5 Creative digital marketing ideas for local businesses

May 6, 2022 by
5 Creative digital marketing ideas for local businesses

Local businesses have never relied more heavily on their online marketing and that could be seen more as a blessing than a curse.

There was once a time, not so long ago, when to find your favourite local pub, restaurant or retail store, you’d simply ask your friends and family members. But, particularly in a post-COVID world, we’re now at a stage where even local businesses need to market themselves online if they want to make an impression.

A good social media post that “goes viral” can lead to hundreds or even thousands of new customers but those “lightning in a bottle” moments are almost impossible to replicate. So, local businesses are left with the same options as their larger competitors for their online marketing campaigns. But you don’t need to spend a fortune to make an impact online as long as you can be creative with your campaigns.

So, today we’ll be looking at some of the more creative ways small local businesses might market themselves by using their nimble size to their advantage.

1. Work with local influencers

You may lack the funds to bring in an influencer with millions of followers but micro and nano influencers can be just as powerful on a local level. A local influencer will not only have more local followers than a national or international influencer but they will also charge significantly less. Indeed, you might get lucky and find out they’re already fans and they might agree to do it for free. Stranger things have happened.

2. Use local SEO

Don’t be afraid to use your location in your search engine optimisation. As a local business, you’re bound to be targeting local people primarily. They are going to be searching using the name of the town or city where your business is based so arrange your SEO accordingly. Focus on keywords and phrases that involve your local areas. Lists of the “top 5 best whatever in your area” are a great type of content for this.

3. Weave a local narrative

Marketing is increasingly becoming more story-based and that makes sense because people love a good story, particularly when it’s a local one. So consider creating a campaign around your local area – what makes it special and what unique characters can you weave into the narrative? Talk to local historians, explore your local libraries and really get to know your local area and make that knowledge a key part of your campaign.

4. Get to know local social media groups

Local social media groups are wonderful places to sow the seeds of a subtle marketing push. Join all relevant local groups and you’ll not only be connecting directly to your intended audience but might learn more about them too. This can also be used to reframe and refit your campaigns and make them feel more personal and relatable to locals.

5. Take charge of your reviews

For local businesses, Trip Advisor, Trustpilot and Yelp reviews are absolutely vital. Many businesses will wear that Trip Advisor certificate of excellence badge with honour and who could blame them? Social media is also a great way to promote your good reviews. But don’t go overboard as nobody likes a showoff!