10 Killer Local Marketing Ideas to Try
Local marketing is a must, but if you’re like most local business owners, you’ve probably caught yourself thinking something like this:
I feel like I’m doing everything I can – why is my local marketing not delivering the results I want?
It’s a good question. After all, local marketing has a lot of moving parts. You’ve got to think about SEO, content marketing, social media and PPC ads – it’s a lot for anybody to handle.
The real key to effective local marketing is knowing what ideas are worth pursuing and which ones aren’t. Here are 10 killer local marketing ideas that can have a serious impact on your profits.
#1: Master the Art of Locational Marketing on Facebook
You should always be marketing your business to your local audience on Facebook. Increasingly, consumers are turning to Facebook for information about businesses. There are two types of ads that can help you:
- Brand awareness
- Website clicks
Starting with brand awareness can help you break down barriers and prime your local audience to visit you. Following up with a website click promotion will capitalize on your brand awareness campaign and help you attract new customers.
#2: Revisit Your Yelp Categories
You know that reviews are important – and Yelp has a huge SEO advantage. One of the best ways to boost your visibility online is to make sure that you’re using the right categories on Yelp.
A lot of local businesses choose their categories without giving them much thought. Go back and look at them – and keep your most important keywords in mind. Choose categories that highlight your capabilities and keywords and you’ll get more organic traffic from Google.
#3: Build Unique Landing Pages for Every Campaign
It might seem like a lot of work to build a unique landing page for every marketing campaign you run, but you can do it quickly using a tool like Unbounce. The benefit is that you’ll be sure that every click you get on an ad will lead people to a page that’s selling exactly what you’re advertising.
Conversion is an art and a science. The easier it is for people to draw a line between your ad and your call to action, the higher the chances that they’ll convert. Make it simple and you’ll see an increase in sales as a result.
#4: Use Remarketing Ads to Get Reviews
A huge majority of consumers rely on reviews to make buying decisions. The trick is getting your existing customers to review your business.
One way to do it is to set up a simple remarketing ad for people who buy from you or fill out a form on your website. Try a headline that says, “Happy with your purchase? Leave us a review on Google+, Yelp, or Facebook!” Not every customer will respond – but some will, and every positive review you get will help increase your visibility and credibility.
#5: Create Guides for Local Activities Related to Your Brand
Local marketing is all about embracing where you are – and helping your customers to do the same thing. For that reason, it makes sense to create a local guide for an activity that is likely to appeal to your target audience.
For example, if you sell cooking equipment, you might create a guide to local farms. Or, you could create a guide to hiking trails if you sell outdoor equipment. The key is to marry your local knowledge to your brand to give your followers something they can use.
#6: Automate Responses to Your Twitter Mentions
Social mentions can have a big impact on how your brand is perceived. One way to maximize that impact is to automate responses to your mentions on Twitter.
A tool I like is Zapier, which allows business owners to set up triggers that send out instant responses when someone mentions their company. It gives an instant boost to your engagement and makes the people who mention you feel valued.
#7: Use Third-Person Ad Copy
Sometimes, online advertising can seem like a relentless wall of noise. Everybody – including your competitors – is out there shouting about how wonderful they are. If you want to get through to your audience, you’ve got to stand out.
One way to do it is to use a third-person voice in your ads. For example, you might pull a line from a testimonial and use it as your headline. “Hiring ABC Company is the best choice I ever made” is a headline that will grab attention and use the power of social proof to bring you leads.
#8: Use Radius Location Targeting on AdWords
Targeting your ads on Google AdWords is really an art form. By using their radius location targeting, you can maximize the chances that your ad will be seen by the people who are most likely to buy from you.
In AdWords, set up a series of radius targets so that your store looks like the center of a bullseye. Then, evaluate your data and adjust your local bids accordingly. Doing this can make a huge difference in your ads’ performance.
#9: Mention the Distance to Your Store in Mobile Ads
The chances are good that more people are seeing your ads on mobile devices than on computers. Since that’s the case, it makes sense to play up your local connection by including the distance from your store in your mobile ads on Google.
It’s easy to do. Simply use the Google Search Console to find new ad groups in your area. Then, add your zip code to your headline and see how easy it is to steal clicks from your competitors.
#10: Add Storefront Pictures to Your Ads
As a consumer, you’ve probably driven by local businesses many times without going inside. One easy way to entice people to come see you is to add a photograph of the front of your store to your ads.
Seeing a photo will trigger a, “Hey, I’ve seen that place!” response from your audience. It’s a simple, inexpensive trick that can entice people to stop and visit you instead of driving past.
