You’re just a little jealous of large corporations with bottomless pockets to spend on advertising. It seems like they can dominate any market. But, they do have a weakness – local markets. Even with billions of dollars, large corporations often find it difficult to compete against a well-positioned small business.
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Here’s how to capture your local market using online marketing.
Engage Local Forums
One of the best things you can do is endear yourself to other local businesses. Find a forum where they hang out and get involved. In many cases, this also means joining the local Chamber of Commerce. Even if you’re not much of a networker, it pays to get in with other small businesses.
Why? Because those businesses also have customers. And, no matter how amazing a company’s product or service is, those customers aren’t going to spend 100% of their money with just one merchant.
This is why you want to make friends with other businesses, especially non-competing companies. You see, even if you do no marketing, if their customers become familiar with your name, then it’s almost like an endorsement of your business – even when there’s no official endorsement.
For example, if a local company hosts a client appreciation night, and it’s sponsored by other local businesses, make sure your name is one of those sponsors.
If a local little league needs to raise money for new uniforms, make sure you’re one of the local businesses supporting their cause. It gets your name out there so that when you approach customers directly, they’ve at least heard of you before.
Hire An Expert
If you’re not good at marketing, hire an expert. According to SEO expert Alex Miller, even small businesses benefit tremendously from SEO, especially local marketing.
A marketing expert can find your current weaknesses and help you patch them up so that your competition doesn’t exploit them. Most small companies just don’t have the budget to waste on strategies that go nowhere. And, unless you’re a large corporation, hiring an outside expert is probably the best way for you to shore up your marketing strategy without doing a lot of expensive internal testing.
How To Use Local Keywords
If you’re a small company that’s just starting out, then you should be focusing on local keywords to rank in the search engine results. Ideally, keywords that have low competition, and yet moderate to high traffic numbers are going to be your best bet.
For example, let’s say you run a flower shop in Elmira, NY. You want to run a Valentine’s Day promotion. You know you’re going to have stiff competition. This is a huge day for flowers. You might be tempted to use “Valentine’s Day flowers” or “Valentine’s Day bouquets” in your ads. Don’t.