Local marketing for photographers
Today we’re going to focus on targeting a specific geographic area to create a strong local presence and help you get your name out there fast i.e. Local marketing.
The more local your business, the more relevant it is for you to appear prominently in your local community. Many people are keen to support their local community and may choose to buy locally for this reason. Local marketing also allows a relationship to be developed, and trust to be built, between you and your potential client before the client even calls to make an appointment.
1. Where is your local area?
First you should define your local area. Is it the local community where your business is based? A defined set of suburbs surrounding you? Or another geographical area where your ideal customers live?
2. Do your research
If you don’t live in the local area, or even if you do, it’s vital to find out as much as you can about the local community. The local Council and Bureau of Statistics may be able to provide you with a profile of the area. Before you focus on a local area be sure that this is where your ideal customers are.
Spend time in the local shops and see who is shopping in the area; are they your ideal clients? Find out not only where they shop but where they hang out, what they do for fun – anything you can to tell you how and where to talk to them.
7 things you can do to market locally
A local business needs a targeted marketing strategy to attract local clients. Local marketing is done both in person and online. You will need to determine the local marketing strategies that will be the most beneficial for your business. Here are seven ideas:
Find out what the locals are reading and look for an opportunity to generate publicity with a press release. This can be very effective if you target a local paper, but keep in mind you will only get publicity if the story is newsworthy! Ideally, a newsworthy event will have a benefit for the local community. Your press release could be about some interesting research you’ve come across, an award you have won, a charity or cause that you support locally or even an inspirational story about a client or yours.
Check out what your local target clients are reading and consider spending money on advertising to reach them. For instance if you are targeting young families an ad in the local school newsletter can be very cost effective.
3. Joint Marketing – Local Partnerships
Look for other businesses that are already targeting the same market and use joint promotions to reduce costs and add value for the customer. Cross promote each other’s services, make personal referrals, link websites and share advertising or trade show costs.
Step outside your office or studio and introduce yourself to the neighbours. Getting to know other local business people often leads to information sharing and good ideas for marketing. Joining a local group is a great way to support the local community, find out what’s happening and make great contacts. Remember networking isn’t just about picking up referrals it’s about helping other people and connecting with the community.
5. Online Visibility (SEO)
It goes without saying that you will need a website even if you are primarily targeting the local market because even locals tend to Google rather than check out the local paper or phone book! So make sure your website is Search Engine Optimised for your area and surrounding suburbs. Use locally taregtted keywords like Manly Wedding Photographer, Neutral Bay Child Photographer etc
6. Online Visibility (Local Directories)
A Google Places page will also help your rankings along with listings on local directories including True Local, Hot Frog and Yellow Pages. Directories provide multiple, consistent, keyword optimised, online references, linking back to your website and assist you in being found in the search engines.
Note: People using local directories are also generally more likely to be buyers, not browsers, i.e., if they are looking in a local directory, then they are usually ready to buy.
7. Online Visibility (Website content)
You should provide details of your business’ local community activity on your website. Are you a proud supporter of the local childcare centre? Does your business sponsor the local football club? Do you run a work experience program for local schools? Make sure your community is aware of the support you provide, as this may prompt them to support you. If you do support affiliations in your community, ask them to put your logo or web link on their website too. A map on your website can demonstrate your local presence. Also consider how you can help your local community through your content. By publishing articles on the webpage that give local advice, you can become a trusted resource for your community.
Putting together a Local Area marketing strategy needn’t cost you a fortune and focusing on the simple stuff often pays great dividends.
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