Don’t waste your time on ideas that don’t work…
Stop guessing which marketing ideas are worth trying. These 10 simple local marketing tricks can make a huge difference when it comes to attracting customers and growing your business.
Boost Business with These 7 Tools You Probably Haven’t Heard Of
A great artist may have vision and talent, but to bring a vision to life, the artist needs the right tools. That’s as true of painting as it is of marketing. And while a true artist should never blame tools for a job poorly done, the truth is that the wrong tools can have a negative impact on their work.
Your social media tools aren’t getting the job done.
You might think you have the latest and greatest – and maybe your social media game is on point. But that said, I’m willing to bet that there are a few great tools that you haven’t heard about. Using them can help you take your social media marketing campaigns to a new level.
Here they are.
#1: Meet Edgar
Facebook’s algorithm changes have upped the ante for business pages. It was already a challenge to get organic reach with your posts and now it’s harder than ever. Even if you post regularly, you still run the risk that your best content will disappear because it simply isn’t seen by your target audience.
Meet Edgar is a social scheduling app that can rescue your disappearing posts and give them new life by re-sharing them. You may already be doing that – but here’s what’s special about Meet Edgar.
- It allows you to save your social media posts into a database, so they can easily be reshared – no more scrolling down your page to find a post
- It can pull items from your RSS feed, including blog posts, and add them to your social media library
- It categorizes your content to make it easy to find
- It reposts content automatically to ensure it is seen by your audience
Meet Edgar is a paid tool that works for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Good social media management means posting a combination of original and curated content. Finding curated content to share with your audience can be time-consuming. Quuu can help.
Quuu is a social media content curation tool. It will monitor the categories you choose – there are over 500 to choose from – and send you up to 6 content suggestions per day. If you opt for the Free or Amazing Plans (their words, not mine), the curated content will be posted automatically unless you delete it from the queue. Choosing the corporate plan gives you the option to approve content before it gets posted.
Maintaining a Twitter account for your business requires regular posting and staying on top of the trends and hashtags that are relevant to your location. Trendsmap is a tool that can help you do the latter.
Trendsmap helps businesses get past the national and global hashtag and find the specific local trends and hashtags that are most likely to appeal to your followers. Users can click and zoom on a map interface to see the trending topics in any .
You can then click on a trending topic to get additional information and see what people are saying about it. They have multiple plans available starting as low as $25 per month.
Visual content gets more engagement on social media than written content, and yet it can be difficult for people who aren’t designers to create the kind of visually compelling posts that will appeal to their followers.
Canva is an incredibly versatile design tool that’s free – and perfect for social media. They have thousands of templates that you can choose from.
You can also use their library of images, colors, and fonts to customize your posts. If you opt for their free plan you’ll need to pay for photos, but their paid plan gives you access to the full library plus additional storage and other features.
Facebook and Instagram advertising can help you grow your business, but it can also be time-consuming to manage. AdEspresso injects a shot of caffeine into the proceedings and speeds up the process.
AdEspresso is an ad management tool created by HootSuite. It gives users a dashboard from which they can manage all of their Facebook and Instagram ads.
You can ad tags to your campaigns to make it easier to find them, shortcut the ad creation process, and even split test your campaigns to maximize your conversions. They offer a free trial period and business plans starting at $49 per month.
One of the hardest things for any business to do is to convert a lead into a paying customer. It’s an expensive endeavor and one that requires an ongoing commitment and lead nurturing strategy.
PushEngage is a tool that makes it simple to send push notifications on any browser. That means you can engage with potential customers who have abandoned a shopping cart.
You’ll get automatic trigger notifications based on the triggers you specify, giving you the power to engage with users at the perfect moment to make a sale. They offer a free trial and business plans starting at $29 per month.
#7: Mobile Monkey
Chatbots are the future of marketing – and the future is here. If your business isn’t using a Facebook chatbot yet, it’s time to get started.
Mobile Monkey is a tool that will help you build a chatbot for Facebook Messenger in as little as five minutes. They offer an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface that means you don’t need any technical or programming experience to create a bot.
They have a huge library of chatbot widgets, including images, text, and even emoji. They have a free plan as well as more comprehensive business plans starting at $42 per month.
An artist is only as good as the tools they use…
…and the 7 social media marketing tools I’ve listed here can help you elevate your social media game, attract new followers, and increase your profits.
Getting people to engage with your social media content is a must. By giving yourself the tools you need, you can ensure that you get the engagement you need to grow your business.
