Local marketing is crucial for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) looking to attract nearby customers. 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within 5 miles, showing the power of optimizing your digital presence to drive local sales.
This guide will explore the best local marketing tools and strategies your SMB can leverage in 2024 to boost your local audience, visibility and engagement.
Local marketing refers to digital marketing efforts and strategies aimed at driving in-person visits, calls, and sales from customers in a specific geographic location.
For SMBs competing against national chains and ecommerce giants, local marketing is often the best way to differentiate your business.
Local marketing tools can streamline promotion across multiple locations while providing data and insights to optimize decisions and spend. With local searches leading to more store visits than non-local searches, SMBs that focus locally have a huge growth opportunity.
Now let's explore the key categories of local marketing tools available to SMBs.
Listings platforms allow you to update and syndicate your business name, address, and phone number (NAP data) across key directories, maps, and databases. This prevents duplicate or inconsistent listings that can confuse searchers.
Popular local listings management tools include:
Key benefits of listings management platforms:
By centralizing your NAP data, these platforms save you time while optimizing your online visibility across key sites consumers use to find local businesses.
Review Management Tool Grade.us pulls in reviews from 100+ sites and lets you publish top reviews as testimonials. ReviewPush sends review requests to customers and lets you respond to reviews publicly or privately. ReviewTrackers offers review widgets to display on site and analyzes sentiment and metrics.
Local review management platforms allow you to easily generate and leverage customer feedback to build trust and social proof.
With 88% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, platforms like Grade.us, ReviewPush, and ReviewTrackers are vital to managing your online reputation.
Key benefits include:
The transparency and social validation provided by online reviews can be invaluable for SMBs competing against bigger chains and ecommerce sites.
Local SEO focuses on optimizing your website and digital presence to attract searchers looking for businesses in your area. Key platforms include:
Moz Local- Offers local keyword and competitor research to inform your targeting strategy. Provides location data management and local link building within your Moz dashboard.
BrightLocal- Audits your local visibility across search and maps, analyzes competitor visibility, and generates reports to showcase local SEO improvement.
Semrush- Researches local keywords being searched by your target audience, uncovers site issues blocking local search traffic, and discovers link building opportunities with relevant sites.
Benefits of leveraging Local SEO tools include:
With Local SEO optimization best practices in place, SMBs can significantly expand visibility and traffic from nearby searchers.
Target a city, postal code, or draw a custom radius around your business locations to geo-target your ads. This is much more affordable than broader targeting, while still putting your ads in front of those most likely to visit your stores.
You can tailor ad messaging around special offers, local events, or services that would appeal specifically to locals.
Track calls, on-site conversions, and ROI from custom, local audiences to determine the most valuable local customers to target in the future.
Local social media marketing builds community and loyalty, while enabling special offers & events promotion.
Having a unified presence where followers can connect with your brand locally is invaluable.
A tool like Sprout Social lets you schedule localized social content, run ad campaigns, publish user-generated content, and analyze performance across all networks.
This saves time while optimizing engagement for each location.
Reputation Management Tool BirdEye monitors reviews sites, social networks, and local business listings. ReviewTrackers analyzes local review sentiment with dashboards. Chatmeter Collects customer feedback and visualizes brands' online presence
Reputation management software centralizes mentions of your brand across the web - including local media, review sites, social networks, and directories.
Key benefits include:
Having visibility into your brand perception across channels informs your local marketing decisions and crisis response.
With a unified platform, you can execute local strategies while saving time toggling between different point solutions.
These tools also provide guidance on optimizing spend across different channels to maximize ROI.
For SMBs juggling local marketing ideas across multiple locations, having a centralized local marketing platform is invaluable.
Proximity marketing leverages mobile devices to deliver hyper-targeted ads and offers to customers near your physical locations.
Technologies like beacons and geofencing define a geographic zone, then trigger alerts to those within that zone.
Proximity marketing achieves precision targeting, amplifying your messaging only to those close enough to take action. This avoids bombarding everyone with irrelevant ads, instead speaking directly to those most likely to visit.
Converting visitors once they arrive on your website is crucial for driving local leads through local online marketing.
You can customize elements like:
Crafting localized pages show visitors you understand their needs and make it easy for them to take action relevant to their geography.
You gain visibility into:
Optimizing site experience for different locations leads to higher conversions.
You can also segment heatmaps by marketing campaign or referrer source, ideal for comparing local vs national traffic patterns.
These visual insights inform better local page design and on-site personalization.
Local marketing presents a major growth avenue for SMBs. The platforms explored above help drive visibility, leads and sales specifically from potential new customers in your geographic area.
A successful local marketing strategy involves both local advertising and optimizing the digital presence of a business while building relationships with the local community.
Start by auditing your existing assets and strategy:
Identifying priority areas for improvement will guide your technology stack selection and budget allocation when developing an integrated local marketing plan.
Consumers are leveraging the web to find and vet local businesses now more than ever. For SMBs, visible and effective local marketing efforts can be the competitive difference-maker against bigger chains.
This guide explored leading categories of local marketing technology, including listings and review management platforms, local marketing solutions, SEO and PPC tools, social media dashboards, reputation monitoring services, proximity marketing capabilities, localized landing pages, and heatmap analytics.
Leveraging these solutions streamlines processes, provides actionable data, and ultimately helps SMBs turn online local visibility into more real-world customers and revenue.
What local marketing strategies and tools does your SMB currently use? What solutions could help take your local strategy to the next level?