On the web, your business reputation is everything. When someone performs a search for your product or service, it is important that they see only the information that projects a positive image of your company. By controlling your site’s content and your company’s reputation on the Internet, you can enjoy healthy profits, a strong brand name, and foster vibrant service offerings in your community.

Reaching Your Neighbors Online

In today’s global marketplace, it is not only possible to sell your products and services to the customers around you, but to the far reaches of the globe. While having this capability does have its advantages, there is a lot to be said for fostering a sense of community by tailoring your marketing to your local community, or a niche community as it is sometimes called.

There are many ways that you can reach out to your local community in your online marketing efforts. Many people search locally for the products and services they need, giving local businesses an advantage. Use this loyalty to your benefit by creating messages that are specifically tailored to your community. Create a promotion around a local sports team, or become a sponsor at a town sporting event. Produce a commercial for your company for use on YouTube or other video sharing sites. Use inside jokes that only locals will get and they will feel like part of an exclusive club, making them more likely to buy your products.

One example of a clever marketing message is a company that poked fun at a commonly mispronounced street name in their town. In the commercial, the main character is easily spotted as an outsider because of his cringe-worthy butchering of the street’s name. The commercial was for a local shoe store that was named after that street. This was a clever way to appeal to local residents with an inside joke that would be appreciated by the town’s citizens.

Reputation is Key

When you are marketing locally, your online reputation is more important than ever. Customers will often choose to support you based solely on what they read online, so closely monitor what is being said about you online. If you do find misleading or negative information, there are steps that you can take to stop the damage before it spreads.

Sites like www.reputationmanagers.com employ a team of experts that will clean up your online reputation, making it possible for you to control the image that your customers receive about you online. This often involves a sophisticated understanding of SEO and social media optimization.

Give Incentives

One of the most powerful forces in marketing are incentives. You would be amazed at how many people will willingly market your business for you. In many cases, these people will spread your message, even if you give them no tangible incentives in return. People love to share interesting information, so if you create content that is interesting and novel, your customers will be more likely to share it with their friends. Fun facts about your city, a local prize giveaway or a free gift are all great marketing tools that will get people talking about your company.

Some of the best online incentives being offered these days comes through place-based messaging services like Foursquare and Gowalla. These are examples of mobile social media networks and they are producing excellent results.

Beef Up Your Website

You don’t have to be a huge company to have a dynamic website. Even small businesses should have a website or a blog that attracts readers. The longer you get your reader to stay on your page, the more credibility it has with search engines. This will ultimately drive more readers to your site and, by extension, more customers to your business.

Look into the myriad of ways you can harness the powers of SEO and link building to improve your page rank.

Marketing to your local audience is a great way to boost sales and increase profits. By managing your online reputation, creating viral marketing pieces and creating engaging content, you will be able to grab your share of the local profit pie.