You already know that local marketing is the name of the game if you want to grow your business. The challenge – especially during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic – is choosing practical local marketing tactics that can help you without breaking the bank.
I hear you. So, without further ado, here are 10 of the most practical and affordable local marketing ideas I know.
#1: Fine-Tune Your Yelp Categories
Just to be clear, we are NOT fans of Yelp for your business but for some, Yelp is the gold standard of crowd review sites for a reason. When your customers search for reviews in your area, Yelp pages are likely to appear at or near the top of Google’s SERP.
The best way to make sure your business makes an appearance is to check out your Yelp categories and make sure they’re an accurate reflection of your business. For example, if you own a hair salon that specializes in hair extensions, then you should add the Hair Extensions category to your Yelp page. You can find a full list of Yelp categories here.
#2: Reach Out to Clients Who Are Active on Yelp for Reviews
Don’t rush into this one – seriously. Keep reading. If you don’t handle asking for reviews the right way, Yelp could filter them out and put them into the “Not Recommended” category (one of the reasons we’re not Yelp fans).
Here’s what to do to reach out to your customers on Yelp:
- Use the “Find Friends” option on Yelp ONLY to identify customers who use Yelp. Do not use it to request reviews.
- Don’t send out an email blast asking for reviews. Do only a few at a time.
- Reach out on email or Facebook to ask for reviews.
- Don’t send a direct link to your Yelp page. Instead, ask them to Google “Your Business + Yelp” and click the Google link to get to your page.
- Don’t ask customers to review you from your place of business. They should do it after they leave.
Doing any of the things I’ve warned against here may result in your reviews getting filtered by Yelp. So, take your time and be patient. A few reviews at a time will help you improve your overall rating.
#3: Remarket to Existing Customers to Generate Reviews
Yelp isn’t the only place that your customers can go to leave reviews. You can always email customers to ask for reviews, but a more hand-off approach is to use remarketing to remind them that they haven’t reviewed your business yet.
The easiest way to accomplish this task is to get a remarketing code for the URL you think should trigger reviews. Or Google can even create a remarketing ad for you.
If you decide to try this option, keep the text of your ad simple. Something like, “Love us? Leave a review on Facebook, Google or Yelp!”
#4: Promote Your Testimonials on Social Media
Speaking of reviews, you want your positive feedback to be something that potential customers see. That’s why you should be highlighting your testimonials on Facebook.
I recommend asking your customers for video testimonials. They take only a few minutes to record and video content gets much higher engagement on Facebook than written content. You don’t need to spend much, either – you should only be promoting to people in your service area.
#5: Target Your Local Audience on Facebook
Facebook’s algorithms prioritize personal connections over business content. That means if you want your most important content to be seen by your target audience, you’ll need to promote your content.
My suggestion is to choose one of two Ad Objectives:
- Brand awareness
Promote your most compelling and relevant content. Make sure to target people who live near your business for the best results.
#6: Build Separate Landing Pages for Each Marketing Campaign
Every marketing campaign you run should have its own landing page. The pages don’t need to be complicated, but each should include:
- A hero image
- Relevant content that answers your customers’ most common questions
- A clear call to action
- A clickable contact number
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be sending people to a generic page when you can create a specific one in just a few minutes.
#7: Use Facebook for Local Brand Awareness
If people in your area don’t know about you, they’re not going to think of your business when they have a need for your products or services. It’s that simple.
To run a brand awareness campaign, choose “Brand Awareness” from Facebook’s list of ad objectives. Then, target a local audience. You don’t need to spend much – just a few dollars a day may be enough to build awareness.
#8: Create Guides for Local Activities
A lot of people make it a priority to patronize local businesses. One way to emphasize that your business is local is to create guides for local events and activities.
Of course, the guides you create should also be relevant to your business. For example, if you own a sporting goods store, you could highlight local hiking trails or beaches for swimming. Once you’ve created the guide, you can promote it on Facebook.
#9: Use Call-Only Ads
If your business relies heavily on phone calls to get leads, then one of the best tools in your arsenal is the call-only ads. These ads highlight your phone number, making it easy for people to get in touch.
You should know that call-only ads generally apply only to mobile advertising. You’ll need compelling ad copy. Your phone number will be clickable, so that people who see your ad can dial you with the touch of a finger.
#10: Create Local Service Area Hubs
Do you have more than one service area or business location? One of the easiest ways to improve your local SEO and get more customers is to create local service area hubs on your website.
An easy way to do it is to use your site’s architecture. Set up a general location page. Then, create content about each location. If you’ve got multiple locations in some areas, you can set it up like this:
Each location should have its own page that uses local keywords and images. That way, people will know where they can find you.
Local marketing doesn’t need to be expensive. The 10 ideas we’ve listed here will help you make the most of your local marketing budget and grow your business.