10 Killer Local Marketing Ideas to Try

10 Killer Local Marketing Ideas to Try

Local marketing is a must, but if you’re like most local business owners, you’ve probably caught yourself thinking something like this:

I feel like I’m doing everything I can – why is my local marketing not delivering the results I want?

It’s a good question. After all, local marketing has a lot of moving parts. You’ve got to think about SEO, content marketing, social media, and PPC ads – it’s a lot for anybody to handle.

The real key to effective local marketing is knowing what ideas are worth pursuing and which ones aren’t. Here are 10 killer local marketing ideas that can have a serious impact on your profits.

#1: Master the Art of Locational Marketing on Facebook

You should always be marketing your business to your local audience on Facebook. Increasingly, consumers are turning to Facebook for information about businesses. There are two types of ads that can help you:

  • Brand awareness
  • Website clicks

Starting with brand awareness can help you break down barriers and prime your local audience to visit you. Following up with a website click promotion will capitalize on your brand awareness campaign and help you attract new customers.

#2: Revisit Your Yelp Categories

You know that reviews are important – and Yelp has a huge SEO advantage. One of the best ways to boost your visibility online is to make sure that you’re using the right categories on Yelp.

A lot of local businesses choose their categories without giving them much thought. Go back and look at them – and keep your most important keywords in mind. Choose categories that highlight your capabilities and keywords and you’ll get more organic traffic from Google.

#3: Build Unique Landing Pages for Every Campaign

It might seem like a lot of work to build a unique landing page for every marketing campaign you run, but you can do it quickly using a tool like Unbounce. The benefit is that you’ll be sure that every click you get on an ad will lead people to a page that’s selling exactly what you’re advertising.
Conversion is an art and a science. The easier it is for people to draw a line between your ad and your call to action, the higher the chances that they’ll convert. Make it simple and you’ll see an increase in sales as a result.

#4: Use Remarketing Ads to Get Reviews

A huge majority of consumers rely on reviews to make buying decisions. The trick is getting your existing customers to review your business.
One way to do it is to set up a simple remarketing ad for people who buy from you or fill out a form on your website. Try a headline that says, “Happy with your purchase? Leave us a review on Google+, Yelp, or Facebook!” Not every customer will respond – but some will and every positive review you get will help increase your visibility and credibility.

#5: Create Guides for Local Activities Related to Your Brand

Local marketing is all about embracing where you are – and helping your customers to do the same thing. For that reason, it makes sense to create a local guide for an activity that is likely to appeal to your target audience.

For example, if you sell cooking equipment, you might create a guide to local farms. Or, you could create a guide to hiking trails if you sell outdoor equipment. The key is to marry your local knowledge to your brand to give your followers something they can use.

#6: Automate Responses to Your Twitter Mentions

Social mentions can have a big impact on how your brand is perceived. One way to maximize that impact is to automate responses to your mentions on Twitter.

A tool I like is Zapier, which allows business owners to set up triggers that send out instant responses when someone mentions their company. It gives an instant boost to your engagement and makes the people who mention you feel valued.

#7: Use Third-Person Ad Copy

Sometimes, online advertising can seem like a relentless wall of noise. Everybody – including your competitors – is out there shouting about how wonderful they are. If you want to get through to your audience, you’ve got to stand out.

One way to do it is to use a third-person voice in your ads. For example, you might pull a line from a testimonial and use it as your headline. “Hiring ABC Company is the best choice I ever made” is a headline that will grab attention and use the power of social proof to bring you leads.

#8: Use Radius Location Targeting on AdWords

Targeting your ads on Google AdWords is really an art form. By using their radius location targeting, you can maximize the chances that your ad will be seen by the people who are most likely to buy from you.

In AdWords, set up a series of radius targets so that your store looks like the center of a bullseye. Then, evaluate your data and adjust your local bids accordingly. Doing this can make a huge difference in your ads’ performance.

#9: Mention the Distance to Your Store in Mobile Ads

The chances are good that more people are seeing your ads on mobile devices than on computers. Since that’s the case, it makes sense to play up your local connection by including the distance from your store in your mobile ads on Google.

It’s easy to do. Simply use the Google Search Console to find new ad groups in your area. Then, add your zip code to your headline and see how easy it is to steal clicks from your competitors.

#10: Add Storefront Pictures to Your Ads

As a consumer, you’ve probably driven by local businesses many times without going inside. One easy way to entice people to come see you is to add a photograph of the front of your store to your ads.

Seeing a photo will trigger a, “Hey, I’ve seen that place!” response from your audience. It’s a simple, inexpensive trick that can entice people to stop and visit you instead of driving past.

Don’t waste your time on ideas that don’t work…

Stop guessing which marketing ideas are worth trying. These 10 simple local marketing tricks can make a huge difference when it comes to attracting customers and growing your business.

