It’s that time of the year when the mailbox starts to see a lot of action.
Not your inbox, but the one at home as people notoriously get swamped with leaflets and other marketing paraphernalia to remind them that there are January sales afoot.
Leaflet drops can be an effective form of direct marketing to reach out to local communities, promote offers and new products, and let people know you exist.
On their own, though, leaflets can also be a costly way of attracting a local market. The marketing message too, if not done right, can be as easily disposable as the leaflet itself if you’re not careful, making a lot of local drops a vanity effort more than anything.
Take the case of Lidl, too, who got a slap on the wrists recently for using the wrong logo on its promotional materials. A costly mistake that can’t be retracted or amended; that’s a lot of money down the drain.
Considering inbound marketing
That’s not to say leaflets aren’t a good way to attract local attention, especially if you’re looking to penetrate more desirable postcodes in the area.
Leaflets got something of a bum rap last year during the referendum, but combined with a well-strategised inbound marketing campaign leaflets can complement business growth in a highly effective way.
So long as local awareness helps to drive people to your website where people can learn more about you, sign up for offers and leave data behind in an ethical, transparent way then direct marketing can be effective.
There are other, more affordable and creative ways though to penetrate your local consciousness and command the attention of those in desirable postcodes, however. Those inbound techniques may be more suitable for your budget if you’re determined to grow quickly.
Targeting affluent customers and postcodes
Inbound marketing can be hugely effective in helping you to gain a strong presence in your local community.
As well as your marketing efforts though, it’s always essential to use a lot of common sense when it comes to your local market. That means being friendly, knowledgeable, and participating in the local community as and when you can.
Put some digital budget to one side and you can target a new local audience with:
1: The huge targeting options available on social media
We’ve mentioned in the past that there are a lot benefits of using Facebook to deeply target people based on their income, job description and location if you put some money into their advertising services.
That’s no different here. You can geotarget your message to an incredibly specific area, allowing your business to spread its message as local or as wide as you see fit.
What you may not know is that other social platforms have deep geotargeting options, too. For more localised campaigns, Twitter offers postcode targeting; perfect for if you’re looking to get in front of people living in wealthy areas.
Image-based social networks like Instagram and Pinterest are also upping their targeting game, but if you’re going to invest in social targeting then it’s important to get the creative message right.
You only have a short space of time to get your message across, and images have to be spot-on to draw in the right crowd. Get the creative right as well as the local targeting, though, and you could see almost immediate interest in your local business.
2: A PPC strategy that focuses on data collection
Paid search (AKA Pay-Per-Click) is also essential for those looking toward fast growth and getting their name across their local community as quickly as possible.
Again, an effective paid search strategy is going to need some money putting into your digital budget, but its results (when done correctly) are hard to argue with.
Target the right, local keywords as well as location and other important search terminology on search engines like Google and Bing, and you can appear above all the competition in your local market, encouraging clicks to your business if you get the marketing message right.
But targeting that local audience isn’t enough for serious growth. That traffic has to land somewhere and fulfil a purpose. Do you want them to make a quick purchase in the sale and forget about you, or become long-term customers?
Again, this is where the creative message as well as a streamlined, effective website is essential for growth. Instead of pushing a few products, why not direct locals to a specific webpage where they can learn more about your business and you can collect data ethically such as email addresses and social handles?
Better yet, encouraging them to leave their address or simply their postcodes can help you build a database of locals in the area to communicate with in the future as you look to build on the information you’ve ethically collected.
3: Get the simple search basics right
As effective as paid search and social media is at attracting immediate attention to your online business, true long-term local success needs a search engine optimisation plan so people can find you naturally.
There’s all sorts of things that can be done immediately such as setting up a local profile on Google My Business and other ways to get yourself to show up when people search specifically for you, on desktop or through a mobile search.
Search engines are always updating and changing their algorithms, though, so it’s essential that you select your keywords carefully and look to employ a white-hat strategy that helps you climb up the rankings and won’t get your business penalised online.
That means having a local, diverse link profile and building relationships with other businesses in the area over social media. It means regular, creative content based on the local area that stirs debate and generates interest.
Most importantly, it means always being open, friendly and available for a local audience and community online as you look to develop positive long-term relationships with potential patrons.
If you’d like to know more about how an inbound marketing campaign can attract more local business and help your company grow, speak to a Webpresence digital expert today.