The What, Why and How of Digital Marketing For Local UK Businesses in 2024

Marketing Campaigns

In this digital age, over 97% of consumers research businesses online before they visit the physical store while over 91% of consumers research an online store even when they are physically inside the store.

The statistics above prove that digital marketing is extremely important for local businesses and will serve as a catalyst to propel businesses forward in future years.

Most people are familiar with the traditional form of marketing that involves using offline media such as newspapers, fliers, billboard advertisements, and radio & Television.

However, digital marketing, while it still follows the same path as traditional marketing, involves using the internet, online-based digital technologies, and other forms of digital communication to reach an audience.

The difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing then lies in the means of reaching the target audience and obtaining data. Traditional marketing is more physical and involves a manual way of doing things which can be strenuous and expensive.

While digital marketing focuses on a business’s online presence and has been proven to be cheaper and time-saving. In this article, we will explore the what, why and how of digital marketing for local businesses in 2024.

The What – Key Digital Marketing Strategies for Local Businesses in 2024

  1. Local SEO Optimisation
  2. Content Marketing
  3. Social Media Marketing
  4. Online Reviews and Reputation Management
  5. Local Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

1. Local SEO Optimisation

If you have not listed your business on Google My Business platform, then this is the right time to do so. It’s not enough to just list your business on the platform, you have to optimise it too to rank high for local search.

For those that craft blog content, it further involves optimising the web pages and content so that it can rank on search engines. Building backlinks and citations is also a great digital marketing strategy.

For this to work,  you need an affordable SEO agency to help you optimise your website to generate traffic and leads.

2. Content Marketing

Creating valuable content is also a great form of digital marketing. You can also share local events to update those who may wish to attend, share news to inform the uninformed and give your two cents to trending stories, especially on your social media pages.

For instance, if you are a local plumber and you create content that teaches people how to solve minor plumbing issues or how to recognise the right plumbing tools and equipment, you stand a higher chance of converting customers.

Then if you have a website ensure to optimise for local keywords (by using phrases and tags prospective customers may likely use while searching) and voice search (for those who may prefer to use their voices to give commands for a search).

3. Social Media Marketing

If you have an active business page on any social media platform(s), ensure you engage your audience. You engage them by making interactive posts, replying to comments, organising contests and giveaways, etc.

You can also run an ad campaign on the social media app where you have the most active followers and ROI. Such ad campaigns target the right local audiences ensuring that your marketing efforts are not wasted.

To reach a more local audience, you can use location tags so that the audience in that location can easily see it. Then post as many stories on your business page and do live videos to grow engagement.

4. Online Reviews and Reputation Management

Your business PR is very important as that will determine what side your prospective customers tilt when it comes to the purchase of your products.

If you are able to build a good relationship with your customers, you can then encourage them to leave reviews for you on Google, Yelp and other social media platforms you are active on.

Ensure that you respond to all comments as quickly as possible so that you don’t build a bad reputation for being a snob. Whether your followers drop a negative or positive customer, ensure you respond to each one with utmost professionalism.

There will definitely be people who will drop negative feedback on your page either because they had a bad encounter while using your product or getting your service, or it is an attempt to taint your online reputation.

Regardless of what their reason may be, ensure you do not ignore it. Address it immediately and change the narrative about your business.

5. Local Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

While there are free means of advertising your products and services, they can be limited to a certain extent. On the other hand, paid advertising gives you more reach and comes with extra benefits.

For instance, local pay-per-click advertising ensures that prospective customers in your local area click your link while you pay them for each click, it’s actually a win-win.

When you leave a call to action, ensure that it is more clear than suggestive. Psychologically, people love it when they are told straight away what to do, it helps them to make up their minds.

Ensure to track the success or failure of your ad campaign, so that you will know when to adjust your strategies, discontinue it or continue with it.

The Why – Benefits of Digital Marketing for Local Businesses

This section answers the question of why digital marketing is important for local businesses. It discusses the benefits of digital marketing and how it contributes to the success of local businesses.

The first benefit is that it allows more people to know about products and services, especially in your local community. When you are able to create brand awareness, you can easily attract more qualified leads and with the right strategies convert them into paying customers.

Digital marketing also helps you to build a great relationship with your customers because, during your research, you get to learn lots of things about your customers which helps you understand and relate with them better.

Digital marketing puts you on equal grounds with larger businesses, allowing you to compete with them even though you don’t spend as much as they do on advertising.

With digital marketing, you can monitor whatever results you get and make marketing decisions based on factual data.

How to Get Started With Local Digital Marketing

So, now you know what and why of digital marketing, how do you get started on your journey to digital marketing?

The first step is develop an actionable strategy stating clearly the goals you wish to achieve and the target audience you wish to reach. As you work with your strategy, you need to know the areas that needs improvement. To do that, you need to conduct a local SEO audit.

Another how of digital marketing include building a user-friendly and mobile-responsive website. Making your website easy to navigate keeps your visitors on your site for a longer time.

Ensure that whatever you create from content posts to a content calendar is all high-quality and that it focuses on local interests. Encourage your customers to leave reviews for you on your business page or website as it helps with your online reputation.

If you have the resources, you should consider investing in PPC for a targeted and more result-oriented reach.

Final Words,

Now that you know the what, why and how of digital marketing, you have seen that it is important to embrace digital marketing for your business, especially in 2024.

Once you understand why you need digital marketing, you can use the strategies explained in the ‘how’ to start your journey towards digital marketing.

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