Small businesses have significantly fewer resources than large global companies. In fact, we can’t even compare their capabilities. Still, small businesses have every chance of getting ahead of large corporations in the local market. While global giants often take a standardized approach and are oblivious to local specifics, smaller companies can use their immersion to local markets to push even the biggest competitors out. Here are our tips on what you should focus on.
Start with being easy to use
Customers won’t go to you by default as they do with global brands. But unlike large companies, you can be versatile and make your product better every day, and that would not cost you much. If you make your product easy to use, customers will not only come back but also would bring their relatives and friends.
Keep these things in mind:
- Responsive website design. It should look good on any device. According to Hubspot, 88% of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit or call a store within 24 hours. You need those people.
- Download speed. No one would wait long for the page to open.
- A well-performing search. People would not wander through the labyrinths of directories.
- Order convenience. Making an order should take minimum clicks.
Don’t forget local SEO
Local marketing is the process of targeting new customers based on their proximity to your business. If you want to get more customers in your city, use geolocation marketing strategies to advertise them. Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a big part of local marketing.
When not optimizing your website for local search results, you compete with every website on the Internet. Instead, you should compete and win in your local market.
Use local review sites
This is critical for local marketing. Unlike big brands that already have an established reputation, people still know little about your business, so they would definitely check what their neighbours think about you.
In fact, 88% of customers now check at least one review before deciding to work with you. Positive reviews will get you, customers. Claim and complete your Yelp, Foursquare, and Yellow Pages profiles. Find other local directories to update the information.
Geo-targeting on social media
It is nice to have subscribers from all over the world, but you have to admit that most of them will never become your customers if your business is local. Target your ads carefully so that those who can potentially contact you see them.
Geo-targeting is more than just showing your ads to your neighbours. You can be very specific about who you are targeting locally. For example, Facebook has so much data about its users that they can help you target:
- People who live around
- Out-of-town guests
- People traveling in your area
- People who have been to the area recently
Create engaging and valuable content
This tip may seem universal, but it’s actually crucial to keep the local landscape in mind when creating content. Write about what would be interesting for your neighbours to read, and they will consider your business as part of their community.
Such content can also generate some discussion. On social media, discussions always attract more people to your page.
Get involved in local life
Show and prove your connection to the community. Share photos and videos of your brand participating in community events, festivals, and fundraisers. Run a competition with prizes appreciated by locals. Donate time and talent to a local nonprofit organization.
Use geotags. On Instagram and Facebook, you can tag the location, so more locals find your page. Use popular local hashtags.
Invite local influencers
According to Forbes, attracting local influencers is one of the best ways small businesses can promote themselves. Influencer marketing is cooperation with people your target customers love, respect, and trust.
Nationwide, brands turn to big names in the entertainment or sports world. But you have a small business. The huge names are often very expensive, and their reach is much wider than you need to attract local customers.
By narrowing it down to a powerful local celebrity, you will find the right people at a reasonable cost. In some cases, a local influencer might work for a little compensation because they just love your brand.
Track local competitors
Find out who your local competitors are. Analyze them. What are they doing? How do they do it? Make it better.
Use mention tracking software. It scans the Internet for a mention of the brand or the company you specify. If your competitor is active somewhere on the web, you need to be there too.
Most people would like to support local businesses, even if they have to pay a little more. The reasons are different, but mostly it is the trust. They feel like you share their values, such as supporting the same local sports teams. The sense of community often mutes any differences that can divide people. Some people buy in the local market because they understand that keeping money in the area helps develop the local economy. Others may think that they are more likely to get good service when they meet you face to face. Don’t be afraid to look like a small local company. Show that you are connected to your community to earn the trust of local customers in a globalized world.