Although the internet has made it possible for businesses to market themselves globally, it is still very important that they market themselves locally.

Local marketing means targeting consumers who are geographically close to you. Depending on your niche, these may be your most important customers; neglecting them could potentially mean that you are losing thousands of dollars in revenue. In order for your local marketing to be effective it has to be well thought out – many businesses have the will to market themselves but few are wiling to invest the resources and time required. For the coming year, there are things that you can do that can help your business become more visible locally. Use the following tips:

1. Start by setting aside a marketing budget.

It is interesting to note than many businesses, because they have a website, feel that they don’t need to set aside money for marketing. This is simply false. If you don’t have a marketing budget yet, it is time to create one. 56% of small businesses have reported that they spend less than $500 a month on marketing. Be realistic about how much you can invest in marketing and how much you want to get out of it.

2. Improve your online presence and visibility.

Having a website is simply not enough. Your competitors have websites as well and if you are not careful they will become more visible than you. If you want to be seen before they are you have to do all that it takes – you need to have an SEO campaign and you need to have a consistent social media presence. If you don’t have someone in-house to do these things then you may want to consider outsourcing them to a digital marketing company.

3. Host and participate in local events.

There is no better way for your community to know that you exist than to participate in local events. Whether it is a football match or a charity event, you have a great opportunity to get noticed by either hosting or taking part. Get your employees to dress in branded t-shirts and have a stand where people can learn more or buy your product. Participating also tells the public that you consider yourself a part of the community.

4. Be proactive about reputation management.

The reputation of your business means everything. It is true that even the best businesses sometimes end up with unhappy clients. The important thing is to make sure that their dissatisfaction is handled in a way that minimizes damage. Word spreads fast on the internet so your reaction time is minimal. If you cannot handle reputation management from within, you should hire someone to do it.

Use these tips to stay ahead through local marketing for the coming months.

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