As a local business owner that caters to an audience in a geographical area, it’s important that they understand the benefits of local marketing so there’s more awareness as to why they need to adopt it for their business.
This article is aimed at local business owners or marketing agency owners who want to target local businesses. Once you’ve looked at the benefits, do explore the various local marketing strategies that you can adopt for the business.
What is local business marketing?
Local business marketing refers to any techniques used to promote a business in a specific geographical area. In other words, it targets an audience who are based within a certain radius of the business’ physical location – generally based on a reasonable driving distance – who are likely to visit the store or use its services.
Local marketing has been around for many years. In fact, there were days when you had to pick up a phone book to find a business in the area if you were looking for a particular product or service.
However, there are now several local marketing strategies that are now evolved into promoting these businesses online. This was especially true after the COVID-19 pandemic affected several local businesses.
Who is local marketing for?
Local marketing is for businesses that provide a product or service that can benefit the population within a specific geographical area where the business is located. Any local business that intends to promote their services or products to an audience from a specific geographical location can benefit from local marketing.
A local business that is confined to a particular geographical area is more likely to find it difficult to compete directly with larger companies in a different area.
As such, they would need to adopt local marketing strategies that are designed to attract a new set of customers by showcasing the business’ services as a business specialty in the area.
These strategies can be adopted either online or in person. Though there are many strategies to choose from, the right strategy would largely depend on the type of services provided, market size, the locality and demography of the target market.
For example, a boutique beauty salon that is just starting up may try to focus on providing their services to a population that is close to their physical location. As such, the local marketing strategies should align to attract this segment within the specific area.
As much as many businesses would aspire to serve as many locations as possible, there are certain limitations that certain businesses might face. Instead, a more localized marketing approach may be a more feasible option.
Examples of businesses that need to adopt local marketing
As discussed above, there are certain types of business that can benefit more from local marketing than others given the nature of its operations.
For example, restaurants are locked into its physical location and as such is a good example of a type of business that can benefit from local marketing strategies.
Another good example are physical retail stores that can benefit from foot traffic and local brand awareness campaigns. This is especially applicable for small, boutique retail stores that often see themselves competing with larger chains.
Similarly, most professional service providers such as tradesmen, lawyers, accountants and dentists (to name a few) should also adopt local marketing strategies for their business. Given the nature of their services, it is important that they connect with a local audience. In other words, if the service provider can largely benefit from an in-person consultation, they are going to need local marketing services.
Why is local marketing important?
Let’s first illustrate the importance of local marketing in numbers:
- 97% of search engine users looked for information on local businesses online (Source: SEO Tribunal)
- 92% of searchers select businesses on the first page of local search results.
- 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchases (Source: SEO Tribunal)
- Approximately 46% of all Google searches have to do with location (Source: Safari Digital)
As you can see above, numbers speak for themselves!
Also, most local businesses work on a limited budget especially when they’re just starting up. Therefore, A central part of any marketing strategy is to invest in the business efficiently. Digital marketing can be an effective tool for businesses of all sizes, but a local audience might not be possible without the right strategy.
For example, some local companies have a strong online presence and are able to target any audience with a national digital campaign. Others, however, may find that it is hard to get noticed on the web if they do not have a strategic presence in their local area.
Benefits of local marketing
We looked at different types of businesses that can benefit from local marketing at varying levels. Whether you are a local business owner or a local marketing agency owner who wants to communicate the benefits of local marketing, the list below will highlight some of them.
Improves conversion rates
By targeting a specific geographic area, the local business likely to attract a well defined audience that is in close proximity to the business. The traffic that is coming into the website will be more targeted and are more likely to take the desired action, i.e. make a phone call, book an enquiry etc. This will lead to better conversion rates and a lower cost of acquisition.
Increase acquisition and retention rate
By choosing a local marketing strategy, the business will be able to send across the right message to reach and retain the local customers. This is a huge benefit as the business will be able to engage with the ideal clients and deliver an exceptional experience in order to make them advocates for the brand.
Faster market penetration
Local marketing gives the business a way to adapt to its clients’ needs as it can be active in the areas close to the customers. This allows it to reach potential clients more effectively through local advertising and presence, and it permits it to target specific groups of people and easily understand their habits and preferences.
Better awareness and brand loyalty
With a local strategy, the local business will develop highly relevant content for the clients. The business will have a deep knowledge of their needs, thereby offering them customized advice that suits their tastes, trends, events, and other topics that are relevant to the area served.
Provides a better competitive edge
Local marketing allows the business to differentiate from direct competition. It also helps by locating other businesses and customers nearby, improving the business’ brand awareness and recognition. Local marketing also helps placing the business over direct competitors especially if listings the Google Business Profile is optimized.
Better networking opportunities with local partners
Partnering with businesses that complement the business’ core offering can be a huge benefit. The business can engage with local brands that are easily recognized by the local community and having the business name in front of these brands can be a big advantage. This is however only possible through a local marketing strategy.
To fully realize the benefits of local marketing, it’s important that the business has the right strategy in place. As noted above, not all of them will work equally well. From defining the audience, creating the offer, driving traffic, optimizing the website and converting them into taking action, the entire process needs to be well refined.
The ultimate objective of it all is to ensure that the business’ online presence is fully optimized to increase the chances of grabbing a potential customer and also helping improve local search rankings.