There are at least two misconceptions about online marketing:
- if a business does not trade online, it is thought, then there is no need for an online marketing strategy;
- online marketing is essentially pitched at the national – if not international – level, and has little role to play in targeting your local market.
Neither of these are accurate – online marketing has a role to play for any business and may be effectively deployed at the local level.
Here are a few marketing ideas for you to discuss with the website design company helping to build your online presence
- a free resource is social media, much of which is locally oriented – links from your own Facebook page, for instance, might be made to other local businesses and organisations, with “likes” helping to swell the number of potential customers for you to identify and follow-up;
- opportunities for following-up also arise with customers you have already won over – whether you make a sale on- or offline, remember to take an email address and to advertise your own web address, so that you can advise existing customers of the latest additions to your line of goods and services, along with any special promotions or discounts you are running;
- a great way of making and sustaining a local marketing drive is to include a blog on your website – blogs tend to be naturally suited to local content, but once you have started, remember to keep the blog going and thoroughly up to date;
- remember the saying “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” – reciprocal links to and from other, related businesses in your local area may soon swell the ranks of potential customers familiar with your name and business activities, to everyone’s mutual benefit;
- invite customers to leave their reviews, endorsements and testimonials on your website – if these are written and submitted by customers who live locally, it helps to reinforce and underline the authenticity of the feedback;
- wherever you are based, there is already likely to exist an online ad directory – classified advertising in these directories is often completely free of charge and therefore represents a very cost-effective way of reaching your local target market;
- newsletters work just as effectively online as they do through the post – with perhaps even greater impact since they are so readily accessed (and that is without the cost and time saving benefits associated with snail mail).
Local online marketing – just as with any other kind of marketing – is likely to rely on a host of different tactics and strategies. One of the keys to success might lie in the way you mix and match a combination of different approaches to cast your net as widely as possible within your target area. By using flair and imagination in the way that the various elements of your marketing campaign are integrated into a coherent whole, you may capture local interest and a faithful local following.