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How to Promote Your Business in the Community

Promoting your business in the community can be a highly effective strategy for growing your client base and boosting sales. From fairly inexpensive tactics like attending networking events, to more expensive options such as joining a Chamber of Commerce or sponsoring a local charity, there are many ways to make your business visible to potential customers in your area.

Community involvement can bring businesses a wealth of good publicity and new customers. But how do you make it happen? We’ll show you how to connect with people and organizations in your community, spread the word about what you do, and earn valuable referrals—all while strengthening your local business network

 Write a blog

Blogging is a free and effective marketing tool to drive traffic to your site. Your blog can bring in visitors from all over the world, but more importantly, you can use it to reach locals.

There’s more to it than just writing about topics you think people are searching. You must have a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and do the proper keyword research if you want to see any real results from your blog.

For example, a law firm in Austin, Texas, might wonder how they can get more clients who have had workplace injuries. You can research locally searched terms and determine that many people in Austin have questions about “work injury laws in Austin.” You can then write an article on this topic and eventually see an uptick in your local SEO performance.

You can use one of these free keyword research tools to plan out your strategy and choose the most impactful search terms in your area.

 Master social media marketing

Social media marketing channels like Facebook and LinkedIn are popular ways to interact with customers and other local business owners.

Consumers use social media to interact with and research local businesses. As such, they expect you to be active on your channels and respond to any comments or questions they have.

You can use your Facebook page for advertising sales events, seasonal promotions, or contests. The critical thing to remember is that you should always keep your posts relevant to your local market.

LinkedIn is an online outlet you can use to network with other small business owners. Doing so can open doors to potential partnerships, collaborations, or events with other local businesses.

 Use locally targeted ads

Locally targeted digital ads can give you access to an audience you may not be able to reach otherwise. The power of online ads lies in the ability to target specific local audiences.

Your first option is search engine marketing (SEM). These are the advertisements that show up at the top of local search engine results (for example, on the first page of Google). You can choose a target audience and specific terms for your ads, so your business shows up at the top of the list when locals are searching.

Let’s say you run a salon in Detroit, Michigan. You may want to pay for ads that show up every time someone searches “best salon in Detroit.” This way, you appear at the top of the page before all of your competitors.

You can also consider cost-per-click (CPC) or pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Popular ad platforms include Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and Yelp Ads. Yelp Ads work to promote your business in key areas across the Yelp site and mobile app—including above search results and on competitors’ business pages.

Create and verify your Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile (Google’s term for your Google listing) is what allows your business to show up in Google Maps results, the local section of Google Search results, and also—when someone types in your business name (ideas for creative business names here!) and location—the right-side Knowledge Panel in Search results. As Google gets better and better at catering its results to the searcher’s location, this free listing should be a top priority.

The key to using your Business Profile to promote your business is to verify ownership of your listing through your free Google My Business account. Once you have ownership, you can optimize your listing to show up higher in search results and for more relevant searches.

best ways to promote your business ranking on local search results

If you’re ranking on Google Maps or showing up in the Local Pack (as seen above) of regular results pages (this is very doable), your business is basically promoting itself 24/7. Even better, you can publish posts directly to your Google listing, putting attractive promotions in front of your audience at a time when they have high intent.

For a deeper dive into this very free, very effective method of promoting your business, visit 13 Google My Business Optimizations for 2020.

 Get a website

Every business needs a website, no matter how old-fashioned your business or clients may be. Your website is the go-to for current and prospective customers. Even if they find you on social media or Google, they will want to go to your website and, like your Google listing, it serves to promote your business around the clock.

A good business website not only serves as a promotional tool in and of itself—it tells the story of your business and what you offer, provides contact information, and reflects your brand’s personality and distinguishing characteristics—but it is also essential for measuring and improving the success of your other promotional tactics.

website is one of the best ways to promote your business

For example, when you run ads, you need landing pages, which live on your website. When you post helpful information on social media, it should link to its home on your website. With all of your marketing channels flowing into your website, you can use analytics to see which strategies are working best and get invaluable insights about your audience.

Although there are completely free solutions to get a website in place for your business, almost inevitably you will need to move to some form of a paid website if you are serious about promoting your business. Having your own domain name, a professional look and feel, and the ability to scale and add features as needed are all essential for growth.

 Implement search engine optimization

It’s one thing for you to promote your business; it’s another thing for Google to promote your business. SEO is a set of practices that align your business with Google’s ranking algorithm. But because this algorithm has evolved to use machine learning and user behavior to produce the most accurate and quality results for searchers, optimizing for search engines is really just optimizing for searchers—particularly those searching for what you have to offer.

SEO isn’t just one tactic, but many tactics that collectively work together to improve your rank. Also, because Google has superb location-based results, you have just as much of a chance as big retailers to show up on the first page of Google— without spending a dime! (With the exception of the costs to get a website, of course).

small businesses appearing on SERP - best way to promote your business

SEO tactics to promote your business include:

  • Adding relevant (industry- and location-based) keywords to specific places on your website.
  • Producing original, high-quality content regularly, with tagged images.
  • Maintaining high page load speeds and security.

For more SEO tips, check out this post on The Top 10 Google Ranking Factors of 2020 (+How to Optimize for Them).

When your business is ranking high in results, Google is basically promoting your business for you—and not just to anyone, but to the people searching for what you have to offer. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Get some business stationary

You’ve got your brand, you’ve got your logo – now to get it out there. You want to create the strongest association possible between your logo and branding and your actual business, this is where business stationary comes into play. Print business cards, order letterheads and envelopes – you can even get a franking machine to print your company brand onto all outgoing post.

Make sure you’ve got your website listed on your business card, at the bottom of emails, printed onto all physical advertising copy leaving your office. The best way to get the word out, is to establish mental imagery with your company.

Grow your email list

Email marketing isn’t a new idea, but it’s still a powerful way to convert leads into customers. In fact, 80% of small businesses report that email marketing drives higher customer acquisition and retention.

Email marketing is even more effective when you segment your email list by specific traits such as age, location, or interests. But how can you entice people to sign up for your email list voluntarily?

One way is to have sign-up forms and calls to action on your website, blog content, or onsite at your business. You can also incentivize customers in your store with discounts on their next purchase if they sign up.

Get involved in the community

Showing that you’re a contributing member of your local community and genuinely care will go a long way with customers. There are opportunities like fundraisers, volunteering, or local events that your business can participate in to give back to the community while spreading brand awareness.

You could even partner with a local organization and hold a fundraising event at your business. You can donate proceeds to a good cause while also getting foot traffic in your door.

Conclusion

Your community is filled with local businesses that are worth supporting. They are the small establishments that provide jobs and help grow the local economy. By promoting them and your business, you’re helping to spread the word about their services as well as yours. Advertising locally offers much opportunity for small businesses because it allows them to reach a large audience for less than what national companies spend. In addition, local businesses can work together in mutually beneficial marketing campaigns, which can further reduce costs while strengthening relationships between owners and consumers within the community

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