Finding and Engaging Your Local Audience via Online Channels




  • December 23, 2015

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    Small businesses cannot rely on the national advertising channels that big corporations use. Instead, the life blood of small businesses is small scale advertising aimed at the local community. Traditionally, local advertising did not focus on the use of online channels. However, that has certainly changed and there are now many internet advertising strategies to choose from. Below are six proven ways to reach a local community through the internet and engage with that community to promote your brand and products.


    Implement Localized SEO Keywords

    First, as far as a company website goes, you certainly need to implement search engine optimization with local searches in mind. Locally targeted SEO allows small businesses to find their way towards the top of internet searches made by citizens in their communities. The key here is to avoid the overly generic. For example, if you run a pizza delivery business in Flint, Michigan, it would certainly be wise to target keyword chains like “Pizza in Flint” and “Flint pizzeria” instead of sticking simply to pizza and pizzeria as keywords.


    Create Online Listings for Your Business

    However, you need to go beyond how you use keywords and keyword phrases. You also need to create online listings on websites like YellowBook.com and Yelp. The most important site you can create a profile on is Google My Business. Having a profile for your local business on Google My Business will give you preferential treatment in Google search results. Your company’s information may, for example, pop up in the sidebar instead of being buried in the individual search results.


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    Perform Social Media Campaigns

    You also absolutely need to leverage the power of social media. You should have accounts with the most popular social media networks. This includes Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You should then try to build a network by following individuals in your community, there is a great example about engaging local audience here. They will follow you back as a courtesy. If your local network grows as it should, you’ll eventually be able to receive direct feedback from the community and directly inform them of sales and promotions.


    Provide Localized Content

    Another proven strategy of local community engagement is providing those citizens with content specifically tailored to them. If you are a local business owner, this can be easier than you think. You could, for example, start a blog and comment on local news stories, local sports games, local politics and more. If you give residents a reason to visit your website and consume this free content, they may be convinced to buy your products or give you ad revenue by clicking on partner links.


    Use Relevant Social Media Tags

    When implementing social media, try to use tags that are relevant to your local audience. On Twitter, this certainly includes using hashtags like #Flint to try to reach more customers. You should also keep a tab on what hashtags are currently trending. Keep an eye out for ones that are relevant to your community. On other social media networks like Instagram, upload media like images or video under tags for your area.


    Combine Online and Offline Marketing

    Another tried and true method of performing local audience marketing is making sure to combine both your offline and online efforts. Use your internet presence as a way to drive internet users to brick and mortar locations by publishing coupons that can only be redeemed in person. In your stores, try to advertise your website and social media accounts as much as possible. You may even want to offer discounts to customers who sign up for e-mail alerts or follow your social media accounts while in the store.


    Overall, you don’t need to pay a local marketing business to successfully integrate the internet into your local marketing strategies. Any business owner can do it for very cheap or even for free with just a little effort.

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