Local businesses have a very unique position in today’s world. They don’t really maintain any exclusivity as far as the domestic market is concerned because of online shopping and e-commerce entrepreneurs. They also have to compete against much larger retailers who have much larger marketing budgets.
Social media has changed this drastically though. But many businesses don’t even know their power which means they will not be able to take advantage of the power of social media.
Here are some actionable strategies which any local business can use for leveraging their marketing game online without spending big bucks.
Instead of spreading your budget too thin and try ranking in general search results, try focusing on dominating local search results. Choose the category of your business carefully. Google may provide you suggestions but you shouldn’t be afraid to choose more exact categories. This will help ensure that only people who are really interested in your website visit it.
Use your keywords wisely too. Ensure the listing contains keywords that are relevant and place them properly in the H1 title tag, description, and the URL. You could even try to incorporate location keywords so that Google knows your business isn’t just relevant but local as well.
Always be consistent with your contact information. Any changes to your business address, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. need to be updated quickly across all platforms.
Upgrade your site
Most local businesses don’t really pay attention to their website and choose to update it on a sporadic basis at best. But Google doesn’t work that way. It will put all the information on your site to use. You need to ensure you website is SEO friendly.
You should also ensure that your website is optimized for mobile users. It should be easily navigable through a smartphone (more and more people are using their smart phones for web searches and gathering information). It should also have a responsive web-design and theme, fast loading speeds and a fat finger design. And don’t use flash or any popups.
Offer your product to your customers online as well. Just because you’re a local provider doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use e-commerce to its maximum potential.
And most of all, educate your clients. You need to answer all of the frequently asked questions by the clients on your website. This will save you a lot of time and be helpful to your customers. Offering consistent information will make it easier to become a popular name and will also help attract more clients who are searching for answers on the internet.
Even though most local business owners say that social media takes a lot of time and yields insignificant results, this statement isn’t actually true. The modern world is remarkably connected and you can’t just ignore customers who are looking for products or reviews using social media.
You need to try building up a community. The main power of social media is that you can establish a two-way direct communication with clients. Doing this consistently will help you grow a virtual support community for your brand. Don’t leave any comments unanswered. Throw in some discounts or competitions every now and then too.
You can also team up with local vendors to double your reach on social media through cross promotions.
And don’t forget to partner with any online influencers in your area. Even if you’re from a small city, there will still be some popular bloggers, YouTubers, or Instagramers in the area. Involve them in your campaign as much as you can.