How to Master Local Business Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide for Service Providers

For service providers like plumbers, electricians, and landscapers, navigating online marketing can be a challenge even on a good day. But fear not! We’re here to simplify things and show you the ropes of effective local business marketing.

But we want to stress that local business marketing isn’t just about posting on social media or having a fancy website. It’s about connecting with your community, understanding their needs, and positioning your services as the best solution out there—and that’s what we’re going to show you how to do today.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s dive in shall we?

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The Importance of Local Business Marketing

Better Visibility in Local Search Results

Local search engine optimization (SEO) helps your business appear more prominently when potential customers search for services in your area. 

For instance, imagine someone in your town needs a plumber urgently because of a burst pipe. Their first action would likely be to search for “emergency plumber near me” on Google. If your plumbing business has optimized its website and Google Business Profile (GBP) listing for local keywords and location-specific information, you have a higher chance of appearing at the top of the search results. 

With the top result in a search engine results page (SERP) having an average click-through rate (CTR) of 27.6%, being front and center on these pages increases the chances of a customer contacting you for their plumbing needs over someone else (Forbes).

Builds Community Trust and Loyalty

When it comes to fostering ties with the community, local businesses have a distinct advantage. This is particularly true for local businesses like coffee shops that host weekly events like open mic nights or community fundraisers. By actively engaging with residents and contributing to events happening nearby, that coffee shop becomes more than just a place to grab a cup of coffee—it becomes a cherished part of the community people are proud to support.

As a result, customers are more likely to choose to spend their money at the quaint little coffee shop over, say, Starbucks because of the personal connection and sense of belonging it holds over people. 

10 Local Business Marketing Strategies

Now that we have established the “why,” it’s time to dig deeper into the “how.” Here’s what you need to know to better your local business marketing efforts in your community:

1. Build a Strong Online Presence

A well-designed, responsive website is like your digital storefront—and it’s often the first impression customers have of your business. 

For instance, a local dog groomer website should showcase adorable images of perfectly pampered pooches and provide essential information such as location, hours of operation, and contact details. This not only helps potential customers find your business online but also entices them to visit in person.

On that note, accurate and useful content on your website is a great way to engage local customers. 

For example, a Nevada landscaping company’s website can feature blog posts with seasonal gardening tips tailored to the local climate. By offering valuable information that addresses the specific needs and challenges of the local climate, the landscaping company can better establish itself as a trusted authority in the eyes of algorithms like Google, increasing the likelihood of being recommended to local customers.

2. Leverage Local SEO for Enhanced Visibility

Local SEO helps businesses like yours appear in search results when potential customers search for products or services in their area. 

Imagine you’re a pizza business operating in the West Loops neighborhood of Chicago—if someone in that neighborhood searches for “pizza delivery near me,” Google’s local search algorithm will aim to show them good-quality pizzerias in West Loop (where you do business) rather than ones located across town that are too far away to deliver. 

By optimizing your online presence for local search, you increase your chances of being discovered by local customers actively seeking your offerings. That’s why local SEO domination is so highly sought after.

Key Strategies for Success

Keyword Targeting: Conduct keyword research to identify the phrases and terms that local customers use when searching for businesses like yours. Focus on long-tail keywords (phrases made of 3-5 words) that include geographic modifiers, such as city names or neighborhood districts

From there, try to incorporate these keywords naturally into your website content, including page titles, headings, meta descriptions, and body text, to improve your visibility in local search results. But, try not to keyword stuff, as this can end up hurting your SEO rather than helping. The rule of thumb is to keep the frequency of a keyword limited to 0.5-2% of your content.

Google Business Profile Optimization: With Google holding the lion’s share of the search engine market, claiming and optimizing your GBP listing is crucial for your local SEO success (Statista). 

Ensure that all information, including your business name, address, phone number (NAP), website URL, and business hours, is currently accurate and up to date. Provide detailed descriptions of your products or services, and select relevant categories to classify your business correctly in the eyes of Google. 

