How small businesses can connect with local audiences

Although the Internet helps us access countless products and services worldwide, customers are keen to support local businesses. That’s especially true today, with 53% of consumers believing that shopping locally matters more than it did in pre-COVID times – and small businesses depending on their support.

To help you connect with customers in your areas, we’re highlighting three ways to market your small business to a local audience.

1. Create a Google Business profile

Google’s algorithm analyses users’ locations to favour local businesses in the search results. That said, to give your online visibility a boost, it’s well worth creating a Google Business profile (previously known as a ‘Google My Business’ profile). Having a profile provides many benefits that can help increase the visibility of your brand:

  • Your business will show up across Google’s services, notably Google Maps and Search
  • You can input and control the information appearing in your Google Business listing
  • The ability to claim, verify, and modify your business listing to convey your brand identity

To begin, you’ll need a Google account. You can create a new one or use an existing account – either option allows you to create or claim your business listing on Google. Once you’ve signed in, you can add the essentials, such as your business’ contact deals, its website link, and category. 

Of course, nobody gets excited about a bland, incomplete profile – so be sure to add your opening hours, links to your social media pages, your best-selling products, and images of your business and teams. Make sure you encourage your local customers to leave positive reviews on your profile too, as this will help make you more visible (and appealing) to the next potential visitor.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, just search ‘NSDesign’ on Google and you’ll find our profile. It details everything you need to know about us, all in one place! 

2. Localise your social media strategy

Social media is, of course, a great tool for connecting with local customers. Sponsoring local events, venues, or even sports teams is a fantastic way to raise the profile of your business in the local community. Sharing pictures of your brand’s involvement with these events on your social channels also helps you to integrate local news, culture and events into your business’ posts.

Activities like this will help you build valuable connections with the local community as well as raise awareness of your business and its products or services. 

Many social media platforms also allow you to add a location (or ‘geotag’) to your profile and individual posts, which can help local audiences see where you are and what you have to offer! You can also include local hashtags to increase views of your posts in your area. 

Another method of engaging with your community is to seek testimonials from local clients for display on Facebook or TrustPilot. Endorsements from local customers or businesses can really help build trust in your brand. So, sharing these on your website (with permission) is another useful strategy.

3. Focus on local SEO

By optimising your online content to rank for locally-relevant keywords, you can reach new local audiences. Local searches lead half of mobile users to visit stores within 24 hours, making local SEO essential for generating increased footfall from your online presence. Here are a few local SEO tips:

  • Ensure your business’ location on Google is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Incorporate your location in your site’s ‘About us’ page, and embed a Google Map into your location page so users can easily see where you are.
  • Use keyword research to better understand what your local audience are searching for.  (Tools like Google Trends can be useful for discovering search trends in your local area). 

We hope this blog has inspired you to reach out to your local audiences. For more ways to improve your online marketing strategy, visit our website or get in touch with our helpful team!

Oh – and if you’re a consumer wondering how you can help small local businesses during these challenging times, then take a wee read of this article!! (Small business owners everywhere will thank you for it!)

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