You may not be a national brand.
In fact, your geographic marketing area may only encompass the distance people are willing to drive to get to your business. For many businesses using inbound marketing, Sonoma County is truly the full extent of their marketing area.
For Inbound Marketing, Sonoma County Can Be Your World
No matter, because even small business marketers can build their brands at the local level using inbound marketing and the Internet, social media and mobile technology.
Local is a great way to create closer connections with prospective customers and clients across search, social and mobile, in those moments where and when it matters. How that occurs is a bit more complicated.
You're Local, Be Found Locally
Local search marketing encompasses a complex ecosystem that spans what is referred to as paid, earned and owned media. Paid media you already are familiar with: advertising and public relations. Earned media you might recognize as publicity and mentions, etc. in social media. Owned media is exactly that: what you own and publish yourself in the Internet marketing sphere.
The challenge with local marketing is that it is always "on" and it is continually evolving. Small business marketers often find that the need for fluidity and adaptability can be difficult for even the most digitally savvy marketers.
According to Jon Schepke, CEO at SIM Partners,"Marketers cannot afford to take a 'wait-and-see' approach. They need to be proactive and execute a local search strategy. Google reports that 72% of consumers who search for local information on a smartphone visit a store within five miles. That built-in intent is a huge opportunity to build brand awareness as well as drive customer acquisition via local search marketing efforts.
To get closer to their customers in 2015 and beyond, national marketers should develop thoughtful local search programs that integrate with broader marketing and branding strategies."
Why Local Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing, Sonoma County included, drives traffic to your site without spending inordinate amounts of money on advertising or paying for sponsored rankings from organic searches. It leverages the power of consistent and compelling content to bring people to your site again and again. The beauty of local marketing efforts is the advantage of immediacy both virtually and geographically.
In other words, prospective customers can not only find you quickly online, they can drive or walk to your place of business.
Who's Really Looking for you and How?
According to a Google study:
"Four in five consumers use search engines to find products, services or experiences nearby. They conduct local searches wherever they happen to be; 84% use search engines on their computer or tablet and even more (88%) do so on their smartphone.
Respondents said they searched for local information on their computer/tablet in a variety of places, including at home (76%), at work (24%) and at a hotel or motel (18%); on smartphones they searched at home (53%), while on the go (51%) and in stores and malls (41%), among other locations. And when consumers are outside of the home, the majority of their smartphone searches are of a local nature. In fact, 56% of smartphone searches done on the go have local intent as do 51% of those done in-store."
The bottom line is that wherever and whenever prospective customers search for local information, they’re very likely to look at a store’s address, for directions to the store, and its business hours. You want to be that store!
Embracing the Spectrum of Inbound Marketing - Locally
Your website, your company blog, your periodic digital download offerings and their landing pages, and your regular email marketing campaigns - all these can work together to put your business name out there. Part of the beauty of the Internet is that, even though you may be focusing your efforts to, say, Sonoma County, your efforts can be seen worldwide. In other words, every business is an international brand.
But don't let your local, small business status cause you to dismiss tactics like video and images.
According to Chris Smith, President of Argent Media, "using multimedia in your optimization efforts can give you more opportunities to appear in search results — particularly since Google and other search engines display blended search results that often include images and videos in addition to the regular search results. These pieces of content can also provide other opportunities for your business to be found, and they can help with your optimization."
People love video and multimedia is a powerful attractant. An easy question to ask yourself is this: "Can people find my business on YouTube?" Either they can, or they can't. And unless someone else has been posting great videos about your business, you will need to do that yourself. The good news is that it is relatively easy, inexpensive and it can be a lot of fun, as well.
Getting Help With Inbound Marketing, Sonoma County Style
The approach of inbound marketing holds great promise for your business. But achieving your local marketing objectives with a content marketing strategy does take time. It won't happen with a few blog posts or some other great content. People will need to consume your content for a while before they contact you. Yet, without your content compelling them to contact you, your goals may never be met.
The good news is that you don't have to figure out alone. In fact, one of the best investments you can make with your marketing budget is to partner with a solid firm like Petaluma-based BroadVision Marketing. We are your local partner for your local marketing needs.
Click on the button below to get your free Complimentary Inbound Marketing Session so you can make an informed decision, or call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238.