Marketing Local Businesses Online

Location based marketing is one the biggest trends for digital marketers across the globe in 2016. In fact, it’s high on the agenda for most marketers as 77% state it’s an important focus for them this year. Even if you don’t sell a product or service online, location based marketing is an incredibly important channel for promoting your business, especially with the rise of mobile technology.

Today’s article will help you understand what location based marketing is, how to use it to promote your physical location and examples of relevant location based marketing campaigns.

 

What is location based marketing?

This is essentially where you can use geographic based data to specifically target potential customers and promote a message tailored to their physical location. Generally, this data is collated from a user’s GPS signal using mobile technology.

Promotion technique 1 – online check ins:

Social media channels such as Facebook allow consumers to check in and tag your business via their profile, sharing the fact that they’ve visited your restaurant or bar. This creates social proof and word of mouth marketing via social media, as an online check in acts as a strong personal recommendation.

However, you really need to offer an incentive to encourage people to do this. It could be a discount, a fun prize or an exclusive reward. Whatever you decide, make sure it truly engages your customers and appeals to them.

 

Promotion technique 2 – location based beacon technology:

If you’re a retailer, this fact may completely change the way you think about location based marketing – timely in store messages can cause a consumer to be 20 times more likely to make a purchase. With the use of in store beacon technology, users can receive alerts and notifications as they walk past certain areas of your shop. This could include updates about special offers, new product lines or events happening nearby.

This allows you to deliver incredibly targeted messages, delivering useful information to your consumers straight to their personal mobile device. You can influence their behaviour once they’re in store, increasing their likelihood to purchase and more importantly, your levels of sales.

 

Promotion technique 3 – Google Places:

This is a simple but very effective location based marketing tool. When users are visiting search engines such as Google, there are certain terms that deliver location based results. So they could be online searching for their nearest Italian restaurant for example and they’re delivered a list of the closest pizza takeaways.

On your part, you can just register for a ‘Google My Business’ page and customers can easily find you via Google Search, Maps and Google +. Location based search optimization provides customers with your phone number, location and directions, so they can easily find and contact your business.

As you can see, there’s a whole host of location based marketing techniques that are effective when marketing your physical store. This is one the most exciting marketing technologies and will continue to develop. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

TOOLS FOR GRASS ROOTS INVESTORS

Investing locally is a great way to build a strong community.   You live in your particular town, why not invest in it too? By supporting local businesses, you’re not only helping them – you’re helping your community stay strong. As an added bonus, every time you invest in a local business, you’re allowing an entrepreneur realize their dream of owning their own business. It’s a win win for everyone. The only problem is, unless you’re one of the top tier 2% of investors that securities regulators consider accredited, you may be told your investment options are limited. That’s not true. Here are the tools you need to invest local if you’re in the 98% of unaccredited investors.

  1. Invest In Yourself – The best rate of return happens when you invest not only locally but in yourself. Get rid of your credit card debt, buy a home, grow your own food, and generate your own heat and electricity with solar energy.   You are your best local investment.
  1. Create Targeted CDs – Many banks and credit unions are wary of loaning small businesses money without the guarantee of full collateral. To invest local and help out small businesses, you can put your money into a special certificate of deposit that offers full collateral to local businesses. If your bank or credit union currently doesn’t offer this program, ask them to create it.
  1. Pre-purchase Good and Services – This is an approach that works well on crowd funding sites like Indiegogo and kickstarter. The business creates a page and usually a video explaining the product they are trying to create. You decide if you want to support them.   The reward on your investment depends on the level of support you’ve given. By purchasing the goods or services before they’ve been produced, the business raises capital without all the sticky red tape. Type in your town’s name in the search box to find local campaigns to invest in.
  1. Form A Local Investment Club – If you find it difficult to get in to a more established investment fund because you’re an unaccredited investor, form an investment club! Gather community minded individuals together and form a club to pool your assets together. The more funds, the more you can do for your community and local businesses. A new option is participating in equity crowdfunding with a focus on your state or metro area.
  1. Put your money in local banks/credit unions – Forgot using big chain banks. If you are serious about investing local, you need to put all your checking, savings, credit cards, and loans in a local bank or credit union. Credit unions are responsible for 30% of small business loans to companies that may not get a big, chain bank to give them a second look. By moving your assets to a local bank or credit union, you are also showing your support to invest locally.

By investing locally, you’re sending a powerful message to the local, state, and national government. You’re saying ‘I care about Main Street – not Wall Street.’ Make your community special by supporting local businesses.