Today, many business owners focus on social media advertising for the wrong reasons. It’s important to create a profile online to connect with your customers, and the most successful businesses will use their platforms to engage with locals. Remember that your content should highlight why your business is vital in your community instead of trying to make it big on a national stage.
A huge following has its perks, but you’re trying to attract customers at the end of the day. If you focus too much of your energy on attracting influencers three states away, you may miss out on the folks and families in your neighborhood.
Where you can, make sure to adopt smart, local advertising. Hosting community events and getting your face out in front of your brand may seem daunting, but these kinds of things are sure to bring in new fans.
Read on for some of our best local advertising strategies and how to customize your online advertising to target customers in your area.
Create a Loyalty Program
The best way to reward locals is to create a loyalty program they can cash in on. While this will incentivize their returning business, it’s also a great way to learn more about your customers.
Most will happily provide an email and address when they sign up for a rewards account, both of which can tell you a lot about where you should be advertising.
Once you collect plenty of zip codes, you can get a better sense of where you should be advertising. With this information, you can plan a mailer campaign to hit your customers’ zip codes to attract their neighbors and new, similar customers. You can also use this information to plan where you want to launch different local strategies like events or grocery store advertising campaigns.
Grocery Store Advertising
Many small businesses continue to use grocery store advertising today because it is a powerful means of hyper-local targeting. Most stores pull their customers in from just a three-mile radius of the store and attract consumers who end up visiting 1-3 times a week. Running a supermarket advertisement through campaigns like coupon-receipt advertising means every single shopper will walk out of the store with your ad. With thousands of visitors returning each week, your ad is sure to see some serious repetition and build thousands of local impressions.
Once you have a better sense of where your customers live, you can try to find the right store to launch your supermarket advertisement. Remember that the strongest grocery store advertising campaigns will also impart a local feel to your advertising, so it’s essential to align your brand with a store you trust.
Create Local Listings
If your business isn’t listed on Google, it will be much more difficult for customers to find you. Google Local Listings are one of the main ways customers find a business’s address, hours, and website, so you should create, claim, or verify your local listings today.
Even if you think your website is enough to get you found, remember that most customers aren’t going to search your business’s exact name. Instead of searching “Los Hermanos Restaurant,” they’re more likely to search “Mexican Restaurants” or “Food Near Me.”
Your website won’t necessarily show up in these results, but your local listing will appear both on the main search results page — and in Google Maps, on Yelp, and iPhone Maps. Check out our guide here on how to set up your local listings.
Advertise With Local News Sites
No matter where you live, there’s probably a local news site you trust over any other source. Whether it’s your go-to for seasonal information, events, or sports in your area, chances are your community is turning to it too. Here, it’s important to take advantage of your own “insider information” and try to reach out to your favorite local news station.
By aligning your brand with their coverage, you’re sure to attract new customers who will appreciate your efforts to support a local news team.
Moreover, recent trends show that more Americans are turning to local news outlets for their daily news. To cash in on the trend, you should look into “display advertising” with your favorite source. This method allows you to easily run your ads as banners or tiles on a webpage and includes links in each ad so consumers can click through to your website.
Best of all, when you advertise with a local news source, you know you’re sure to attract customers who live in your area, so be sure to look into this method.
Run Local Google Ads
Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with the term “Pay Per Click” (PPC) ads because you’ve definitely seen them. Whenever you run a Google Search, there are usually two to three results at the top of the page — some of which may seem irrelevant to your search. These appear at the top of your search results because brands have paid to do so, and while it can be costly to run a national campaign — there are a few hacks for locals to take advantage of.
Once you start using Google Ads, you can enable local extensions to target your advertising. This means that instead of showing up at the top of search results for “Mexican Restaurants” nationwide, you can show up at the top of local searches. This medium is a terrific way to generate buzz around your business and stand out against the competition.
Host an Event
The best way to reach your community is in real life. Try to find ways to get involved with local organizations or sponsor a sports team to get your brand out in front of the right fans.
When consumers can align you and your branding with their interests, they’re more likely to trust and try your business. Above all, it’s a great way to impart a positive feel to all your efforts and make sure you’re engaging with your community in the moments that matter.