How To Choose The Most Effective Local Digital Marketing Tactics For Your Business In 2021

Prioritizing marketing tactics can be overwhelming for any business owner. Read on to find out which tactics are available and how they might help you meet your goals.


The start of a new year is the perfect time to implement a new local digital marketing plan for your business. Sometimes, though, the hardest part of digital marketing is knowing where to start. Most business owners are aware of the various local digital marketing tactics available to them. What they aren’t sure of is which ones are going to be the most effective for their business.

The process of prioritizing these tactics can be overwhelming and prevent business owners from creating and implementing the best digital marketing plan for their business.

With a little help, 2021 can be different.

Instead of being overwhelmed, you can design and implement local digital marketing tactics that help your business thrive. The first step is knowing which local digital marketing tactics are available to your business. The next step is knowing how to prioritize those tactics to help you meet your business goals. 

What are some of the most common and effective local digital marketing tactics available? There are a lot of potential local digital marketing tactics out there to choose from. These are the most common, and often the most effective for a small business looking for local visibility: 

Local & General Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google My Business Optimization
Link Building
Review Generation
Business Listing/ Citation Building
Website Speed Optimization
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing
E-Mail Marketing
Content Marketing
Video Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Advertising and Retargeting

Make sure you are familiar with each of these methods. Understand what’s involved with implementing them, how much they cost, and what audience they are best for targeting. Then you can start to prioritize them for your business using the questions below. 

Which local digital marketing tactics should I choose for my business?

With such a variety of potential local digital marketing tactics, it’s no wonder some people get overwhelmed when choosing what to do. The truth is, you are unlikely to have the time, energy, or budget to do them all. So you’ll need to prioritize where to put your resources.

Start by asking yourself these five questions:

1. What are your business goals?

It’s time to get specific about your goals. Choose an actionable goal for your business in 2021, such as: 

Build brand awareness among local customers
Increase search visibility to boost inbound website traffic
Bring more people to a brick-and-mortar location
Boost immediate online sales of a product
Educate potential clients on your services

If you know what your goal is, you can focus your efforts instead of taking a scattershot approach. For example, if you want to increase the search visibility of your website, then you’ll want to focus on SEO.

If you are looking to boost online sales of a product, then PPC marketing and social media retargeting may be your most powerful tactics.

If you’re trying to show up in the local 3-pack, a combination of tactics including GMB optimization, review generation, and link building should be high on your priority list.

Bottom line: Align your methods with your goals for the best results.

RELATED: 6 ways to create relationships with your digital fans.

2. How much is your marketing budget?

Your marketing budget should include a monetary amount, but be sure you include a budget for your time, too. Digital marketing can become a full-time job when you already have plenty to do running your business. Some tactics are going to require more of your time and energy than others. For example, SEO may take a lot of time to set up. Once it’s done, it should only require monitoring and minor adjustments along with an annual audit.

SEO is a digital marketing tactic that is essentially free as long as you have the time to do it. Other methods like PPC or social media retargeting will cost you more money and less of your time. Think about how much time you have to devote to a digital marketing tactic and how much money you can give to the effort. 

3. Who is your target audience?

Knowing who your target audience is will inform you about the best ways to reach them. Consider who is most likely to become your customer by looking at current customer data. Are they older or younger? How much time are they spending online? Where do they hang out online? What do they do online? When you can answer these questions, it should become clear which digital marketing tactics are best for your business. 

The fact is it’s more than likely you have many target audiences, so create as many buyer personas as necessary.

For example, let’s assume your target audience consists of married mothers between the ages of 30 and 50. Your marketing money is going to reach more of your target demographic on a platform like Facebook.

That means you’ll be better off using social media marketing and retargeting ads as opposed to something like link building. 

4. What marketing foundations do you have in place?

Assess what foundations you already have in place that can support your marketing efforts. This can help play to the strengths of your business while reducing the investment cost involved with a new marketing campaign.

