By now, there's a good chance you've visited one of the many frozen yogurt chains that have popped up nationwide.
You know the ones I'm talking about - where you get to pick the flavors and toppings of your choice, and by the time you check out, you've spent 10-plus dollars on frozen yogurt.
Two frozen yogurt chains have opened in my town in the past year alone. More recently, a local gelato parlor opened up that's located within walking distance of its competitors.
So how exactly can a private small business expect to compete with the big bad frozen yogurt chains? Employing an effective local marketing campaign will likely be pivotal.
Don't miss the boat on localization
If you're a small business owner, you most likely want your company to turn up frequently in local searches. After all, it does nothing for you if a resident of California peruses your website when you're based in New York City.
Aside from common sense reasons, there's another significant motivating factor behind adopting a local marketing campaign: The fact that the majority of companies are struggling with it.
According to a recent CMO Council and Balihoo survey:
- Most brands aren't advertising locally, if at all.
- Local strategies are still geared toward newspaper, magazine, mail and TV ads.
- Very few companies have realized the way mobile campaigns and localization can intersect. In fact, just 13 percent of respondents believe mobile searches could have an effect on in-store shopping.
Three ways to strike gold with local marketing
If you're thinking, "Well, no one's using local marketing strategies, so I have no reason to," you have the wrong mindset. Instead, you should be taking the opposite approach.
With that in mind, let's go back to the local gelato parlor example. In order to drive up in-store traffic, the store's owner might want to invest in online local marketing strategies - particularly since his frozen yogurt competitors most likely haven't perfected the method yet.
So how do you go about developing these schemes? Regardless of your budget, there are many simple, cost-effective ways to target local audiences, including:
- Free tools: Google Map Maker and other free solutions are extremely valuable localization tools. Adding your business to Map Maker increases the likelihood that you show up in local searches.
- Social media: The ultimate playing field leveler, social media can come through once again in your quest to develop a local marketing campaign. Through LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networking sites, you have the ability to target groups of people located in a specific geographical region.
- Local SEO: By adding your business to as many listing channels as possible - Google Places and YP.com, for instance - you can optimize your website for searches.
Your competitors might be delaying adding a local marketing campaign, but you shouldn't. Don't miss out on the chance to strike gold with this strategy.