Whether you are a startup, a franchisee, or if you just need recognition for your business, one of the most effective means to promote your business is through Local Area Marketing (LAM).
This particular strategy focuses on communities where an establishment is physically or geographically located.
Marketing messages are targeted specifically towards the local population, instead of a wider general audience.
The premise is simple: gain credibility and trust in a local community by establishing a meaningful, relevant presence.
As you launch marketing campaigns in your targeted local communities, you engage and connect with its groups, businesses, and of course, with individuals.
Introduce your brand, and your products and services, in your target locations to get more recognition, and eventually, more business.
If done right, your local area marketing strategy can even be your best lead generation gambit.
It can bring in more visitors not just on your website but actual foot traffic to your establishment, as well.
Business owners who allot proper efforts and budget allocation to marketing, recognize the necessity of a targeted approach with their audience.
Today’s marketers are fortunate enough to have various tools and marketing opportunities for their location-based businesses.
You can choose to employ strategies both online, as well as in more traditional, offline means.
If you’re in the hospitality industry, you can read about how analytics software can help your business, here.
What Makes A Good LAM Strategy
These days, creating marketing campaigns out of “simple, intelligent guesses” is no longer an option (was it, ever?).
It also can be an expensive gamble, pouring funds into a marketing campaign which may or may not succeed, which businesses cannot risk resorting to.
But with the availability of data collection tools and analytics software, focusing on specific targets has never been more accurate.
You can match your customer’s information alongside their buying behavior, while also being able to pinpoint their exact geographical location and demographics.
Apply marketing analytics tools and you can then reinforce your strategies.
Successful businesses now rely on data-driven marketing campaigns, especially through their POS solutions.
You can read about the benefits of collecting customer data using your POS here.
And if you’re ready to try out Maralytics, do sign-up for your free trial here.
However, your initiatives in a local area marketing campaign will involve more effort than just collecting data.
Your efforts may be confined in a local area or on your website, and it does not limit what marketing strategies you can use.
For instance, about 85% of business owners rely on referrals that have been influenced by word-of-mouth marketing.
While this proves how important it is for your business to gain the recognition and patronage of the locals within your immediate vicinity, you are free to use word-of-mouth strategies, as well.
Your real objective?
Turn the locals into repeat customers.
Let’ us move on to how you can start doing this with local area marketing.
Here are 4 steps in conducting an effective and successful LAM strategy for your business:
1. Identify your targets.
If you are wholly unfamiliar about the area, you should do some research.
Find out which local groups or organizations you will target.
These may consist of residential areas, financial or business districts, schools, sports clubs, etc.
Knowing your target audience will help you shape or customize your offerings, content, and pricing.
You can start gathering and building your customer database at this stage.
2. Establish your presence.
Build awareness about your brand, and alongside this, create a good reputation by investing in relationships in the community.
As your neighbors get to know you, you also need to go out and interact with them, face-to-face.
a. The traditional way.
- Send direct mail (coupons, brochures, fliers about promos)
- Advertise through the local TV, radio, and newspapers.
- Introduce promos through telemarketing.
- Your best marketing tool is your website, so make sure you have it listed in search engines. Remember
to create a thorough SEO keyword strategy, as well.
- Set your business up in Google My Business so it will be easily visible for searches and engagements.
- Establish an active and approachable social media account which is there to share motivational stories,
and to engage and promote local personalities and businesses. Add something of value to your audience,
more than just advertisements for your promos.
- Create a blog so you can have an outlet for storytelling. Post and share stories about your staff, your customers,
and about your interactions with your community. Share these posts on your website and on your social media
3. Participate and mingle with the community.
Let the community know that you are not just investing money, but you are also devoting time and forming relationships with them.
If you are managing a restaurant, you can have special lunch promos for students or specific groups or organizations.
Have your business be seen in local town events such as sports leagues, parades, and in community gatherings.
It would also help to offer or to accept sponsorships and in charity efforts.
4. Form partnerships.
If there are businesses that provides services or products that are similar or even in complementary industries with yours, explore the possibility of forming partnerships with them.
Expand your network further by signing your business up in appropriate groups and offer them discounts or coupons.
The main idea here is to operate both professionally, and to show local businesses that you are not hostile competition.
There are many more steps to establishing an effective local area marketing strategy, and while they may share the same qualities of a larger, wider-reaching campaign, the values that are intrinsic to a local area are easily more tangible.
It is like going to the grassroots level of meeting your audiences face-to-face, shaking their hands, and simply establishing good relationships