From there, encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your GBP listing, as positive reviews can greatly enhance your visibility and credibility in local search results—after all, would you recommend a lackluster business to others? Of course not, and neither would Google. 

Local backlinks: Backlinks from authoritative local websites (this just means reputable businesses or organizations with a strong presence online) signal to search engines that your company is relevant to the local community, thereby boosting your rankings in local search results. 

Actively seek opportunities to earn backlinks from these local businesses, organizations, and directories. This could involve participating in local events, sponsoring community initiatives, or collaborating with neighboring businesses. 

Side note: ensure that your business is listed accurately across online directories and review platforms outside of Google, such as Facebook or Yelp, as these citations can also contribute to your local SEO efforts.

3. Utilize Social Media for Local Engagement

Identify the social media platforms that are most popular among your target demographic and are commonly used for local engagement. 

For instance, Facebook is a massively popular platform with over 2.9 billion active monthly users (Statista). It’s a great place for reaching a wide range of demographics and allows businesses to create localized content and engage with local communities through groups and events. This is a great platform for the trades, dental clinics, and much more.

Instagram, on the other hand, is ideal for businesses with visually appealing products or services, as it emphasizes image and short-form video content. This is a great spot for aesthetically appealing shops like dog groomers, hair salons, and jewelers. 

Meanwhile, platforms like Nextdoor cater specifically to local neighborhoods, making them valuable for hyper-local targeting for roofers, painters, and landscapers.

Tips for Creating Engaging, Locally Relevant Content:

  • Tailor your social media content to resonate with your local audience by highlighting community events, landmarks, and fellow businesses.
  • Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your operations and the hard-working employees who keep your company running smoothly.
  • Showcase satisfied customers’ testimonials.
  • Promote local initiatives and partnerships.
  • Encourage interaction and engagement by asking questions, running polls or contests, and responding promptly to comments and messages.
  • Last but not least: showcase your personality. Behind every business is a team of humans, so be witty, be funny, and keep your content light and refreshing.

4. Maximize the Power of Google My Business

Utilize GBP to its fullest extent to optimize the influence of your local business. 

Begin by setting up a detailed and optimized profile that includes essential information like your business hours, contact details, and address. Ensure everything looks accurate and complete in your listing to improve your visibility in local search results. 

Additionally, it never hurts to leverage the various features provided by GBP, such as posts, photos, and updates, to keep your profile fresh and engaging for potential customers.

One key aspect of GBP is the management of customer reviews. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive feedback on your profile by consistently delivering excellent service. 

Make it practically effortless for customers to share their experiences by providing clear instructions for how to leave reviews. (If you need how-to guides to send to customers: How to Post a Review on Google and How to Leave a Review on Facebook.)

Promptly respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, to demonstrate your commitment to making your customers happy. Address any concerns or issues raised by customers with empathy and professionalism, and express gratitude for positive feedback to show appreciation for their support.

GBP is a valuable platform for connecting with your local community and establishing your business as a trusted and reputable choice in your local area.

5. Leverage Email Marketing for Local Businesses

It never hurts to give your potential clients or past customers a gentle nudge every now and again, and the best way to do that is with email marketing. Here are some best practices for building and segmenting a local email list:

  • Offer Incentives: Encourage visitors to your physical location or website to sign up for your email list by offering exclusive discounts, promotions, or freebies.
  • Use Sign-Up Forms: Place sign-up forms prominently on your website, blog, and social media profiles to capture email addresses from interested visitors.
  • Segment by Location: Divide your email list into segments based on the geographical location of subscribers to send targeted content relevant to their area.
  • Leverage In-Store Sign-Ups: Collect email addresses from customers at your physical location by having sign-up sheets or offering to email receipts.
  • Use QR Codes: Create QR codes that link directly to your email sign-up form and display them on print materials, signage, or packaging for easy access.

