5 Marketing Tips for Local Businesses
We love local marketing. You can really make it happen for a local business these days – thanks to social media sites like Yelp, Kudzu, Groupon and many others. We have a few locally-oriented clients and so far these techniques work:
1. Focus on creating rabid fans out of your current customers. Ask them to post reviews about your services or products on Google Places, Yelp, CitySearch, etc. The most effective way to do this is through a follow-up email from the owner, thanking them for their business and including links to easily post a review about your company. People trust each other more than they trust you telling them how great you are.
2. Find the influencers. Some local markets have bloggers and websites that are not “mainstream” media. Use tools like regator.com and technorati.com to find bloggers who might be in your area and shoot them an email. Introduce yourself, be friendly and ask if they might help promote you. A business we work with generates significant leads from one link (paid) from an influencer in her local market.
3. Create profiles. Make sure you claim your Google Places listing, fill out the free listing tools on your local newspaper sites as well as on local business sites like YellowPages and CitySearch. Other sites use tools called “scrapers” to import these profiles into numerous sites – killing many birds with one stone so-to-speak.
4. Try the white-hot local coupon sites like ScoutMob, Groupon and Half off Depot. A client generated over 600 appointments through one of these sites, clearly well worth the money!
5. PR – dig or create a newsworthy event. Donate to charity, host an auction, offer your services for free – but do something that shows you care about the community you are a part of. Then tell everyone about it. Share the experience of shadowing the local high school principle for a day – show them you are human and have a soul. Be sure to post it to your site, Facebook page and blog – take pictures, share your experience with the public and they will let you in.