Targeting local customers is something that should be a part of your overall marketing strategy for many reasons. According to surveys done by TMP and ComScore a staggering 83% of people who did online local searches contacted business offline and half of them eventually became buyers. With statistics like that it’s easy to understand why so many businesses have jumped on the local marketing bandwagon. If you’re on the sidelines, a brief overview of some effective strategies will help.

Be Mobile Friendly

Over 250 million people use mobile devices, like tablets and smart phones, to access Facebook and about 40% of mobile device searches using Google are local searches. Online marketers that are most effective with these mobile users are the ones that have mobile friendly sites. Whether you have a dedicated portion of your website that is optimized for mobile devices or you just make your main site mobile friendly it is important to design and implement your site with mobile users in mind.

Be Geo-Sensitive

When people search locally they may include names of cities, counties, zip codes or other terms that help narrow their search results to local businesses. Making sure you include these terms in your website will enhance your SEO (search engine optimization) with respect to local customers. Another simple, and cost-effective step to being geo-sensitive is to make sure you have claimed your business profile on all of the localized sites like Google Places, Yelp, Citysearch, etc.

Local Banner Ads Work

According to Borrell Associates figures, online local advertising is expected to reach about $18.5 billion in 2012, up 18% from $15.7 billion in 2011. Local ads work, and they work extremely well. Ads can be placed on a variety of websites that are hand-picked based on your ideal customer profile so you maximize your marketing dollars.

Let’s Make a Deal

Creating special offers for local customers is a simple and very effective way to drive traffic to your business. Using offers your customers can get online and use offline is a great way to make your local efforts really pay off. Consider enhancing the offers with additional discounts if customers share your offers with their friends. Incorporating easy sharing features in your offers is a great way to make it easy for your ideal customers to share offers through social media and increase the chances your offers will go viral.

Know Your Numbers

Knowing what works and what doesn’t is important to maximizing your marketing spend and the only way to know for sure is to keep track of key metrics. Keeping track of your metrics is something too few businesses do, and even fewer know what to do about the numbers if they do track them. There is no point in accumulating data unless that data informs you so you can take action to improve your business.

Don’t get overwhelmed by this part of your marketing because this is where working with an experienced marketing agency can make a big difference. We have experience designing and implementing effective campaigns that will help you reach your local customers in an extremely cost effective manner and we’re here to help.