Having spent over 15 years analyzing the purchase behaviors of local consumers, I’ve found that the common place digital marketing processes touted by national marketers fail to hit the mark with small businesses in local markets.
Their concepts work great for consumers searching for general services that can be fulfilled by any company on the Earth. However, when it comes to attracting locally based customers to patronize your locally based business it is much more effective for a business to concentrate its energy on a more direct approach towards drawing in new customers.
The small businesses that I’ve dealt with normally don’t have the budgets or the time to implement a “shotgun” approach to digital marketing. For this reason, I’ve discovered that digital marketing for small businesses should be framed by a special event or campaign that will spark interest in their prospective customers.
In our recently released info-product, The Event Entrepreneur, we reveal the importance of using both live events & digital marketing processes to capture the attention of local residents.
This process is unique, in that, small businesses can truly engage consumers by using a trait that’s specifically advantageous to them… their geographic connection with the community.
Why market your business like a national company when you’re not national? Smart business owners need to use their strengths of locality to beat out competitors, both national and local.
Here are a few digital marketing steps that can help you get started:
1) Identify your target audience – Who is your best customer? What’s their age? What are their hobbies? What’s their income? Do they have children, pets, etc…? You’ll need to know this before you can complete the next step, which is…
2) Create an event they’ll LOVE – This can be a live “in-person” event or an online digital event such as a webinar, an e-course, a video series, a podcast, etc… Whatever you come up with, it needs to be 100% focused on entertaining or serving the needs of your local community.
3) Build your digital marketing process – Now that you have an event that will excite your customer demographic, it’s time to form a digital marketing campaign that’s completely focused on promoting your event directly to your target consumer. Use a landing page to capture contact information from interested visitors and follow up with a strong email sequence. This is will become the lead generation foundation to your digital marketing plan.
4) Drive relevant traffic – With your lead generation system all setup, it’s now time to drive traffic to your landing page. Incorporate social media, PPC advertising, press releases, content/blog marketing and so on to build the buzz about your event.
By using this process of digital marketing, you’ll see results much quicker than the “shotgun” method.
Events give locals a reason to engage with your business a lot sooner than they would otherwise. And you’ll be able to begin building a huge list of qualified prospects who may soon be in the market for your services.
You can learn more about using digital marketing with local events by grabbing a copy of The Event Entrepreneur. It’s a quick read, that has extremely valuable information about the power of local events and the benefits to small businesses.