Local Marketing: Small Biz Advantages Over Bigger Brands

Small Store, Big Impact: Digital Marketing Advantages You May Not Know You Have

graphic of a small business

Key Takeaways

Learn the advantages that local businesses have over larger eCommerce brands.

Equip yourself with strategies to beef up your local SEO and leverage digital marketing tools to cultivate a loyal following of shoppers.

It’s common to think that well-known brands have no problem attracting customer attention while smaller stores have a bigger hurdle to jump. There is some truth to this notion. No matter what industry you’re in, there are some dominant brands who have name recognition and a legacy that sets them apart from everyone else. Customers seek out these brands specifically because they’ve heard of them and they want to have a relationship with them.

But it’s worth noting that the bar to attracting customer attention doesn’t stay the same height all of the time. It’s important to understand the many types of customer behaviors that are going on with eCommerce. Some mobile shoppers are just browsing. But when there’s an intent to purchase, customers’ searches become much more focused. They create specific inquiries clustering around three key points: the availability of products nearby, the store’s hours of operation, and directions to the physical store. It is here that the bar becomes much lower.

As TTG’s founder Jennifer Shaheen likes to say, “If you’re a small business, you don’t have to outperform the dominant brands in your space. You just need to be the best in your geographic market.” Granted, it’s not an easy goal, but it is an attainable one. We’ve rounded up some tips to help your local business’s online presence hold its own and lure customers away from larger brands.

“If you’re a small business, you don’t have to outperform the dominant brands in your space. You just need to be the best in your geographic market.”

– Jennifer Shaheen, Founder and President, Technology Therapy® Group

Leverage Local Marketing

Elevating your business in local search results is crucial for drawing nearby customers. And that’s where local SEO comes in. It not only connects you with customers searching for immediate solutions but also builds your reputation in the community. We recommend using a tool like BrightLocal* to enhance your visibility on search engines by optimizing your site for local keywords, improving your local search ranking, and managing online reviews.

Google Business Profile is an invaluable asset to help your local business hold its own online. It allows your business to show up in Google Maps and local search results, providing potential customers with essential information like your hours, location, and services. This free tool also enables customers to leave reviews, further enhancing your visibility and credibility. Keep your profile updated with fresh photos, offers, and events to attract more local shoppers and keep your business top of mind.

If you’re not familiar with geotargeting, it’s simply the process of delivering different content to consumers depending on their specific geographic location. Geotargeting in Google Ads allows you to target your advertising efforts to customers in specific locations, maximizing the impact of your ad spend. By focusing on areas where your target audience lives or frequents, you can deliver more relevant ads, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates. You can also tap into geotargeting for your business’s promotions, events, or when trying to outshine local competition. That way, your marketing efforts reach those most likely to visit your store.

Combining the convenience of online shopping with the immediacy of in-store pickup is a powerful strategy for local businesses. Platforms like Shopify* make it easy to set up an e-commerce site that integrates seamlessly with your physical store operations. Offering in-store pickup not only saves on shipping costs and wait times for your customers but also increases foot traffic to your store. This service enhances customer satisfaction and can lead to additional in-store purchases.

Many customers prefer to shop locally, especially if they’re pressed for time and need a product sooner than a larger brand can ship it to their home. This product availability can work wonders to lure customers away from popular brands and toward your local business. According to a recent Statista survey, 80% of respondents claimed that product availability was either important or critically important to brand loyalty. Per recent Shopify research, 81% of American consumers prefer a local retailer when they search online.

“81% of U.S. consumers say it’s important to find a local retailer when searching online.”

– Shopify

Cultivate Customer Loyalty

Long-term customers are a secret ingredient to local business’s success. Loyalty programs, exceptional customer service, and regular engagement can turn one-time shoppers into repeat customers. Offering exclusive deals, early access to new products, or loyalty points can incentivize customers to keep coming back. Remember, retaining an existing customer is often more cost-effective than acquiring a new one.

Personalization is a powerful tool in today’s marketing landscape. Per recent data from McKinsey & Company, 71% of consumers expect personalization, and 76% of them get frustrated when they don’t find it. Tailoring your marketing messages, offers, and experiences to individual preferences not only meets customers’ demands but encourages them to become loyal shoppers with your business. Use data from past purchases, browsing behavior, and customer interactions to create personalized communications. Check out this blog to get started with email marketing personalization.

Gathering customer emails at checkout offers a direct line of communication for future marketing efforts. Segmenting these emails based on demographics, customer behavior, preferences, or purchase history allows you to tailor your email marketing campaigns for maximum relevance and impact. Personalized email content can include exclusive offers, product recommendations, and updates that resonate with each segment. This, in turn, enhances engagement and encourages shoppers to come back for more.

The Role of Omnichannel and Gamification

Engaging your audience through social media contests is an effective way to increase brand visibility, enhance customer engagement, and collect user-generated content. Contests can encourage interaction across your social platforms. The result? Increased traffic and a stronger sense of community among your followers. You can also tailor the prizes or rewards to promote specific products or services, incentivizing participation while showcasing what your brand has to offer.

Sometimes called a “multi-channel experience,” an omnichannel experience ensures that customers receive a consistent and cohesive brand interaction, whether they’re shopping online, in-store, or through social media. An omnichannel approach integrates various channels to offer a unified customer experience. This makes it easier for customers to make purchases and interact with your brand across different platforms. Implementing an omnichannel strategy can lead to higher customer retention rates and increased sales.

The Right Platforms for Your Text Marketing Journey

Ready to get started with text marketing for your business? Discover the text messaging platforms we recommend when you check out our Partners page!

*DISCLAIMER: Links included in this article might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that we provide, TTG may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you!

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