Last Wednesday (April 7th) I spoke at www.f5-expo.com, a Vancouver based social media & internet marketing conference aimed at business owners and people new to online marketing.
I presented on two topics and mentioned to the audience I’d post my presentations online so they could download them.
This is the first presentation on local marketing.
(Follow this link to see my presentation on search engine optimization and pay-per-click.)
In this session you will learn â€œfreeâ€ and paid ways to get local customers ringing your cash register.
Tip: Want to grab this on slideshare.net? Here you go!
Topics will include:
- What local marketing really is, who should use it and what it can mean to your business
- Which local site is red hot right now and how you can take advantage of it
- How savvy companies are using social media to rock the local social web
- Advice on tools you can start taking advantage of today to get in front of your local customers
What local marketing really is, who should use it and what it can mean to your business
Local marketing is the process of marketing & advertising to people in the geographic area you do business with via the web and mobile devices.
LM is hot today as itâ€™s easier than ever before for businesses of all sizes to reach out to customers in their immediate vicinity. More and more business owners have also woken up to their need to be found easily by their customers online.
Another reason itâ€™s hot is because of the trend right now of people flocking to the web to write and read reviews of businesses close to them.
Some typical ways your business might get in front of local customers include:
- In search engines via Local SEO & geographically targeted PPC advertising
- In social networks through advertising or social media campaigns
- Via mobile applications or mobile searches
- On third party local directories such as Internet Yellow Pages sites or city focused directories and portals
Which local site is red hot right now and how you can take advantage of it:
Without a doubt, Yelp.com is one of the hottest locally focused social sites on the web right now. Yelp.com is a site that allows anyone to sign up, create a profile, and begin reviewing and talking about businesses in their local area.
While restaurant reviews are the focus of many yelp users, more and more businesses outside of the dining industry are showing up in yelp. And it can help just about any business to have positive reviews by customers posted there.
One of the ways you can get started with local marketing is to take advantage of Yelpâ€™s free business ownerâ€™s account. A business ownerâ€™s account allows you to create a business page where people can post reviews of your business.
One of the advantages of this is that you can interact with your customers and potential customers as they post reviews, almost in real time. If by any chance you receive a negative review, you can get involved in the conversation and address the issue as soon as it happens. This is a great way to show people youâ€™re aware, listening and interested in solving their problems.
Another way Yelp enables you to get started with local marketing is by giving you the ability to show locally targeted ads to customers in your area.
The last thing Iâ€™ll say is that Yelp is here today and every hour on the hour theyâ€™re giving tutorials on how to use their site for your business.
How savvy companies are using social media to rock the local social web:
Savvy business owners have caught on to the local trend and theyâ€™re taking advantage of the wide variety of tools and services out there. Theyâ€™re insuring they are investing some time and money showing up in the right places online. This means theyâ€™re making sure their business is showing up where people are spending time online- specifically, websites and services that are focused on or tied to a location.
Here are a few specific examples of tools business are using to rock the social web here in Vancouver:
Facebook Advertising â€“ Advertise based on geographic location: your ads only show to people in areas you specify. Promote events, share information, create apps and more. You also setup locally focused fan pages and setup and promote local events.
Yelp â€“ Claim your business listing, post your business hours, add photos and most importantly join the conversation about your business. You can also advertise to people using Yelp.
Foursquare â€“ promote special offers that require people to actually drop by your store front. There are several coffee shops and restaurants using Foursquare in Yaletown right now to reward customers who drop by and check in.
Advice on tools you can start taking advantage of today to get in front of your local customers
In addition to the services mentioned a moment ago, here are a few more powerful tools you can use to be found by customers locally:
Google Local Business Center
LBC as Google calls it is probably one of the first services you should sign up for. Itâ€™s likely that you already have a Google account or that you are using Gmail or another Google service which makes signing up for LBC easy.
LBC is free and enables you to show up in the local search results complete with posting the location of your business on Google Maps.
In addition to gaining visibility in Googleâ€™s search results that you might not have had before, LBC allows you to post coupons to motivate customers to shop with you, and also allows you to post useful information about your business.
One other important benefit is that -like on Yelp, people can leave comments and feedback on your business.
Google also provides a great reporting dashboard that enables you to see useful information about how your customers are finding you.
To claim your listing, visit http://Google.com/local/add and sign up.
Iâ€™ve got two more things for you, that you can do to get started with local marketing:
The first is: Google Adwords
- Local keywords
- Local address tag feature
- Content network
Don’t Forget Your own website!
Remember to post new content to your website and to give this content a local focus. Talk about upcoming events youâ€™re involved in, include your address and local phone number on all pages of your site.
Make sure itâ€™s quickly obvious that you are a locally based business. You can do this by including your phone number and address on every page, using local imagery, or by spicing up your web copy with locally focused terms and phrases.
- Establish a local presence on social networks by advertising and by getting involved in the conversation
- Take Advantage of Googleâ€™s LBC
- Use Google Adwords to target more people when they are searching
- Work on making your website more friendly and obvious to local customers
Questions? Post them to the comments section.