For example, if you already have a huge mailing list, then leveraging that list with emailing marketing could be the best method for your business. If you have a huge social media following, focus your time and energy there. Building other foundations can become a long-term (and lower priority) goal.

That said, you need to make sure that your business is foundationally sound, digitally speaking. Assess what you have and what you need to set your digital foundation straight, and build from there.

RELATED: Read more by Nachum Langsner.

5. What is your competition doing?

You should know what your competition is doing with their own digital marketing tactics. If it’s working for them, it could also work for you. Doing competitive research will also help you learn where your competition is lagging and gives you an opportunity to exploit that weakness in your favor.

So what can you do to match or beat their marketing efforts? Maybe they are showing up higher in search engine results than you are, so you need to focus on boosting SEO. Or maybe their video marketing has gone viral and you need to make your own content. Building on their efforts is a great way to kickstart your own marketing successes. 

Should You Outsource Your Digital Marketing or Do It In-House?

The last thing you’ll need to decide is whether you want to do your digital marketing in-house or opt to outsource it.

Doing it in-house may save you money, but you won’t have the same expertise that a digital marketing manager will bring to the table. They can help manage your digital marketing while you focus on your customers and growing your business.

Weigh the pros and cons of doing your own digital marketing versus outsourcing it and decide what’s best for your business. If you decide outsourcing is the right decision, then get in touch with our digital marketing team and we can develop a marketing plan that targets your goals for 2021 and brings new growth to your business. 


Nachum Langsner is the Co-Founder & CMO of LocalBizGuru, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Cleveland, OH. He has over 10+ years of experience in the SEO industry and is a frequent presenter and instructor of digital marketing and SEO seminars for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Greater Cleveland area for organizations such as COSE, Jumpstart, the Better Business Bureau, Score and the Ohio SBDC at CSU.  

Does your business need to improve its brand recognition online? Local Biz Guru can help. We empower small business through knowledge, transparency, and results. Our professionals offer website design and development, local SEO, and social media marketing services. To schedule an appointment, contact us today.

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    Most Promising Startup: Augment Therapy 
    Best Support of the Tech Community: CWRU LaunchNet
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    • Bill Blausey, Eaton Corporation
    • John King, Lubrizol Corporation
    • John Kish, Medical Mutual
    • Brenda Kirk, KeyCorp

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  • Next up: Congratulations to GCP Member Sharon Toerek as Outgoing Chair of NSBA

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    1. There’s still time. While ideally you’d start putting together your holiday strategic plan in September, 51% of holiday shopping occurs in November and December so there is still plenty of opportunity to be had.
    2. Black Friday isn’t everything. Buyers are looking for deals all season long so be sure to give thought to the discounts, sales and other opportunities you can offer over the next several weeks.
    3. Last-minute sales are key. Come up with a plan to draw in those procrastinators as the holidays near. Make sure to offer the option to purchase gift cards online—especially from their mobile devices. Convenience is important here.
    4. Free shipping is a must. Research shows that 80% of all online orders include free shipping. Consider free upgrades to faster shipping options toward the end of the season.
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    7. Make the holidays a special time. Create holiday gift guides and new holiday pages to boost search engine optimization. Use holiday keywords and phrases such as “holiday buying guides.”
    8. Leverage social. Create exclusive offers for your social followers to make them feel special. They’ll appreciate the extra value they receive just by keeping up with you on social platforms.
    9. Plan for increased customer service. Expectations are high during this time of year; make sure you can engage and respond to customer service needs quickly on your website, via text and on social.
    10. Ensure optimal performance. Speaking of higher expectations, you have two seconds or less to make an impression on your web and social sites. Load times need to be fast or potential customers will move on quickly.

    Don’t forget to support Small Business Saturday on November 30. Stay tuned for more information on opportunities from COSE on how you can show your support. And if you are a small business owner with a special offer for Small Business Saturday, please contact Allison Halco. You could be featured in our social media posts or in an upcoming issue of Mind Your Business.

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