Any branding agency will tell you, the future of marketing is branding. However, don’t let this fool you into thinking some of the more traditional marketing methods, like local marketing, aren’t still used. In fact, local marketing techniques are some of the most important marketing tools we implement with our clients – albeit in a slightly different way to local marketing 5-10 years ago.
Over the years we’ve written plenty of blogs about local marketing, however when it comes to digital marketing – things move on fast! So, here are our top tips for implementing local marketing into your strategy in 2018.
Google My Business
For most internet users, Google is the search engine of choice. Whenever a person is searching for a new business, they’ll likely turn to Google for help. If, for example, somebody in Seattle was searching for a nearby branding agency, they would see these results.
All of these businesses have a Google My Business listing and that is why they appear. If you don’t yet have a Google My Business listings, or haven’t claimed an existing listing as your own – that’s the first thing you can implement today. It is quick, easy and free to do and can be a great way to help people find you. You can state exactly what type of business you are and what you do, how to contact you, opening hours and you can accept reviews.
Tip #1 Create or update your Google My Business listing.
If we look at the three branding agency results, would you agree that the second result is the least appealing? This is because they don’t have any reviews which can make a customer question their credibility. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask your customers to submit a review for you. If you provide them with a positive experience, they should have no problem in taking a couple of minutes out of their day to leave you a review. We should however note that Google does not look positively on businesses who encourage reviews with rewards or incentives so we’d strongly advise against that.
Tip #2 Ask your customers to leave you a review on Google.
If you’ve been watching our Instagram stories lately, you’ll have seen us go through all of the types of search results: ads, Google Maps local results and organic results. If you’re not paying for Google ads, or are in a highly competitive area where your listing may not appear on Maps, you’re going to need to rely on having a well optimized website if you want to be found. And we don’t just mean optimizing the copy for SEO purposes, but also the page itself. From July 2018, Google will begin using mobile page load speed as a ranking factor when deciding which results to show on the first few pages. So if you’re website isn’t optimized for mobile, here lies the next thing for you to begin working on today – find an agency to help you create an attractive, streamlined, mobile optimized website.
Tip #3 Make sure your website is optimized for use on mobile.
If not, you’re website could have the best copy, full of useful keywords, but still may not be shown to mobile users who are looking to find businesses like yours.
Nowadays, optimizing your copy involves going beyond the standard SEO techniques that have been used for years. The rise of home search devices such as Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s HomePod, mean that businesses are having to optimize their website copy in a way that is compatible with voice search algorithms. A Backlinko study found that the average word count of a voice search result page is 2312 words. However, the typical voice search result comes from only 29 words of copy. For instance, if a person was searching, “Alexa, who won the Best Director Oscar this year?”, it is likely the result would come from a long article on the 2018 Academy Awards but the sentence with the answer of who won best director, would have approximately 29 words of copy.
Tip #4 Understand voice search optimization best practices.
Social media can be an extremely powerful tools when it comes to local marketing.
On Twitter, you can get involved in conversions on local hashtags, for instance perhaps around a Pride Parade in your city.
On Facebook, you could setup event pages for events like new store openings or an open mic night, or for your spring sale. Facebook will show users events that are happening near them, as well as events that your friends are interested in or are going to. Facebook Events are free to create and can extend your reach organically or you can also pay to promote the event, like you can promote a regular Facebook post.
On Instagram, you can location tag your stories to feature in the story of your city. For instance, if we post an Instagram story and location tag Cucumber Marketing Inc., we will often appear in the Vancouver Instagram story that can be seen by anyone in Vancouver.
These are just some of the easiest local marketing techniques you can implement today but there are plenty more ways you can ace local marketing, from PPC advertising to cross-promoting with local businesses.
Tip #5 Speak with an expert to make sure your marketing strategy is as effective as possible.
If you’re looking for a branding agency who can help you implement a marketing strategy that gets your brand seen by the local community, give us a call or send us a message below. Or, if you’re local, feel free to stop by our marketing and branding agency office in Vancouver – we always have chocolate 😉