Local marketing for B2B is a little different than for B2C retailers.
B2B businesses, no matter how large you are, are based somewhere. Local marketing can help you stand out in your local area.
It’s your hometown. The place that most of your employees come from and where people may (or may not) “know” who you are.
Even if you have clients all over the U.S. or abroad, there are a ton of advantages to being well known in your local area through local marketing. And if most of your business comes from that geographic area — there is even more at stake.
People don’t inherently want a fantastic ad, great piece of content, or even a discount.
Well, they don’t want these things nearly as much as knowing they are dealing with a company that “gets” them, offers what they need, and seems like they care. Your involvement in the community is a great way to set more minds at ease.
That said, unless you do so in a way that actually gets noticed, it won’t work to bring in more customers.
Our post today is to show local marketing techniques that can boost your exposure and become a company that locals know about and are proud to have in their city.
Warning: Results happen more and more over time.
Local Marketing is About Mutual Benefits
Big marketing is about conveying what your customers want in a way that gets them to buy your products and services.
Getting to the point when your company is well known takes a bit more than that. Even though most people in your area want to know “what’s in it for me?”, they’ll also want to know what you’re doing to make the area better.
The average familiar companies in any area will likely be known as:
- Philanthropy: Doing charity work with your dollars and time. Anything from sponsorships to scholarships and beyond mark companies that stick around for a long time.
- Best Boss Awards: Often times, well-known companies are also voted as one of the best employers in their area.
- Quality: You think anyone in Houston wants to proudly admit that Enron was based there? Nope. If you’re going to scale to the heights of local marketing, you’ll need to be known everywhere for your quality work.
If you like doing good, the people who work there are happy, and you know your stuff works well—the foundation for being locally famous is already there.
Local Marketing for B2B Tips
1. Showcase Your Employees
Highlighting your employees amongst themselves can be useful at times, but there’s actually some data that things like “employee of the month” can be harmful.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t track things like sales, output, etc… Those are good things and those who perform should be celebrated.
That said, you shouldn’t make someone want to take out the boss’s trash or stay late to [insert brown nose task here].
Chances are, it’ll drive a wedge between your team. Or, no one will care at all.
How to Do It
The best way to show your town that you care about your people is to treat them all well.Don't highlight publicly if it's based on performance. Click To Tweet
Telling the world that Bob is the best sales person may actually be a cause for your prospects to avoid him.
Instead, base it on company achievements or the (not to personal) life of your staff. Saying Jane has worked with you for 10 years is great, but don’t take pictures of Jane after she delivered her new baby.
Example: Holiday World does a fantastic job of showing off their team while getting people excited to visit their theme park. Just take a look at their Facebook.
2. Showcase Your Clients
By far one of the least used tactics online.
Companies are so worried about making their Instagram account look awesome and taking professional photos, they don’t stop to actually try and generate interest in their social accounts.
One of the best ways is to combine those that have already bought with some great photography.
Yes, this will work better with some companies than it would with others. But there is probably a way for you to leverage your good relationships with clients and get them to show their pretty faces on your social media platforms or even local media.
Boost a post about your clients. You’re a B2B, right?
Anyone who is successfully using your stuff will likely love a little free advertising for themselves. Big marketing is already using this approach.
Remember the “big game” commercial that Quickbooks made for Death Wish Coffee? Take a look below.
It can also be used locally.
How to Do It
Make it at least 50/50. Meaning, promote your client just as much as you do you. Quickbooks had 2 seconds of that 30 second multi-million dollar ad.
Example: Like I said, some work better, but TheDogMatchmaker is using Instagram to showcase the dogs (and owners) she pairs up. She also uses it to highlight her team.
(Courtesy: TheDogMatchmaker on Instagram)
3. Sponsor Local Events
What is your town known for (event wise)?
In Kentucky, they have the Derby and all the festivities that go along with it. In South Dakota, Sturgis welcomes bikers every year (for the past 77 years).
Even if you don’t have a nationally known event, there are always state fairs, 5ks, and festivals that come around every year.
Now, you shouldn’t just go sponsoring everything. There is a science to it and some events are going to better serve your purpose than others.
Or, there are charities, little league teams, or a number of different ways to get your name on a shirt or banner that people in your town will see.
Further Reading: Here’s a great read about choosing the right events to sponsor (B2B specific).
How to Do It
Doing this right is all about consistency.Find an event that really goes along with your company culture or values and keep at it. Click To Tweet
Charities are a great way to do this. They may not have an event, but the long-term care of a good cause will help people know that you’re in it for the community.
One of the best ways to ensure an event matches your vision and brand is to create it yourself. Whether it’s a 5K or a networking event—you can make it happen and maybe bring the community together.
Even More Further Reading: Inc. did a great “how-to” piece for small businesses wanting to sponsor local events.
4. Use Digital Marketing
You’ve heard of increasing your search rankings and have probably even advertised on a social media platform before. And you’ve probably not put too much emphasis on local rankings (seeing as you are a B2B).
“That’s for restaurants and dentists, right?” You may be thinking.
You don’t need a Yelp page as a B2B, but making sure your business comes up for local results and is seen as a local company goes a long way toward becoming known.
Pro Tip: This tactic can also be used for different areas. If you’re targeting businesses in a certain area, use geographically targeted digital marketing (along with our next tip).
How to Do It
There are so many local digital marketing tips we’ve put together a grab bag that has four posts and 114 tips combined.
- 31 tips from SmallBizTrends
- 30 from Duct Tape Marketing
- 33 tips from the folks at Convince and Convert
- 20 more from Backlinkfy
- And one entire article covering Google Maps marketing
5. Look Harder for (Local) Customers
You are a B2B and (typically) this means that your customers can come from anywhere in the country—or even the world.
Companies that cater to businesses can narrow down and offer their products/services to a certain industry, a company of a certain size, etc. But why not target local businesses outside of your firmographic niche?
B2Bs can, perhaps best, become well-known in their local area by providing their offerings to businesses in their own hometowns.
At first glance, this one may not seem worthwhile.
But whether you’re an agency, SaaS product, or really any Business-to-business—there are added benefits to looking for locals.
- Close Encounters: This is perfect for product launches or startups. You’ll be right by your clients. Meet them for lunch and get a wealth of data to improve your product and marketing efforts.
- Word of Mouth: Most local businesses are a part of an association with others in their industry. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out the value of being a hometown favorite. Happy local customers are easy to turn into brand ambassadors.
- Joint Ventures: There could be some great business opportunities that come out of proximity. Whether it’s sales related, or you just put on some of those local events with them. Partnerships can be done much easier in the same zip code.
How to Do It
Not only could this one be the best for business and becoming a locally famous brand—it’s also the easiest one to accomplish.
Just do what you do and sell how you sell.
Shameless Plug: The new LeadFuze (along with Fuzebot) can target leads by industry, size, decision-maker roles, and (drumroll please) geographic area. Plug in your hometown and watch leads pop up that you never even knew about.
Plus, you can automate all the outreach.
Ready to Be “Well-Known”
The pleasure of locals knowing your brand and being proud of you being there doesn’t have to belong only to the Hershey’s, John Deere’s, or Louisville Slugger’s of the world. But it does take time and effort.
If you’re willing to put in both, it will only help your business thrive.
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