Focusing Your Small Business’s Online Marketing on Local Traffic
Most small businesses are engaged in some form of online marketing, even if it is only a Facebook brand page or a Twitter account. While we often think of the Internet in terms of a global audience, the reality is that the World Wide Web is still an effective way to reach the people in your local community. For most small businesses, the local customers are going to be one of their largest target demographics and so focusing online marketing on local consumers is going to generate the biggest return on investment.
The first and biggest way that you can target a local audience is to let them know that you are there. Make sure that your location information is clearly displayed on all of your websites and that it is also among the keywords that you use in your online content. One in five Internet searches uses location as one of the parameters1, so this alone will be an excellent source of traffic to your website, and from there, to your business. The same applies to your social media marketing, and targeting local consumers with special offers and discounts can be an effective way of attracting new customers.
Over half of consumers use search to research their purchases with the highest numbers being among users of mobile devices2. These mobile customers are more likely to act on the results of their product search and have been shown to spend more when they do3. This market has too much potential to be ignored by small businesses that need every cent of revenue that comes in. The most effective way to be sure to reach these local mobile customers is to claim your listing in the online business directories, like Google+ Local pages. Claiming these listings will give you control over how your business is represented in search results, and most of them will allow you to upload images and promotional content for free.
Small businesses usually allocate around 12% of their budget to marketing4, and because online marketing is cheap, the Internet has become a popular marketing medium. As much as 40% of small businesses are currently using or plan to use Internet ads to promote their business4. Internet advertising can be targeted at very specific demographics and is becoming even more accurate as Google integrates more of their social graph into search results, which include sponsored results and AdSense ads. Internet advertising that targets your local consumers is an efficient way for any small business to spend at least a part of its advertising budget.
One Internet marketing strategy that isn’t being used enough by small business is e-mail marketing. E-mail marketing is one of the most personal ways to promote your business, so it has a high engagement rate with an already interested customer base. E-mail marketing is also aimed at mobile consumers as 88% of mobile Internet users check their e-mail on their devices at least once a day5. Most people will be willing to give you their e-mail address if they see that you are offering something of value in return, and as many as 39% will do so to take part in a specific promotion, like a competition6. Collecting e-mail addresses from the customers that physically visit your business is an effective way to stay connected to the local community, who, in turn, will become more aware of your presence and, through the relationship that you develop, will be more inclined to support your business. Infintech Designs is a New Orleans based business that can help you to market your business to our local community.
2. Search Engine Use 2012, Kristen Purcell, Joanna Brenner, Lee Rainie, Pew Research Center
3. 5th Annual 15miles/Localeze Local Search Usage Study, comScore, 2012
6. 2011 Chadwick Martin Bailey Consumer Pulse