In today’s competitive business world, it is important to develop a successful local marketing campaign.
A local marketing campaign is a targeted advertising strategy to reach customers within a defined geographic area.
A successful local marketing campaign should have five key elements in order to ensure that the desired outcome is achieved. It is also essential to consider that local marketing campaigns can be different from general marketing strategies.
With a local marketing campaign, you are focusing on one geographic area instead of the entire country or world.
This guide will outline five key elements you need for any successful local marketing campaign:
- Local Listing Management
- Local SEO
- Local Landing Pages
- Online Reputation Management
- Paid Social Media
1. Local Listing Management
The core element of every successful local marketing campaign is by having a consistent, accurate, and clean business listing.
Including its name, address, phone number (NAP), website, and operating hours.
Unfortunately, not many small business owners know how important it is, nor how a citation works for their businesses.
What Do Citations Mean?
Citations are online references that feature the business’ name, address, phone number, and other elements such as website and store hours.
Every mention is vital in determining your rankings in search engines as well as your business’s findability.
Minor discrepancies and inaccuracies in your business name (“Simply Be Found LLC” vs. “Simply Be Found Inc”) can cost your online visibility score and impacts your business negatively.
If you think these minor issues only affect small businesses and would not cause harm, think again.
Many big corporations lose a massive sums of money every year due to online listings mishap and flawed local SEO plan.
Minor inaccuracies affect the credibility of a local business causing local buyers to turn away and look for a more trusted local business.
If you do not know where to begin, start by claiming your local listings in search engines, online directories, and social media pages.
Most often than not, these online listings already set up your business listings without your knowledge. Wonder how they make that happened? Through scraping the web or they purchased from those data providers.
Unclaimed listings can negatively impact your business because it provides outdated business information, which also means published information is not updated.
For example, a customer contacts you through a phone number you no longer use. The chances are that the customer will think that you are no longer in business and will look for somewhere else instead.
In order to prevent it from happening, you must search, claim and verify all your listings.
Once verified as the actual owner, you will be given direct access and full control over your information, content, and updates.
Local Listing management can be an invaluable tool for businesses to manage their listings across multiple channels and provide detailed reports.
How to Maintain Your Business Listings
One of the most important points when maintaining your business listings is to make sure that you have much accurate information on the front page of your website, including:
- Business Descriptions
- Business Categories
- Business Attributes
- Type of Products and Services Provided
- Coupons / Discounts / Vouchers
- Payment Method Accepted
Having consistent, correct, and up-to-date business information and data help drive customer traffic, increase search engine rankings and achieve higher visibility to more customers.
Once you have claimed, verified, and corrected your key information, the work does not stop there.
You must also be active in monitoring and keep your customers engage and updated with your business.
If you want to get the maximum result, your listing must be distributed to 20-30 leading search engines, web directories, and social media platforms.
The listing accuracy should be around 95% to ensure searchers can easily find your business when they look for it over the web.
The good news is, you do not have to manually input your business data to dozens of these search engines, online directories, listing agencies, and social media networks—most of the LMS providers have done it on your behalf. But the individual distribution to each network can vary depending on one another.
What is an LMS Provider?
LMS stands for a Learning Management System software designed to create, distribute, manage and deliver educational content. It can be a standalone or a cloud-based platform hosted by a software firm.
2. Local SEO
Reality speaking, Local SEO is already a part of our business life. Your business could not climb up the ladder to compete in your local area without integrating local SEO in your local marketing campaigns.
Before we dive deeper into how local SEO helps our local marketing campaigns succeed, let us first define what local SEO means.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO stands for a local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy that helps your small business become more visible in online search results in your local area. In other words, it allows you to get more customers by appearing on the front page when a customer search with a keyword.
Online searches match these customers and connect them to the closest business based on their search history, location, and browsing activity.
Local SEO in Your Local Marketing Campaign
Like local listing management, it also needs accurate, well-defined, and consistent business information to improve your search engine rankings.
Online search engines are picky when it comes to delivering relevant results to searchers. Before they connect you with a potential customer, they will need to determine your credibility and business accuracy.
Users’ location and keywords also play a vital role in getting your business found and ranking higher.
Google continues to update its API (Application Programming Interface) to provide a more efficient SEO, making the competition much strict and challenging.
So, how do you incorporate local SEO in your local marketing plan?
Local SEO is a localized SEO strategy. Meaning, you must optimize your business listing depending on your location.
Here are some ways on how to localize your SEO.
- Include City and State Names on Your Title Tags
- Localize Meta Description Optimization. Include your brand name, product categories, and focus keywords in a 160 characters description.
