Top Local Marketing Challenges for Business Owners

Marketing your local business can be extremely challenging in today’s world. At a recent conference I attended, Greg Sterling, contributing editor at Search Engine Land, went over some of the top challenges local marketers face today. Here are three of the biggest local marketing challenges for small business owners and what you can do to overcome them.

Complex Consumer Behavior

One of the top challenges and problems business owners face is making sense of complex consumer behavior. Consumers are constantly changing the way they search for products and services online, the way they make purchasing decisions, and even the way they purchase goods and services. This constant change can make it extremely difficult to identify your target audience’s purchase path and reach them with targeted marketing.

What You Can Do: Although consumer behaviors are constantly changing, you can use online software to track lead sources and determine your target audience’s preferences, like whether they found you via a search engine, website, or social media. Then, use those same online channels to reach them. For example, if a lot of your leads come from Facebook, you can use Facebook Insights to find out who is interacting with your page, and then you can target similar audiences through Facebook advertising.

Evolving Technology & Constant Industry Updates

Technology and the Internet have made marketing more accessible, but frequent changes also make it difficult to keep up with. With constant updates to search engine algorithms and emerging trends, it can be challenging to know what tactics are best at any given time. Take Pokémon Go, for example: Just one month ago, businesses were clamoring to get involved with the Pokémon Go craze, but now, Pokémon Go’s popularity is already declining. How can you determine which new technology will catch on for the long haul and which will be a passing fad?

What You Can Do: Reading industry publications like Search Engine Land or Mashable can help you stay on top of the latest updates and trends. Or, if you don’t want worry about these updates yourself, you can partner with a trusted online marketing agency. They can focus on your marketing, keep your campaigns up-to-date with search engine updates, and make sure you’re adhering to best practices while you focus on running your business.

Figuring Out What’s Working

There are so many different devices, marketing channels, and tactics to help you reach consumers now, it can be challenging to know which of your marketing efforts are working the best. If you are focusing on a variety of online marketing tactics like search advertising, SEO, and social media marketing, it’s vital that you have the tools and resources to determine which ones are actually working to get you leads.

What You Can Do: Invest in a lead tracking and analytics software to help you track your leads and see what’s actually working for your business. By knowing the channels and tactics that are bringing you conversions – not just clicks – you can better invest your marketing in the ones that are generating ROI for your business.

What challenges do you face when trying to market your local business? Let us know in the comments! And, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and updates!

Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Communications & Content Marketing Manager at ReachLocal. She has experience in digital marketing, social media management, and content creation for SMBs. Stephanie specializes in helping businesses improve their online reputation and appreciate the impact social media and digital marketing can have on their brand. When she isn't researching the latest online marketing tips and trends, she enjoys eating pizza and watching too much TV with her husband and her dogs.

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