15 Ways to Promote your Local Business
To run a successful business, you need to break down two things and think if your business is solving that problem or not:
- Can you provide service or products to your customer that they want at a price they want to pay?
- Can you find the right target audience and put your offer in front of these people?
Out of ten, nine people will say that they want to start a business because they have a product or service, which will solve people’s problem, they have the money to start a business, and they are competent. They know about their industry in and out, they understand their target audience, what they want, and they as a business can supply the right product for the demand.
But the real challenge begins with the second part, and that is how to make people aware that they have a solution for their problems and how to promote their business to cater to all the needs and requirements of the demand.
The local business receives massive competition because there are a lot of similar companies. If you are running a business and you can see a decline in sales, then probably, you are failing in the second part, and you need to think about the marketing strategies appropriately.
Even if your local business is generating revenue, you must always stay one step ahead of your competitors. You need to analyse the marketing trends, get to know about consumers’ buying behaviour, and also find out more ways to receive more cash from existing and new customers.
If your company is already established, then some refined marketing strategies will do the magic, however, if you are new and there are already some fierce competitors, then you need to work twice as hard. Readers may note that marketing tactics keep on changing, the approach that worked some 20 years back, will not necessarily yield fruitful results in 2020, but all that said marketing fundamentals have not changed. once you have a grasp of these and the basics of marketing your local business the rest is pretty simple.
Before jumping into the top 15 ways to promote your local business, we think we must throw some light on what challenges these local businesses face when they try to brand themselves.
When we use the word “brand”, you might think that we are talking about the business’s website, their logo, the name of the company, and so on. However, when you try to market yourself as a brand, there is a lot more that goes into it.
If you can brand yourself well, then it will transcend the website, logo, and ads as well. Local marketing for small businesses will be a good step. If you stay away from branding strategies, then the more difficult it will become to attract more customers. You have got to be sure about why people should want to buy from your Business and not others. If you don’t have an answer to this, you will find it harder to define your future as the go to company in your sector. this is your category of One or your Unique selling Proposition.
Define your Brand’s Purpose Correctly
The main agenda of your brand is to be able to describe its use efficiently, which will create a difference in the industry. Only a definite brand purpose, will allow the business owners to make better decisions, which will support the purpose and will finally provide more satisfactory interaction between the customers and business. When you are just starting, you might think about getting more revenue, and not consider why anyone should be doing business with you. However, take some time to think about while marketing a local business, that will help you become your industry leader in your local area.
Acknowledge this early, and think about different local business digital marketing strategies that will help you spread the word about your brand. What difference will your business make and why your solutions are the best. Especially for any local business, you need to have an answer for what you are bringing to the table.
Keep Branding Consistent
Brand consistency is more than having a brand colour on different marketing materials and logo, branding means delivering the same marketing message through your website design, its logo, why is your brand different, and also each of these marketing strategies is delivering every single aspect of your business.
Whenever you are asked about your business or what makes you so unique, or what is the purpose of your company, every marketing strategy should resonate well. Don’t forget, consistency is the key, and your brand must establish its credibility in the market. Your brand should never be confused with competitors.
Craft a Brand Voice
Buy crafting a brand voice; we mean building a personality of your brand on a different social media platform. How to present your view on marketing materials, social media posts, email newsletters and more. Your company needs to have a distinctive voice to keep your customers engaged and make them come back to you again and again. This voice will also help attract the sort of people you would choose as customers. These would be your target audience.
Local business marketing strategies can help keep your brand voice consistent. The primary purpose of your company’s voice is to match with other goals. In short, the voice of your business is what communicates the value of the business.
Some of the challenges that local business face in terms of promoting themselves
Creativity issues may arise due to different reasons. You may face a designing issue, marketing issue, or problem-solving issue, which are familiar with small business. And the next is when you feel financially or mentally blocked. In both cases, expert local marketing services can come handy. Just in case, if it is a budget issue, then there are ways to do affordable promotion.
When there is a will, there is a way, trust in this phrase and browse the internet, because there are excellent online tools eg.a great graphic design app is canva.co.uk which will offer free solutions, which you can use to create fresh logos and social media posts and many more things fairly quickly. If you do not have the inclination to create your own marketing material another option may be to trade services with another local small business this is great for startups and small businesses where cash flow is an issue.
