Why A Dinosaur Statue Might Be Good For Local Business Marketing-Part 1by@sergii-shanin
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Why A Dinosaur Statue Might Be Good For Local Business Marketing-Part 1

by Sergii ShaninMay 5th, 2022
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This essential guide to local business marketing will instruct you on **17 key channels** to become the king of the mountain. The content below applies to any kind of local business – find the perfect combination of both strategy and tactics to outperform your competitors and make your company a local star.

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One roadside hotel installed a 6-meters high diplodocus (a dinosaur) to attract passing drivers. We admit that it's quite an unusual way to advertise, but not all types of local businesses need to apply such radical marketing to get customers.

If you are not into dinosaurs, then this essential guide to local business marketing will instruct you on 17 key channels to become the king of the mountain. Here is an infographic that will give you a general idea about the content of the article.

The content below applies to any kind of local business – find the perfect combination of both strategy and tactics to outperform your competitors and make your company a local star. Let's delve into it!

Tactic #1: Offline Advertising

Signboards, city lights, and billboards are the most obvious ways to promote your local business. Well, don't do them. We mean no half-hearted efforts like most businesses do! If you're going to do it, do it right!

Try to remember at least five offline ads you saw yesterday. That'll not be easy – we humans developed something called "ad blindness" quite a while ago. Most ads we see are quite banal, repetitive, and dumb, so our brain filters this visual noise. If you've decided to promote your local business with offline ads, it's better to brainstorm some creative ideas and hire a good specialist in this field.

The main goal of offline ads is to invoke interest and push a person to learn more and come to your location. So instead of direct selling, take an artistic approach – think about how to make your ad symbolic to awaken interest. Here are some ways to do it:

a) Stand out from your surroundings. Take a look at the locations you expect to place your ads. What do ads for other businesses and competitors look like? What are their prevalent colors, messages, and formats? Develop your ads in a way that catches attention and differs from your surroundings.

b) Use recognizable art objects. For example, you could adapt some famous quotes for your text. Or showcase well-known pictures and sculptures in a new way, as a vintage clothing brand did:

Image credit:

When people see something familiar in an unusual perspective – it catches their attention and evokes interest, so they become interested in learning more about your business.

c) Derive inspiration from the best ads in the world. To get bold ideas for your local business marketing you can explore Rich Media GalleryIADDB, or this Pinterest.

d) Make your location the ad itself. Create a branded photo area that people will use to take a photo and share it on social media. You can find some examples here.

We collected some more examples of creative offline advertising to give you food for thought.

It's vital to choose the right placement in offline advertising. Ads will not bring you any clients if you put them in the wrong locations, so choose them carefully. No need to buy a lot of ad spots – work as a sniper and choose a few spots in the most important locations. Here are some options:

  • Placements just near your business locations.
  • In public transport stops near you.
  • Where your target audience spends time. For example, if you target office workers, you could buy ad placements near office centers, business lunch spots, and traffic lights on the way to work.

Combining the artistic and sniper approaches for ad creation and placements, you will have good chances to get more clients just with offline advertising. But don't limit yourself with analog channels — let's see how you could leverage digital.

Tactic #2: Website

You have an offline location, but to leverage most of the modern marketing tools you also need to have an "online location" – your website. It will help you to achieve such goals:

  • Increase audience awareness of your business by leveraging digital channels;
  • Decrease the load of your call center – potential visitors could just obtain basic information online;
  • Engage your potential customers enough so they leave their contact information;
  • Convert online visitors to offline visitors, so you could sell them goods or services

If you think that website creation is a long and expensive process, then relax – it could be dirt cheap. Of course, a fancy website would cost you a small fortune, but for starters, some simple landing page constructed in two days on Unbounce or Wix will be enough. If you don't have experience in their creation, it's better to hire a freelancer from UpWork that could help you.

We have developed an effective structure for local business websites. Adhere to this screen sequence to create a converting website that will get you more visitors:

  1. Value proposition. A silver bullet for getting attention – the ultimate reason why customers should come to you and how you are different from competitors. It should be a catchy text combined with an engaging image. Two-three sentences are enough.

  2. Description. Explain what your business does, how you can help your customers, and what are the main benefits they receive should they come to you.

  3. Service area and your locations. The next thing a user wants to know about you is whether your location is convenient for him. Write your addresses and working hours, and insert a Google Maps snippet to customer journeys to your location.

  4. Benefits. Describe the benefits of your services to customers. Don't talk a lot about yourself, instead concentrate on the customer, one's pains, needs, and desires. Think of it as an empathy exercise – the better you show website visitors you understand them, the more will come.

  5. Call to Action #1. Your first hook. Put a button that urges a visitor to leave a phone number, call you or get directions to your area.

  6. Testimonials. Social proof is a major league way to persuade potential customers to come to your location, so put them on your website. The best way to do it is to integrate them from review platforms, like Google Reviews for Business, Facebook, or Trustpilot.

  7. Blog posts or integrated Instagram page. Scatter some delicious "content breadcrumbs" to lure visitors for further interaction with your website. Put links to the most engaging posts you published or integrate your Instagram/Facebook newsfeed. This way visitors will stay on the website longer and become more engaged with your brand.