Is Your Website Optimization Getting the Job Done?
Your Google ranking is undeniably important. In fact, research shows that more than half of Google’s traffic goes to the top three ranked websites, and approximately three-quarters of the traffic goes to sites listed on the first page of search results. How do they get on that first page? Here’s the secret:
Their sites are optimized to ensure that they get there.
I’m sure you already known about Search Engine Optimization, but a lot of local businesses are, quite simply, not getting the job done. They’re focusing on outdated (read: keyword-centered) SEO methods, or else they’ve designed their own websites and missed out on some key opportunities to improve their Google rank.
That stops now. In this post, I’ll walk you through the must-have optimization techniques that will help your website get the lion’s share of traffic for your keywords.
Coding Tips for Optimization
You’re probably not an expert programmer, but with today’s easy-to-use site-building tools, you don’t need to be. However, that doesn’t mean that you can afford to ignore some basic coding issues on your website.
Metadata is the first coding issue to address. Metadata includes two things: your title tag and meta description. Both items appear on Google’s SERP, so you need to get them right.
Let’s start with the title tag. Ideally, you want as much of your title as possible to appear on Google. If you shoot for a title tag that’s fewer than 60 characters. (Technically, it’s 600 pixels but that’s a little harder to measure.)
Your title tag should contain your most important keyword as close as possible to the beginning of the title. After that, think about your audience and write a title that’s likely to appeal to them.
The meta description is longer, usually about 155 characters including spaces. Its job is to provide a concise and compelling description of your page. It’s important to have a unique meta description for each page of your website, including blog entries.
Here again, use important keywords but don’t overdo it. You want to give readers a clear idea of what your page is about to make them want to choose your site over the others that are available.
Next, you’ll want to make sure to include Schema markup on your site. Schema is a collaborative effort by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Yandex. It’s designed to let search engines (and users) know what your website is all about.
For example, a reference to the word “avatar” might refer to:
- A web ID that represents a user
- The animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender or the film of the same name
- The James Cameron film Avatar
Schema code provides context for the language you use on your site. Using it properly will ensure that your site displays properly and that the information you put on it can be understood.
The final coding issue to consider is the crawlability of your site. Google and other search engines send out bots to “crawl” your site – meaning that they check its navigability. Broken links and other issues can make it difficult or impossible for search engines to index your site properly and that can affect your search rank.
You can manually check your site and make sure to repair or remove broken links. You may also want to use a tool like RankSider to check your site’s crawlability.
Your Site’s Content and Optimization
When it comes to getting to the top of Google, your site’s structure and content has a lot to do with where you end up. While you can design your site to your liking, there are certain things you need to have if you want your site to do well.
- Global headers and footers will ensure that whatever page a user lands on, they’ll be able to find your home page and get basic information about your company. Your headers and footers should include basic information like your phone number, email address, and social follow buttons. The footer should also have hotlinks to the most important pages on your site.
- The About Us page may not contain a ton of keywords, but your site needs to have an awesome one to let people know who you are and what you do.
- The Contact Us page should let people know all the ways they can get in touch with you. That means you’ll need to include your address, phone number, email address, social pages, and directions to your office or store.
- Each service you provide should be on a dedicated page. Putting all your services on one page limits your SEO impact. You can target more keywords, both in your content and your metadata, if you give each service its own page.
- Finally, your site MUST be mobile-friendly. Ideally, you should use a template that’s mobile responsive and will adjust itself to display on any mobile device.
Including these five things on your site will maximize your SEO and ensure that Google’s algorithms give you the rank you deserve.
Web Design and Content
The design of your website might not play a direct role in SEO, but people will be more likely to visit (and revisit) your site if it looks good. That means that you’ll need to have:
- A simple but memorable logo.
- Compelling images that let people know what you do (and how you do it). Ideally, you should have original (not stock) images.
- High-quality video.
- Compelling written content that sounds natural, has a high degree of readability, and uses keywords and LSI artfully. You don’t want your content to be overly repetitive. It should be easy to read and use plenty of white space.
- Social share buttons make it easy for visitors to your site to share your content with their followers.
- A click-to-call button is ideal if you want to make it simple for mobile customers to call you.
- Reviews and testimonials are important. Having a live feed of your Yelp reviews might slow down your site, but you can put links to your pages on key review sites on your testimonial page.
Some companies add additional bells and whistles, but you don’t need to – and your site’s loading speed may be impacted by extras. Keeping it simple is the best way to attract traffic and engage the people who visit your site.
