Running a successful local business isn’t always simple and finding time for marketing can be a challenge. Considering how more than 800,000 new businesses were created in the U.S. in 2020 alone, it’s essential to find ways to stand out from the crowd.
To thrive in the market today, local businesses must understand the basics of digital marketing. This includes everything from social media and email marketing to creating high-quality blogs. With so many moving parts involved in small business marketing, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the details. Luckily, building recognition and trust among local customers doesn't need to be difficult.
Read on to learn more about how to market your local business, including helpful tips and best practices to keep in mind along the way.
Getting Started With Local Small Business Marketing
The vast majority of small business marketing takes place online. Emerging brands need to use blogs, social media, and engaging landing pages to remain relevant to customers. Using Google My Business is also critical for local businesses seeking to build their brand. Follow these tips to begin marketing your business online.
Devise A Basic Marketing Plan
This plan should include a precise budget and realistic goals for measuring the impact of engagement efforts. It's also essential to consider the demographics of your target audience so you can craft marketing materials that make an impact.
If you’ve already started building a presence online but aren’t seeing enough conversions, there could be a few things missing from the equation. Take note of any weak points in your marketing strategy so you can identify where you’ll need to devote more resources. For example, if you have a Facebook account but rarely have time to share posts, put aside a few hours a week to keep it updated. If your website is running a little slow, it may be time to upgrade to a faster web hosting provider.
Create A Website
Customers need a place to review the goods or services you offer, the history of your business, and what separates you from competitors. This is where building a solid website comes into play. Your brand’s website will serve as the face of the company, giving customers their first impression of your business. You can improve the customer experience by fixing typos, repairing dead links, and reducing load times on blogs or landing pages.
It’s also worthwhile to optimize your website for mobile to make it easier for customers to navigate the site when using a cellphone or tablet. Avoid overwhelming customers with too much information crammed on the home page. Instead, organize content into pages according to their function and place a navigation bar on the home page to jump between topics. Some of these pages may include About Us, Our Services, Blog, and Contact Us.
Use Google My Business And Cultivate Positive Reviews
When people are looking for small businesses in their area, the first thing they'll typically do is search for what they need on Google. One of the advantages of having a Google My Business page is that your company will show up more frequently in searches. First, check to see if Google has an existing listing for your business. If so, be sure to claim that listing so you can update information like operating hours or phone numbers as needed.
With your Google My Business page setup, you can begin building a reputation by acquiring reviews from your customers. Google My Business also provides a forum to answer common questions from customers that can prove quite useful to prospects. This platform also allows you to respond to reviews, demonstrating to others that you care about your clients.
Get Involved In Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are invaluable resources for spreading brand awareness online. After creating a few accounts, start to build a following by running promotional offers or posting updates once a week. You may also consider publishing a brief explainer video on YouTube that introduces your brand to customers in the area.
For best results, create new posts on social media regularly to keep your audience interested. Draw attention to seasonal offers or discounts by sharing the details with your followers. As your business begins to pop up in more feeds, your followers will start to grow along with your customer base.
Generate Content With Geo-Specific Keywords
Search engines index their results by looking for the most relevant content available online. For this reason, it’s essential to populate your website with high-quality written blog content and landing pages. The best content is informative, well-researched, and supported by appealing graphics to break up blocks of text.
Written content on your website should also include keywords related to your geographic location. This way, you don't start acquiring leads who are unlikely to convert. In short, if your content doesn't contain local keywords, chances are you'll miss out on a lot of qualified leads.
Helpful Tips For Marketing A Local Business
Small business marketing can take time and energy to master, but there are several ways to make the job a little easier. Leveraging technology, hosting local events, or employing the help of experts are a few ways to expand the recognition of your brand.
Follow these tips to attract more people to your business and generate increased ROI on your marketing endeavors.
Make Use Of Analytics
Services like Google Analytics allow you to convert all of your website and marketing data into useful information. Discover how people are finding your website, how long they stay, and what percentage of them decide to convert.
Analytics software also provides valuable insights into how your social media performs. For example, you can track which platforms produce the most engagement and which topics generate the most interest. Other useful details gathered with analytics includes popular search phrases used by leads in your area.
You can also discover what kind of devices customers use when visiting your website or social media accounts. With analytics, it's easier to focus your marketing efforts on what receives the most attention. By knowing what works and what doesn't, you can save a lot of time and money in the long run.
Create A Referral Program
Individuals that hear about your brand from friends or family are more likely to become lasting customers. Set up a referral program that rewards people for bringing others into the fold through in-store or online shopping discounts.
For instance, consider offering a percentage off select purchases for every new referral. For those who bring five or more new customers to your business, offer a grand prize like a gift card or a significant discount. Just remember to advertise your referral rewards on social media and your website to maximize engagement.
Connect With Your Audience With Email Marketing
When done properly, email marketing can prove to be quite effective at generating interest in your small local business. Make sure your customers know they can receive news updates or promotional offers by signing up for your email newsletter.
If you can, consider providing this information on in-store printed receipts. You can also make a “Sign Up Now” button on your business website to make it easy for online visitors to join in seconds for exclusive perks and benefits. As your email list begins to grow, so will your customer traffic, spreading brand awareness through local word of mouth.
Host A Local Event
Another way small businesses can market their business to local customers is by sponsoring or hosting an event in the area. Concerts, festivals, and charity drives are excellent opportunities to support the community. At the same time, these events will work to draw attention to your brand.
When putting together an event, look into partnering with an established local business with a strong reputation as well. You can also consider hosting a virtual event such as a live AMA or online product demonstration.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Expert Support
With so much that goes into running a business, it’s not always realistic to do everything yourself. When in doubt, it’s often best to reach out to marketing professionals who have experience helping smaller, local brands grow and succeed. Hiring expert outside help can also free up a lot of time and labor once devoted to handling marketing in-house. This allows you to devote more resources to customer service or finding the right employees to fill key positions.
At Scorpion, we have the technology, knowledge, and marketing talent businesses need to grow. Our talented team will take care of website design, social media engagement, and creating compelling copy for all of your pages.
With our local marketing platform, you can manage all your campaigns from a single organized location. Meanwhile, our sophisticated reporting technology ensures you never miss a beat. Track your ad spend, conversion rates, and advertising goals all in one place.
With over two decades of experience, our team at Scorpion knows what it takes for a small business to thrive. Visit us today to learn more about our comprehensive suite of digital marketing services, tools, and resources.