5 Irresistible Lead Magnet Ideas for Local Businesses

5 Irresistible Lead Magnet Ideas for Local Businesses

Everybody knows that if you place a magnet close enough to a metal object, the object will be drawn to the magnet without resistance. That’s basic science even though it might seem like magic.

What if you could adapt the principle of magnetism to your business?

The truth is, you can. Lead magnets are commonly used to attract leads. The problem that some local businesses have is that they’re not sure which type of lead magnet will prove to be irresistible to their target audience.

One reason for the confusion is that many of the online resources about creating lead magnets focus on online businesses. Local businesses need to take a different approach. Here are 5 ideas for lead magnets that will help you attract new leads and customers.

#1: The Mini eBook

Our first proven lead magnet idea is the mini eBook. Giving away a book is enticing to consumers because they’re accustomed to paying for books. Getting one for free is exciting and, if you choose your topic wisely, can be enough to get people to fill out a lead form or subscribe to your list.

The key, of course, is choosing a topic that will appeal to the people you want to attract. Here are some suggestions.

  • A book that explains the biggest mistakes people make in an area related to your niche. For example, if you own a CPA firm, your lead magnet might be about the most common mistakes people make on their tax returns. The idea is to help your target audience in a concrete way.
  • On a related note, you might try a book that explains things not to do or things to avoid. A pet store might have an eBook that explains the 10 things you should never do when house training a puppy.
  • The third option is to focus on the things your customers should be doing – in other words, to give them tips, hacks, or training advice. An example might be a kitchen supply store giving away an eBook that gives readers tips to perfect their baking skills or create the perfect dinner party.

The idea here is to put together a short book – 10 or 15 pages is sufficient, although you can write a longer book if you choose – that provides such obvious value to your target audience that they won’t be able to resist it.

#2: The Checklist

The next option is very quick to create and can be useful to your customers. Checklists are one-page items that are designed to help your target audience complete a task or get organized.

Here are a few examples of the kinds of things that make for interesting checklists:

  • Packing list for students leaving for college
  • Checklist for spring cleaning a house
  • A checklist that lists the steps to prepare and plant a garden
  • A how-to guide for preparing a car to go into long-term storage

These are just a few ideas. The key is to focus your checklist on one task or area and then create something that is both functional and beautiful. Some local businesses give out laminated checklists (or mail them to leads), while others may choose to create a printable checklist.

#3: The Resource Guide

Resource guides can be sort of a hybrid between an eBook and a checklist. It’s always helpful to provide your audience with something they can put to practical use – and a resource guide does precisely that.

Your resource guide might be focused on a service you provide. A party planner might include a list of local caterers and other related service providers in their resource guide.

You might also provide a list of resources to help your clients do something. A tax attorney might put together a list of online resources that includes links to the IRS website and other resources to help clients prepare to file their taxes.

#4: Case Study

What if your business is service-based? If that’s the case, you may want to consider creating a detailed case study as your lead magnet.

A case study isn’t actionable the same way an eBook or checklist might be, but it can be the ideal way to illustrate the value you can provide to your clients.

For example, a wedding planner might create a case study that demonstrates her ability to organize a beautiful wedding on a shoestring budget. An accounting firm might do a case study explaining how they saved a client thousands of dollars in taxes.

Here, your goal should be to show yourself and your business in the best light possible. Your case study doesn’t need to be long, but it should be something that’s designed to appeal to the audience you want to attract.

#5: Free Coupon/Discount

We’ve saved our least complex lead magnet for last. Everybody loves to get something for a discount (or for free!) and offering a free coupon or discount is a proven way to attract leads.

Of course, you can get creative with this option, too. Here are some suggestions:

  • Offer something complimentary to get new customers in the door in return for an email address.
  • Create a birthday club and send subscribers a free gift on their birthdays every year (Sephora does this and people love it)
  • Create a VIP club that awards points for purchases and sends rewards based on a customer’s purchases
  • Offer a buy one/get one free coupon for first-time customers in exchange for an email address

The offer you create will depend on how much you want to give away and what your goals are. The key is to think about your target audience and what will appeal to them. Then, measure that against what you’re willing to spend.

Any audience can be drawn in by the right offer…

Your job is to consider the people you want to attract, and then create a lead magnet that is so irresistible that they’ll line up to give you their email addresses or fill out your lead form.

After that, the rest is easy.

Are You Ignoring 35% of All Web Users?

Are You Ignoring 35% of All Web Users?

If you tend to keep up with SEO and search trends, then you know that almost everything focuses on Google. And why not? Google is by far the largest search engine, snagging about two-thirds of all searchers.

Two-thirds is a lot, but do you notice what’s missing there? If you remember what you learned about fractions, it’s not that hard.

