With the number of Internet users increasing manifold, small businesses have started considering Internet as an effective platform to promote themselves. In fact, effective Internet marketing (IM) strategies enable small businesses to grow quickly and reap the benefits they offer.
One of the biggest advantages that Internet marketing offers to any business (small or large) is the ability to focus on local markets. Small businesses, however, have higher chances of capitalizing on these markets compared to large scale businesses. Instead of focusing on the entire Internet user market (where the competition from big players is more), promoting and popularizing their brands in local markets makes the marketing process narrow as well as effective.
So, designing Internet marketing strategies targeted towards local markets is vital for every small business.
Benefits of focusing on local markets:
• Makes you specific to the local market: According to Local Consumer Review Survey – 2012, 85% of consumers use the Internet to find businesses in their nearby areas. You can concentrate on a group of people who are looking for a product/service provider present in their locality. By doing so, you will not only be satisfying a local market’s demand, but will also be capturing the potential business audience.
• Can have higher conversions: Visitors from local markets have higher chances of getting converted into sales. This is because, any prospective customer would naturally prefer a good and affordable product/service that is present in his/her locality to the one that is faraway.
• You can bid on low competitive keywords: Local market has specific keywords which are different from those used by the entire online market. The competition for local keywords is low, thus, you can get low competitive, yet effective local search keywords for much lower prices. As the search results for these keywords are also less, you can rank higher in search engine results which further drives more traffic to your website.
• Limits the marketing budget: Makes it easy for the businesses to plan an effective marketing strategy as the target audience is clearly defined. They can design an effective tailor-made strategy that focuses only on needs of the local market. This prevents wastage of time, resources, and money on promoting their business to people who are least interested in getting converted into sales.
Few strategies that can help you reach the local audience: Now that we have known the importance of focusing on local markets, let us discuss few IM strategies which help you to reach the local audience.
• Local SEO: Local SEO is a process of optimizing a website to rank better in local search results. Local SEO makes the business more visible to the people who are searching for the products/services in a particular area.
• PPC: Pay Per Click (PPC) is a paid advertising strategy on search engines and other websites. Since this strategy works on bidding of keywords, this strategy can be a good option for targeting local audience as local search keywords are less priced. PPC is also highly functional in giving quick and effective results.
• Local site submission: Local site submission is one of the inexpensive as well as effective Internet marketing strategies. Local businesses can benefit a lot by submitting their business information to local business directories. Local site submissions are very useful in driving sales because residents of a particular area search the local business directories to locate a business in their surroundings.