You can also use online PR and marketing to cultivate a local audience by making sure that the content you post has a very local focus. Make your blog, Web site and social media pages the go-to location for your friends, neighbors and customers to see local news first. Create contests that encourage your neighbors and local patrons to send in photos of themselves, their kids or their pets. You can bet that when their photo is posted they’ll shoot off an email to several hundred of their social media contacts and drive traffic to your site.
Capitalize on the local angle of your social media pages, blog and Web site by running your own online banner ads to highlight your company, products and services. Use Facebook ads that target readers within a geographic area or with locally-focused keywords. Don’t overlook paid advertising in online publications to reach local readers. Realize that you’re also reaching consumers at their laptops and on the go as they read the publication—and see your ad—via mobile devices.
Mobile advertising is a growing element of online marketing. Many local companies have gone from asking customers for their email address to asking for their mobile phone number—and permission to send coupons, event news and updates via text messages. This can work especially well for entertainment providers, such as nightclubs and theaters, that benefit from customers making a spur-of-the-moment decision on what to do and where to go based on mobile advertising. Likewise, letting your customers know about a special deal, an online-only coupon or a newly available hard-to-get product via text message can result in sales you’d otherwise miss. Sites like AdMob and MakeMeSocial specialize in helping companies add text messaging to their online marketing mix.
(Excerpted from the brand new book 30 Days to Online PR and Marketing Success: The 30 Day Results Guide to Making the Most of Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and Blogging to Grab Headlines and Get Clients by Gail Z. Martin)