For small businesses, local lead generation can become crucial for progress.
Repeat customers maintain your baseline and keep your business afloat, but you need to look for new leads online if you want to scale.
Why online? Because 97% of people learn about local companies through the internet. So, naturally, most of your potential customers are searching for your goods and services on the internet.
Local lead generation strategies allow you to capture business from these searchers. It doesn’t require a lot of cash to generate leads for your local small business.
Your audience is localised in a small area, and competition can be high, but you don’t need a large marketing budget to get their attention.
Here are some tips to help you generate more local leads for your small business without spending a fortune.
1. Identify Your Audience
All lead generation efforts can prove fruitless if you’re unable to identify your target audience. How can you reach out to your audience if you don’t know who they are?
Hence, thorough audience research is in order. Find out your potential customers’ likes and dislikes and devise a strategy to reach out to them.
For example, suppose there’s a dairy company that delivers fresh dairy products in Texas’s major cities. If they don’t set their audience right and start sending cold emails to dairy lovers all over the US or all Texans, including vegans, they can waste time and resources on dry leads.
So you see, it’s essential to understand your audience and filter out unsuitable leads before starting your lead generation practices.
2. Connect With Your Audience on Social Media
Social media is the place where the bulk of your audience hangs out. And guess what, 40% of businesses reach their audience through Facebook and other social platforms.
With in-depth knowledge of their users’ activities and preferences, local lead generation through social media is quick, simple, and highly effective. All you have to do is use suitable hashtags, post useful and engaging content, and respond to your audience’s comments and questions.
3. Build an Email List With Localised Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are an effective way to get contact details of prospective leads. But since you’re a local business, you need localised lead magnets that attract prospects in your service area and not on the other side of the globe.
Avoid generic lead magnets, and instead, create the ones that appeal to your target audience in your local market.
For example, you can create a guide for buying a car in London or buying an apartment in Liverpool. Local lead magnets can be email-gated videos, PDF books, or calculators to estimate your car or property sale price.
4. Use Targeted Social Media and Google Ads
Pay-per-click ads are quite profitable for small local businesses. They put your business right at the top of the searches related to your products and services. Google ads reach your potential customers wherever they hang out on the internet.
If you find Google ads expensive, start with a small budget, and gradually increase it once you understand what works and what doesn’t for your business. Facebook ads are the next best local lead generation platform for small businesses with its 2.5 billion users and unmatchable targeting capabilities.
When you run a Facebook leads ad, it shows in the newsfeed with a form for adding contact info right there in the newsfeed. This convenience gets you 20% more leads compared to Facebook ads leading to landing pages.
5. Build Localised Landing Pages
When you direct your leads to a landing page, it becomes a deciding factor for effective conversion. When people are looking for products or services in a specific location, they are much more likely to engage with a location-specific page than a general one.
If you’re a small business with service centres in a few major cities of your county, you will get better engagement if you create a localised landing page for each city. That’s because any prospective clients/customers are far more likely to engage with your local branch.
Localised landing pages also improve your local search rankings when someone searches with location modifiers such as “rehabilitation centre near me,” or “fresh baby products in Detroit,” etc.
Moreover, you get more conversions with local Google ads or geo-targeted ads when they directly lead to the closest branch page instead of a generic landing page.
6. Optimise Your Site for Local Search
The best way to generate organic leads is to optimise your website for search. Since you’re a small business serving a local area, you are at an advantage.
While national or global businesses may be trying to rank for lucrative keywords in your industry, you can easily rank for those terms in your area by using area keyword modifiers. So, instead of trying to rank in search engines for “best property manager” you’ll be aiming to rank for “best property manager in London.”
Moreover, you can physically interact with your customers and pick the words they use to describe your services and products when searching online or offline. Using these words in your web copy ensures your business shows up in SERP when someone searches these terms and phrases.
7. Optimise Local Listings
About 96% of Americans own a smartphone and use local listings to search for local businesses. It pays to get your business listed in at least the major local listings that are popular among your audience.
Top local listings are Yahoo Local, Yelp, Bing Local, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Angie’s List, YP, Better Business, Bureau, GlassDoor, Biz Journals, CitySearch, Manta, Whitepages, and more!
Optimising your Google My Business page not only improves your visibility but also gives your SEO a boost. It ensures that your business shows up when someone looks up the internet for related products and services.
8. Create a Blog
A blog is a great way to communicate with your customers about your products, services, vision, and commitment to serve. It allows you to attract your audience and involve them with your brand continuously.
However, to create a successful blog, you need a sound content marketing strategy. Write on topics your audience cares about and highlight the positive role played by your business.
Blogs also allow you to target relevant keywords and help your website appear in SERP for more related keywords.
It improves the overall visibility of your business. Using your geographical location in blog titles and URLs also improves local SEO.
9. Optimise Your Website for Conversions
Once your website starts getting visitors, it needs to keep them engaged and encourage them to take action. For this, you need to optimise your website for conversions from the very beginning.
Keep the buyers’ journey in mind and create lead magnets for each stage. Create valuable content like guides, tips, and checklists, and place them on dedicated landing pages where you can collect their contact information in exchange for your valuable content.
For buyers’ who are ready to convert, you can place CTAs such as “Contact Us,” “Request a Quote,” or “Estimate the Cost” with a gated form that requires an email address.
10. Keep in Touch With Your Leads
Once you generate leads, keep in touch with them to motivate them to convert.
For example, if someone downloads content from your website in exchange for their email address, send them a follow-up email asking them if they got the content. From there, you can set up an automated email sequence, asking for feedback, offering more information, or suggesting related content.
Similarly, if you get some leads during an offline event, make sure to follow them up through email or a phone call to encourage them to take action or move one step down the sales funnel.
Following up on cold leads is another excellent way to keep your cold leads in the loop. Create an automated email series to pull them back into the sales funnel.
11. Build Bulk Leads With Contests And Giveaways
Contests and Giveaways are the strongest lead magnets that can get you many leads in little time. They can be arranged online, offline, or both, and since you give your leads a chance to win a prize they want in exchange for their contact info, contests and giveaways generate leads like hotcakes.
However, make sure the prize is related to your product or service. For example, if you’re a healthy food blogger and create a contest of $1000 or a trip to the Bahamas, you’ll get many leads, but will they be worth a cent to you?
Of course not. Everyone wants a thousand dollars and a free trip. However, if you run a contest for a baking set or a dough maker, you’ll get fewer but targeted leads that are more likely to spend on your business.
12. Co-Marketing with Other Businesses and Influencers
Local businesses in an area can come together and co-market their products and services to get more leads with less effort. Look for companies that complement what you offer and agree on goals and targets before moving forward.
You can co-host events, run joint campaigns, create an ebook, or hold webinars together. You can also work with celebrities and influencers in your industry to promote your products and services. They can endorse your brand, run a giveaway for you, or share their photo or video while using your product or service.
Since influencers already have a big following, it can be a golden opportunity for you to tap into an audience ready to be discovered. At the same time, the influencers get free products or content to share with their audience… A win-win for all.
Local Lead Generation Conclusion
You can benefit from any of the above-mentioned lead generation tips for your local small business.
However, every business and local market is different, so you should always test and retest different techniques and strategies to see what works best for your goals.
Don’t forget to tell us about your favourite lead generation tips that always work for you.
Want more content marketing strategies, advice and tactics? Check out:
- What is Content Marketing? A Misconception Made Simple
- The Content Marketing Funnel: Cold Prospect to Customer
- What is Direct Marketing? A Guide to the Most Cost Effective Marketing Strategy
- How to Never Run Our of Content Marketing Ideas
- What is Inbound Marketing?