When it comes to getting your business's message out to the world through advertising, competing with much larger businesses can be the greatest hurdle. These big brands often have significant advantages, including a larger staff of employees, improved resources for crafting ads and a larger budget for more large-scale advertising campaigns. That kind of advantage may seem insurmountable -- without the same resources and finances as your rivals, it may seem like you can't compete at their level.
Fortunately, you don't need the big brand advantages to succeed in your advertising efforts and your business. Being a smaller business actually gives you a strength that larger business can't effectively enjoy: local advertising. The ability to focus your marketing and advertising strategies on this much more targeted audience can actually put your business ahead. The potential of a local focus is readily apparent from Google search statistics -- 46 percent of all Google searches are local. What's even more impressive is that offline purchases are the result of 78 percent of local mobile searches.
Here are a few reasons why local advertising is so powerful, and why it has the power to transform your small business.
Local Advertising Is Highly Targeted
You're probably already aware that more precise targeting of your advertisements can make them much more effective -- this applies both to Google Ads as well as other advertising platforms like Facebook. Focusing on your local audience, rather than a national or global audience, you can develop a much better understanding of those potential customers and their interest. As a result, you'll be able to craft ads that are more effective in engaging them and converting leads to customers.
Mobile Customers Are Ready to Buy
Shopping -- and researching purchases -- on the go is a huge percentage of your potential customers, and it's only continuing to grow. Browsing time on smartphones has already outpaced browsing on desktop computers in the U.S. at 87 hours compared to just 34 hours. This is a huge opportunity for your small business, as 79 percent of consumers make a purchase decision after seeing a mobile ad targeted to their location. The combination of the right ad at the right time and in the right place is difficult for larger business to capture -- but an advantage you can claim for your small business.
Higher Conversion Levels Come From Local Advertising
Local directory marketing -- sites like Yelp and Foursquare -- has been proven to have a higher conversion factor than other types of advertising, particularly traditional advertising options. Displayed on the first page of most search results, these directories display your business name, address phone number and more to potential customers looking for a solution in the area. This makes it important to have complete and accurate information on these websites.
Better Use of Your Advertising Resources
Many of the best opportunities for local advertising of your business will cost you nothing more than the time it takes to claim your business and provide the right information so that customers can contact you or visit your store. From the directory sites listed above to Google My Business and Bing Places for Business, listing your business is free and can bring you many new customers without the cost of standard search ads.
Being a small or medium-sized business can actually be a benefit when it comes to using local advertising. By using hyperlocal targeting, focusing on mobile customers in your area and taking advantage of free local directory listings online, you can bring in more customers who are ready to buy and experience a greater return on your investment in advertising.