What is Local Marketing?

What is Local Marketing?
Corin Tomasello

You may have heard of geofencing, or possibly even hyperlocal marketing. But today, I want to share a bit of what local marketing is and what it means for your small business.It’s all about convenience, as evidenced by the increase in online shopping, so few local companies draw in customers who live further than a short drive away.

In Tampa even, I’ve noticed it’s rare that my South Tampa friends will venture out to Carrollwood (about a 20 minute drive). It’s necessary that smaller businesses engage in more targeted solutions to reach the customers who will come time and time again and eventually be loyal advocates who help spread word about the business in the surrounding neighborhood.

That’s where local marketing comes in. Local marketing (also known as community marketing) is targeted to that local population rather than taking on mass market appeal. This marketing strategy works great for retail stores, realtors, gyms, and restaurants.

Local marketing involves contacting buyers through direct mail, ads in the local paper, community events, team sponsorships, and more. The goal is to be seen as heavily involved in the community so they attract new clientele bases on building a big presence in their local area.

Here are the components to keep in mind for a good local marketing strategy:

  • Prospective Customers: focus on the local population within 10 miles/10 minutes of your business
  • Competition: communicate and engage other businesses within 10 miles/10 minutes of these consumers’ homes. Offer specials for their clients or employees for example.
  • Your business features: talk about the location, atmosphere, your immediate neighbors, ease and types of access, etc.

Remember, the standard radius of influence is about 10 miles, but could be even less than that in more urban areas, where local traffic and neighborhood density is much higher.

Want one thing you can do right now? If your business is on Yelp, review your Yelp categories.

On Yelp, when prospective buyers search those queries where your ads appear are completely determined by the categories you choose when you created your business profile. Your organic listing also is influenced by your chosen Yelp categories. Think about the different ways people may find your business. Say you’re a cycling exercise club, try expanding your primary keyword, “Cycling Classes,” and add “Fitness & Instruction” as a category to see if it will help your organic search results in Yelp.

Additionally, Yelp results tend to be on the first page of Google’s search results, so getting your Yelp categories in check can have an immediate impact your traffic and potential leads.

Not on Yelp? Build guides for local activities & promote those on your social media networks.

This is a great way to target your local audience! Instead of content that only talks about yourself or are for the benefit of specific keywords, build guides that are for the benefit of your target audience. This local marketing content strategy helps build your brand and shows you as knowledgeable about your community.

Even with small budgets you can promote your local business and your content on Facebook and impact your companies reach in the area where it matters most-your community.

You want to focus on content that your customers will find useful. Let’s say you own a local hair salon, you could use ideas like this:

  • Dates Ideas for Under $20 in (your city)
  • (Your city) Best Brunch Spots You Must Try This Weekend
  • 10+ Dog Trails in (your city/county)
  • Our Picks for the Top Clothing Boutiques in (your city)
  • The Ultimate Guide to Wineries in (your county)

But these topics have nothing to do with hair! No they don’t, but they are things your salon clients care about and maybe they want to go show that new hairdo off on a date or out with friends, or have a new outfit to complement their new style, or they (like me) love their pet and you can throw in hairstyle ideas to look great on your walk or pro tips to beat the Tampa heat.

These guides help you create a local brand and engagement with other business owners in your community so let them know what you’re up to. Perhaps you can get some cross promotion going that’s mutually beneficial to your marketing strategy!

What is Community Marketing?

Community marketing (or local marketing) puts the emphasis on trying to reach customers and loyal customer advocates. People like to shop and eat near their homes; because it’s more convenient. We all have our local “mental maps” of the area, with our favorite restaurants and stores that come quickly to mind. We develop habits around these maps (the pizza place you always go to, your favorite bar, etc.) which lead to a great deal of repeat business.

Local marketing allows you to develop a repeat customer base in the immediate vicinity of your business's location. But the caveat is businesses are always changing with new ones coming in, some closing, or some moving to new locations. It’s important that you develop a smart local marketing strategy to break into the frame of mind in your community where your customers live or work.

I would highly recommend you add this key component to your marketing efforts in order to reach the locals who will routinely visit your business and become your brand advocates. Need help? Contact Charisma Communications Tampa marketing firm! (see what we did there?)