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How To Get Local Customers With Online Marketing In South Africa

16 February 2019 | 0 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in nichemarket Advice

How to get more local leads online in South Africa

Digital marketing is perceived as a tool to be used exclusively by online businesses but as technology has begun to move into all facets of life we've seen tools and strategies open up for local businesses. Your geographical area may limit you, but that should not stop you from reaching out to customers in your immediate area and letting them know about your products or services.

Digital marketing tools have come a long way, and there are now several optimisation techniques that can help you make the most out of online advertising. Mastering these local marketing strategies can produce excellent results that will see more customers walking through your stores' doors regularly.

How to talk to local customers online

The first thing you need to do is create a base of operations. This can be a website, a listing on a site like nichemarket or social media pages, but you need to have an online presence people can visit.  If you need advice on how to do this, check out the following guides.

Once you have an online presence, I recommend you look into all the free options available to business owners which you can find in our guide.

Now once you've set up a base and started working on free traffic its time to augment this with a paid traffic solution to bump up the interest and increase walk-ins. To do that you will need to look at a combination of Facebook ads and Google Ads, but to structure these ads using hyper-location techniques.

1. Target audiences based on their location

Once you've set up your ads and copy, have a look at location targeting which will help make sure your ads reach audiences within your service area. Both Google AdWords and Facebook allow advertisers to target audiences by country, state, city, or ZIP code. Use your immediate location and play around with surrounding suburbs to see where you get more bang for your buck.

2. Create location-specific ad content

It's not just enough to target local users, your message needs to appeal to them too. Writing a geographically relevant ad copy can encourage consumers to call or visit your business. Make sure to mention your area, or try to include your exact address, it really does help customers feel more comfortable and ensure your ad is seen as relevant. According to Google, four in five consumers want ads customised to their city or neighbourhood.

3. Schedule your ads during operating hours

To prevent wasting ad spend, you may use ad scheduling to make sure your ads only show up when your business is open. Ensure that your ads run at times when your store is open or when you're available to accept calls. Nothing will upset customers more than finding out your store is closed on the weekend when they have time to pop round, or their phone call goes to voicemail. It also means lost revenue for you and ad spend down the drain.

4. Increase bids for mobile devices

South Africa is very much a mobile-first country with the majority of internet users only owning mobile phones. "Near me" searches are one of the most popular query tools in South Africa. While globally more than 75% of people who search on their smartphones looking for goods and services nearby end up visiting a business within a day. Which is why you might want to increase your bids for searchers using mobile devices.

5. Utilise call extensions & call-only ads

Make sure to place your phone number prominently in your ads to encourage audiences to connect with you telephonically. Having someone to talk to and answer questions can rapidly drive up your ad conversion rates. The click to call feature is widely used by consumers across all verticals. Google states that 70% of mobile searchers have called a business directly from search results using this feature. 

Tip! If you're looking to close leads sooner you can also use call-only ads if you prefer to get calls and not clicks.

6. Retarget local audiences

If you have an additional budget to spend, you can drive more conversions by retargeting customers.  Retargeting has a range of options from targetting visitors who checked out your site using their email address or phone number. Show audiences relevant ad campaigns such as products they looked at before or discounts on those products to get them back to your store.

Tip! You can expand your targeting audiences by targeting lookalike audiences that resemble your most valuable callers is also a good option.

Local makes lekker money

Bridging the gap between the digital and physical world is starting to become a simpler process and local businesses need not shy away from using the internet to promote their services. Now you have a complete guide on how to reach local audiences online you no longer have an excuse. Put some money aside each month to spend on ads and make sure you reach customers who would be willing to do business or pop around to your store for a look around.

If you enjoyed these tips or tried them, let us know in the comments section, we would love to hear from you.

Get started with nichemarket

Registering with nichemarket is easy, all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions. If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles.

Tip! Remember the more information you provide about your business the likely you are to be found and the more potential customers will engage with you.

Contact us

If you have any questions on how to register or you're looking for additional ways to promote your service, please feel free to contact us.

Tags: south africa, local business , digital marketing, facebook , SEO, PPC

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