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Not every business has the advantage of a national customer base. Online businesses that don’t rely on geographic location don’t have to worry too much about the location of the customer. Small businesses that provide a service within a geographic region or who operate solely as a brick and mortar location depending on foot traffic to drive sales have to adopt a different strategy.

The following five marketing tips will help you more effectively reach a local audience.

The basics

For starters, take charge of your Google My Business profile. Don’t leave it up to customer supplied information. Make sure your address, phone number, and business hours are correct when your business is searched for on Google. You should also make sure this information is correct on any social media profiles you have set up for your business as well.

Local SEO

You don’t want to pay for advertising in California if your business exists in Pennsylvania. In the smartphone age, the majority of consumers begin their shopping from their mobile phone by searching for the type of business they’re looking for as well as the city they want to shop in. When paying for sponsored ads, you should not only target relevant keywords but also limit by geographic location.

Localized content marketing

Content marketing is a great strategy but it can be more effective for local businesses if they occasionally create localized content. For example, a local roofing company might publish content about roofing advice that’s specific to the climate for that region. Content that mentions a geographic location by name is more likely to show up in local search.

Loyalty rewards

Through a mobile app or SMS, you can manage a customer loyalty program where customers are rewarded for returning to your place of business again and again. A points-based system where return customers get a freebie or discount after earning a certain amount of points work great.

For industries that rely more on unique customers than return ones (think businesses that deal in one-time purchases like solar panels instead of tacos) they can still reward loyalty by incentivizing referrals.

Location-based marketing

A unique advantage of marketing to people with smartphones is that you can market to them based on their location since smartphones have built-in GPS. With location based marketing, people who’ve opted in to receive text messages from your brand can get a special offer texted to them as they’re driving down the street where your business is located.

Since people are more likely to act on a mobile offer when they’re already out and about and especially when they’re right next to the business location, location-based SMS marketing can be an especially powerful marketing strategy for small businesses.

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