SEO is about more than keywords…
Your site may have qualities and pages that we haven’t listed here, but these are the basics. Doing a quick audit of your site can reveal opportunities for improvement – and make a big difference in your Google placement.
Your Facebook Marketing is Missing the Boat with Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z
You might be a Facebook marketing whiz. You’ve got targeting down, you create compelling posts to share with your followers, and you can curate content like nobody’s business. But guess what?
If you’re not tailoring your content to the generation of your audience, you’re missing the boat.
Wondering why? It’s because members of Generation X, Millennials, and Gen Z use Facebook in different ways. There’s no one approach that will work for all of them. That means you’ve got to know your audience and then customize your approach to ensure that you’re reaching them.
Marketing to Generation X
Let’s start with Generation X. The people in Gen X were born between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s. They’re sometimes referred to as the Latchkey Generation and they’re sandwiched between the Baby Boomers and Millennials.
Nearly two-thirds of Gen Xers say that Facebook is their preferred social media site. Just about half of them follow brands on social media, and following a brand is a precursor to making a purchase. That means that your Gen X followers are primed to buy. You just need to give them a reason to do it.
The key is knowing why they follow you. 58% of Gen Xers follow brands because they want to get information about sales and promotions. In other words, if part of your target audience is in Generation X, you can engage them by offering them special deals, coupons, and promotions.
What does that mean in practical terms? You can target your Facebook promotions by age, so you might run an ad with a coupon and target it to people in your area between the ages of 39 and 53. You can add additional targeting options based on your audience’s interests, as well.
Generation X has a huge amount of buying power. They’re gainfully employed and doing well – but that doesn’t mean that they want to spend more than they need to. Keep that in mind when you’re marketing to them.
Marketing to Millennials
Millennials are a different breed than Gen Xers. Millennials were born between 1980 and the late 1990s/early 2000s. In other words, they’re between the ages of 18 and 38. Facebook is still their most-used social site, but they also spend a lot of time on Instagram and Snapchat.
Millennials are the first generation of digital natives, which means they’ve seen it all when it comes to online content. They’re far more likely to share viral content like memes and GIFs than Gen Xers are. Millennials want to be entertained, so the content you create should be informative and entertaining. Examples might be how-to videos, behind the scenes tours, and things of that nature.
The most important defining characteristic of Millennials when it comes to marketing is that they are inherently distrustful of content that’s created by brands and of sponsored content in general. They’re far more likely to put their trust in user-generated content (UGC) and online reviews than on anything you say about yourself.
The solution is to encourage your followers to create content on your behalf. A good example is Starbucks’ White Cup campaign on Instagram, which asked followers to decorate plain white cups and post pictures of them. They had to use Starbucks’ special tag to enter the contest, which gave Starbucks the opportunity to share that content with its followers.
Here again, it’s a good idea to create a targeted ad campaign that is directed at Millennials. By choosing the right content to promote or making an ad that will appeal to your Millennial followers, you’ll increase your chances of reaching them. It’s also a good idea to time your Millennial-targeted posts for when they’re most likely to be online: between 8 PM and midnight.
Keep in mind that Millennials now make up the majority of the work force in the United States and have a ton of buying power. You should allocate your Facebook advertising budget accordingly.
Marketing to Generation Z
Generation Z is the generation of young people born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, although there’s some disagreement about the start and end years. There’s some overlap with Millennials.
When it comes to social media use, Gen Z has a lot in common with Millennials. They use Facebook but also spend a lot of time on Instagram and Snapchat. Where they differ is in the type of content they prefer to see.
The first thing you need to know about Gen Z is that their attention spans are notoriously short. Where Millennials might watch a long video, Gen Z is more likely to engage if your video content appeals to them instantly – in about 8 seconds or less.
Another key concern of Generation Z is community involvement and charity work. While this issue has been a focus of articles about marketing to Millennials, it’s even more important when marketing to Gen Z. These are young people who want to use social media to change the world – and they want to support businesses that take a real interest in helping others.
You can reach Gen Z by creating short, snappy videos with relatable actors in them. You don’t want anybody who seems phony. Filming your staff wrapping up donations for a local non-profit would be a great way to engage with them. Likewise, flash sales and things that require immediate action can help you grab their attention.
Keep in mind that Gen Z is still young – but they’re the up-an-coming generation. Right now they might be spending their parents’ money, but in a few years they’ll have their own. If you can hook them now, you’ll be in great shape when they come of age.
Targeting your ads by age might seem like a lot of work…
… but it doesn’t necessarily require you to spend more money than you already are. Understanding generational differences – and providing the kind of content that will appeal to your customers of every age – will maximize the chances that you’ll be able to convert followers into paying customers.
