Welcome to our series titled “The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing.” This seven-part series aims to provide business owners, particularly small business owners, with fast, actionable strategies to win and keep more customers.

This series will be broken down into seven parts as follows:

Let’s jump in with part one!

The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing

‘Near Me’ Marketing is Your New Superpower
In The Days Before Search

In the old days of marketing, advertising and promotion were like kryptonite for owner-operated businesses. It was a waste of money to use broad-reach channels when trying to reach local customers, and offline directories were cluttered and hard to use. Even if you wanted to go big, most small or medium-sized business owners couldn’t compete in traditional broadcast or print. And to make it worse, it took hours to manage on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis—with only a trickle of customers to show for it.

Times have changed. 

In The ‘Near Me’ Days of Search

Now, when customers want to find a local coffee shop or personal training services ‘near me,’ they open online maps, apps and search engines. They look for ratings and reviews to make their decisions. They look at inventories, services and menus online to see if you have what they want. Then, they make reservations or appointments right from your listing—or click to call or get directions to your door.  

This ‘near me’ way of shopping may be relatively new, but it is incredibly beneficial to local businesses. It puts you on the same level as the big guys with less time or effort. So when someone searches for “hair cutters nearby” or “pizza near me,” your business could have just as big a flag on the map as any national chain. 

Your Natural Advantage

But it’s even better than that. You can gain an advantage over big brands and local competitors if you play it right. Your business is already pre-tailored to appeal to your local customers—so it’s easy to optimize fast, with local content, listings, and stellar reviews right from the neighbourhood that will capture local customers’ attention in a single bound. A little upfront effort on ‘near me’ can vault you past the competition—big and small—to the top of search and map results. Owner-operators have a head start in the age of ‘near me.’

It’s a huge opportunity—and a real superpower if you know how to leverage it. 

That’s where this guide comes in. Use it to help you build a ‘near me’ marketing strategy that works, and you can finally focus your marketing time, effort, and dollars where they will drive the most customers to your door. Interested? Read on.

Save Time and $$ with Local Listings Marketing

We weren’t kidding about the superpower thing. The right kind of effort upfront on ‘near me’ marketing can result in significant returns that will save time and money and make you feel heroic.

The Stats Tell The Real Story

You don’t need X-ray vision to see how important digital location marketing has become for local businesses in the past decade. Online searches are leading directly to offline sales. Look at some of the statistics:

  • 91% of consumers use search to find business information locally.
  • 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone visit a related business within a day. And 28% of those searches result in a purchase.  
  • According to Google, “near me” mobile searches that contain a variant of “can I buy” or “to buy” have grown over 500% in the past two years, and we’ve seen a 900% growth in mobile search for “__________near me today/tonight.” 

That’s because smartphones, laptops, tablets, GPS and voice assistants like Siri, Google and Alexa have transformed how your customers buy goods. Most of today’s shoppers and clients don’t turn on televisions, read newspapers or open yellow pages to find local businesses. Instead, they pick up their phones and search. And then they buy.

An Equal Playing Field For Small Businesses

Local businesses don’t need to break the bank to use ‘near me,’ either. You can finally compete on an equal playing field in online digital marketing because location marketing doesn’t require an astronomical budget or dedicated headcount to manage. 

A single owner-operator with a strong location marketing and reputation management platform can do the job in only a few hours a week—less if you have the help of an agency partner or tech platform. And a ‘near me’ marketing strategy can keep your business at the top of search results and win more walk-in customers—all without breaking a sweat.

The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing

Thank you for reading part one of our series titled, “The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing.” Part Two, “Five Benefits of Local Listings Marketing & Five Risks of Ignoring Local Listings Marketing” is up next!