
- YouTube Commercials
Commercials on YouTube can help you reach your target audience. Search Engine Optimization experts call them one of the most effective forms of paid advertising because they can use the search history of the user to direct them to your commercial. This is preferable to other avenues, such as Google Ads, since it delivers a message to an already engaged audience at a fraction of the cost of Google’s ad service (read: a better return on investment for your small business).
- Facebook Ads
Businesses of all sizes use Facebook advertisements as part of their SEO strategy. Creating a target audience in Facebook Ads is incredibly easy to do by your chosen location. Keep in mind, however, that Facebook ads require an optimized sales funnel to be successful.
If you don’t know your intended target audience, you could be wasting opportunities for conversion and your marketing dollars along with it. To mitigate this risk, make sure to test your funnels on smaller segments of your audience to assess the efficacy of your campaigns before diving in and spending large amounts of your marketing spend.
Instagram can provide an effective (and free!) place to connect with customers in your own backyard by using location tags and hashtags. Using Instagram, you can also connect with influencers in your area and offer them free products or services in exchange for reviews or posts about them. Instagram provides an opportunity to make authentic connections with those in your community and even connect with other small businesses in your digital space.
2. Implement Local SEO Strategies With Your Digital Strategy
Engaging with your target audience through social media will naturally boost your SEO, but don’t neglect the importance of making your business easier to find through local SEO tactics. Help your business rank better for your area by listing your business in local directories (i.e. Google My Business, Yelp), filling out each profile completely. This simple action will cost you nothing but time and can deliver a serious return on investment by landing your business website on the first page of Google search results.
Remember that the higher your page ranks, the more visibility your business will get, and the better the chances of catching the virtual eye of local customers.
3. Leverage Content Marketing for Local Businesses
In addition to simple local SEO strategies and social media advertising, content marketing can also help local businesses connect with their current and potential customers. At its most basic, content is the act of putting written media – such as articles, blog posts, and infographics – on your website to drive more traffic to it. For example, if you run a medical spa in Palo Alto, having blogs that relate to skincare, commonly treated medical conditions, and treatments can help drive more local traffic to your site.
For content marketing to be effective, it is essential to have a good grip on your target audience and what they are looking for. This allows you to create optimized content with keywords that will naturally bring visitors to your site based on their search queries.
4. Be Consistent With Email Marketing
Some people disregard email marketing, but it can be a great way to get current customers back into your doors and even increase your conversion rate. In fact, email marketing can be up to 40 times more effective than social media marketing. You can leverage a number of different tactics to engage with your customers via email marketing.
For example, if your business is a brick and mortar store, take email addresses at check out so you can connect with customers later to tell them about specials or new products. You can also connect with new customers by participating in town events and joining your local Chamber of Commerce or small business association.
Building an email list gives you access to your audience –both current customers and prospects. When you have thousands of followers on Facebook, there is no guarantee that they will see or engage with your posts. On top of that, social media platforms constantly change their algorithms, so you have no idea how wide-ranging your posts actually are.
An email list, on the other hand, gives you complete control over what your audience sees. Never discount the power of an email marketing campaign as part of your effective sales funnel.
Use an email list to create and sustain a meaningful relationship with your customers. Send them engaging content that speaks to their interests. It’s easy to automate your email marketing using tools like Constant Contact or MailChimp.
Using these tools, you can additionally segment your audience and send more targeted content to each user, making the most of your effects.
5. Increase Conversions with Lead Magnets
Businesses can benefit from the creation of lead magnets to increase conversions. A lead magnet is usually some type of incentives – such as a free download, PDF, or eBook – that works to capture your target’s personal information and email address for future advertising opportunities. A lead magnet provides immediate value to your customer, which is why they are willing to fill out a form in exchange for it.
How do you develop a compelling lead magnet? First, identify your target audience and their pain points, then provide a compelling yet simple solution to them. The information you provide in a lead magnet should be useful and help usher them down your sales funnel.
A Final Word About Digital Marketing
The most important thing to understand about digital marketing, especially at a local level, is that it is not static. To be the effect it must be both dynamic and constantly evolving. Businesses cannot get complacent with their digital marketing efforts.
Consistently deliver value to your target audience and they will reward you with likes, shares, conversions, and even purchases. Through social media engagement, local SEO strategies, email marketing, content marketing, and lead magnets, you can improve your business visibility online and garner new customers where you need them most – in the local community in which you live and work.
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