All businesses spend money on marketing; some local businesses spend money on traditional marketing, and some use online marketing to save tons of marketing costs.
For instance, a car dealership uses social media marketing strategies and saves up to 90% on marketing costs.
The same can be beneficial for your business as well.
In case you are new to online marketing, let’s go through what local marketing means and how effective it can be for your small business.
By local marketing, we mean promoting your business in your local area. For instance, if you are a small business in New York, you can promote your products/services on the internet in New York. You can use social media marketing, search engine marketing, blogs, vlogs, influencers, and other local listing strategies for your small business.
This way, you can reach all those who can be your customers in your local area.
The great news about digital marketing is that it can be free. There are tons of ways to promote a business online; we have discussed all the best ways to promote businesses locally. And most of the ideas discussed here are free.
Let’s get started with the best cost-effective local business online marketing strategies.
On this page
Local Business Free Online Marketing With Google
Being on Google is a must-to-do thing for any business. If you are not on Google, you are missing tons of opportunities to get massive free traffic.
Here is an example.
What do you do if you are in an area you are not familiar with and looking for a restaurant? Definitely, you will Google to find the best restaurants. Right?
So is the case with all the customers.
Whatever business you are, it can be a laundry business, car dealership, or any other brick-and-mortar business; people search for your business types daily. Especially after Covid-19, almost half of the buyers found new brands.
In short, if you are not on Google, you are missing all those free customers who can be all yours if you invest a little time.
It’s actually pretty easy to make your business appear on Google. We have a complete guide to making a local business appear on Google. You can follow those steps to secure most of the positions on Google.
However, the following two are essential steps you must not compromise on to be on Google.
List Your Business on GMB
Google allows business owners to list their businesses on Google My Business (GMB) for free. These free listings secure the top position on Google search results many times.
You might also have noticed that when you are looking for local businesses, many GMB listings appear on the top.
It can be your business out there.
It’s pretty easy to add your business on GMB. Here are easy steps to follow.
Be on Google Maps
The other free and essential way to market your small business online is to add your location on Google Maps.
It’s no more a secret that over 118 million people use Google Maps in the United States.
If they are looking for a local business, say a gas station, they will always try to see it on the Maps.
It’s also easy to add your business on Google Maps. Here are simple and easy steps to add a local business on Google Maps.
Be on Bing Maps
Over 32% of people use Bing in the United States. That’s a considerable number. So if you are missing Bing, you are missing 32% of the free customers.
The most exciting thing is that it’s pretty easy to add your business on BingPlaces.com; you can follow the following steps.
- Open BingPlaces
- Click on New User
- Complete your listing profile
- Verify your listing
And you are done.
Market your small business on search engines
The next big tool to promote any business is search engine marketing (SEM).
Here is how it works and why it’s the best online marketing strategy.
Whenever it comes to making shopping decisions, what’s your top priority? You ask a friend on social media or search on a search engine. Right?
It’s what most people do.
Especially when they are looking for a variety of options, they use search engines. When they ask for suggestions and recommendations, search engines give you a chance to target those people; that’s called search engine marketing (SEM).
For instance, you might have searched for local business digital marketing or a similar query to reach this page.
You might also notice that the top results were ads (in most cases).
These businesses are investing in search engine marketing to target you. They know you are interested in digital marketing for your business, and you might try their services.
In the same way, you can invest in search engine marketing to target your customers.
The great thing about search engine marketing is that it gives you full control over targeting the right people. You can choose the best suitable keywords, locations, ages, gender, and interests.
So much control over your ads gets the best returns on investments (ROI).
But not everyone can get the highest results. Still, hiring an expert to run your SEM campaigns is better.
Local Business Marketing on Social Media
Billions of people use social media. Billions of people use Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and millions of people use Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
All of those platforms have tremendous potential to attract the right buyers.
We have already discussed everything in social media marketing strategies for the car dealership guide. However, you can use all those strategies for any of your businesses.
Although all the platforms we discussed in the previous blog have great significance, there are some platforms you can’t miss to be active on.
The most exciting part of all those platforms is that you can run your business profiles on all those platforms for free.
Here are the top platforms for your local business and how to run your profiles for free.
There are over 2.7 billion users of Facebook. That’s a significant figure. Isn’t it so?
Research says almost 9 out of 10 adults around you use Facebook. That means nearly all of the customers that you want to target are on Facebook. Wouldn’t you like to interact with them?
Who would miss such a huge opportunity? Especially when it’s almost free.
Facebook offers you three free ways to interact as a business with people. However, the 4th one takes money (you can skip the 4th one to keep your marketing free).
- Facebook business page
- Facebook your business-related groups
- Facebook Marketplace
- Facebook Ads
All the free methods work great if you do them properly and appropriately. However, free methods might take a little time to reach and convert most people.
We have discussed everything here in 4 ways to tag a business on Facebook.
Pinterest works like a search engine where people PIN photos, and those photos link back to their blogs and websites.
Pinterest has millions of loyal users that you can attract for your local business.
The best free methods to get massive traffic from Pinterest are creating a business page and creating highly engaging PINs for the right keywords.
