Toggle the navigation menu

How to use digital marketing to build local business

Listen to this article

RSS Feed iTunes Google Podcasts

If you run a business in the hospitality, leisure or tourism industry, though you’ll aim to get people to visit you from far and wide it’s always important to build up your local following too. Locals are the people that will be most likely to visit your establishment time and time again since it’s right on their doorstep, so make the most of this!

There are several ways you can work local business into your marketing strategy. Here are just a few ideas to get you started…

How to use digital marketing to build local business

Create targeted Facebook ads

Facebook ads are great if you’re looking to reach a specific area and demographic. You can set up campaigns that focus on brand awareness or engagement to make people aware of who you are and what you have to offer.

Once you’ve decided on a campaign objective, set up your ad location to wherever in the world you are and aim for around a 5-10 mile radius of this if you want to keep it really localised. If you’re looking to reach a specific set of locals, such as businesses that might be interested in corporate packages you offer, target business owners, people with interests in the local community, etc.

If you’re happy with the targeted audience you’ve set up and you think it’s reaching the right people you can save this for future use so you can keep running different ads to attract locals and entice them to pay you a visit.

Engage with local businesses

If you show local businesses support online, chances are they will want to return the favour. Build up a relationship with relevant accounts by engaging with their content on a regular basis—you can do this by simply liking/sharing/responding to content they post across their social media channels.

Once you’ve started engaging with their content you’ll have taken the first step toward getting noticed by them, thus generating brand awareness. Once they’ve noticed you they may return your support by engaging with your content in return, which is beneficial in two ways as you’ve built up a relationship with a local business and you’ve expanded your audience by reaching their audience too, which will most likely be local individuals.

If it seems as though you’re building up a good relationship with them, take it one step further by sending them information on relevant material such as corporate packages or events they may benefit from. You could invite them for a free taster in the hope they appreciate the special treatment and make plans to return in future.

Promote relevant material

Make sure to showcase anything you offer that you think may be relevant to your local audience, such as corporate or wedding packages. It seems like a simple suggestion, but unless local businesses and individuals are actually aware of what you offer, how do you expect them to use your services? Set up a specific page on your website with information on your offering and keep in mind good SEO practices so when people local to your area search for terms such as “corporate spaces in Sheffield” on Google, your establishment will show up in their search. Our clients, The Peacock at Rowsley, have a good example of this on their website if you need some inspiration of what to include on the page.

Make sure to use your social media channels to drive your audience towards this page too. Post good quality images of your USPs such as meeting rooms or photographs of weddings that have taken place at your establishment, and include the link towards the relevant page on your website to attract people to click through for more information. You can go back to the targeted Facebook audience you set up earlier and boost the post with some of your ad budget aiming it towards the correct demographic.

To generate more interest in your packages, you could even set up social media competitions offering local businesses something along the lines of X amount of free time in a meeting space with some food and drinks thrown in for good measure. All of this generates awareness of your business and your offering, so you’re always at the forefront of your audience’s mind when they’re looking for these kinds of services.

Offer incentives

In order to get your local audience returning time and time again, one of the best tactics would be to offer incentives exclusively for locals. This could be anything you think you can realistically supply, such as delegate passes for local businesses to use your meeting rooms, discounts on services for individuals with a local postcode, or vouchers for free refreshments for returning visitors.

The aim is to essentially gain regulars you can rely on to bring in business on a ongoing basis. If people see they can get good deals through the incentives you’re offering, they’re likely to build a good relationship with your establishment and recommend them to other locals, thus growing your audience further.

So go ahead, put some of these suggestions into practice and see how it helps you to build local business. If you need further advice, explore our blog to find more helpful tips and tricks. 

Maximise your digital impact with more industry tips & advice

You'll receive an email update every 2 weeks with insight and advice to support you in your digital marketing journey. We treat your email address with care, and you can unsubscribe with just a click.

We're hiring!