Design a Great Local Marketing Strategy: Grow Your Business
Having a great local marketing strategy does wonders for your business; the question is how to build one when you have so much advice coming from all directions.
A Chicago marketing strategy consultant can give fantastic advice on the best strategies to use:
- Set marketing goals and KPIs.
- Do complete market research.
- Build some buyer personas.
- Set realistic branding goals.
- Use multi-channel marketing.
- Manage your reputation online.
- Include local SEO in your plan.
- See where paid marketing fits.
- Host or join some local events.
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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9 Ways to Design a Great Local Marketing Strategy
Marketing is sensitive to time and location; a local Chicago strategy includes a set of best practices you would not find in a national or global approach. A good rule for this is that your strategy must be more specific and detailed for the smaller and more local target.
Take Coca-Cola as an example. They have a brilliantly tailored local campaign for every major marketing strategy in countries where they are present. That highlights some vital factors in great local marketing, which include knowing your target market intimately and attending events.
1. Set Marketing Goals and KPIs
A great strategy starts with having clearly defined marketing goals and establishing key performance indicators (KPIs). The former becomes the foundation for any future marketing campaigns. Give yourself the best chance by setting SMART defined objectives.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. It can be applied when creating KPIs for any campaign or project. Once you have your goals and KPIs, you can start to build the rest of your strategy. The next step should be doing thorough local market research.
2. Do Complete Market Research
A top tip you should always aspire to follow closely is knowing your business inside and out and keeping close tabs on the target market for your marketing strategy. Seek out your business’s strengths and weaknesses and what niche you can fill in the market. Aim to gain detailed knowledge of what people want and keep revising your plans to fit their changing interests.
Those two might not be enough, so supplement your research with competitor analysis to know what other players in the industry are doing right. You can take it further by doing risk analysis to help you create fantastic contingency plans to save your strategy if things go wrong.
3. Build Some Buyer Personas
If you struggle to get your market research up and running, try making buyer personas to lead you in the right direction. A buyer persona is a card or sheet containing critical information about an imaginary (or real) customer. It has basic demographic data such as name, age, and job.
It also contains useful information, such as significant problems (relevant to you) that they encounter daily. For instance, a transport business might include potential customers’ commuting woes alongside their financial constraints as part of the buyer persona.
4. Set Realistic Branding Goals
Marketing goals are not the only ones you need for your strategy — branding goals shape how you attract customers and promote loyalty to your business. Coincidentally, the two points mentioned are crucial goals that every successful business should add to its marketing strategy.
Another integral aspect of branding is how you plan to broaden awareness of your business and the identity and values you want to project to the world. If you can, tie this in with your corporate social responsibility (CSR) or sustainability efforts to help you appeal to younger audiences.
5. Use Multi-Channel Marketing
This might not be obvious when you think about local strategies, but mastering omnichannel marketing is imperative, especially if you have limited resources. It works as the name says, using all the different modes of connecting your business with potential customers.
That includes email, content, social media, organic, and paid marketing, which sounds like overkill but is not. Everywhere you do marketing, you have a minimal chance to convert or show returns on investment (ROI). Using all of them at once greatly increases your success rate.
6. Manage Your Reputation Online
Reputation, just like branding, determines how big your business can grow. This is especially true in the modern age, when boycotts over misaligned value systems cause big businesses to lose their audience. Reputation is how people perceive your business.
If you want to do reputation marketing in Chicago, one piece of advice that every Chicago marketing strategy consultant would give you is to focus on customer service. Build a name for yourself as a business that listens to customers. Trust is a rare commodity, so try not to lose it.
7. Include Local SEO in Your Plan
Another great piece of advice from Chicago marketing strategy consultants is to let local SEO best practices guide you in creating your campaigns. For example, local SEO says you should include “local keywords” and write “local content.” Use that to create a sense of community.
Customers love personalized experiences, and it does not get more personal than instilling a sense of familiarity by embracing your place within a local community. Show that you are here to solve the unique challenges people in your target market face daily.
8. See Where Paid Marketing Fits
Although it would be ideal to stick to organic and (for the most part) free marketing methods that you have within reach, paid marketing offers even more utility. Unlike sending emails or posting on social media, well-planned pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns show results faster and with a much better ROI.
This takes significantly more time and financial investment than other efforts you want to include in your local marketing strategy. However, an excellent PPC campaign can help you get ahead of competitors relying on organic traffic to capture quality leads that are close to converting.
9. Host or Join Some Local Events
Press coverage and backlinks boost your local SEO rank because they tell search engines that you are important (i.e., trusted or reliable, especially within the area). Hosting or joining local events is a great and easy way to at least get mentions from other local writers.
In other words, putting yourself out there is good for local SEO because it makes your business more visible, among other benefits. You should check the events you join to see if they have a negative impact on your branding or other parts of your long-term local marketing strategy.
As with any strategy, the quality of your local marketing strategy depends on how well you put it together and what you include in it. For instance, name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistency is one of the most commonly used strategies right now, but so is using PPC marketing to boost reach.
Omnichannel marketing is not mentioned in most advice content but helps as much as the previous two. You can choose what suits your needs best, so try not to overthink what works for everyone else. Focus on your own goals.
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