In the past I often saw local companies open Twitter channels for local web marketing, which may be operated in areas of the province. The reason? Because Twitter was considered the second Social Network after Facebook and therefore “we must be there”. The results were mostly poor: compared to budgets spent on articulated publishing plans, few followers were collected and even fewer visits.
Twitter is just one example, but it helps me to redefine the strategies of local web marketing, i.e. those strategies that for objectives or needs must operate in narrow geographical areas (think of a local store: generally it does not make sense to look for customers 200 km away).
For this reason, today I want to try to identify the true and authentic local web marketing for those wishing to avoid national or mass media, which can geolocate their advertising campaigns but at much higher costs. When I speak of authentic local web marketing I refer to activities, groups and media that live in your own territory. Here, then, 6 ideas to take advantage of local web marketing with very low or even zero costs …
1. Local organizations and associations
Often with non-profit purposes, they are available to give visibility at a decidedly low cost. These are also young organizations, which can effectively exploit Social Media – with high numbers and engagement – of strong relationships of trust with local citizens. With a quick search on Google and on Facebook, they are easily found.
Banally, on social networks it is sufficient to do a search by entering your city / area of interest or through #hashtag to discover a world of local pages and interests.
2. Fan Pages, Groups and Local Social Channels
There is a “young” Web, without programming skills but with strong communication skills , which jumps the construction of a website and a web marketing strategy “with all the trappings”, opening in a few minutes Social channels which are quickly invaded by contents, often very effective. Result: Local social channels are often crowded with fans and followers, with unimaginable growth and interactions.
Often these are “spiritual” social channels, but sometimes they share people who share social causes, passions, hobbies. If you promote something relevant to the subject of these pages, why not give it a try.
Attention also to Facebook groups, often underestimated, which by the nature of notifications that reach all the members are a tool with very high interactions.
3. Blogger and local newspapers
The newspapers are not dead, let alone the local ones, capable of giving a very precise visibility and targeting to local businesses. In particular, online is the master. The interesting aspect of local newspapers is given by the fact that they are definitely “more reachable” than national journalists, because they can easily intercept in relevant events of the local community. With a real PR activity, you can get coverage on partially promotional news for free or almost. You have to be good – in this case – to “create the news”, so that it is sufficiently attractive for the journalist.
Here, try to imagine having a local business. You could try to find sites and blogs of this kind to promote …
- Coupons and discounts that can be spent in your business;
- Download an app or guide;
- Collection of subscribers to your site (you have to offer something in return, though)
4. Google My Business – Bing Places
If you have not yet opened a page in these free services, it’s better if you move.
In practice, open the free cards related to your business, providing data on what you do, how you do it, where you do it, prices, timetables, etc. Your business listing will appear on maps and local searches. No need to explain the advantages of being so present on search engines …
Participating in online city life means many things: it means attending forums, groups and pages that are very popular and – where possible and consistently with the topic – showing what you are doing (but paying attention to the rules and not spamming).
It’s a practice a bit ‘to the limit, but there are those who can do it with dexterity …
6. Social Ads
OK, you already knew this. For those who do not know, even with less than 50 euros a month you can promote on Facebook their activities on a very specific local basis, identifying very precise target users to show your ad, divided by interest, age, sex, type of mobile device used, family status and other curious socio-demographic variables.
With figures a little higher you can do the same thing on Twitter and, soon, even on emerging social networks such as Snapchat. If you do not know the advertising on Social Media, it will be good to inform you.
Not just online
There are many other minor modes, but if you already follow these 6 points for local web marketing well the results will not be long in coming. I would like to point out, however, that many offline modes such as flyers and advertisements on inserts, magazines and local flyers still carry quite a bit of success.
I say this from personal experience: it is wrong to think that your geographical area is populated only by nerd-geeks who use only internet. People locally move, attend places of aggregation and “still trust the doctor or the parish priest.”