Local online marketing has become the new buzzword in the past few years. Businesses that used to rely on “word of mouth” are now seizing the opportunity to spread the news about their enterprises organically by marketing directly to engaged customers.

Here are some marketing tips from local business experts who have successfully managed to harness the power of online marketing in order to reach out to their customers in fresh, new ways.

While it may take some time to see results, building your online presence through social media platforms like Yelp, Facebook and Google+ as well as on other local listings can yield great dividends as your online exposure will increase by leaps and bounds.

“Encourage front-line staff to remind satisfied customers to post reviews on your various social sites. Glowing reviews from loyal, die-hard fans are particularly valuable.

Good reviews not only boost your brand's image, they also provide free exposure to new customers who might hitherto have been ambivalent about using your company or who might have been unfamiliar with your brand.

While this might make your business vulnerable to negative reviews, you are also given the opportunity to personally address any displeasure. I've seen graceful recoveries that have turned detractors back into followers,”
-Phil Mackie, marketing assistant at Atkar Acoustic Paneling.

“If you've got a product or services that are very visual in nature, Instagram is a fantastic platform on which to showcase that. Instagram is immensely popular amongst younger Internet users and can be an effective way to reach out to a new audience.

Facebook is such a universal platform that you can reach just about anybody on it. Your community is thus poised to reach a diverse mix of users.

One great thing about the above platforms is that they give you the chance to display a more fun and humorous side of your brand. Your communications don't need to be formal or official-sounding at all. Presenting your brand in a more personable manner can go a long way towards building brand loyalty.

If there is someone in your staff with a flair for writing and enthusiasm about your brand, get them to talk about your company online,”
-Freya Tonks, a marketing specialist at Pier One Sydney Harbour.

“Your business's online presence should not be a monologue. Look towards connecting with local partners online, and they just might reciprocate.

Many hotels I've worked with have showcased restaurants, tourist attractions and events in the vicinity to pique their customers' interest in visiting their area and, hopefully, in making a booking along the way.

Do your neighbors a favor and list them on your site and social media platforms. You can ask that they do the same in exchange so that everyone benefits.

As you work hard to publicize your business on the web, don't forget to make sure all contact information remains consistent. There is nothing more frustrating for a potential client than to read glowing reviews of a business online, only to find the contact information outdated,”
-Lani Gregory, outreach coordinator at Hotel Marketing Works.

Online business listings and social media are some of the most effective ways to spread the word about your business on the web. Best of all, they're free to use, so don't squander this opportunity for positive publicity. Your competitors down the street may not have caught on yet, so grab the chance to outdo them before it's too late.

Author's Bio: 

Alexander Wise is a writer and web marketing expert based in Florida. He keeps a personal blog at Drinks Refined.