Tips for Local Business Marketing

Wilson Zehr

Wilson Zehr

Wilson Zehr is CEO of Cendix the leading provider of Web-to-print solutions that automate on-demand one-to-one marketing campaigns and increase sales both online and offline. Cendix offers hosted Internet application software (Software as a Service - SaaS) for print shops, commercial printers, and enterprise marketing.

Local business marketing is more specialized and requires a different approach than selling to the masses. Of course, we would always recommend a targeted approach to marketing on any scale (large or small).  Local marketing also requires a more personal touch and process. We hope these tips will put you on the right path to grow your own local business marketing success. 

Connect with Other Local Businesses

There is always a cross-over or connection you can make with another local business that will benefit your own business. For example, if you sell Mother and baby classes, consider connecting with baby retailers in the area, or other related businesses. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, there is always a potential partner who wants to reach the same customers in a complimentary way. 

The relationship could be something as simple as offering reciprocal links on your website, or exchanging flyers, or even displaying business cards at both businesses. However, it could also develop into something more substantial, a true partnership or some kind of collaboration on a product, event, or package. The possibilities are endless and this can give you a helpful kickstart if you’re a new business too. 

Sort out Local Listings

Google Local is a really important type of listing to master. Utilize this to your advantage; keep the listing up to date, and add all of the relevant information. Upload multiple photos, make the most of this feature, and showcase your best bits. You should add a contact number, email address and a correct address. Google reviews will also display with your listing, so if you can find a way to encourage customers to leave reviews here (or even incentivize them to do so), your listing will stand out even more. 

Google local is the most important listing service, but you need to engage with other local listings too to really maximize your local exposure. The majority of these services are free so there is no harm in signing up for as many as you can. Bing, Yelp, Yellow Pages; you can find an extensive list here

Local Facebook/Instagram Ads

When it comes to social media adverts and local targeting, the best platform to use is the Facebook ads manager. This is an integrated part of Facebook Business. This tool can help you run social media adverts on Facebook, Instagram or both simultaneously. The local area targeting is very powerful and, of course, you can also couple this with interest-based targeting to drive your message home. These types of ads give you full control over your budget and provide in-depth stats that can help you make decisions on further investment or tweaks that need to be made to each campaign. You can start with a small budget and build on this over time, you don’t need to spend big to get results. 

When in doubt test.  Put together a couple of ads. Target a couple of different audiences. Then monitor your stats closely to see what works. Spend bigger on the campaigns that work. Redirect funds from less effective campaigns to new experiments that may help you uncover other hidden gems. Effective advertising, online or offline, requires testing and experimentation.

Direct Mail Campaigns

One of the most effective ways to reach a highly targeted local audience is through direct mail campaigns. Direct mail cuts through the clutter (especially online) and delivers a message directly to your audience. Direct mail is highly trusted, more digestible than online adverts, inexpensive, and quick to make an impact. It is a common misconception that direct mail will take you a long time to get set-up and organized. For example, Zairmail created the concept of short-run hybrid mail (“electronic-to-postal mail”) with the US Post Office back in 1999. Just upload your list, upload your document, and approve an online proof, Zairmail takes it from there, and you are in the mail!

Zairmail gets it right out (same day mailing available) and they track the delivery as well.

We have seen how the online world has changed direct response marketing for the better, giving direct mail even more power than it had before!