Digital marketing allows businesses to connect with their audience worldwide, however, it’s important not to neglect your local marketing efforts and overlook potential customers closer to home.

Local customers are hugely important to the success of any business but particularly those with physical premises, such as a shop, salon, café or showroom that customers can visit in-person.

Whilst the popularity of online shopping continues to increase, many people are now seeing the benefits of shopping locally and this is even true of digital and service businesses, with many customers preferring to engage the services of a local business over a national competitor. A 2020 YouGov Poll found that 64% of people want to support local businesses and buy local products.

This all means that your local area could hold many potential new customers and clients, but how do you reach them?

Ways to attract more local customers to your business

Local SEO

Search Engine Optimisation helps improve your website’s visibility in online searches. Local SEO works in much the same way but specifically improves the visibility of your business to local searchers.

The better your local SEO, the more likely your business will feature in the top results when a local person performs a relevant search. This makes Local SEO hugely important, particularly to businesses with physical premises, as Google estimates that 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a physical place within 24 hours. That means more visits to your shop, restaurant or venue, which in turn means more potential sales and profit for your business.

You can improve your local SEO instantly through the use of Google Business Profile. This is a free, easy-to-use tool designed to help businesses get the most out of Google through their Search and Maps functions.

To find out more about Google My Business and how to use it, check out our recent blog.

Use social media

Although social media has global reach, it’s also a great way to connect with your local audience. By posting thoughtful, engaging and relevant content on social media, you offer value to your followers who may be previous, current or possible future customers or clients.

Posting about local events you’re attending or your business is involved with, as well as other local news is a great way to get your business on the radar of people living or working in your area.

You can also help to support and promote other local businesses, creating a support network in your local community.

Community involvement

Following on from the above, getting involved in your local community is a surefire way to raise the profile of your business. This could be through local networking groups, forming friendships and building connections in the business community,  volunteering to help out with community projects, attending meetings or even sponsoring a local sports team.

If your business is a positive presence in the local community, potential customers and clients will be more likely to think of it when they need a product or service that your business provides.

Local events

Local events can raise the profile of your business in the community and ensure that potential customers in your area know where you are and what you do.

Local events might include taking part in large-scale organised events such as a market or festival. Alternatively, you could host your own event such as a launch party to celebrate the opening of your new premises or a birthday celebration for your business.

Depending on the nature of your business, you could also consider events such as workshops, competitions, tastings, live shows or online events.

Paid Advertising

Organic growth through a robust SEO and content strategy is key to the long-term success of your business but paid advertising can help boost your efforts in the short-term.

Paid advertising includes search ads, where you pay for your business to feature amongst the top results for relevant keywords in a search engine such as Google. You can also pay for display ads, such as banners on a website and social ads, which are run on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Which type of paid advertising is best for your business depends on several factors such as your target audience, your campaign aims and your budget.

Special offers

Special offers or incentives are a great way to encourage local customers to try out your products or services or to return to your business as a repeat customer.

Special offers you might want to consider are discounts or sales, coupons for new or returning customers, bonus freebies or a loyalty scheme.

You can even make your special offers go further by tying them in with your other local marketing efforts. For example, a free item or discount for any customer who leaves a review for your business or planning a sale or special offer to coincide with a relevant local event.

Need help?

Shine On Digital understands how important it is for businesses to attract more local customers. That’s why we offer services such as our Local SEO packages to help raise your business profile in your local area and increase footfall.

We will ensure that your Google My Business profile is relevant, accurate and up to date. We can also help with other aspects of local marketing such as paid advertisingsocial media audit and social media management.

So if you want to get more local customers and you’re not sure how to start, get in touch or give us a call on 01706 482017 to find out how Shine On Digital can help