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How Can Local Businesses Generate Leads? 10 Examples

Want to turn local interest into real business? Our latest blog article talks about 10 great strategies for effective local lead generation. Get ready to capture the attention of your community and see quick, tangible results!

CallPage Team

What is a customer before they convert? The answer is: A lead.

Lead generation (aka lead gen) is the practice of identifying and nurturing potential customers toward purchasing. Once a consumer has expressed an interest in a product or service, a business needs to present them with the right messaging and offers to secure a conversion.

Lead gen is a foundational strategy for business success, but not all lead generation methods are the same. Specifically, there are two main types of lead gen: general and local.

Local Lead Generation vs. General Lead Generation

Local lead generation vs. general lead generation - comparison

Lead generation is a vital activity for any type of business, but there are considerable differences in how general and local lead generation strategies are executed:

The scope. 

While broad lead generation efforts typically cast a wide net across regions, local lead gen focuses on gathering leads from a specific geographic area or community only.


Targeting one geographic area for lead generation requires brands to niche down in their communications rather than trying to appeal to as many markets as possible. While this naturally lowers the number of available leads, it does allow businesses to use more tailored marketing efforts that feel relevant and familiar to that local audience.


While general lead gen requires businesses to compete for a large number of globally competitive keywords to generate leads from search engines, local SEO requires businesses to optimize for location-specific keywords and landing pages that improve relevance to local consumers.

In this article, we'll focus on local lead generation, specifically highlighting out-of-the-box tactics that drive local leads.

READ ALSO: Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation: Differences Explained

Strategy 1: Partner with Local Influencers

There's long been a misconception that successful influencer marketing on social media platforms is all about high follower accounts. But when it comes to cultivating high-quality leads locally, influencers native to that community usually have the most authority in the eyes of local audiences.

Local influencers also don't need a massive following to be effective. Micro-influencers routinely see the highest engagement rates on social media channels, with as much as a 60% higher engagement rate than macro-influencers. 

This is because local influencers tend to have a more targeted niche focusing on a specific industry or interest within their local area. The more concentrated their niche is, the easier it is to attract a highly engaged local audience.

For example, the Instagram account @ocfeed highlights local spots around Orange County, CA. Local brands often team up with @ocfeed to promote their offerings (usually food or experiences).

Doing so helps ensure that the content will get in front of potential customers in their area, helping to bring in more local leads.

OCFeed Instagram post, an example of local lead generation

Strategy 2: Host Unique Community Events

Hosting in-person events is a powerful way to meet face-to-face with your target audience rather than trying to reach them through organic search results or paid advertising alone.

Events provide a tangible service or experience for the local community that you want to generate business from. Investing time interacting with locals makes them more likely to trust you as a local business and reciprocate your efforts by seeking you out, boosting brand awareness and local lead generation.

Pop-up shops at a local market, themed workshops, giveaways, and live demonstrations are just some of the ways you can reach new customers effectively and even network with other local businesses.

All that being said, promotion is key. You need to engage potential customers in the lead-up to events by sharing event information on social media, sending emails, creating event pages, and lead capture forms that allow people to RSVP. 

Oh, and don’t forget to capture the details of the prospects you interact with! This way, you can follow up with new business leads and build relationships more effectively.

A great example of a brand that hosts local events is SheIn, which pops up in various cities to showcase its latest fashion collections and interact directly with customers in the area. 

Shein newsletter as an example of local lead generatio

Strategy 3: Utilize Localized Content Marketing

It's well-known that content marketing is a massive part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but the importance of a robust local SEO strategy is often overlooked when it comes to local lead generation.

Put simply, local SEO uses various local search ranking signals to optimize your website and content for better organic search engine results. This includes location-specific and local keywords, tags, landing pages, and blog content to target that local audience.

Localized content creation and marketing emphasizes your business's connection to a geographical location or community, which influences where your site appears in local search rankings. 

For example, the residential real estate developer Lennar creates local hubs (sections on its website) for each of its communities that showcase what each local area offers. This approach helps attract potential buyers who are specifically interested in those local areas by providing them with relevant and targeted information.

Lennar's web page customized for local clients

Strategy 4: Engage in Guerrilla Marketing Tactics

Guerrilla marketing strategies, sometimes called viral marketing, emphasize surprising or unconventional tactics to promote interest in a product or service. When executed successfully, guerilla marketing is a low-cost way of driving publicity and local lead generation.

Eye-catching billboards, installations, or pop-up activations are great ways to use the element of surprise or novelty to provoke interested leads to investigate your business.

Using guerrilla marketing as part of local marketing strategies requires a precise understanding of your local target audience and their experiences/preferences. It's important to choose locations that have significance to the local community, meaning that foot traffic is higher.

Guerrilla marketing example by Snapchat

One of the most successful guerrilla marketing campaigns was launched by Snapchat in its early days. The app’s billboard campaign featured only the ghost logo on a yellow background, which led to thousands of curious onlookers googling the logo to learn more.

Strategy 5: Offer Location-Specific Promotions

Given that local lead generation efforts are all about targeting potential customers in a specific area, it makes sense to tailor offers to a particular geographic location.

Consider discounts, experiences, loyalty program rewards only available to local residents, or service packages that apply to a specific radius. This helps to create a sense of exclusivity and shows that your business cares about this particular community. 

Disneyland does this at a number of its theme parks. At Disneyland, Florida, for example, local residents get access to special rates. 

