How to Build a Local Marketing Strategy
Simply put, local marketing is changing. Here is how to build a local marketing strategy your customers are actually looking for.
Local Marketing Today
Local intent marketing is where it’s at; the how in your customer searches for information.
In 2019, smartphones surpassed all other avenues for local business discovery. When they’re searching for a business, the most common information given is:
- Business Listings (Name, Address, Phone Number, etc.)
- This is often referred to as “NAP Info” which is crucial to have 100% accurate across ALL relevant business directories.
- Content (Photos, Menus, Reviews, Inventory, etc.)
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Did you know?
76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within 24 hours?
Simply put, there are more avenues than ever in how people search and conduct business in 2019, and going into 2020. No one is just looking at a business’ website alone anymore.
Multi-location businesses are especially at risk. If multi-location businesses do not curate and optimize their presence on relevant platforms, do they even exist?
In other words, the customer purchase intent starts with a business’s online profile and business directory. All business owners, including us, need to start thinking in terms of intent marketing.
Intent marketing is quite simple, actually.
Curate and optimize relevant content to what and how the customer is searching for said content.
Meet your customers where and how they’re searching. This means maintaining accurate information across all relevant digital platforms. Additionally, look to these platforms as your primary business drivers.
When done right, local marketing or local intent marketing goes into a four-phase cycle.
Presence refers to your online presence. It is the most basic information customers find when searching for a local business. This is done via typed or voice search, map apps, social media, or review sites.
Keep in mind, the information discovered must be 100% accurate to one another on all platforms. Otherwise, one digital on platform Z will throw everything off for platforms A – Y.
Information such as business name, address, phone number(s) must be 100% accurate; often referred to as your “NAP Info”.
If you’re like me, you get irked when the information you find on a review site or other “discovery site” is incorrect. Information like an incorrect phone number or driving to the wrong address. This creates a negative emotional impact on the business, in most cases.
It may be tedious to keep information accurate across all “discovery sites”, especially when holiday hours are included.
Create a Google Sheet or some kind of document showing all the sites your company is listed in. Make it easier to track so it’s less time consuming and tedious.
The second phase of local intent marketing is content.
This refers to content such as user-generated content (UGC): photos, product inventory tied to your Google My Business (GMB) listing, Facebook page content, and more.
Other content, like blog content focused on your local audience, can have a dramatic impact on your local marketing strategy as well.
We’re all guilty of judging a business based on its photos, Facebook page content, or even blog content. Usually, these are “snap judgments” we’re making. Reviews are another key component in that as well.
The fact is, many customers start (and end) their purchasing journey with content and reviews.
We recommend creating not only a routine content schedule but high-quality, relevant photos & content that attract and engage your desired customers.
Many local businesses lose out on many conversion opportunities due to this simple objective.
Insights refer to the data pulled from tracking software or by other means. The objective is analyzing how your business’ presence is across various platforms.
These insights include:
- The practice of tracking how customers engage with your business profiles across media channels.
- The impact this has on your organic search rankings, customer inquiries, and acquisition.
If your foot traffic suddenly dips, look to these insights to determine if it came from a negative review or something else.
Analyze your competitors’ profiles and their listings. See what they’re doing that is getting more web and/or foot traffic, and optimize your listings even better.
You have the foundation to ensure customers are finding accurate information. And they’re finding it everywhere your customers might happen to begin their purchase intent.
Now, you need to focus on reputation management.
Reputation Management is a long and tedious process. So much so, many local businesses outsource it. Managing and responding to reviews across all of your discovery sites can be daunting. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be.
Remember that Google Sheet I mentioned? Use the same sheet to track it all. If you don’t want to do that, get in touch with us today!
Fun fact: even large corporations struggle with conducting reputation management themselves – they outsource it.
Even the largest fast-food chain in the United States (with 25,000+ locations), requires reputation management for each listing. These listings include their individual Google My Business listings, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and so much more.
Always respond to both positive and negative reviews professionally and with grace.
In short, you’ll need to factor in all four of these phases into your local marketing or local intent marketing strategy.
Local marketing, no matter if you’re a retailer, a restaurant, or a service-based business, the challenges are all the same.
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At Four Peaks SEO, we can help implement all four of these phases for you so you can get back to doing what you love: running your business.