Got it?

That’s right! One-third of all searches aren’t using Google.

And yet, amazingly, most businesses aren’t thinking about other search engines at all! They remain laser-focused on Google.

That’s good news for you, because it means that by taking other options into account, you can get a leg up on your competition. Sounds pretty good, right? So, let’s talk about it.

What Search Engine Are the Missing 35% Using?

If not Google, who?

That’s probably what you’re wondering. You might think that that elusive 35% is split among several search engines. That’s right – but it’s also wrong.

You see, as of 2015, Yahoo made a deal with Bing. Approximately 51% of all Yahoo searches use Bing. And, since Bing and Yahoo are responsible for about 35% of all search traffic, that means that optimizing for Bing can help you capture people you might miss by thinking only about Google.

Bing and Google have a lot in common. But, if you search one of your keywords and compare the SERP, you’ll notice some differences. Addressing those differences can help you stand out from your competitors.

The key is to do it without messing with your Google rank.

Advantages of Optimizing for Bing

Before we walk through how you can optimize for Bing searches without affecting your Google rank, let’s talk about the main advantages of optimizing for Bing.

  1. You’ll face less competition than on Google. Remember, most businesses aren’t thinking about their Bing rank. That means if you take the time to optimize for Bing, you can outrank your competition and grab the lion’s share of traffic from Bing searches.
  2. Traffic from Bing has, on average, a higher conversion rate than traffic from Google. It’s hard to quantify the reasons for the difference, but it may be that Bing users tend to be older and more affluent than Google users.
  3. Bing is much more open about their ranking factors than Google. Instead of guessing about what will help your site to rank, you can simply refer to what Bing has said about it and optimize your site accordingly. In other words, they’re pro-SEO.

These things point to a clear opportunity for business owners who want to find a low-cost but effective way to attract more traffic.

How to Improve Your Bing Rank

Now, let’s talk about what you can do to improve your rank on Bing. Many of the things that work for you on Google will also work on Bing. The trick is to tweak your SEO just a bit, so your site maintains its Google rank and moves up on Bing.

Make Sure Your Site is Indexed on Bing

The first step is to make sure your site is properly indexed on Bing. If it’s been around for a while it probably is, but if your site is new, it may not be.

Start by doing a search for site: www.yoursite.com on Bing. That will show you how many of your site’s pages have been indexed.

If they’re indexed, you can move on to the next step. If they’re not, you should go ahead and submit your site here.

Tell Bing How Often to Crawl Your Site

Next, tell Bing how frequently to crawl your site. If you look at Bing’s Webmaster Tools, you’ll notice that the default setting is standard. That’s fine if your site is static; but, if it’s large or you update it frequently, you should dial up the crawl rate for the best results.

Submit a Clean Sitemap

Bing has only a 1% tolerance for dirt in your sitemap. That means if you want your rank to improve, you’ve got to clean it up and submit it. You can do it on your Webmaster Tools page.

Another option is to include a link to your sitemap in your Robots.txt. However, the benefit of doing it through Bing is that you’ll get error messages if there are problems with your sitemap. That means you’ll be able to clean them up as you go.

Use Straightforward Keywords

If you know anything about Google, you know that LSI and context are nearly as important as keyword use. That’s not the case on Bing. They put a higher premium on exact keyword matches than Google does.

Fortunately, this is a change you can make without hurting your Google rank. You’ll want to increase your keyword density a bit, but not so much that it affects the quality of your content.

Using those same keywords in tags – the title tag is hugely important on Bing – is essential, too.

Improve Your Click-Through Rate

Bing pays a lot of attention to user behavior. If users click your site and then hit the back button, it will affect your Bing rank.

You can check your CTR and bounce rate on Bing from your Webmaster Tools dashboard.

Build More Backlinks

Google tends to place more emphasis on the quality of backlinks than the number of them. Bing does the reverse.

You can’t disregard the quality of your backlinks without negatively impacting your Google rank. But, by adding additional backlinks, you can positively impact your Bing rank.

It’s also a good idea to do what you can to improve the quality of your anchor text in your backlinks. Don’t overdo it – that can hurt you with Google – but contacting a few webmasters to ask them to use keywords in the anchor text can help you with Bing.

Use Social Signals to Your Advantage

Unlike Google, Bing comes right out and says that social signals have an impact on the SERP. That means anything you do to boost your social media impact will help you with Bing.

The best way to capitalize on this is to monitor your social signals, attract new followers, and do whatever you can to amplify your reach on sites like Facebook and Instagram.

Ignoring Bing users is a bad idea…

By taking a few simple steps to boost your Bing ranking, you can out-maneuver your competition. When you think about it, it makes no sense to simply ignore a third of all searches – so stop doing it and give Bing the attention it deserves!