Local SEO marketing will likely look a bit different in 2024 than it does today. As technology and consumer behavior evolve, strategies must shift to keep up.
Businesses that want to succeed with local marketing in the coming years need to understand the key trends and how to leverage them.
This blog post explores the essential local marketing tactics you’ll need for 2024 and beyond.
- Go Hyperlocal
One of the biggest local marketing trends is hyperlocal targeting. While broad-stroke local marketing reaches people in a geographic area like a city or town, hyperlocal gets more granular.
Hyperlocal strategies target customers within specific neighborhoods, streets, or commercial districts.
Brands can geo-fence to reach people within a certain radius of their business location or tap into location-based data to serve ads to people near points of interest.
Hyperlocal allows businesses to get noticed by people who are likely to convert because they’re so close by.
Proximity marketing will become even more precise with developments in location technology and data collection.
A boutique fitness studio could geo-target ads to households within a two-mile radius, and then track ad clicks and store visits to see which neighborhoods generate the most customers.
They can then adjust their ad budgets to focus more on those high-potential areas.
- Leverage Locational Context
Cutting-edge local marketing leverages context about a person’s location to serve them tailored, relevant ads and information.
If your store is near major office buildings, you could display lunch specials to people in that area around noon.
If you’re a bakery next to a hotel, you could promote your breads and pastries via ads in the morning when guests are waking up.
Tools like Google’s Local Context feature let you schedule ads based on weather, events, holidays, and more happening near your locations.
Interactive content that responds to the user’s environment makes your marketing more helpful and appropriate.
The location-based context will become even more detailed as spatial computing develops.
Emerging tech like augmented reality lets brands interact with customers based on minute details of their surroundings that signal intent. The options will explode as we get more granular data.
- Optimize for “Near Me” Searches
In recent years, searches containing “near me” have skyrocketed in popularity.
People turn to local search when they have an immediate need or intent to buy something close by.
Ranking for relevant “near me” keywords should be central to your local SEO strategy.
Monitor the “near me” search queries that drive traffic to your competitors and optimize your content for the same terms.
Make sure your Google My Business listing pops up for searches like “coffee shops near me.”
Local search optimization will only grow more important as voice search continues gaining traction. Voice assistants answer many queries with “near me” results.
- Build Local Community
The most effective local marketing builds a sense of community around your brand.
Use your store or restaurant as a hub where people can gather for events, classes, and experiences beyond just shopping.
Sponsor local events or sports teams to support the area.
Partner with complementary local businesses on joint promotions. Engaging with and investing in the neighborhood fosters goodwill.
Share photos and stories of local residents interacting with your business on social media.
Seek out influencers who live in the community to collaborate with. When people feel connected to your brand, they’ll go out of their way to shop with you.
They may even help promote you to their networks as a valued local business.
- Interact on Nextdoor
While social networks like Facebook and Instagram have a wide reach, Nextdoor is one of the few hyperlocal social platforms left.
Nextdoor facilitates neighborhood-level communication between residents. Over a quarter of US households now use it.
Nextdoor is an underutilized local marketing channel for businesses to build awareness and affinity.
By interacting as a helpful neighbor rather than an overt brand, you can organically integrate yourself into conversations.
Offer advice relevant to discussions, highlight your products or services when appropriate, and join community groups on the site.
Done right, Nextdoor marketing feels like word-of-mouth from someone locals trust.
- Embrace Micro-Influencers
Influencer marketing will move from focusing on a few celebrities with millions of followers to engaging many micro-influencers with smaller but highly engaged niche audiences.
Average consumers who’ve built loyal local followings make convincing advocates for neighborhood businesses.
Seek out popular bloggers, activists, and personalities in your area to collaborate with.
Even residents with just a few thousand engaged followers can drive strong word-of-mouth when they love your brand.
The key is finding partners whose follower demographics and interests align with your business. Then develop long-term relationships through creative partnerships that meet both parties’ goals.
- Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
Local marketing lends itself better to personalization than broad brand marketing.
When you can tie messaging to someone’s location, past interactions, purchase history, and local interests, it resonates so much more.
Make interactions feel like recommendations from a helpful friend instead of generic ads.
According to Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations.
Use data to segment local customers and tailor everything from the copy on landing pages to the images you display based on their preferences.
- Leverage Offline Data
Combine data from your website, mobile app, email platform, and more with offline data for powerful insights into local customer behavior and demographics.
Point-of-sale systems, customer relationship management software, loyalty programs, and visual traffic analysis can reveal vital local intel for small businesses.
When you link online and offline data, you can create customer personas based on real purchase history.
See which products people buy together at each location to inform product placement.
Personalize messaging based on transaction data. Tying digital efforts to offline sales data is key for local marketers to optimize spend and strategy.