How do I market to my local area?

Local area marketing (known as LAM in the advertising world) hardly needs definition — essentially it is the promotion of your business to encourage local clients to your door.

It can include initiatives such as placing an ad in your local paper, promoting your business in local shopfronts or newsletters, or local outdoor signage or directories — be they printed or online. More and more it also refers to digital and social media campaigns where you can predefine your target audience to be those living or working within a certain area, or web advertising where you use your local area in your specified keywords.

At a tactical level, you could consider sponsoring a local sporting or cultural group within your area, working with local businesses to leave copies of your marketing materials in their foyer or high traffic areas. You could also look at what events and celebrations are held in your neighbourhood that would be an appropriate vehicle to promote your business.

The keys to successful local area marketing are pretty simple. Know your audience, know your market and give them what they want – find your solution that fits their need. Get to know who you’re talking to and what subjects or industry news will be most appealing to them. Is your local area slanted towards particular needs and wants? Target and tailor your messages so they hit the mark every time.

Talk to your local media and position yourself as the always-available, go-to person when it comes to your industry or field. Write a small article for your local paper on neighbourhood trends, moves, and how you’re helping locals. Use data from external sources (that you quote and gain approvals from) to validate the points you’re trying to make.

Think about hosting or holding an event, or even sponsoring an existing one. Work with businesses in your local area.

Engage. Become an integral part of your local community. Attend events, sponsor events, give back to your neighbourhood, and join clubs and talk to other businesses about how you can help each other grow. Share your success stories with your local following on Facebook, (with your customers’ consent and on a first name basis only) and share with your followers just how you’re helping your clients get ahead.

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