Reaching nearby customers has never been easier for small businesses. Whether it be on Google, Facebook, or another digital platform, SMBs now have an advertising superpower. But getting a handle on a brand new marketing strategy can be a bit tough for some smaller, local businesses. Without a dedicated marketing team, staying up-to-date on the latest marketing trends is quite the feat, especially since small business owners typically wear many hats.
But business owners trying to figure out local marketing techniques aren’t alone, thanks to events like the annual Local Search Association (LSA) conference. The LSA focuses on empowering SMBs with the best marketing practices so they can reach new levels of success. That’s why we’re proud to be getting loco about local as one of the leading sponsors at the Local Search Association’s annual conference – LSA17.
Local Isn’t Always Small
The Local Search Association (LSA) is an international non-profit industry association made up of 300 marketing professionals and technology gurus from 20 countries who have banded together to help businesses connect with local customers. “Local” doesn’t always mean “small” though when talking about businesses, it’s more about proximity to a business’s target audience. In many ways, small businesses and large brands share similar struggles when trying to reach a local audience. That’s why the LSA is committed to helping businesses of every kind, from small mom-and-pop shops to larger brands. The LSA doesn’t focus on the size of a business, but rather on connecting businesses and local consumers in meaningful and profitable ways.
LSA17: The Local Marketing Event Of The Year
Demonstrating new methods in local marketing is the driving force behind the LSA’s flagship event, the LSA Conference. Each and every year, the LSA Conference brings marketers and business owners together to discuss the intricacies of local marketing. The event approaches local marketing from every angle and includes workshops, case studies, networking events and more.
The 2017 edition of the LSA Conference will be no different. Running from February 27th to March 1st in San Diego, LSA17 will be an event business-owners won’t want to miss. And we would know, since we plan on having a huge presence there! We’re already excited for some of the special events to be held at LSA17, like the “Winning the Last Mile” workshop, a discussion on the challenges of local marketing for both established brands and small businesses.
Local Marketing on the Rise
Now is the time to dive into local marketing because 2017 is set to be the year for local. Consumers are going online to find out what businesses are nearby. 70% of smartphone users searched online for businesses around them before actually going in-store to make a purchase. Search Engine Land wrote this post featuring the Google graph below illustrating the increase in “near me” based searches worldwide over the last 5 years.
In addition to the rise in local search interest from users, SMBs now have the resources to attract business from these user queries. Machine learning and voice search are powerful tools especially for the small business owner. These local marketing opportunities have SMBs already spending more on digital – great news for anyone attending the LSA.
Empowering Small Businesses
While local search trends are having an impact on almost every type of business, it’s the small ones that struggle. Small business owners depend on those local searches to keep their doors open. Yet it’s the same small businesses that get overshadowed by the budgets and marketing forces behind larger companies. Between the shift to a digital economy and globalization, local communities and the businesses that support them need organizations like the LSA more than ever. Our CEO, Marc Poirier, gives us his take on the topic:
“People don’t look in the phone book anymore to find local products and services, they look on Google and if they don’t find your business there they will find someone else’s. It’s increasingly difficult for the small businesses to compete with larger ones to be found. We want to change that. Through the LSA we have the opportunity to work towards that common goal with like-minded people. LSA allows us to uniquely participate in the small business conversation, helping to shape the way marketers service SMBs.”
It’s our third year at the LSA and we couldn’t be happier to be back. We’ll be standing proud at our booth at LSA17 so make sure you come and say hi if you’re going! Hope to see you there!
Feature Image: Local Search Association
Image 1: Pixabay
Image 2: Facebook
Image 3: A special thank you to Search Engine Land for giving us permission to use their Google graph.