Technology has opened up the doors of opportunity and I’m seeing more and more strategies to help local businesses.
If you own a local business or small business, pay close attention to this guide, I’m going to show you to increase traffic and leads to your business.
What business doesn’t need more customers, right? These are sure fire strategies I’ve seen in action, that I use for myself to bring in fresh leads and customers every month.
In my Marketing Your Local Business guide, you’ll learn;
- Why You Need Your Own Website
- Focusing On The Path Users Take On Your Website
- Where Is Your Target Audience
- Offline Marketing vs Online Marketing
- Google Analytic
- Everyone Is Using Social Media
- Building The Foundation Of Your Network
- Social Media Is A Huge Opportunity For Your Business
- Local Groups And Communities
- What Makes Your Business Different
- Video Marketing
- Test Your Marketing Strategies
Why You Need Your Own Website?
Your local business needs to look professional at all times and that starts with your own company domain. I’m not referring to a Wix website or a Blogger blog. These platforms can serve a purpose, but not for a professional website. You don’t want a sub-domain, you want your own company domain.
If I’m a customer and the only platform I can find for your business is a Blogger site, or any type of free blog platform, I’m going to question everything. Appearance matters and what customers see on your website matters. You can get a WordPress website, a domain and hosting for under $70 a year at GoDaddy.
I see a lot of local businesses and small businesses still without a website. One of the reasons they struggle is because they don’t have an unique domain. Get it fixed before you even attempt to start marketing.
Your website serves many purposes, but one such purpose is trust and professionalism. Your website is a trust factor, it allows you to look authentic.
Focusing On The Path Users Take On Your Website
I’ve evaluated thousands of businesses in my 11+ years and I’ve learned that many web designers don’t focus on the path users will take to buy products and services. Those that do understand the concept often complicate the process and this can kill your conversions.
Simple is often better, especially if your target audience is older. Your customers may not understand technology like you do. It happens a lot across many industries, a lot when the target customer age is 40 or older.
Your website copy and messaging often focuses more on branding than focusing on your customer. This is a mistake. Your primary products and services need to be clear.
Take the time to map out your content and the path you want customers to take. Are you making this clear to customers? Is there side distractions on your website that take your customer’s attention away from your end goals?
Where Is Your Target Audience?
Sure, your customers are local, we already know that much. Where do they spend their time online? Are they spending time on social media? Are they using Topix? If no one knows your local business exist, you can’t wait on customers to find you. Go out there and find them.
Depending on where you live and the type of business you own, there’s a wide variety of internet hot spots customers use on a daily basis or frequent basis. We need to figure out how we can tap into those platforms and drive traffic to your website.
When you’re marketing your small business, you need to be in front of potential customers and prospects. You need to be aware of the devices they use, where they live and all the different platforms they use. Fortunately for us, we have Google Analytic and it will be one of the top resources you have for your business.
Where can we find our local customers?
- Social Media
- Google Maps
- Google Search Engine
- Bing and Yahoo Search Engines
- Local Directory
- Local Forum
- Local Classifieds
- Local Magazine
- Local Newspaper
- Local Radio
- Local Media Outlet
Offline Marketing vs Online Marketing
There’s two ways you can be marketing your local business, either offline marketing or online marketing.
Offline, you do have several ways to promote your local business. Newspaper, radio, print advertising and classifieds are all options. Print marketing is a dying local marketing strategy. Although this is true, you can still benefit using it.
Most local businesses are turning to online marketing to reach new customers. Social media marketing is one of the top local marketing techniques being used. Search engine optimization, content marketing, email marketing and other local online marketing strategies are becoming more effective as the internet has become accessible.
I still know offline marketing can be valuable to your local business. Those strategies need to be implemented, tested, analyzed and optimized. For most of you, you’ll be able to find most of your customers through online marketing.
Google Analytic is a mandatory resource you need to understand your audience. It’s the top tool when it comes to tracking data and getting to know your customer’s behavior on your website.
Analytics is free to sign up for, it can be a little tricky to learn but the data points you get back is extremely important to your business. If you don’t track your marketing campaigns, how will you know if it worked well or not?
The data can be used to optimize your marketing to be more effective. If you have a ecommerce site, selling physical products, Google can track sales and conversions. You can set up goals to track progress. Sure, for many of you it will be a learning curve. However, it’s going to be vital to your success.
