Start by getting to know your audience
Local or not, this one is key. In some way, shape, or form, your customers all have something in common. This could be age, gender, interests, profession – identify what it is and where to find people who fit the bill. If you’re a cake company that only sells to the general public, LinkedIn isn’t going to be the place you find your audience; it’s Instagram and Facebook. The more information you can gather, the better as it will help you in your targeting.
Make a plan to target them
Now that you know who you’re looking for, think about where they spend their time and what they’ll be interested in when they’re on the hunt for a service like yours. From an SEO point of view, we would look into the keywords that are getting searches and make sure that the site delivers the best content. For PPC, we’d make use of the geotargeting tools on Google Ads and Facebook to make sure that our ads only ever showed to people within the right area.
Create relevant local content
Having good quality content ticks every box in a digital marketing strategy. Your customers are on the lookout for information, so your site needs to deliver this. Make sure that the information they need is clear and easy to find. This includes basics, like where your location is and how to find it, as well as longer-form informative detail that will support from an SEO side as well. Your PPC campaign will also benefit from a landing page that’s full of high quality content.
Make use of the PPC tools at your disposal
With its highly targetable audiences, Paid Ads on either Google, Bing, or social media, are a great choice for a local marketer. They offer some useful tools to level up your strategy, such as ‘Call Now’ ads to give audiences a simple contact point, ‘Display Location’ extensions to show local customers exactly where to find you, and location-based bid adjustments to help prioritise your best performing locations. You’ll even be able to schedule your ads around your opening hours to bring customers in at the best time for you.
Make it clear you’re local
Your ad copy and imagery shouldn’t be all sales. It’s a great place to use local knowledge, language, and imagery to endear yourself to the locals reading it. It helps to cement your identity as a local business and forge a quick bond with those in the area.
Don’t forget your Google My Business!
The Google Maps listing is an invaluable tool for any local business. It’s shown to searchers based on their location, and is higher up in the search results than other positions, so gets your business at the top of the page for your most relevant customers. Make sure you optimise your business listing and add regular updates to keep your business at the front and centre.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to any marketing campaign. We would always recommend supporting any of these strategies with ongoing customer and competitor research alongside a closely monitored test-and-measure approach.