Poor Competitor Analysis
Not knowing how to do competitor analysis can cost you a lot. Competitor analysis is the first thing you should do before becoming operational. This will give you a detailed report about what your competitors are doing and why they are succeeding in business as well. Through adequate competitor analysis, you can likewise put proper focus on relevant local SEO marketing strategies. You will understand what needs to be done to excel. And if you skip them, you will never be sure about properly establishing your brand. Competitive analysis will also let you understand why these companies are a threat to you. Essentially it is not always the best product that wins, but the company that knows how to market itself the most effectively that always comes up trumps!
The Fear of Rebranding
Take any new big brand, they didn’t become a brand in just a couple of months, they endured significant challenges, failed, but they kept rebranding themselves to be on top of the fortune 500 companies. The rush Apple now encounters the moment they launch a brand-new model, is enormous compared to when they started. You need to have faith in your brand. If one branding promotion fails, then try to rebrand it whenever possible.
Rebranding works for many companies, and even if yours is a local business, you must fight against bad branding to have your image back. That’s why even local companies are showing more and more interest in local small business marketing strategies and using them to control their company image online. Reputation especially nowadays with online reviews being a major reason people buy from you over 80% of customers say they check out your company reviews prior to buying from you, this can be google, your website, yelp and many other different platforms they may visit before buying. You must have all these different sites in order to keep a hold on your online reputation reviews are also becoming a very important part of the Google algorithms which help get you found organically online.
Now we have discussed the challenge, here are 15 of the best ways to promote your local business.. They are not by any means the only ways to promote your local business. You can consider these tips as your starting guide for future marketing campaigns.
- Setting up the Free Listing with Google
Gone are the days when businesses used to rely on word of mouth, prints ads, or radio promotions. Things have changed drastically, and last year around 97% of consumers have turned to the internet to search for local businesses. Along with that, most of the consumers have also said that they rely on local businesses to get in touch with reliable professionals. That’s why you should think about listing your company on Google.
Think about the browser, which is the most widely used? and you will think of Google. Your consumers rely on Google to find businesses like yours. Google offers you a free listing platform, through which it becomes easier for the consumers to see you. Consumers will use related keywords to search for you, and your listing should have as much information as possible. For example, your local listing should have a registered address, phone number, working hours, direction, and finally a link to your website.
Google free listing also allows businesses to add photos, to have a better understanding of your services. Your consumers will also add reviews and give you star ranking for others to see. The more good reviews you have, the better the impact it will have on your success.
If you want to increase your chances of ranking higher on search engine result pages, you must have a basic understanding of SEO. Don’t forget that 97% of customers are relying on the internet to find a local business. And many consumers don’t go beyond the first page, and the other half will click on the second page, but nobody gets past the second page. Blogging is one of the best ways to boost your SEO strategy. The more website traffic you receive, the more followers you will have, and finally, everything will lead to increased profits. Online local business marketing suggests that with regular blogging, your site will be frequently updated with fresh content, which will help you rank higher on search engines, which is good for your business.
On top of all this, your blogs will have relevant keywords as well. Your consumers use both short and long-tail keywords. Your blogs should be informative and must solve the specific problem of your consumers. Otherwise, they will not prefer to stay. Upload useful blogs, so that your audience keeps coming back. Once you have a good number of visitors in your traffic, you will have better chances of converting them as well.
- Start an Email Marketing Strategy
Some might think that email marketing has become outdated, and no one believes in email marketing. Still, if you speak to a local business online marketing company, you will get to know that this timeless marketing strategy leads to a higher conversion rate. If you go by a marketing standpoint, then an email has more potential than any other approach to yield more channels. Through email marketing, you can create a better relationship with your potential buyers.
Those who aren’t ready to do any business yet, even for them, you get to create a funnel and let them stay connected with your business, rather than making them forget about your existence. To start with, you need to think about designing something valuable and giving it away for free, and in return, you will get information about your prospective consumers.
Then, you must create a series of emails as well to use when you get a new lead, to tell them about your offers, and more. One email will not do justice for different types of communication.
