5 ideas on how to make the most of your local marketing – without breaking the bank

When budgets are tight, making the most of your local marketing activities can make all the difference to your small or medium-sized business.

What are the most important elements of local marketing success?

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1) Have a plan – When you walk out the door each day, you usually have a firm idea about where you’re headed. So, why would you leave the direction of your business to chance?

When thinking about creating a plan for your business, think about:

  • Who are your ideal customers
  • What’s the message that you want to relate to them so you stand out from your competitors?
  • How will you grow your business?
  • How will you fund your business?

Many small business people can be overwhelmed by business planning. That’s why working through your plan with a trusted local consultant is often a good idea.

This government website will give you some good guidelines and a template for your plan.

2) Create a website that inspires trust – There’s no argument that nearly all businesses, whatever their size and purpose, need a great website.

  • Both the design and the words you use on your website should help your audience understand your offer, know what makes you different from others and make them feel confident you’ll do a good job.
  • Tell your story in an engaging way so people can really connect with you and your offering.
  • Publish regular, fresh content to keep readers interested and to let Google know you’re active in your area of business.

3) Manage online search (SEO) – For most people, an online search is the very first thing they’ll do when thinking about buying a product or service.

  • To make it easy for people to find you, use the most relevant keywords and phrases that relate to what you do.
  • Your web designer should optimise your website to help it rank more highly in people’s online search. With so many people using their smartphones to search for products and services, it’s essential your website and business listings look good on a mobile format. (In Australia, around 40% of searches are done using a mobile phone.)
  • Update your business details on Google My Business and on other popular online directories like Yellow Pages.com.au, Apple Maps, Local.com.au and Yelp (just to name a few). Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are also important for search. Updating your directory listings can take time, but try and be as thorough as you can.
  • Depending on your type of business, there may also be industry-specific directories that are useful. For example, if you’re a restaurant, make sure you list your business on Zomato.com and Restaurantfind.com.au

4) Make it easy for people to leave reviewsWhen it comes to marketing, word-of-mouth is king (or queen)! Having a record of past customers willing to share their positive experiences with others, goes a long way to building your reputation.

5) Nurture your customers – This goes with the last point about gathering reviews, but it’s worth saying again. After all, it’s always harder to win a new customer than it is to keep your current clients. And it costs more to find those new customers too!

  • When you give great service, you’ll be rewarded. You might think about offering your favourite clients a thank you from time to time. This could be in the form of a discount, a small gift or a simple acknowledgement.
  • Create a ‘recommend a friend’ program, enlisting your satisfied clients to refer your business to others.
  • If it works for your business, keep in touch with your clients via an informative newsletter. Email platforms like Mail Chimp are free and easy to use. (Just make sure you have your client’s permission to mail them.)

If you need help setting up the basics for your local marketing, please get in touch.