The 4 essential marketing tools for local business
Updated: Jun 21
Choosing the right marketing strategies for your local business can be challenging with the mountain of options out there. In this article, I’ll summarise my recommendations for the four essential marketing tools for local businesses that will get you off to the best start possible.
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) allows local businesses to list their business local and to appear at the top of Google search results completely free.
As a local business owner, you can show your potential customers key information about your business, including operating times, contact details, a link to your website but even more importantly allows you to show off great reviews in map search results.
Setting up your Google My Business listing is one of the simplest and most effective ways of setting your business up to be found online. More and more search queries are becoming geographically specific and Google’s algorithms have been developed to consider user intent.
You’ve probably done a Google search at some point such as, ‘restaurants near me’, if so then you’ll notice that Google returns a list of locations where you can eat based on your current location. The businesses that have shown as a result of your search query have a GMB page and are one step closer to attracting you as a customer.
As Google makes regular changes to its algorithms, it’s important to continue to optimise your Google my Business profile regularly if you want to maintain your visibility in search results.
Most of Facebook’s 2.4 billion active users visit the site every day, so regular status updates, shared links and videos, and other information give you a chance to connect with your customers daily.
A business page on Facebook gives you a way to be found on the platform but also to communicate directly with your target audience. Pages can become excellent places to gather your customers, prospects, and fans to provide reviews, share opinions, voice concerns, and offer feedback. It also allows you to show the human side of your business through one-on-one conversations, personal tidbits, and nonbusiness interaction.
Facebook Insights also provide useful information about your fans and their interactions on your page. As a microcosm of your target market, your Facebook fans can tell you a lot about what they want through their interaction, comments, and feedback.
Facebook is also an effective way to direct traffic to your business website and blog. Your posts, links, and other actions that are contained on your public Facebook page also can give you an SEO boost if they are indexed by search engines.
Ultimately, a branded Facebook page for your business can be a powerful way to expand your reach and increase awareness of your business online.
With more than 25 million Instagram business accounts and more than $7 billion spent on Instagram advertising last year, it’s clear that brands are investing in this channel.
Customers can search for you specifically by name, or by hashtags relating to your business or location and doing so, can share their experience with their friends and family.
The geo-location hashtags are particularly important for local businesses and is something you should actively engage with to build customer relationships.
Even if you don’t plan to be incredibly active on Instagram, the best practice is to create an account that, at the very least, has your business name, contact information, and a few posts to showcase your brand.
If you’re not sending emails to your subscribers you could be missing out on one of the most cost-effective methods of building a connection with your audience to generate more sales.
According to research carried out by The Relevancy Group, “66% of online consumers check their email account multiple times per day, with 13% of online consumers actually checking their email hourly or more frequently.”
Email marketing also continues to outperform other digital marketing tactics in terms of ROI. Research conducted last year by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Demand Metric found that email had a median ROI of 122 percent.
Whilst you want to be careful not to bombard your customers with emails too frequently, an engaged audience will start to expect your emails on a certain day or time if you commit to sending them regularly. If the benefit of these emails is clear to them, you’ll find that you get a good response on your efforts.