Disney Theme Park tickets offer for locals

Another idea? Host local functions or participate in city holidays and events. They're an excellent vehicle for local promotions, as they closely tie your business to what's happening in the community.

Strategy 6: Collaborate with Local Businesses

Networking and partnerships are valuable pursuits for any business, especially when it comes to your local lead generation strategy. Forming relationships with other local business owners helps to embed your business within the community. If a well-known small business collaborates with you on an event or a promotion, this sends a clear message to new leads that you are a trustworthy and reliable vendor.

If you're a restaurant or cafe that partners with event management companies, they could recommend you as a potential venue or caterer to their clients. Personal recommendations are highly effective at generating leads — especially high-intent leads — as people trust first-hand information far more than unsolicited outreach. In turn, your business is more likely to receive relevant leads who are ready to commit to finding out more information.

A business doesn't necessarily have to be in the same industry for you to run an effective promotion or campaign. Still, you should share a target audience or brand values that make a partnership a natural extension of your current marketing strategy. Events and conferences are great places to get face time with potential partners, as well as asking mutual connections for introductions.

Strategy 7: Utilize Geo-Targeted Advertising

Geo-targeted advertising enables businesses to deliver paid ads to consumers based on their geographic location. Criteria used in geo-targeting include city, zip code, or radius within a specific area. This ensures that promotional content is only shown to those people for whom offers are relevant, such as a giveaway competition that only residents of a particular city can enter.

Geo-targeting is widely used in digital advertising since there are no spatial constraints on whom ads can be shown. Google ads, social media ads, and even SMS involve geo-targeting when setting up campaigns.

Screenshot of geo-targeted advertising through Google

However, there's much more to geo-targeting than simply putting a pin on the map.

Every advertisement you create needs to have a clear goal, whether that's publicizing an event, increasing sign-ups for a webinar, or driving site visits. It's also essential that the wording used in your ads resonates with that particular community, or your messaging might not land.

Strategy 8: Implement Local Referral Programs

Referral programs encourage current customers to refer new customers in exchange for incentives like discounts or loyalty rewards. Aside from boosting brand recognition in your local area, referrals help to promote trust in your business and attract high-quality leads.

Referral programs can be even more effective in a local lead generation setting. Why? Because when your target audience is located in a specific community, it's easier to leverage word of mouth and encourage existing customers to recommend you to others.

However, local referral programs require a strong understanding of what motivates your target customer. Consider offering a discount at another local business, tickets to a local event, or even a donation to a local non-profit. Incentives like these help to align your business with your community and generate leads in the process.

Strategy 9: Participate in Local Online Forums and Groups

Community forums and information groups offer valuable real estate for local businesses to inform customers about their products and services online. Facebook community pages or other platforms are where local leads gather virtually in one place, offering businesses direct access to potential customers.

However, many forums have strict rules surrounding advertising and promotional content. Be sure to check with group admins to understand the rules before posting.

A good rule of thumb is to interact with communities as a local first and a business second. Rather than straight promotional content, think about how you can share useful information that's related to your service or industry. If you operate a beauty salon, you could post a PSA as the summer arrives, reminding people to wear sunblock to protect their skin. This helps to showcase your expertise while also providing genuinely helpful content.

Strategy 10: Leverage Local Press and Media

Getting coverage in local publications is excellent for PR and gives your business more recognition and legitimacy in the community. Gaining space in online and offline publications takes time and effort, as business owners need to cultivate good relationships with media personnel such as journalists, editors, or PR consultants with the contacts or authority to run stories. Nevertheless, this is an extremely cost-effective way to extend your business's reach and get more leads.

Timing is everything when it comes to getting effective coverage. You'll need to get into the habit of producing press releases and pitching publications with compelling stories that align with their target audience. It's also a good idea to offer incentives, like 1:1 interviews with the owner about how your business operates or exclusive access to a new product or service before it launches.

READ ALSO: Traffic vs. Lead Generation — How to Effectively Turn Traffic Into Leads?

Final Words

Unlike general lead generation strategies, local lead generation requires businesses to reach and build relationships within the local community, presenting people with highly tailored messaging that reflects their affinity with a particular area. 

The ten strategies outlined above are designed to help businesses create content and offers that resonate with not just consumers but local businesses and publications.

Of course, generating local leads is just the first step. When you capture an audience or attract more people to your website, you need a system that captures those leads and helps you turn them into customers.

This is where CallPage comes in. A lot of local businesses find our tool useful for converting website traffic into leads, improving customer experience, and increasing sales. We encourage you to find out how it works, learn about its benefits, and get to know if your business needs it.

Check out our short article about CallPage for local businesses.

FAQs About Local Lead Generation

What is local lead generation?

Local lead generation is a marketing strategy focused on attracting and cultivating potential customers (leads) for businesses within a specific local area. The goal is to connect these businesses with individuals interested in their products or services. This approach is particularly beneficial for small businesses or service providers that operate in a defined geographical area, such as a city or a neighborhood.

Is local lead generation legit?

Yes, local lead generation is a legitimate and widely used marketing strategy. It plays a crucial role in helping businesses connect with their target audience locally. Local lead gen enables firms to zero in on the local market and effectively reach potential customers.

Is local lead generation profitable?

Local lead generation can be highly profitable, especially for businesses and service providers that rely on local clientele. The profitability depends on several factors, including the effectiveness of the lead generation strategy, the business niche, the local market demand, and how well the business converts leads into paying customers. A well-executed local lead generation campaign can result in a high return on investment by bringing in a steady flow of potential customers.

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