Now that we have a strategy, it’s time to get writing. Here are some ideas to inspire your next email campaign:

  • Exclusive Local Offers: Send out email campaigns featuring special discounts or promotions available only to subscribers in specific locations. Highlight the exclusivity of these offers to incentivize action.
  • Local Events Updates: Keep subscribers informed about upcoming events, whether it’s a grand opening, community fundraiser, or networking opportunity. Include details such as date, time, location, and any special guests or activities.
  • Neighborhood Newsletters: Create regular newsletters that share updates and news relevant to the local community. This could include information about other local businesses, new developments at your store, upcoming events, or noteworthy achievements or awards you won.
  • Seasonal Promotions: Tailor your email campaigns to coincide with local seasons or holidays. Try offering seasonal discounts, promotions, or gift guides to encourage customers to shop locally.
  • Customer Appreciation Events: Invite local subscribers to exclusive customer appreciation events hosted by your business. These could entail discounts, freebies, or live entertainment to show your gratitude for their support and encourage repeat business.

6. Utilize Local Influencers and Partnerships

Partnering with local influencers and other businesses can greatly amplify your reach within the community and increase brand visibility. This is because you are leveraging their existing audience and strong credibility. It also means you can tap into new customer segments and build trust more effectively. 

Just be careful who you select for this partnership, as problematic influencers or businesses could damage your reputation instead of improving it.

Strategies for Identifying and Engaging with Potential Local Partners:

Here’s how you can spot some winning contenders:

  • Research Local Influencers: Identify influential individuals within your target demographic who have a strong presence on social media or in the community. Look for influencers whose values align with your brand and who have a genuine connection with their followers.
  • Offer Value Proposition: Approach potential partners with a clear value proposition outlining how collaborating with your business can benefit them. Highlight opportunities for cross-promotion, content creation, or joint events that can mutually benefit both parties.
  • Attend Local Events: Network and connect with other local businesses and influencers by attending community events, networking mixers, or industry gatherings. Establishing personal relationships can make collaborations feel more authentic and organic.
  • Leverage Social Media: Engage with local influencers and businesses on social media by liking, commenting, and sharing their content. Show genuine interest in their work and demonstrate that you’re open to collaboration opportunities.
  • Offer Exclusive Partnerships: Provide incentives for local influencers and businesses to partner with you, such as exclusive discounts, early access to products or services, or co-branding opportunities. Make them feel valued and appreciated for their support.

7. Sponsor Local Events

Sponsoring local events presents a prime opportunity to increase brand visibility and demonstrate your commitment to the community. By associating your brand with causes or organizations that matter to local residents, you can build positive perceptions of your business and strengthen customer relationships.

Ways to Sponsor Local Events:

  • Charitable Events: Support local charitable initiatives, fundraisers, or community outreach programs, and make sure to always align your sponsorship with causes that reflect your company values and priorities.
  • Sports Teams: Sponsor local sports teams, leagues, or tournaments to gain exposure among athletes, fans, and their families. Your logo displayed on jerseys, banners, or signage at sporting events can significantly increase public recognition.
  • High School Groups: Partner with local high schools or youth organizations by sponsoring teams, breakfast clubs, or academic programs. This can involve providing financial support, equipment, or resources to enhance educational opportunities for students.

8. Utilize Your Customer Base

Your current customers are a gold mine for expanding your business and keeping it thriving. With some smart strategies, you can turn them into your best marketers and keep them coming back for more. Here are some ways to further leverage your existing customer base:

  • Offer Special Deals: Give your loyal customers exclusive discounts or special offers. It’s a great way to keep them engaged and returning again and again.
  • Start a Referral Program: Encourage your happy customers to spread the word about your business. Offer them referral incentives or discounts for bringing in new customers. They get a sweet deal and you get a new customer. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!