Now that you know we need a website, Google Analytic and we’re focusing on our target audience, we can start planning to focus on our marketing plan for your local business.
Social Media Is A Huge Opportunity For Your Business
Are your customers using social media? I’m going to say “yes.” Social media giants like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat continue to grow at massive paces. This equals more opportunities for you.
Every local business owner needs to invest a few hours a week for social media, especially Facebook.
Facebook is the world’s top social media platform and the most widely used, meaning a perfect opportunity for you to reach new customers.
Check out my Facebook Marketing Guide.
Facebook has over a billion active users. I know a lot of small businesses build Facebook pages and profiles. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what you need to focus on is paid Facebook advertising. This way, you can target exactly who you want. If you’re not sure how to run Facebook ads, click on my guide above.
With Facebook ads, you should be able to afford $50 a week (hopefully). If you fear you can’t run ads, give us a call and we’ll set them up for you.
I’m a big fan of Instagram. If you have a younger audience, this is the perfect playground. See, Facebook owns Instagram and that’s why I know it will continue growing and only get better.
Instagram is not like Facebook in the sense that Instagram is a mobile platform, meaning we access it through Instagram applications. Instagram has a lot of advantages over Facebook, especially when it comes to easy engagement. With Instagram, you can create engagement quicker than Facebook. (results will vary)
This social giant is quickly growing and already has over 400 million users.
Learn more about using Instagram to grow your business with our Instagram marketing strategies.
Snapchat is another fast growing social platform with a lot of promise. At the moment, Snapchat has more active users than Instagram.
71% of Snapchat’s U.S. users fall into the 18 to 34 age range. If this is your target audience age group, it would make sense to utilize Snapchat to reach them.
Live social media marketing is the big advantage with Snapchat. You can host live events, live product launches or trade shows.
Social media giveaways are always popular and this is a great way to show your community you care.
Google My Business is one of the most important steps you’ll take to become a local business powerhouse in your city.
Organic traffic from Google, being found in Google Maps and Google Search is vital to the success of many businesses. The first step to letting Google know who you are is by signing up for Google My Business.
Here, you’ll be able to list your business. You need an accurate physical address. Google will send you a postcard that needs to be verified online in your account. Once that code is submitted, your business will be verified with Google and you’ll see an instant boost in your listings, results and SEO.
Google also has a social media community known as Google+. Google+ has thousands of online communities you can join or you can create your own. Engagement is a crucial factor for any business marketing online. Some communities are broad, but you can create your own. You can create local communities, this is a great strategy.
I hope you want to be an influencer in your niche, a leader that sparks creation. It doesn’t matter if you’re marketing local or you have an international enterprise, you need to engage customers.
Local Groups And Community
You want local customers talking about your business. Granted, hopefully in positive ways but building personal relationships with your customers are important. Forums, groups and communities can be powerful resources for a local business. The key is knowing how to use them.
With Facebook, you can create group pages, either open to the public or a private group. These are great for engaging customers, leads or followers. You can do the same on Google+ as I discussed earlier. As customers, we want to build relationships with brands, The engagement allows for great discussions, ideas and feedback.
There’s tens of thousands of forums online you can use to reach new customers. We want to add value to our communities. Most forums don’t allow you to advertise unless you pay and then some still don’t allow it. Join relative forums because this is where your customers will be.
What Makes Your Business Different?
It’s never too early to start thinking about how your business is different. What makes your local business unique? Different from your competitors?
One mistake is thinking it’s simple to market a business locally due to the competition level. While that can be true, it’s the wrong mindset of thinking. I want you to be mindful of your competition, you have to be. However, there must be something unique about your business that makes you one-of-a-kind. It can be a service or product, a guarantee, your customer service.
If you don’t know what this is, I encourage you to take some time to think about it.
Video has always been popular but with the addition of live video, the video marketing industry is exploding. Again, this is an opportunity for your business to create new marketing channels to bring in new local customers.
YouTube already has millions of users and a powerful platform any local business can penetrate. YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and Periscope all have live video that you can use to grow your base.
Learning video editing is going to be important. However, it’s not mandatory to know. As long as you’re adding value to customers, simple videos can be powerful marketing.
Test Your Marketing Strategies
I’ve discussed a lot of different ways you can market your local business. Some of these may work great for your particular business, others may not. You won’t know until you test your marketing strategies. We won’t know until we test each strategy.
If you need someone to implement these strategies for you, be sure to contact us.