- Offer Some Discounts
Discounts always attract customers. Think about the kind of business you have, and likewise, you can plan for a discount offer. If losing some money, will let you have more consumers, then you should think about displaying some lucrative schemes and discounts.
With discounts, you will ensure more sales, leads, as well as referrals. Even local businesses can take advantage of discounts and deals. Discounts and deals don’t only mean giving away your service for free it’s more about perceived value. Give your customers something that they see as extremely valuable but doesn’t cost you much or anything apart from maybe a little time. you can think about building a free app, which will help your customers stay connected to you always or offer them a free trial of your service if you are in a service providing industry.
Your customers need to have trust in your before they start doing business with you. So, don’t miss any chance to make a good impression. These also separate you from the competition they can be a great way to find your uniqueness!
Conducting a contest is another superb way to grasp the attention of your audience. Most of the local businesses don’t think about raising awareness about their business by trying entertaining ways. But now you can. Think of any engaging content, for example, a user-generated content. You can ask your audience to upload a picture, which is similar to your business. Or maybe to share some attractive quotes related to your business.
Contests will capture the attention of your audience and people will try their best to reply to your social media posts in the hope of winning the winner’s prize. You can think of giving away a free service or product related to your business as the winning prize. The whole idea about organising a contest is to grow your popularity in social media.
Once people find out that one of the local businesses have organised content, they also tend to share the post on their profile as well. This way, their friends and families will get to know about your business.
Once you see your followers growing; you can continue to post entertaining content, including contests to convert all these followers into customers.
- Create a Facebook Business Page
Everyone is active on Facebook, and just like Google, people also use Facebook to search for different local business. If you have not thought about the Facebook business page, then it is time to think about creating one. We all know that Facebook is the number one social media platform and the setting on Facebook, allow you to target geographical audience, you can target the right age group to market your brand, and likewise, always stay in touch with your audience whenever you want.
Plus, whenever your customers feel like asking questions or they come up with a complaint, you can reply to their concerns or apologise for any inconvenience caused almost immediatley. Facebook has not only made it possible to stay connected with your friends but also with your customers exponentially as well.
- Asking for Reviews
Do you know that around 54% of customers visit a website after reading good reviews about the company? Reviews or testimonials can help your business have a positive impact online. Even if you have a local business, you will undoubtedly have a website; you can use these reviews on your website as well, to create trust among your consumers. This is not just it; positive reviews can help you immensely to rank higher on search engines as well. Do you want to know the reason why, well, search engines acknowledge customers’ review value!
You can think of video reviews, or else, in your Google My Business page, you can create a review page and request your customers to leave reviews. A happy customer will never mind leaving good reviews about your business. This also is the same for disgruntled customers so be proactive in asking for good reviews so you will drown out any negative feedback that you may receive.
- Concentrate on Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation should the heart of all local online marketing services. Google pays a lot of interest in the algorithm of how users search for different services and products. Search engine optimisation may not be possible for you or your team to understand, but when you hire the best online marketing business you can afford, they will show you how natural SEO can be. SEO will assume that your company already has a website; all the professionals now need to do is add high-quality content, HTML codes, and fix the content structure to facilitate higher ranking.
There are two kinds of SEO practices, and both are necessary for your business. There is on-page and off-page SEO. Under on-page SEO, you will need to provide detailed contact information, for example, phone number, email ID, hours of operation, and also your business address. You should also include a description of all the products or service that you see, and create a Q&A section as well to clear the doubts of your customers and also to highlight the best features.
Then comes off-page SEO, where you provide outstanding service, you request your customers to leave good reviews, you leave no stone unturned to respond to all types of review, which will include both positive and negative.
- Create a Robust Website
Many customers avoid a company if their website doesn’t make any sense. Your company’s website is the face of your business, and without having a good and attractive site, no one would have the trust in your business either. A good website will never look cluttered. Of course, your site needs to give detailed information about the different services that your company provides, along with everything the site also needs to tell why visitors should become your customers.
Whether you outsource your website building job to someone else or ask your team to build one, remember to make it search engine optimised. Your site should be operational on mobile phones as well, it should have relevant keywords, and everything else that will create a positive impact on the visitors. These days you don’t just have one website you could have several different sites this way you can zoom in and focus on the customers needs more specifically and solve the problems that each of your customers have individually these are called landing or squeeze pages.
