Local small businesses can target customers with highly-effective online advertising options that use geo-targeting and demographic targeting technology to deliver the right message to the right person
With new advertising options on the internet, it’s never been easier for local businesses to reach local customers in a cost-effective manner. There are internet ad options available to fit nearly any size budget – enabling even small businesses to have a web marketing strategy implementation.
Whether you are advertising on local media/city websites or reaching a highly-targeted demographic through social media networks, online advertising gives businesses the tools to target their marketing budget to cost-effectively drive local customers to their websites or brick and mortar stores.
Targeting Capabilities with Online Advertising
If you run a local business that relies on local internet or foot traffic, reaching the right customer in the right area is crucial for your business. And with tight marketing and advertising budgets, spending your money wisely is also crucial for your business.
Local businesses need to leverage these targeting capabilities when they choose to advertise online:
Geo-targeting. You want to specify the exact geographic area to reach customers in your target area that are likely to do business with you. First, define your scope of business (by zip code, city, state or region) and then define the parameters with your online advertising. An example of geo-targeting online advertising may include internet yellow pages advertising that is limited to a certain geographic area.
Demographic targeting. If your customer base targets a particular demographic (such as sex or age), you’ll want to choose online advertising options that allow you to target by your key demographics. Adding geo-targeting to your target demographics allows you to focus on your local market even more. Facebook advertising is one example of an online advertising option that allows for demographic targeting that can also be combined with geo-targeting.
Content targeting. Online ads on websites that are specifically focused on a local area (such as city guides or news websites) will ensure that you are placing your message in front of an audience from your local geographic area. Your advertising placed within the context of local content will also be a better fit for your business.
Best Online Advertising Sites for Local Businesses
Although every area will may have a variety of local websites that are utilized, here are some of the best options to look into for advertising your local business online:
Internet Yellow Pages. Online yellow pages usage has grown significantly in recent years – surpassing print yellow pages for many business categories. Consumers turn to online yellow pages when they are ready to buy and need to identify a local business. Internet yellow pages sites will generate website traffic and phone calls.
Search Engine Advertising. All the major search engines – like Google, Bing or Yahoo – offer advertising options to get better placement in search engine results for keywords. Adding geo-targeting to paid search programs is even more effective for local businesses to reach relevant customers.
Bulk SMS marketing. It’s definitely a viable option especially for promoting local businesses. The perfect scenario for a business would be to collect contact information directly from the customers and then keep them updated with regular SMS notifications about sales, discounts, or other incentives to have them coming back.
Local Media Websites. Locally-focused content sites like city guides, local news websites or radio station websites are a great way to reach highly targeted local customers.
Directory Listing Sites. From free local listing sites on Google or Bing to local directory sites for your product or industry niche, directory listing sites can be a very cost-effective way to advertise online within your local area.
Social Media Advertising. There are many new advertising options available on social media networks that allow for both geo-targeting and demographic targeting for your local business. Facebook ads are good if your business is business-to-consumer (B2C) and LinkedIn ads can be very good if you have a business-to-business (B2B) focus. And with Twitter, you now have many options to promote your tweets or twitter account with highly targeted demographics.
Coupon and Deal Websites. Driving traffic to your website and brick and mortar location with coupon deals has never been easier for local businesses with the highly popular coupon and deal sites like Living Social, Groupon and Yelp.
Whichever online advertising option you choose for your local business, be sure to measure and test results during short trial periods. You want to be sure to continue to invest your small budget in targeted ways that will maximize your impact on website traffic, leads and sales.
Looking for new ideas to generate website traffic and online sales for products? Amazon also recently launched a new way for small businesses to advertise their specific products on Amazon.com with Amazon Product Ads.
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