9. Host an Event

Hosting your own event can be a fantastic way to showcase your expertise and connect with your local community. Here are some tips to make your next event a success:

  • Consider Your Audience: Make it engaging for everyone. Think about who your target audience is and what they would enjoy. If you’re a family-oriented business, consider hosting a family-friendly event that both parents and kids will love.
  • Fun Activities: Plan activities or entertainment that will keep folks entertained and engaged. Whether it’s games, demonstrations, or workshops, make sure there’s something to keep the energy level high.
  • Strut Your Stuff: Use the event as an opportunity to showcase your expertise and educate attendees about your services. Offer a free consultation or workshop where attendees can ask questions or get advice about the things you specialize in.
  • Promote Your Event: Make sure to promote your event through your website, social media channels, and local advertising. The more people know about it, the more likely they are to attend and spread the word.

10. Use Paid Advertising for Local Markets

Paid advertising can be an effective way to hone in on local customers and drive traffic to your business. Here’s how you can make the most of paid advertising for your local market:

Choose the Right Platforms:

  • Consider platforms like Google Ads and Facebook local ads, which allow you to target specific geographic areas and demographics relevant to your business.
  • Research which platforms your target audience is most active on and focus your advertising efforts there.

Create Targeted Ad Campaigns:

  • Tailor your ad campaigns to resonate with local audiences by highlighting your business’s connection to the community.
  • Use language and imagery that speaks to local interests to grab the attention of potential customers.
  • Include relevant keywords and location-specific targeting to ensure your ads are seen by the right people in your area.

Monitor and Adjust:

  • It’s okay to shake things up if they are not working. Regularly monitor the performance of your ad campaigns and make adjustments as needed to improve results.
  • Track key metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and return on investment to gauge the effectiveness of your advertising efforts.
  • Experiment with different ad formats, targeting options, and messaging to see what works best with your local audience.

How to Measure Your Local Marketing Success

Tracking the pulse of your local marketing efforts is like having a built-in GPS for your business journey—it keeps you on the right path and helps you navigate any twists and turns along the way. Here’s how you can keep on top of things and better gauge the success of your local marketing endeavors:

Key Metrics to Track:

  • Website Traffic: Think of your website as your storefront’s window—keep an eye on how many passersby stop to take a peek inside. Monitor the flow of visitors from local sources, like search engines and social media, to see who’s window-shopping and who’s ready to step inside.
  • Leads and Conversions: Your website isn’t just for show—it’s where the magic happens. Keep tabs on the number of leads generated and conversions achieved through local marketing channels. Are visitors staying just visitors or are they ready to make a purchase?
  • Local Search Rankings: Keep an eye on where you stand in local search rankings for keywords related to your business. Are you shining brightly, or could you use a little polish?
  • Online Reviews and Ratings: Your online reputation precedes you. Keep tabs on the quantity and quality of online reviews and ratings your business receives. Are customers singing your praises, or is there room for improvement?
  • Foot Traffic and Store Visits: If you have a physical storefront, keep track of how many customers walk through your doors using tools like foot traffic counters. From there, compare revenue to the level of foot traffic to determine shopping behaviors.

Tools and techniques for measurement include:

  • Google Analytics
  • Local SEO Tools
  • Call Tracking Software
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
  • Surveys and Feedback Forms

By keeping a close eye on these key metrics and leveraging the right tools, you’ll be well-equipped to steer your business toward success in the local arena.

Grow Faster with Broadly

Navigating local business marketing requires a bit of nuance if you to speak directly to the hearts and minds of your community. With more and more competition on the horizon, a tailored local business marketing strategy isn’t just nice to have—it’s becoming a requirement to differentiate yourself from the pile.

From optimizing your online presence to tracking your progress as you go, these practices are the fuel that will help propel your business forward.

So, don’t be satisfied with second best—it’s time to thrive in your local market. We encourage you to embrace these strategies, tailor them to fit your unique business needs, and watch the fruit of your labor begin to form.

Ready to take your local business marketing efforts up a notch? Explore Broadly’s suite of solutions designed to amplify your reach, enhance your reputation, and drive growth in your local market. With Broadly by your side, the journey to growth is just around the corner. Schedule your FREE demo with one of our experts today!

Watch your online reputation transform with Broadly