- Localize Your Schema Markup. Include your local business name, address, and phone number.
- Localize URL. Include the city or street name with your product categories.
- Localize On-Page Business Content. Include your business hours, driving directions, and localized business description (with a city, state, or street name together with your product categories.)
In order to see results with your local SEO efforts, you must include all location data. It consists of any location data changes such as new store location, store closings or migration, change in business hours, holiday hours, etc.
Local SEO and local listing management are closely related because all your business information must be accurate, complete, and consistent as this data is fed to Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs). Search engines cross-verify their data with IYP data to see if it is a trusted and verified data, resulting in a higher search engine ranking.
3. Local Landing Pages
After learning how important your business information and making it localize to maximize your local SEO efforts, let us now move on with another critical element of a successful marketing campaign. Establishing a mobile-friendly landing page.
Appearing on the front page is not enough to attract more customers; it must also be fast and efficient to use.
Mobile phone users take over the search engines as compared to desktop users. So, it is a must to have your website appear mobile-user friendly and easy to navigate.
Your local landing pages must catch the limited attention of these consumers. It must streamline your local marketing and SEO efforts. It should also provide a powerful and persuasive copy that is not too salesy.
Things to Remember for a Successful Local Landing Page:
- Simple and easy to navigate
- Must feature your business name, address, phone number, products/services, business hours, and a photo of your storefront.
- Fast loading speed.
- Each page must have title tags, descriptive schema markup, which sends your business information to the search engine.
- Incorporate a trackable local phone number and active email address to make it easier for customers to contact you.
- Link sites with a customer review, such as Facebook and other industry-relevant sites.
- Must also include a driving direction to your brick-and-mortar business to drive customer traffic.
- Product inventory/feeds must be responsively designed for mobile users. All products must have a number of corresponding stocks or real-time product inventory for your customers to view.
4. Online Reputation Management
Online reputation management focuses on your online presence performance based on user-generated reviews and ratings that influence the purchasing decision of a potential consumer.
Customer reviews and testimonials are a huge factor in attracting more customers to your business. The same goes for ranking higher into the local search engines.
Search engines weigh the frequency, review count, score (ratings) in determining whether your business deserves to be on the front page or not.
The better reviews you get, the higher you rank in the local search results; the more customers you attract.
Customer reviews are inexpensive yet the most compelling local marketing strategy you can use to drive new customers and retain existing customers.
How to Generate More Reviews?
The best way to generate more positive reviews is to provide excellent customer service and ask them to write a review regarding their experience with your place of business.
When you ask for a favor like this, it is vital to make it simple and easy to do. For example, include a widget or a button on your email that offers one-click access in writing a review.
As more small businesses strive to generate more positive reviews, it is crucial to ensure that all your customer reviews are authentic and unbiased.
A lot of consumers read reviews before purchasing; most of them know if the reviews are “too good to be true.” which leaves your business untrustworthy.
The same goes for negative reviews. It is entirely normal to have a negative review. No matter how hard you try, you cannot stop unwanted circumstances from happening. The best way to manage it is by addressing the issue and turn their experiences into positive ones.
To know more about how you can respond to your negative reviews appropriately, read respond to negative reviews in 4 easy steps.
5. Local Paid Social Media
The last key element but not the least, is through paid local search and social media.
There are three core components of a sound digital marketing strategy:
Most marketers use these social media networks to target localized customers through different social media metrics.
You can also leverage your local marketing campaign by customizing personal messages that are user-generated to promote information or local marketing campaigns such as “flash-sales.”
Suppose everything is done well, congrats! You are a step ahead of your competition.
But if you are looking to establish a strong online presence and want your business to grow over time, you must further elevate your local marketing campaign.
A successful local marketing campaign needs in-depth research, a targeted audience, and an effective game plan based on accurate reports and metrics.
You must also incorporate all these 5 key elements to ensure effectiveness and efficiency. The problem is, not all small business owners have extra time to do these things nor have additional staffing.
Having support from professional business owners and a practical playbook that will not take much of their time is what they needed.
With Simply Be Found, you do not have to download complex software or learn intricate processes. Just like the name stated, it helps you get your business found online in the easiest way possible.
Simply Be Found provides an All-In-One advertising tool and playbook to help you set up and optimize your small business to success.
We have designed an interactive Local SEO Playbook for business owners and managers just like you. All it takes is an hour a week, with comprehensive, simple, and straightforward Local SEO strategies that you can do in 4 hours on less per month on an average.
To learn and discover more about the benefits of our All-In-One Advertising Tool and Local SEO playbook for local businesses, visit Simply Be Found.