As a small business owner, your goal for advertising and marketing is probably to get more customers – or at least to get in front of them so when it comes time to buy or make an appointment, your business is on their radar. But, where to start?
We’ve rounded up 10 local advertising ideas that can help your small business get noticed, get customers, and get growing.
1. Increase Your Chances of Getting Found Locally with Google My Business
Your Google My Business profile is a free local advertising tool that can get you found on Google in a couple of ways: Your Google Business Profile is how your business appears on Google Maps, Google Search in the 3-pack, and Google’s Knowledge Panel.
But, that’s not the only way your Google My Business listing can help you win over local customers. You can seed the Q&A section of your Google Business Profile to highlight important features and increase customer confidence. You can also post promotions, events, photos, and products to your profile to give customers further incentive to do business with you.
Plus, your Google My Business listing allows you to collect and respond to Google reviews, a critical component of a successful localized marketing strategy — making it an impressive local advertising idea for your business to implement ASAP.
2. Claim, Verify & Create Local Listings
The internet is one of the first places people turn to when searching for a local business. In fact, 46% of all searches on Google have local intent. While 46% might not seem like a hugely impressive percentage, when you take into account that Google processes an average 40,000 searches each second, that translates into 18,400 local searches every second of the day. And, you know what shows up in the majority of local searches? Local listings.
So, local business listings are a great idea for advertising your small business. As you can see above, a Google My Business listing is essential. But, there are more free local listings your business needs to be on.
Make sure your business has a presence on the top local listings sites and include accurate and updated information across all of them. This may seem like a large feat, but it’s worth it to ensure your information is correct (plus, you can get help with listings management). Not only do search engines reward consistent information across the web (including the exact same Name, Phone Number, and Address), but correct business information creates a positive customer experience – something that’s super important.
3. Run a Customer Loyalty Program
A customer loyalty program is a great way to reward your current customers and incentivize them to keep coming back. Make your loyalty program work for you by determining what incentive you’ll provide customers, how often they can earn rewards, and how you’ll keep track of it all. Many businesses use a punch card or stamp system, which is an easy way to show customers how many visits to go until they receive their next reward.
4. Get Seen on Local News Sites Consumers Frequent with Display Advertising
Right now, more consumers than ever are turning to their trusted local media outlets for up-to-date news and information. In fact, there’s been a 30% increase in visits to local news sites in the last few months. Your business can get in front of these consumers and increase brand awareness using display advertising.
Here’s an example of two display ads on a local news publication site.
Display advertising is a type of online advertising that shows ads directly on local news sites and other sites across the web and drive local customers to your business’s landing page or page on your website. Use display advertising to promote deals or specials, provide information that might be relevant to your local audience, or promote brand awareness by sharing who you are and what you do.
5. Get Seen as an Expert with Local Branded Content
Another way to get in front of consumers visiting their local news publications is by branded content. Branded content allows you to create and promote educational, informative, or entertaining content directly on a local news publication. This positions your business as an expert, increases awareness for your business, and can entice consumers to do business with you over the competition.
6. Use Print Advertising to Reach Local Readers
The local newspaper provides various opportunities for advertising. You can place an ad or get a listing in the appropriate section (whether that be in the classifieds or elsewhere). Print ads are a great localized marketing strategy because you know the exact area your local paper is reaching.
Plus, with technology, you can track the effectiveness of your print advertising by using call tracking numbers or custom codes for your promotions or coupons to keep track of the customers contacting you or doing business with you from your print ads.
7. Optimize Your Online Presence for Local SEO
Did you know there’s a difference between organic SEO and local SEO? With local SEO, you optimize your website and web content for local searches and consider offsite SEO factors like local listings to ensure you rank for local searches – either through your website or your local listings (or, ideally, both!).
8. Host an Event
Your event can be pretty much anything you want it to be. It could be a party, demo, festival, workshop, anniversary sale, charity event, or a webinar. The options are endless and don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
And, you can adjust your event for right now by holding a virtual event or by creating a social distanced event. Your event could also coincide with a promotion — the first 50 visitors get a free coffee with purchase or 20% off a service or product. It doesn’t take a lot for people to enjoy themselves, and many are looking for creative ways to (safely) get out of the house.
So spread the word far and wide about your event. Use bold signage to let people know. If possible, hold your event out in the open where you can attract more attention on the day of (while staying safe!).
9. Send Direct Mail
Sending printed advertisements to potential customers can be a great way to create awareness for your business. Not only that but doing so repeatedly will keep your business top of mind, increasing the chances that people will come to you when in need of what you offer. Even better if you incorporate coupons or promotions into your direct mail campaigns!
10. Try Local Google Ads
You can target your PPC campaigns locally by enabling location extensions in Google Ads. You can use local search ads to get consumers to call your business, visit your storefront, or help them learn more about your business.
Here’s an example from Google of where a local ad can be seen.
Get more tips to optimize your Google Ads for better ROI here.
Advertise Your Business Locally
Local advertising enables you to reach consumers when they’re searching for businesses like yours directly in your area, and that’s something that can’t be discounted. Think about how your customers are searching for businesses, how they like to engage with prospective businesses, and the places they’re spending time – both online and offline – to help determine the right local advertising strategy for your business.