Marketing strategy

Local Marketing Strategy: How to Promote Your Small Business Locally (Part 2)

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May 2, 2024

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A strategy without tactics is just wishful thinking. To bring your marketing strategy to life, we’ve compiled a list of local marketing tactics and their pros and cons.

In our last post, How to promote your small business locally - Part 1 we covered what a good strategy is and isn’t when marketing your small business. 

The TL;DR? A good strategy starts by pinpointing your business’s main challenges, creating a guiding policy to tackle them, and then taking decisive coordinated actions to make it happen. A strategy without tactics is just wishful thinking. 

To help your strategy come to life, we’ve compiled a list of marketing tactics and their pros and cons. Take the time to put together your strategy if you haven’t done so already, and return to this post when you’re ready. 

What are some local marketing tactics that your business can use? What problems do these tactics solve? What do they or don’t they work for? 

Tactic 1: Local Paid Search Advertising (PPC)

This tactic involves generating new leads via sponsored ads on search engines, most likely Google as it still holds 90% of the market share.

These ads can be targeted based on factors like location, gender, age, and parental status. You can also focus on specific keywords related to your business, helping you reach people who are actively shopping or comparing products or services.

Example of a sponsored Google ad for “men’s clothing austin texas” 

This type of campaign can be super effective but requires a fair amount of knowledge to setup and run effectively. You have to know which keywords to target or exclude, how to write copy that converts, and be ready to iterate and optimize based on results from past campaigns. 


  • Good for brand awareness
  • Good for lead generation
  • High yields if executed correctly


  • Requires knowledge of paid search advertising
  • Can get expensive quickly

Tactic 2: Add your business to local directories

Directories like Google Business Profile, Facebook,, and LinkedIn all have places where your business can list itself as servicing a local area. Certain keywords can be tied to your business so that people searching for certain goods or services in a local area will see your business pop up in that business directory. There are even niche business directories for certain industries like Yelp for restaurants or Angi for home services. 

Yell's business directory is free to list on

Registering your business to a local directory is often free and will boost your company’s online presence. You will need to submit some initial information and provide updates now and again, but it’s pretty low maintenance. It can be a low-cost method to build backlinks and get more site traffic.


  • Useful for building brand awareness
  • Mostly free
  • Limited resource needed to set up and manage


  • Lots of competition
  • Some directories charge annual fees to keep listing active

Tactic 3: Set up social profiles

Maybe you already have a Facebook or LinkedIn business page. But there are many benefits to building out your social channels even further. You’ll establish clear lines of communication with your customers, have free channels to promote new deals and offerings, and will likely generate more business in the process.


  • Free (owned media)
  • Improves business reputation
  • Drives more online traffic to your business
  • Direct communication with customers


  • Lots of competition and noise to break through 
  • Requires lots of time to manage well

See how many of these 24 social sites in this list you have.

Tactic 4: Paid social advertising

Related to our last point, paid advertising through social media is an essential tactic for many businesses. You’ll be directly engaging with your audience on the channels they regularly use to spread awareness about your brand. Social media advertising also tends to drive more traffic and convert more prospects to leads than other channels. See Facebook’s findings on this. 

Most platforms offer different templates based on your goals (traffic, leads, brand awareness, etc) [Source: Snapchat]


  • Builds brand awareness
  • Often better conversion rates than other forms of advertising
  • User-friendly setup 


  • Can get very expensive
  • Requires knowledge of analytics to improve ad performance
  • Overwhelming for smaller businesses

Tactic 5: Local SEO and website optimization

Depending on the scope of your business and strategy, it may be more beneficial to focus on local SEO to advertise directly to your community. Google does, in fact, account for the proximity of businesses to the searcher’s location. For example, if a user searches “pizza”, they’ll get results of pizza restaurants in their area. 

For local search, take a look at Moz’s local search ranking factors to learn more about what will earn you a higher ranking in Google. Here are some examples:

  • Claim your Google Business listing
  • Populate your Google Business with real positive reviews
  • Improve your website with internal/external links
  • Optimize text content and H1/H2 tags around relevant keywords
  • Optimize quality of content (authoritative and free of spelling errors)

Thankfully, most website builders either have on-page SEO feedback built iin to their platform (like HubSpot and SquareSpace) or through a plug-in (like Wordpress) which can make this process easier. 


