Just a few decades ago small businesses and multinational conglomerates relied on local listings and directories to get the word out about their products and services. The internet changed all of this, making it possible for massive amounts of data to be made available on a single search engine or webpage. The evolution of the web further categorized search listings according to geographical proximity. This way, if you look for an electrician on Google, the immediate results will be of electricians in your surrounding area. Local internet marketing, whereby one promotes location – specific products and services, is a significant part of the selling process for a number of reasons.
Competitive Advantage: Location, Location, Location
Small businesses and / or startups in their early stages of growth may not have the financial muscle to compete with international companies offering similar or substitute products. As such, rather than struggling to contend for market share with these established firms, a business can focus on a target market within its locale. In many cases people within the business’ vicinity may not even be aware of the specialized services it offers. Nowadays there are many options to buy goods from all over the world through online retail giants like Amazon and eBay. In spite of this, customers still appreciate the familiarity and personalized service they get by walking into a physical store with recognizable faces.
Targeted Marketing at a Fraction Of The Cost
The world is rapidly becoming mobile, as far as the way people interact is concerned. More and more people are using smartphones to search for goods and services, find physical addresses, enquire about contact hours and make purchases. Failing to recognize this trend may result in wasted financial resources as one continues to allot budgets to traditional marketing techniques. Listing one’s business on services such as Google My Business ensures that it appears on local search results. Resultantly the business becomes visible on Google search, Google Maps as well as Google Plus. It is already apparent how one can vastly increase one’s marketing reach without spending a fortune.
Product Positioning and Brand Awareness
Not all businesses are endowed with ample resources to regularly engage in widespread marketing campaigns that are memorable to the customer. An example is Coca Cola who have managed to come up with iconic slogans, ad campaigns and storylines that make their product the first thing one thinks of when one is thirsty. Regardless, local internet marketing can be a good vehicle to raise awareness about your brand and improve your business’ reputation. Promoting your events and offers online is a great way of engaging the immediate market. Geo – tagged photos and videos are a good way of reaching out to customers. Purchasing decisions are often influenced by establishing a ‘connection’ with the customer. Faceless retail chains don’t fare so well here.
Whichever channel you choose, it is worth noting that local internet marketing is an indispensable part of the selling process. It can be a sure way to create a loyal following that can support a business, particularly during its fledgling stage.