5 Killer Ways to Amp Up Your Local Marketing
Local marketing isn’t easy.
No kidding, right?
Marketing a local, brick-and-mortar company requires a mix of online and in-person marketing. You need to be thinking about how to connect with current and prospective customers on the web, but you can’t afford to forget about local connections and the fact that many of them happen in the real world.
If your marketing isn’t getting the job done right now, it could be because you’re not hitting the right notes with your campaigns. Maybe you feel scattered – or maybe you’re just not sure which strategies should be in your marketing mix.
We get it. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for local marketing, but there are methods that are proven to be effective. Here are five killer ways to get your local marketing on track.
#1: Use Yelp
As you probably know, Yelp is a crowd-review website where users can post reviews of local businesses. The site has become a first stop for consumers – and it’s easy to understand why. 80% of all consumers say that they trust an online review from a stranger as much as they would a recommendation from a friend.
To use Yelp, you’ll need to start by claiming your listing. Once you do that, you can update your profile. You should make sure to:
- Verify your name, address, and telephone number
- Add your store hours
- Add the URL of your website
- Post pictures of your business
Going forward, make sure to monitor your reviews and respond to customer comments and complaints as quickly and professionally as possible. Even a bad review can be a marketing opportunity!
#2: Update Your Local SEO
If it’s been a while since you updated the SEO on your website, then it’s time to revisit it. Why? Because for local businesses, SEO can spell the difference between success and failure.
Local SEO uses keywords that include local words. For example, “children’s clothing boutique” is a general keyword; “Minneapolis children’s clothing boutique” is local.
Using local keywords can help you land a spot in Google’s coveted 3-pack. This is the group of three business listings that appears at the top of each page of local search results. The companies whose listings are in the 3-pack get the lion’s share of the clicks, so you want to be there!
Other aspects of local SEO to update include:
- Getting your company listed in local business directories
- Standardizing your NAP (name, address, phone number) listings anywhere they appear online
- Using local keywords in your URLs if possible
- Adding local keywords to tags on your website
These things all help raise your profile and make it easy for local customers to find you online.
#3: Target Your Ads to Local Customers
Marketing local companies online doesn’t stop with SEO. You can also target your ads on Facebook and Google AdWords, so they display only to local customers.
The benefit of this, of course, is that you pay for advertising based on the number of impressions your ad makes. Narrowing your audience to only local searchers means that you’ll have a better chance of getting the clicks and conversions you want.
Location targeting makes sense. The more carefully and accurately you define your audience, the more new customers you’ll be able to attract. And, you’ll also have an easier time connecting with existing customers!
Google AdWords and Facebook both offer locational targeting, and using it can make a big difference in the success of your marketing campaigns.
#4: Join a Referral Network
You expect to spend some money on marketing and advertising, but wouldn’t we all prefer to get referrals from people who know us? Referrals are free, and they’re likely to be pre-qualified, too. After all, few of us refer a friend to a business unless we know they’re interested in it!
You can look for online referral networks and local networks, as well. It’s possible that your Chamber of Commerce or a local business organization has a working referral network. Checking with online resources may be helpful, too.
Referrals can come from people in similar or related businesses. For example, the owner of a bakery might team up with a party planner to get referrals. These businesses have a lot of overlap, so referrals make sense.
If your area doesn’t have a referral network and you can’t find one online, don’t give up! Instead, start one yourself. Reach out to other businesses in your area and suggest that you might be able to help one another by making referrals.
#5: Combine Your Marketing Efforts with a Neighbor
Sometimes, marketing can be a solitary affair. You might feel that it’s a burden you have to bear on your own – but what if that weren’t the case?
One of the best ways to give your marketing efforts a boost is to pair up with one or more of your business neighbors. Here are a few suggestions:
- You can agree to keep one another’s business cards and brochures on display in your establishment, so your customers can see them
- You can team up to co-sponsor a local event
- You can offer joint promotions (buy something from us, get something from them at 10% off)
- You can offer package deals where you bundle your products together, sell them in both establishments, and share in the profits
These are just a few ideas. Pairing up with one or more local companies is a great way to increase your visibility, attract new customers, and make yourself an indispensable part of the community.
Local Marketing Is a Must…
While the world marketplace is an increasingly global one, many consumers prefer to shop close to home. They understand that buying local products and services supports the community and creates a positive climate for residents and business owners alike.
These five marketing musts can help you shepherd your company to new levels of success in the coming year.