You can’t do it without learning it, so you should first enroll in any Pinterest marketing course. It won’t cost you more than $15. Isn’t it cheap? However, the return will be massive.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world. People love YouTubing things because they can get more accurate data with visuals. So it could be the best platform for branding and then converting them to come to your local business.
If you are not on YouTube, you are missing heavy traffic.
The best thing about YouTube is that it’s also free. It makes things so easy for you that you can learn it to start adding your business in a day. Even kids run their YouTube channels successfully.
So you can.
If you don’t know how to create a YouTube channel, here is how to create a YouTube channel.
When it comes to local business, we can’t forget Instagram.
There are two major reasons.
- It has over billion active users.
- It’s free to interact and engage with the customers.
Whatever business you are in, you need to be on Instagram for branding. People love to spend time seeing photos and videos on Instagram.
If you create a business profile on Instagram and run it appropriately, it’s always free. But spending on advertisements will get you incredible results.
Collaborate with local online influencers
One of the most effective online marketing tools is collaborating with local online influencers.
Let’s understand how it works and how it’s the best tactic to promote your business locally.
Many people give their all to any of the online platforms. For instance, a girl who shares beauty tips may have a huge fan following on Instagram.
A car enthusiast might be running an incredible channel on YouTube. He might have a huge fan following in your area.
There could be tons of other examples.
You can reach local influencers to promote your business. In this way, you can offer them some benefits, and in return, they will promote your business on their channels.
People with huge fan followings often have authenticity in their fields. People trust them more and try their suggestions.
Classified Ad Posting Sites
Millions of people still use classified ad posting sites. Even I use it for many things.
The reason is that when buying stuff locally, you need various options to find out, compare and reach them out easily. It all is possible on such sites.
That’s why I couldn’t compromise to add it to this local business online marketing guide.
Not all sites indeed work great. Even many buyers scam on such sites – that’s terrible.
That’s why we picked some of the best ad posting sites for your local business online marketing—the top one is Craigslist. But there are many other sites like Craigslist that you can use for free or at cheap rates.
Local Business Directories
Still, many people use local business directories to find a local business. So when it comes to local business online marketing, one can’t forget it.
Secondly, business directories listings often appear in search engines as search results.
That means it’s also one of the best local business online marketing strategies. Here are the top 50 directories to market your local business online.
Millions of people use communities and forums regularly. There could be many communities and forums in your local area, but Quora and Reddit are famous worldwide.
You can use both of these platforms as your powerful marketing tools.
I have used Reddit for one of my sites to sell products, and it worked. The reason is that Reddit users are pretty simple and believe in you if you sincerely help them.
Although, you should be original. Otherwise, Redditors are aggressive enough to ruin your reputation on Reddit.
Create an Online Store/Website
Over 230 million people shop online in the USA. So if you are a small business that can sell products and is not online, then you are missing those 230 million people online. That’s an immense figure.
Secondly, even if you are not selling any product or service, having a website for your business gets you more user trust, making you more likely to convert them.
So if you are not already online with a website or store, it’s highly recommended to start one for you.
Starting an e-store or a website for your local business is not hard. And it doesn’t cost much to start a business website or store.
There are two ways to start a business website.
If it’s a simple business website, you should buy a domain name and hosting and install WordPress on it, and if it’s a store, you can create an e-store with Shopify.
Start a Blog
When it comes to local business online marketing, I can’t forget the significance of having a business blog. It’s a fact that 95% of people search online before they purchase anything, and if you have a blog to answer their queries, it will enhance your branding and build trust.
We have already discussed 10 reasons why small businesses should blog.
Here are the ten key points.
- Get up to 126% more leads.
- Get a lot of free organic traffic.
- Target low-competition opportunities.
- Get more backlinks.
- You develop your brand.
- Sell your products with blogs.
- Every blog post is life long investment.
- Connect directly with your customers.
- You repurpose content for social media campaigns.
- A blog is a must-have tool in this era.
Once you have your business website, you can easily start a blog on it. It won’t cost any extra bucks. However, you need a small business blog writer to write your blogs.
Digital PR is one of the fastest and best local business online marketing methods.
Whatever you are and whatever you do, if you have something newsworthy, you can share it with others to market your business locally.
Tons of services will write a press release and share it with the world around you. Of course, it will cost you some money, but the return on investments (ROI) will be incredible.
If you have gone through all the ways to promote your local business with digital marketing, you might have realized that it’s neither difficult nor expensive.
There are many ways to promote your business online for free, and they will get your business. But investing in hiring digital marketing experts and investing in advertisements can bring even better ROI.
So in this guide, you have both options open; you can promote your business locally for free or advertise your small business online to get incredible ROI.
How do I advertise my local business online?
There are over a dozen ways to promote and advertise your local business online. The three best among all those ideas are making your business appear on Google, search engine marketing (SEM), and social media marketing.
How can I promote my business onlie for free?
There are many strategies to promote your business online. The best ones among all those strategies are promoting on social media platforms, making the business appear on google, and listing on business directories.
How can I market my small business with minimal or no costs?
There are over a dozen ways to market your small business with minimal or no costs. We have discussed all the best ideas on this page.