Small Business Marketing: Reaching And Engaging Your Local Community Online

Posted by Karen Erdelac on Jun 17, 2020

Small Business Marketing: Reaching And Engaging Your Local Community OnlineMany communities are coming together these days to support their local small businesses. Online avenues have become the most effective means of reaching, engaging and drawing in customers, and in some cases the only option. As digital marketing continues to take up the lion’s share of marketing budgets, it’s important to know where to best invest your resources. Establishing an online connection with your local community can help build brand awareness and gives you an opportunity to build a real relationship with the people who are most likely to become your customers. Here we take a look at four ways to reach and engage your local community online.

Local SEO

Your ability to be found online through search engines like Google has never been more important than it is today. “Local SEO (Local Search Engine Optimization), also known as local search engine marketing, is an incredibly effective way to market your business online. It is effective because it helps businesses promote their products and services to potential customers, near them at the exact time they're looking for them online.” There are a variety of ways to build your local SEO including:

  • Create a Google My Business Account
  • Get Regular Reviews from Happy Customers
  • Optimize for Voice Search
  • Create Content Based on Local News Stories or Events
  • Optimize Your Website for Mobile
  • Hone in on Local Keywords
  • Use Location Pages or a Location-Specific “About Us” Page
  • Take Advantage of Online Business Directories

Social Media Marketing

Interacting with consumers on social media is an important marketing strategy for small businesses. Using social media helps you build brand awareness, increase your customer base, and connect with current customers.” There are a number of ways to engage your local community online:

  • Ask Questions. People like to share opinions
  • Host a Contest. Contests are fun!
  • Weekly Activities
  • Feature Your Community Members
  • Go Live!
  • Ask for Feedback
  • Get to Know Your Community
  • User Generated Content

Paid Advertising

Online Advertising Is an Essential Digital Marketing Strategy. Businesses use a variety of channels for online advertising, such as social media, display, paid search, and retargeting, to reach consumers efficiently and affordably. Online advertising helps businesses convert customers and increase their revenue.” Online advertising platforms allow you to target your audience by a variety of demographics, which allows you to reach the right people, in the right place, at the right time.  Some high-level tips include:

  • Define your personas
  • The destination is just as important as the ad
  • Design your ad like you would design an outdoor billboard
  • Optimize your load time
  • Consider the buying stages of your customer
  • Use a professional
  • Your work is never done

Community Business Forums

One of the greatest benefits of joining a business forum is new business opportunities. Members often seek other members out for particular trades, and the conversion rate of a pitch for new custom between members of a business forum is often much higher than when pitching normally.” Once you’ve joined these forums it is important to add value to the conversation and then engage with individual members. Some tips for networking through online forums include:

  • Make friends with other business owners
  • Host meet and greets
  • Join organizations
  • Attend conferences
  • Cross-promote
  • Volunteer
  • Follow up

As small businesses continue to adapt to a more digital world, there will be new investments that need to be made including technology, staffing and possible outsourcing of marketing efforts. As with anything in business, you should start with a plan. Click below to download our Free Business Plan Template.

Business Plan

Topics: Small Business, Marketing