Marketing to the locals

(narrator) If you run a business
where local customers are its lifeblood stay tuned. We’ll cover what “local” means online how your business can be found
by people that are physically near you and why local marketing and mobile
are a match made in heaven. But first, here’s Mike
of Cotswold Balloon Safaris to tell us a bit about his approach
to local marketing. (Mike) So a significant part of my business
is the need to attract local customers. Part of my strategic plan
was to be able to reach out to those and I was able to do that
as far as listing specifics. Instead of just general
or more generic terms of balloon flight Cotswold
or hot air balloon rides there’s was always then
to be more specific you know, balloon flights, Cirencester. When you then are able to compare it then
with analytics and cross-reference the two you can see how effective it is. There’s no quick, easy formula for it. You’ve got to be able to monitor “Oh, that seems to work.” And the benefits of doing that is not only in sort of digital
or online presence but also in a real world, you’re known. You’re getting more presence
in the community. It’s just a general benefit. You might dream of growing your company
into that global brand or your goal might be to be big fish
in your neighborhood pond. Either way, the Web can help. So, what do we mean by “local” exactly? We’re talking about businesses
with an actual shop like a bicycle shop or a hair salon. But we’re also talking about
a service area business that goes out to meet with customers like a gardener or a plumber. These businesses usually sell products
and services to people who live nearby and also people
who are visiting from afar. For example, a potential customer
might live hundreds of miles away but she’s coming into your town
and she’s on holiday. So she’s looking for a place
to rent a bicycle while she’s there. These type of local businesses
used to rely on tools like the phonebook to connect with customers
looking for their products and services. If a person wanted to buy something
like a bicycle he might look up stores nearby and then visit a few
to see what was available. Nowadays, people hunt for stuff
from their sofas via laptops and tablets or they’ll browse the internet on mobiles to pass the time
while standing in the queue. If they’re searching for a product
or service you offer and if they’re in your neighborhood is the perfect opportunity
to get on their radar. So, how does a local search work? Let’s take an example. A man wants to find a bicycle shop
near his flat. He goes online
and does a search for a bicycle shop including his city or neighborhood
as one of the search terms. Next, he’ll get a list of local businesses
including the address, phone number and the working hours. If he’s on a mobile, he can click
to ring the shop or he might even use
the mapping functionality of his smartphone so that he can get directions
to the shop. A great perk
if he’s already out and about. How can you build a local online presence
for your business? First and foremost be sure that your location details
are on your website. If you have shop be sure to include your address
and maybe even an interactive map so a customer can get directions plus your telephone number
and your working hours. If you have a service area business be sure that your website explains
what areas you serve and how people can get in touch with you. There are some very specific things
that you can do to help local people
become local customers and in the videos that follow we’ll cover the importance
of local search listings like Google My Business, Ping Local
and Yahoo Local. These tools can help lead
potential customers to your local business. Local advertising opportunities
on review sites, social networks and search engines are a great way to connect
with your local customers on their mobile devices. Finally, search engine optimization will also help you find
that local audience. Local businesses need to be seen
by potential customers in the neighborhood on any device. Someone looking to buy
in a specific location is usually ready to pull out their wallets and you want to be their go-to shop. If you stick with us you’ll learn how you can build
and promote an online presence that ensures that’s just what happens.

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