There are very few marketing or advertising platforms that have a reach as vast as the internet. A potential customer in New Zealand can see a paid social ad for a jewelry maker in Wichita. But the internet also has a lot of power to reach and communicate with customers down the street. In fact, 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases, and local mobile searches lead 50% of users to visit stores within one day.
Your local paper and community events are certainly not the only way to market locally. Here are a few tips for how to attract online engagement from customers and prospects in your area.
Hyper-Target Locals with Content
According to Josh Hoffman, social media marketing expert, when you can precisely target a group of people in one given area—in addition to other relevant data points, such as specific demographics (age range, gender, etc.) or interests (a specific TV show, a similar brand, etc.)—with relatable content, you have a much better chance of earning the two most prevalent forms of currency in the digital age: your ideal customer’s time and attention.
The key is to make sure your digital media efforts contain content that is specific enough to reach your local customers. Using keywords is one surefire way to achieve this.
Make sure the keywords you use aren’t too general, in order to ensure the audience you’re reaching is one that can ultimately convert to sales.
Undertake some keyword research to understand search trends and the level of competition for a specific term before creating content. Incorporate keywords into your website copy, page titles and social media hashtags. This SEMrush article about on-site SEO shares all the specific places keywords should be present on a webpage. Make sure the keywords you use aren’t too general, in order to ensure the audience you’re reaching is one that can ultimately convert to sales.
When choosing keywords using AdWords, Google offers a few guidelines:
- Think like a customer—what would they search to find your business?
- Be as specific as possible. For example, instead of “dress store,” your keyword should be “luxury dress store Denver” to reflect the type of dress store, and its location. Being more general would not help with location-specific paid media.
- Make sure your landing page fulfills expectations of the keywords you’re targeting for, to achieve best results. If customers are confused, they may abandon your website before taking the desired action.
Make sure your landing page fulfills expectations of the keywords you’re targeting for, to achieve best results.
To illustrate this with a simple example, let’s take a chef-owned-and-operated restaurant. The chef posts a digital ad using Google AdWords, focusing on lunchtime specials, and uses keywords including town name or neighborhood, cuisine and the term “lunch special.” The ad leads to a landing page that showcases specials, with some additional copy about the dishes or the chef’s philosophy. The landing page includes a phone number/link to make a reservation or order.
You might also consider a paid AdWords campaign. With a paid AdWords campaign, you are buying a spot at the top of a Google search results page, based on the keywords you select. If you want to truly understand how this platform works, consider devoting a weekend to Google’s free AdWords Certification program. As a result, you’ll make more informed choices when setting up ads, ensuring marketing spend isn’t wasted on irrelevant keywords.
Hope Bertram, the social media marketing expert from Digital Megaphone, advises that small business owners should be sure to pay by clicks vs. impressions, when given the option. After all, clicks indicate intent. Impressions are the most basic marketing metric and don’t necessarily result in conversions.
Give Paid Digital Media Efforts a Boost
Hoffman specifically recommends Facebook for location-based paid media because location is a key algorithm for their user search results. However, Instagram is proving to be an effective marketing tool as well. In fact, 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post. The social media platform recently launched Instagram Business, a feature that allows companies to create business profiles, access analytics and create ads from posts directly within the app.
When using Instagram for organic or paid marketing, you should first research the platform to hone in on what users in your area are likely to post about by using the check-in tool and create a list of commonly used location-related hashtags.
While leveraging Google AdWords and social media tags is extremely helpful when you are creating a local marketing strategy, it helps to reach out and personally engage with local customers in real time to get an understanding of the types of posts and ads they may respond to.Print this article