  • Lower cost
  • Higher impact for local businesses
  • Community building - improve customer loyalty


  • Requires knowledge of website platforms
  • A lot of factors to juggle at once -overwhelming for smaller teams

Tactic 6: Partner with other local businesses

Teaming up with another local business can be a cost-effective marketing tactic that’s mutually beneficial. 

Partnerships can mean a lot of different things. You both co-create a new product, carry and sell each other’s items at both businesses, cross-promote one another's products or services, and even collaborate on an event or campaign. 

Business partnerships and brand collaborations are certainly not exclusive to small businesses. Some of the largest brands in the world will collaborate on special edition products to grow their communities and boost sales. If done correctly, partnerships can be very powerful. 


  • Widens the scope of your customer base 
  • Makes use of both business’ knowledge of local marketing
  • Community-building
  • Improve local brand images


  • Can be time-consuming 
  • Juggling several different priorities at once

Tactic 7: Community events and networking

What is your business’ presence in your community? Are you well-known or regarded? If trying to establish and improve public perception of your brand, attend community events and networking to expose more potential leads to your business. Community events like farmers markets, holiday get togethers, and other seasonal activities will usually have spaces for brand vendors to sell their products. 

Some counties and communities also have local business networking groups to spread the word about their businesses and get to know other small brands. This can be a great way to meet other businesses that may be open to future partnerships or brand collaborations! 


  • Useful for establishing and building brand presence 
  • Showcases your brand 
  • Face-to-face interpersonal relationship building


  • Risky if events have high costs to attend
  • May be entering a highly competitive space with well-established other brands. 

Tactic 8: Build a community

Many of our previous points have referenced the value of building a brand community. In one of our previous blog posts, we explored why brands are prioritizing community building and engagement marketing. Community building allows loyal customers to deepen their engagement with their favorite brands and connect with others who have similar interests. 

Brand communities are beneficial to businesses because they improve customer retention, fasttrack customer acquisition, and provide a channel for better communication directly with customers. 


  • Improves customer retention
  • Increased brand awareness
  • Access to relevant data about brand perception and feedback on products/services


  • Consistent upkeep is required to keep the community active and supportive

Tactic 9: Sell branded merch 

You may already have brand merchandise for your employees, but have you considered also selling this merch to your customers? Merchandise with your logo, mascot, or products featured makes your brand instantly recognizable to your local community and is highly attractive to your most loyal customers. Merchandise can potentially be a revenue stream entirely on its own, but will mostly be for marketing in most cases. 


  • Increases brand awareness
  • Encourages brand loyalty and customer retention
  • Cost-effective


  • Rarely is a revenue stream on its own (initially, at least)
  • Can have high upfront costs to produce high-quality merchandise
  • Hard to measure ROI 

Tactic 10: Sponsor a local team or event

Many sports teams, events, charities, and other local entities welcome sponsorships from local businesses. This involves your business financially supporting a local event or group in return for brand recognition and community building. Sponsorships often involve recreational activities that get a lot of local eyes. You’ll be establishing an emotional connection with that audience as they engage with the fun event or activity. 


  • Relatively easy to acquire
  • Strengthens community perception of your business
  • Increases brand awareness


  • Can potentially be costly (know the value of the event or entity you’re sponsoring!)
  • An event or entity needs to be somewhat related to your business to be successful 

Tactic 11: Launch a membership or loyalty program

Memberships and loyalty programs help solve a common business problem: Customer retention.

Loyalty programs reward customers based on purchase frequency or brand engagement while membership programs charge an upfront fee, offering customers exclusive benefits. If done well, both can be effective ways to encourage repeat business and strengthen your customer base. You could also integrate a referral scheme into your loyalty program to reward both new and existing customers for choosing you. 


  • Encourages long-term customer retention
  • Increases brand awareness through word of mouth
  • Provides customer data about buying patterns


  • Requires time and knowledge to launch 
  • Can fail to show ROI if not set up properly

Traditional loyalty and membership programs often fail because they don't give real value, the rewards are irrelevant, the program is too complex, or the customer experience is just bad. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Find out our companies are revamping loyalty programs with personalized rewards, community access, and more in our free guide Reimagining Loyalty.

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