We got our local online marketing team together to share their top tips for local businesses when marketing their products and services on a budget.
Being a small local business, your time is valuable. With the growth of the internet, the number of ways you can market your business seems to be every expanding. And when you have limited time, choosing what local online marketing route to go down can seem almost impossible. Which ones give you the greatest return not just on money, but also in the amount of time and effort you have to put in?
Here are 7 things you can do to start your local online marketing right now. The following list will give you brief insight into some of the different online marketing avenues available and what’s involved in using them.
1. A Google AdWords Campaign
We’ve spoken about Google Adwords Campaigns before in our ‘What is local online marketing?’ article but these pay per click campaigns are a great way to get in front of your clients. There is a fair amount of setup work, relating to keywords research, keyword grouping, pricing research and much more. However, after you have set up your Adwords Campaign it will continually work for you and may only require several tweaks every now and then.
When done right you can get a great return on the time and money you have put into a Google Adwords Campaign. Firstly, because it can reach your target audience at the exact time they are searching for your products or services. Second, because it works why you are asleep, on a job or working on some other part of your business. The hard bit is making sure you’re not wasting your money for clicks that will never convert or you are paying too much per click. When in the right hands a Google AdWords campaign can bring in a huge amount of leads for a local business.
2. Get your local business on social media
If you’re local business that isn’t using social media, you should start. Right now! More than likely you have a personal social media account – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. The chances are your potential customers do too. However, running social media for your business can seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be, keep it simple and only have one or two key social media accounts for your business. You don’t have to have content going out every hour. Start with once a week. Take a picture of your products. Get your friends and family to share your company account.
Let your customers know you’re on social media. Let them check in or post a comment or photo. If your business is providing the services that it should your customers can help spread the work about you. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, even in the digital world.
If you are really successful in using your social media account, then you can consider taking it to the next level by investing in some advertising on your social media platform. These ads will appear in the feeds of your prospective clients, helping to boost your company’s online presence.
3. Look at your site through your customer’s eyes
Sometimes as a small business own we can fall in love with our own products and promotions. The same goes for your business’ website too. You can have blinders on as to what its true strengths are and what problems there might be.
Take ten minutes to sit down with your friends or family to look at your site through fresh eyes. Take the point of view of a first-time customer coming to your site. What stands out? Is the first thing you see something that promotes what your local business does?
If you sell online, go through the process a customer would have to go through to purchase one of your products. Is there a problem? It could be costing you sales.
The same goes for how customers can get in touch with you. Send a test email. Call the phone numbers on your site. You’d be surprised as to how many local business websites have the wrong contact information or a contact form that doesn’t work.
4. Add more keywords to your site
In order for search engines and customers to know what your business is about use the words that are related to your local business. Many local businesses only mention what their products or services are once or twice. Be specific in the products and services you provide. If you sell shoes, mention that you sell shoes and the types of shoes you sell. Don’t assume that your customers will automatic know the services your offer. Provide them with enough information to make an informed decision using the key terms related to your business.
However, don’t go overboard. If you find it awkward to write, then your customers will find it awkward to read. This will turn them away from your site straight away, let alone convert them into a paying customer.
5. Add multiple photos to your website
People are visual, make sure to include multiple pictures relating to what your business is about. This is particularly important if you sell physical products. Photos make an instant impression so make sure that they are of good quality and related to the written content.
A great photo may be all you need to convince a potential customer that you are the right business for them. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. If named correctly you can also get these images to appear in search engine images results which could result in more traffic for your website. And if possible link these images through to a Pinterest account or add a function that allows your customers to add your pictures to Pinterest.
6. Provide incentives and deals for you clients
A great way to build your customer loyalty, create genuine word of mouth and create new customers is to provide online deals. Whether through your social media page, a special website page or through a third party like goguide® deals, an incentive is a great way to provide that extra reason as to why a customer should use your business.
These deals can be as simple as a price discount or provide an additional extra for free. And if the customer has had a good experience they could share it with their friends bringing you extra business.
7. Start a blog
One of the best marketing strategies for a small business is blogging. Now this might not be for everyone. It’s depending on your business and it can be time-consuming. But it’s a great way to draw in potential customers, build a connection and give them useful information about your business. This also has the added bonus of improving the chances of your company’s website being found by search engines and thus more customers being able to find you.