Today’s topic is all about local marketing ideas.
When I get on and do webinars and different pieces of content, and kind of q&a situations, often I’m asked, “Michael, give me some ideas to market my local business. What are you seeing? What do you think? Where should I invest my money? Anything that I should avoid?” It’s kind of an overarching question that I would sum up to “Where are some good places or what are some good ideas to market my local business?”
While the answer does depend on the type of business and industry that you’re in, there are a couple of areas that I see providing consistent returns, regardless of if you’re serving other businesses, your consumers, your one or ten locations, it really doesn’t matter. I’m going to focus on giving you those tactics that I see working across the boards.
The first local marketing idea and it’s my go-to and has been my go-to for quite some time is paid traffic, which could mean Facebook ads, Google ads, Pinterest ads, or YouTube ads. The ability for you to basically buy attention whenever you would like, as much or as little as you need, to me, is just an amazing concept.
So, if you’re sitting there saying, “Michael, I’m struggling”, my first question is going to be for you to tell me more. I’m going to want to hear just a little bit more. I mean, why are you struggling? What are you struggling with? Is it a lack of customers and sales? Is it staff issues, and I’m going to try and start to break out whatever that particular core issue is. But it’s almost always a cash issue, which to me, is not necessarily cash issues. So hear me out.
What I mean is, cash is the underlying area that you’re having the issues with — not enough cash to pay the bills, not enough money coming in. You don’t have a cash issue, you have an acquisition issue. There are so many customers in businesses out there that are looking for your product and service all day, every day — you just don’t have the right systems and processes to acquire that attention.
So I always look at paid traffic and in particular, we’re seeing the best returns right now from Facebook ads and Google ads. Now there’s a lot of other places again to buy traffic — YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, a lot of other places. Google and Facebook, however, have been the top performers for the local businesses that we’re working with. That’s my first local marketing idea.
You might say, “Well, Mike, I’ve heard that before.” However, I’m gonna push back to you and say, “Are you driving customers on-demand using those two tools? And if not, then you’re either not investing enough. You don’t have the right content, the right ads, your copy is off or not working. There’s something that’s not right there.”
The second idea that I’ve got for you is direct mail. And especially with local marketing, it is a tactic that isn’t normally top of mind. I’m not talking about just direct mail or just sending out one thing, I’m talking about strategic direct mail where you’re buying lists of businesses or customers in the areas that you’re looking for and you’re going to do a targeted campaign, three or four times to those same people. I just did an episode on marketing repetition. I talked about this exact concept that you need to be hitting up the same people, three to five times so that as they’re seeing your message more, they’re going to get more familiar. Ultimately, you’re going to see your response rates continue to go up, plain and simple. I mean, there is a direct correlation to those particular results.
What I like about direct mail is that there’s a lot of people that they’re only focusing on digital. They just want to focus on the digital side. That’s all they want to do and it’s easier. While that very well could be true, what I like is when people are not focusing on a particular tactic, it means that there’s less eyeballs, the amount of direct mail that I’ve been getting has actually been declining steadily over the last couple of years. But the companies that do send direct mail are the same companies that apply this strategy time and time again because they know that the only way they’re going to get through is by repeating their offer.
So, my first one was paid traffic, and that is always where I start. My second one was direct mail.
Now, if I were to look at and give you a couple of other ideas, those would again start to vary based on the niche or industry. I promise you, however, that some work for any industry regardless, so the third topic in the third idea is all about community.
What I mean by community is where can you build a community of like-minded people and start to facilitate that community? Facebook ads have been one of the top places that a lot of people have been building these communities. Let’s say that you’re in Boise, Idaho. And you sell to different people all around Boise, so you’re a b2c type of business. Well, why not start up a group that’s called “all things good in Boise”. Basically, anyone that’s in Boise is welcome to join. In order to join, they have to answer a couple of questions, provide their email address, and check a box that they’re going to behave themselves. Now all of a sudden, you start to build an asset of five people, then gradually grow to 10, a hundred, up to a few thousand and it can kind of grow from there. What you’re going to find is that as you’re continuing to post because it’s your group, that you will then be able to work in a couple of promotional messages, but people will start to get a little bit inquisitive of who’s the person or people that are the admins. Who are the people behind this group? You’ll find that you will start to naturally get business from that as long as you come from a place of surfing.
So that can be you’re doing it on Facebook. It could be a meetup, or a virtualmeetup.com, for example. It could be putting together a mastermind of like-minded people who could be using a tool like discord.com or anything like that. It’s a great way to start to build that community.
Lastly, the fourth idea that I have for you, is all about live video. I am going heavy from an investment standpoint, in live video. I just invested in another new computer when I already have a great computer, another video camera, lights, backgrounds, all that kind of stuff. I’m going to go all-in on producing lots and lots of high-quality live video. As more people continue to go online and more people continue to stay at home due to everything going on, their attention is going somewhere that’s largely going online. I want to be hosting more Facebook lives, YouTube lives, Instagram lives, or Twitch and being in all these different places to grab that attention to carve out my niche in those communities. You can do the exact same thing in your local market.
Most of your competitors are not going to think about doing a weekly Facebook Live about all things good in Boise, Idaho — they’re just not thinking about that nor even crossing their mind. But now that you’ve learned it here, you can take it and start to execute it.
So those are four marketing ideas for marketing your local business.
Take one or two, move them into action and you will see the results follow.