- Think about Online Paid Advertising
Even though you have regular customers coming into you for different service, every company will want to attract more and more customers. Online advertising is a powerful tool, which will help you talk about your company’s objective and share details about your products and services. Google and Yahoo provide pay banner ads; you can try that. On top of that, you can partner with Google to put ads on different sites. Every local business can try this out.
Along with all this, you can invest in search advertising as well, where you need to pay for the ad, which will show up on Google or different search engines. Whenever someone searches for a particular keyword related to your business, products, or services, people will get to see the ads.
Readers may note that online advertisements can sometimes become very tricky, but they do bring in a lot of traffic as well. You need to optimize the campaigns properly and show your ads to only your targeted audience, only then relevant people will drop by your website.
- Creating videos for Small Businesses
Video marketing has gained a lot of attention these days. Words are powerful and can talk a lot about your business, but there is still a group of consumers, who would prefer watching a video, then reading extended contents. That’s how the human brain works. So, why allow anyone to skip a chance of visiting your company’s site?
Make sure that you create a highly engaging video campaign, it can be for any of the products or services that you sell, or to talk about your company. Don’t limit yourself to words only, video marketing is tried and tested and it works. You can also create an informative video, where you will show your consumers how to use a particular product and how it will benefit them if they use it too.
How to do, tutorial and educational style videos are always appreciated. It is very simple to set up a Youtube channel and as it is owned by Google, Youtube has become the second biggest search engine in the world so videos are great for SEO.
- Guest Posts
Guest posts are a type of digital marketing, where you will write a blog, which is relevant to your business but will post it on another’s website. The other site will publish your blog and will promote it to get more audience. There are many reasons why you should think about guest posting. First, you get to establish yourself as a brand in someone else’s website, you get backlinks from higher-ranking sites (great for SEO), you can network with businesses in a similar niche, and finally, add hyperlinks to your website.
- Always Work on Good Content
The good thing about content is that there are tons of niches to work on. So, if you think that your business niche is something, where content will not work on, then you need to think about it again. There is no such niche on which you can’t write content. All you need to think about is the type of content you want. Also, don’t keep the content limited; try to upload fresh content as much as possible.
- Go for Community Events
Community events have nothing to do with digital marketing, but some promotional events can always be out of the box. What you should understand is that no consumer is going to buy your service or product based on one ad or an email. You should never stop marketing yourself, and this should include all sorts of marketing campaigns. Buyers acquire information from different channels, and they try to put them all together before they purchase anything from anyone.
If you know that there is a community event happening soon and your target audience will be there, then don’t lose the opportunity. Join it for a better connection, at least you will be able to get their email addresses to send emails later.
- Offline Paid Advertisements
Finally, Offline paid advertisements can also work very well for local businesses. Newspapers local Magazines are the most popular. Now, not all media might work for every niche. Its is worth trying a few but make sure you research if your target audience will be seeing them or not. whats the point in advertising in a local newspaper if teenagers are your target audience how many kids do you know that rush home from school put there dressing gown and comfy slippers on is down in the arm chair and open up the local rag for a riveting read. not many.
Budget plays a big part when thinking about Offline Ads a quick tip is never pay anywhere near the card price with newspapers and magazines, negotiate they survive off small businesses like you and are gradually dying because of other forms of advertising. look at yellow pages for example it used to be about 5cm thick now its only 2cm the only people that look at the yellow pages book are OAPs that don’t understand technology and are in the habit of picking up the good old yellow pages when they need an emergency plumber cause their stopcock is broken. In my opinion it will not be in print within 5 years. Like all advertising test and measure continuously.
We hope after reading all the ways to promote your local business, you will be able to promote your brand by investing less. Finally, there is not just one winning strategy for promoting your business, be prepared for trials and errors and try as many marketing strategies as possible. what works for one company will not necessarily work for you. The trick is to test and measure everything you try when you find a winner use it consistently and move onto your next marketing channel. The idea is to build several lead generation systems so if one stops working (eg. Facebook closes your account) You still have others bringing the customers in!
Remember though lead generation is only the start of the journey you still have to get the customer to part with their hard earned cash. This is where it gets interesting.
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