This website uses cookies

We use cookies to improve your experience. Find out more about our Cookie Policy.

Close

Great ways to market your business locally

Great ways to market your business locally
Deborah Goodall
Marketing, Digital marketing
Find out more about Deborah Goodall

In this article you’ll learn

  • Ways to market your business locally using digital media
  • How to build word of mouth and networking
  • How paid advertising can help market your business

There are lots of different ways to market your business locally, and often, business owners want to do a better job of promoting themselves to the potential customers on their doorstep. However, the first thing to establish is "Is there demand for my product/service locally?" or, put another way, "does my target audience live/work here?" In some cases, the answer will be "no". Trying to sell luxury goods in a deprived area is never going to work if you only market yourself locally. Equally, operating as a business consultant in an area with little or no business means you will have to travel to succeed. 

Once you have established that your audience is in the locality, there are many things that you can do to promote your business. Here are what we think are the best ways to market your business locally: 

Advertising

Using local newspapers/radio stations is one of the best ways to market your business locally. These media often have a good local penetration and can be a good way of highlighting your offering – especially if you have a high street presence or are looking to reach home owners. Check out our tips for creating this kind of publicity for your business here. But be careful, if you're operating business to business, you might not find local media as successful depending on the readership and the media content. 

Sales man shaking hands with a customer after successfully marketing locally by going door-to-door 

Door-to-Door/Direct Mail

If you are looking for direct ways to market your business locally, have you tried going door-to-door, or sending messages straight to your customer’s email inbox? Lists are available to purchase or using door-to-door via Royal Mail or other distribution services can take your promotional piece directly into the hands of your target audience. 

PR

Don’t underestimate the value of PR for local marketing activity when considering ways to market your business. The passive endorsement of a successful PR campaign can have a great impact. Combine this with social media activity to really maximise the benefit. Create your own publicity opportunities with these tips. 

Networking

If you want to run your business locally, then networking locally is essential. Take "networking" in the broadest sense of the word – don’t limit yourself to business networking. Think of other ways to become entrenched in your community – whether that be through playing football, tennis or joining the running club. Even using the local pub can all have a positive impact on the awareness of your business. 

Have a browse of local networking events here.

Affiliate Marketing

Combine your efforts when you are looking into ways to market your business. You could work with other local, non-competing but complementary businesses to grow your business. Cross-promotion allows each of you to access the others customers For example: promotion of a bike shop in a café; butchers in a greengrocers; or if you are an accountant how about building relationships with a solicitor. 

Check out our free guide to working with local businesses and your community to bring more customers into your shops.

Word of Mouth

Arguably, one of the most important ways to market your business locally is to create word of mouth. The "word on the street" will have serious impact (especially if it is negative!). You can leverage word of mouth to grow your business. Check out our article to building word of mouth for more information on this marketing method.

Team working together around a table on a project using a tablet, laptop, notebook and a phone 

Digital

It is important to consider the use of digital as a way to market your business locally. Mobile usage by consumers in 2015 influenced Google to introduce an enhanced mobile experience by delivering location-based results. Listing your business on google products will help but ultimately if your website is not mobile friendly it won’t rank in mobile results. 

You can find out about improving your website in this free guide.

Remember to list events and business promotions on your website too as this fresh content will also help you maintain your Google ranking on "near me" searches. 

Using social media will also influence your Google ranking – especially Twitter which is now indexed by Google. More than that many people use Facebook as a search engine to find businesses in their locality and will read the feedback that others have left to make a decision regarding whether to use your services or not. Intermediary websites such as TripAdvisor should also be considered to reach the local market place if you operate a leisure facility. 

Using adwords might feature as part of your activity. With Google and Facebook you can restrict these by geography so minimizing any wastage. It is essential to use negative keywords and phrases to pin-point the right searches to your website. 

And, of course, if you are driving traffic to your website and then want them to visit your store, or ring you, or make an appointment do ensure you have the right call to action and your contact details on your website – including a map if necessary. 

Call to action to download a toolkit to help promote business on social media

Summary

There are lots of different ways to market your business locally, and not all of them have to cost you lots of money. Some of the most effective local marketing strategies, like word of mouth, cost you nothing financially. Going to networking events in your area to increase awareness for your business and potentially join in collaborative marketing too can be really useful in local marketing.