Local businesses can no longer ignore the digital presence. They cannot rely solely on their local community to grow and expand their business operations. As a local business, if you want to be a part of the competitive bandwagon, start incorporating digital campaigns into your marketing plan, right now!
The business landscape has changed
In the early day of marketing, services, and businesses were registered at yellow pages that seemed the best way of promoting your business. And now, in the era of the internet and the smartphone, there are Google searches that people refer to for almost every little information they need.
1. Local SEO and PPC
All businesses must be listed at Google My Business as it has become one of the key ranking factors in Local SEO. Moreover, your Google My Listing must contain accurate details and should be updated and optimized regularly. Any change of address, name, website or any other personal updates should be added to your listing information timely.
You could also invest in PPC(pay-per-click) marketing which is a paid form of search engine marketing where businesses are essentially buying visits to their website/page.
2. Search Engine Advertising
If you do not appear on the top of the search results, how will potential clients find you?
Seldom do people scroll down to the lower listings or turn to the inner pages of a search listing. If you do not know where to start, hire the services of an experienced digital marketing agency that specialises in SEO tactics, paid search promotions and so on. With paid ads, you can customise your search optimization so that you appear in the top searches in front of your target customers.
2. Online reviews and reputation
If you have a Google Business page, customers will leave reviews. You should keep checking them as too many negative reviews could tarnish your reputation and you might end up losing customers. as per studies, 72% of consumers say that positive reviews earn their better trust of a local business. You must also respond to both positive and negative reviews, and make sure your best customers leave reviews online.
3. Be active on Social Media
The youth today is always present on social media. So if you have a business that caters to youngsters like accessories, gadgets, clothes, and beauty products, you know where to find them. Design a robust digital marketing strategy that increases your visibility on the social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, and so on. Interact with other businesses, influencers and invite them for some publicity on social media. Post about new events, discounts, and new additions to the store. You have to be active both offline and online.
4. Budget and planning
All digital marketing efforts like paid advertising require significant amounts of expenditure. For a well-designed meticulous digital marketing strategy, you must take the services of expert marketing agencies. While these come at a cost, all your digital marketing efforts will be channelised in the right direction and will pay you rich dividends.
Carefully design your budget and convey the same to your marketing agency. Experienced agencies know the areas to focus on so that they get results in the form of better leads, conversions, and purchases. Agencies also have research and analysis tools using which they can monitor the audience behaviour, preferences, demographics and so on. Your paid advertising must also be reviewed from time to time.
No two business models are the same. A cafe cannot run the same marketing campaign as an auto parts shop. As a cafe owner, while you were previously distributing flyers in the neighbourhood, you can post at relevant times on social media about the ‘hot offer’ of the day!
Automated email, newsletters are some of the ways you can regularly communicate with your audience. These can be targeted towards the specific demographics and age groups as discovered by the research tools.
Remarketing or retargeting is a method of reminding potential clients of your brand. Your website ads will keep appearing in front of the audience as they browse the net. Local businesses can take advantage of this marketing technique for better brand awareness.
8. Brand guideline
As a local business design a robust brand guideline of how your brand should appear to the world. This goes beyond logos or icons and extends to imagery, voice tone, typography, photos and more. It reflects the brand’s promise to the audience and must surface out clear and definitive.
The world has undergone a mammoth sea of change during recent years. Promotions, buying, selling, and payments have all become digital. Consumers can download apps for everything from booking a cab to ordering food online.
Henceforth, business models are changing and vigorously adapting to the digital technologies that make them competitive. Consumers are looking for convenience and ease of shopping experience and the digital marketing model provides them with just that!