How To Promote Your Business Locally

How To Promote Your Business Locally

As a small business owner with a local service area, you’re probably trying to understand the idea of marketing only in your service area.

The problem is a lot of what you see online talks about advertising and reaching the masses all over the world, not just about how to promote your business locally.

It is absolutely possible to market yourself locally online as well as offline, and we are going to go through 9 major ways that can help your business grow.

Let’s start with the ones that take a little effort and time rather than tons of money to get things going.

how to promote your business locally

Local SEO – Google My Business Profile

This one is probably the one I would recommend you do first. As the world is increasingly searching for answers online, not being on Google means your business is basically nowhere to be found.

A Google My Business (GMB) Profile is free and allows you to have an online local presence, as the profile will show up on Google Maps. Let’s say you own a restaurant, having a GMB profile will give you the opportunity to show up at the top of the local searches even if you don’t have a website. Even before organic results:

google my business profile

Not only is a GMB profile great to get local traction online, it also allows you to add pictures, your services, and get reviews for everyone to find.

Add Your Business To Local Listings

Another great way on how to promote your business locally, and online, is to add your business information to local boards to increase website rankings and local presence.

This is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactic, so it may be a little confusing to understand. The basic idea is that Google has certain ways to identify how important your website is, and if other websites are linking your website, Google assumes you are a good resource of answers. When someone searches a question that you can answer, Google takes the links into account and if it thinks you have the best answer, you will rank first.

The other benefit of doing this, is your brand will naturally be in many places on the internet, giving people more chances to find you.

What do I mean by local listings? Well it can be anything from Yelp, TripAdvisor, to local business directories like the Orillia CDC directory.

orillia community development centre business directory

Leverage Your Network

Simple and to the point. Have you really tried getting your friends and family to spread the word around? Make a concerted effort to actually tell people you know, even acquaintances about your business.

You can make a list of all the people you know, and contact them to catch up. As you are making conversation about each other’s lives, your business should come up naturally. Ask people to come take a look, or even help you by sharing your posts on social media or spreading the word about it.

You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to help you out if you just ask. Everyone wants to see local businesses succeed, so don’t be afraid to move the needle in your direction.

And if you’re thinking “that’s great and all but I don’t have a network!”, think again. Sit down and make that list of people you know. Friends, friends of friends, coworkers, etc. Look at your social media accounts, I’m sure Facebook has a couple hundred people you’ve never interacted before.

Another thing you can try is to actually create a network yourself. If you don’t have one, create a social media account on any platform you like and find local people to follow. You can do this easily with Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

These platforms purposefully try to connect you with other people in your area that you may know. As you follow people you know, some will follow back and your network of people you can talk to will grow from there.

Partner With Other Local Businesses

Do you think you’re the only small business struggling or wanting to grow? Take advantage that you are part of a community and leverage each other’s network to increase your clientele.

Think about who is your target audience/ type of customer, and find other businesses that attract a similar audience. Create joint promotions that are mutually beneficial, like partnering to create a new service for a limited time, or simply advertise each other to current clients.

The possibilities for this is endless, and the more you integrate yourself to the community you service, the more known you will be.

Another interesting take you could do with this is be sure to participate in events or with local businesses that will get you notoriety. For example, local news sources are always looking for fresh content to provide to their audience, and more often than not they prioritize local content.

If you are doing something cool, unique, or exciting, why not alert the local news site to see if they will write an article about it? The local news website in Orillia often writes about businesses and what they are up to, as long as it’s interesting enough for their readers:

orillia matters

These next tips on how to promote your business locally will require some money to make it work, but they can most definitely help you reach your audience.

Digital Advertising

Any sort of digital advertising like Google Ads or Facebook Ads provide you with a plethora of options to advertise your business. You can target people based on location, or hobbies, or people that have visited your website in the past.

This means that you can make sure you are only promoting your business to people within your service area or community.

local digital ads Google

The downside is the cost associated. You can quickly run through your budget if you aren’t doing it properly or spending too much promoting things that people aren’t interested in.

Hiring someone that knows how to spend the budget you have properly can make a huge difference.

Join Local Business Groups

No matter where you are, I am pretty confident there are a ton of networking groups you can be a part of that can help promote your business.

Chambers of Commerce, BNI, etc. Any local group of businesses that get together to help each other out can be a huge advantage. Most require a fee to enter, but you can probably find or create your own networking group with social media. Search on Google or Facebook for networking groups and you should be able to easily find ones to be a part of.

Don’t be afraid to create your own group if you don’t find any that are a good fit for you. As we mentioned before, there are always plenty of small businesses out there that are trying to grow and are happy to be a part of anything that allows them that opportunity. All you have to do it find them and ask them to join.

Run Competitions and Contests

This works wonders if you pair it with my advice of partnering with other local businesses. Not only can you promote your own services, but you can do joint contests or giveaways that bring more people to your store.

While giveaways are a common tactic that you probably already know, think about how to ensure you get the most out of them. Create giveaway or contests that require people to come in to the store if that’s the goal, or that require they share your posts on social media with their network. This allows you to reach beyond your own audience.

If you are partnering with local businesses, you can require that people that want to enter the giveaway be a follower of both businesses in order to qualify.

There are some tools that actually makes contests and giveaways relatively easy by providing multiple “entries” to people that want more of a chance of winning.

local business giveaways

If you want to learn more about how to create an amazing online giveaway, send me a message.

Wrap Your Vehicle

Some people love this idea, some people don’t, but wrapping your vehicle with the company logo is a great way of getting your business noticed. Imagine you are driving to a client’s location, or just driving around town for fun. How many vehicles and people walking do you pass by? I’m sure tons, and each and every one of them has the potential to see your logo and remember it. It’s like a moving billboard.

Traditional Marketing

By traditional marketing, I mean the classic types of marketing that have existed prior to the digital boom. Billboards, radio, newspaper, are all traditional advertising channels that prioritize local areas. Some of these can cost a pretty penny to do, but they very much still work otherwise they would have stopped doing them long ago.

Think about the message you want to provide, the hook that will make people want to pay attention to your ad on the radio or while driving. Something memorable, simple, that will allow people to look you up later and visit you.

Traditional marketing struggles against digital marketing when it comes to specific data reporting. It can tell you base numbers and rough estimations, but it cannot tell you with certainty how many people actually saw your ad. Still, I’ve had many clients that use billboards or radio ads tell me that people mention hearing about these ads or the famous line “I see you guys everywhere”.

While it may not be the only reason why someone would drop by and buy or use your service, traditional marketing can help people remember to come check out your store.

Conclusion – How To Promote Your Business Locally

Promoting your business locally requires an open mind and knowing your community. There are many more opportunities that can help you grow your business that aren’t listed in this blog.

Often a combination of tactics and channels leads to the most successful outcomes to business growth. Proper planning, having a strategy and executing them properly makes a huge difference. If you are looking for help promoting your business, contact me and let’s come up with a marketing strategy together.

About the author

My name is Jiun and I've been doing marketing for more than 6 years. I'm an eternal learner and marketing is truly my passion. When I'm not up all night reading or thinking of marketing, I like to play video games, hang out with friends, and spending time with my family.

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