Local marketing is an area of Internet marketing that has gotten more attention recently as it has gained popularity among businesses of all sizes. There are companies that specialize in local marketing, but these are some basic local marketing tactics that any business owner can easily do themselves to save some money. Let's take a look at a few basics.
Claiming Your Profiles/Pages
Google, Bing Local and Yahoo! Local all offer local business listings for free. These are the three biggest sites, but there are many others where you can list your business to get more exposure. Some others you may want to consider include AOL local, Citysearch, Foursquare, Local.com, Ask City, Yellowbook and Infospace. This is certainly not an all-inclusive list. There are many other local listing websites you could find to list your business, but these are a great start. With each of these sites, all you have to do to claim your profile page is to go to each service and walk through a simple validation process. You will have to input some basic information about your business and will have to validate that you are who you say you are, but that's about it. Once you set these profiles up you will be listed and you have established this part of your local marketing presence
Make sure for all your profiles you list a phone number and a real physical address. This makes a big difference to the search engines, as well as to people who might view your listing. If I find a local business with a P.O. Box, I would have no idea where they are in relation to my home or office. If I am looking for a local business, there's a high likelihood I want to check them out in person, so if I don't have a street address, I may just move on to another listing. The same goes for the phone number. Have a local phone number, not an 800 number and not your cell phone number that has an area code from your old home town that is not where your business is.
Use an Agency for Ongoing Advertising Efforts
Once you do a little homework to determine which strategies and tactics will work best for you in the do-it-yourself world, you may want to consider working with an agency to offload some of the technical aspects of some of the more advanced advertising strategies, like setting up and running an ongoing online display ad campaign. This gets back to the old adage of working "on" your business, not "in" your business. When you work with a quality agency it allows you to take advantage of some strategies you wouldn't be able to use on your own and it frees up your time to focus on the bigger picture.