Your five-step guide to nailing local marketing

Heather Jennings
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
OPTUS

It’s time to make a marketing plan that reaches and engages your local community.

As a small business your primary customer base is comprised of those who live nearby, so it’s important to execute marketing that targets the community.

Here are some top tips on how to successfully market your business locally.

Get out on the ground

Engaging with your community at events and in the media can drum up great PR that costs next to nothing.

Set up a stall at the next community fete or festival to meet people and build relationships.

Also, look out for speaking opportunities – this could be at the local chamber of commerce, rotary club or charity fundraiser.

Entering business awards is another way to gain credibility for your company.

Become friendly with your local newspaper and radio station and let them know you’re available to speak on issues affecting the community.

Build your online presence

It’s important to have a credible online presence to build trust among potential customers.

Do you have a functional website? Content management systems like WordPress make it easy for those with limited technical knowledge to build one from scratch.

To expand your online presence, list your business in local directories such as the White Pages, True Local and Google+.

Encourage customers to write reviews of your business on these listings and also on social platforms like Yelp and Facebook.

Don’t forget social media – but avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, if your target market is 18 to 29 year olds, consider focusing more on platforms such as Tumblr, Twitter or Instagram.

Engaging with your community at events and in the media can drum up great PR that costs next to nothing.

Send out e-newsletters

Developing an e-newsletter campaign is a great way to keep customers engaged and drive traffic to your website.

Keep the content informative and helpful – try writing top 10 lists, industry news or comment pieces on local issues and upcoming events.

Free email marketing services such as MailChimp let you send emails out to up to 2,000 subscribers per month.

Run competitions

Launching a competition is a smart way to gain new customers and doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Set up a hassle-free competition such as a photo contest on Instagram or an easy ‘tell us in 25 words or less game of skill.

Collaborate with peers

Form an alliance with other local businesses you are not in direct competition with and agree to cross-promote each other’s services.

This is a great way to expand your customer base and reach new people you may not have otherwise come across.

Heather Jennings

Heather Jennings is a Sydney-based journalist who writes about technology, finance and business for publishers including ninemsn, Yahoo7 and Thomson Reuters.

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Are you a small business owner hoping to boost your marketing efforts? Nominate your business to be in the running to win the $15,000 ‘Big Ups’ Marketing Grant thanks to Optus.

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