As a local SMB, your location can pack a major punch. Thanks to smartphones, consumers are constantly carrying around little location-tracking devices in their pockets—and are becoming a lot more lax about sharing their data. Cue location-based marketing.
Location-based marketing allows for the on-the-go nature of today’s consumers. Depending on the location of the consumer, companies can make certain assumptions about their habits and preferences, and use targeted messages adapted to those particular factors. The ability to make your marketing efforts more personalized to consumers and to target consumers who are already looking for you means increased business.
What was once something only big-name brands could afford, consumer location data is available for even the smallest local business to make use of, thanks to tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc. Proximity is everything. Being aware of where your target clients are is a unique opportunity that can give you a leg up on your competition.
Are you making the most of these opportunities? Here are four easy ways to use your location to your advantage:
Location-based ad buys on social media sites
It doesn’t get much simpler than this: create location-specific content and push it to people in that area or category. This could be targeting a city, a downtown area, a university, a shopping center, or any “location” where you think your consumers would be looking for you.
Most social platforms offer user-friendly advertising tools that will help you target the specific locations, clients, and demographics you are hoping to reach. (Major bonus: advertising on social media is much cheaper than on search engines!) Depending on your business goals, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube all have something a little different to offer. If you’re not sure where to start, we’d recommend you try boosting your Facebook posts.
This technique is especially great for multi-location businesses. If you serve clients from coast to coast, there’s a good chance an ad about beating the winter blues wouldn’t perform as well in California as it might in Maine. Unlike national campaigns, location-specific ad buys can use more personalized content, images, and even language.
However, if you’re only using your location to your advantage in paid advertising, you’re missing some major opportunities.
Location-targeted SEO efforts
Website content, blogs, social posts, hashtags, engagement, and more can and should be targeted to specific locations. When you are researching the keywords you want to focus on in your SEO efforts, don’t forget to include the names of the cities, counties, and areas you serve.
Though the bulk of this location-targeted content will be on your company website, don’t forget about using the keywords you find on social media too. Here are some ideas of how to direct your SEO efforts across the web:
- A location-focused page for each city or area you serve
- Sponsoring local events or working with local charities and then blogging or posting about it
- Including location-based hashtags in your social posts
- Sharing local recommendations and tagging other local businesses
Playing to your location is great, but did you know you can get even more specific?
The definition of local business is that you provide services or goods to a specific local population (or multiple if you have more than one location). You probably serve a county, city, or town. Hyperlocal content gets, even more, nitty-gritty and targets a particular locale. While you might not want to dedicate an entire page on your website to a specific to a local hang out, it’s worthwhile to consider using a hyperlocal focus on social posts, blogs, or video content you share.
So, where do your potential clients hang? If you own a dog grooming business, you could share a post with your favorite local dog parks. If you’re a moving company, you could post a series of tips for students moving at the nearby university. If you run a restaurant, you could post a video interviewing people walking around the strip mall where your restaurant is located. Hyperlocal content is content that thinks like your customer.
Location-based directory sites
Location-based directory sites are key to expanding your online footprint. We’re talking the big ones like Google+, Yelp, Apple Maps, Bing, and Yahoo, and the more specific directories like Zomato for restaurants, Avvo for lawyers, and Angie’s List for home services.
In order to make sure that you are taking advantage of this opportunity, there are a few things you need to do. First, establish a presence on the directories that apply to your business. Second, ensure that your business name, address, phone number, and URL are consistent throughout your various listings. Last, share your profiles with your clients and ask for reviews. Consistency and reviews are important signals to search engines and users alike.
If you have multiple locations, you need a separate listing for each location or address to reap the full benefits from this opportunity. If you work in a practice, firm, or agency, you should also have a personal listing under your name separate from the agency’s main listing, even if you share the same address.
How do you keep track of it all? At LoSoMo we a platform called Yext to manage your main directory listings. We do all the hard work (like tracking down duplicates or updating your phone number) for you.
Running a local business comes with a unique set of possibilities and challenges. Though there is a myriad of possibilities, LoSoMo has mastered just how to leverage your location to your advantage.