  8. Contacts and Call To Action #2. Repeat your call to action, provide the needed info to contact your business. Studies show that if a call to action is repeated at least two times, the chance of conversion is higher.

This structure is not mandatory, experiment and apply your vision. Here are 15 local business websites that can give you some inspiration for creating your own.

Tactic #3: Reputation management and review platforms

Let's imagine you are looking for a clinic and found several ones. What will you do next? We bet you will go read reviews about them. That's the right thing to do – nobody buys a pig in a poke, especially when it concerns health.

The same thing works for your local business – it's important to receive a lot of good reviews if you want to have a steady flow of clients. Reviews improve your local SEO, get more traffic to your locations, and help sales managers to persuade visitors. So it's especially important to have your Google My Business, Facebook Reviews, and Yelp profiles nice and shiny. How to get it done properly and leave your competitors in the dust?

The old way is to ask for reviews in person. That's ok – the personal approach always works. But people could easily forget about your request. Or your receptionist is too shy to ask. Or… there are a lot of barriers that decrease the potential number of reviews. But there is one bulletproof way to increase them – use reputation management software (Podium,, or Pluspoint).

A modern reputation management platform can help you in the following ways:

  • Remind customers to leave a review after their visit. Via SMS, emails, or both. Using this way, you can receive up to 3x more reviews than usual.
  • Get more reviews from customers on locations, with the help of QR codes. Just put them on your main public spots – and it will be easy to leave a review instantly on the location.
  • Intercept negative reviews. Well, you don't want to spoil your rating, right? The platforms allow you to learn from negative reviews but avoid them becoming public.
  • Manage and analyze feedback from several locations and platforms. See a big picture of your local business reputation by analyzing review trends, lifecycle, and key insights.

Positive reviews usually are the main factor that influences a customer's buying decision at the consideration stage. Vice versa, negative reviews are a stumbling block for visiting your business. On average, our customers see 3x times increase in positive reviews.

Tactic #4: Google, Youtube, and Facebook microtargeting for local businesses

Google, Youtube, and Facebook advertising could drastically increase awareness about your local business. These channels could be quite expensive, but if you leverage their main advantage – the ability to target ads locally, you will achieve impressive results without spending bags of money.

Think of yourself as a sniper, who works precisely and doesn't make a lot of moves. First, you need people from a certain location, so use the location targeting option which will show ads to people only in a certain area or even by postcodes. Second – use demographic and interest filters to target people who could benefit from your business's services.

For example, you own a restaurant and want to increase the number of orders from IT developers – there are a lot of such offices in your area. You can create an ad that appeals just to this audience and target it to IT developers within a one-kilometer radius.

Creating such ad campaigns requires some skill, so maybe it's a good idea to find a freelancer who could get it done for you.

Tactic #5: Search Engine Optimization

What is the second-highest mountain in the world? It's hard to answer this question, right? Because we remember only the firsts. The same with search results – companies from the first results page receive 95% of the whole traffic and the first position has 33% of all clicks! To make your local business successful you have put your flag on that Everest. Here are some tips to get it done:

  • Include local keywords into your website. Phrases like "home services London", "clinic nearby" increase your positions in a local search, so make sure you include them in the headings of your website. Also, make sure to include keywords in the blog articles you publish. Keyword Planner can help you to find relevant keywords.
  • Increase the number of reviews on Google Maps, Facebook, and other platforms. Search engines take reviews into account and put local businesses with a big number of reviews first.
  • Make sure your website speed is optimized. Search engines don't like slow websites – use PageSpeed Insights to evaluate your load speed.
  • Get external links to your website. If any media or blogs publish information about you – make sure they link to your website. Also, you can ask an SEO specialist to buy links for you.

Tactic #6: PR and media

Any media platform is a good way to bring both short and long-term traffic to your location. You can have a boost in awareness after publication, and if people search for your business on the internet later, they trust you more if they find a story about you.

First of all, we talk about free publications. Media publications can be quite expensive, but there are ways to publish a story for free. Usually, journalists agree to publish such materials for free:

  • Your business story. People are always interested in success stories, so if you share how exactly you hit a home run, there is a big possibility that the media will gladly publish it.

  • How your business helps local causes. If you are engaged in some local activities that help your city – share your experience about it. Why did you start it? What was the reaction from your clients? What results did you achieve?

  • Major news about your business. Industry media often write about big changes in companies. For example, if you received an award or opened a new location – most probably, the media will publish a piece about it.

  • Your expert opinion or advice. Write an article about an interesting topic in which you are an expert. For example, an automotive business owner can provide a checklist on how to prolong the life of a vehicle, a restaurant owner can share some holiday recipes, etc.

Choose some local media, not national media – it will be easier to have a piece there. Also, try to move in the same circles with journalists and editors beforehand – at least connect with them on social media and start to engage with the content they publish.

Let's pause here for a moment: in this part, we’ve covered the most common tactics for local business marketing like offline advertising, website, reputation management, online ads, SEO, and PR. Those strategies have been proven time and time again and most likely would already give you significant market exposure in your local area.

In the next article, we will continue to explore other modern ways to grow your business and build a sustainable competitive advantage.

Originally published here.