Starting a business is often the most stressful part of a business, literally. It is at this stage that you spend on things like advertisements as you try to create enough awareness for your brand and your services. For businesses that operate locally, getting the word out about their business is often seen as a daunting task many have resolved to ignore, not because they can’t, but because they haven’t heard of these proven ways to market their local businesses online.
What untapped ideas do you need to implement in your quest to effectively market your local business on the internet? Combining new ways of marketing with the conventional offline marketing methods in your locality should make a significant impact on your business if you do the right thing.
Here are 5 proven ways to market your local business online:
- Create a blog: With millions of blog posts published online on a daily basis, chances are that you’re missing out on potential customers your blog could have brought you. It’s no news that people search Google for virtually everything. Statistics from ExpandedRamblings shows that the total number of Google search from the US for the month of May 2016 was about 34 billion. Assuming your business is based in a locality with a population of 70,000 and 6 other competitors doing the same business like you, you’ve definitely lost out on at least 10,000 potential customers. Through your blog, you teach people how to use your products and services, you share information on latest trends in your business and the feedback/comments on your blog help you to improve your services to them. Creating a blog that is well optimized would help your website’s search engine rankings. Your website and blog should be professionally designed, else you’re going to lose customers. Please read this article on how to use content to generate new business leads.
- Embrace social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn and every other social media platforms record millions of users on a daily basis. Embracing social media opens you to a much wider audience than your blog can offer you, but you shouldn’t jump into social media marketing without a plan. Get ready to spend a couple of bucks on marketing on social media through ads. It is also pertinent to avoid making some of the following mistakes in your social media marketing campaigns:
- Having multiple profiles on a social site
- Having incomplete social profiles
- Targeting a narrow audience
- Leaving your campaign running for long
- Click-baiting and spamming
- Purchasing followers and likes
- A not-so-strong call to action
- Focusing on conversions instead of building a relationship with your followers.
While using social media, follow the social trends and create content that relates to your business using those trends.
- Listing your business on online local directories: One of the many reasons why you should consider listing your business on online directories is the increased visibility it gives to your business when people search for services in your region. This is one of the many advantages on undergoing a local SEO. Please understand the difference between traditional SEO and local SEO, as they are both different, and so is their approach.
When people search local business directories for information, it simply means they’re almost ready to buy a product or service, and they’ll probably look at reviews on your profile on those online business directories. It’s an effective way of advertising your business for a few bucks per month if not free, whilst developing your brand image and connecting you to the right audience in search of your services. It’s also a source of traffic to your website, and the SEO benefits are great especially when the directory it is listed on ranks well on Google. The quickest way to boost local business online is through local SEO Nigeria.
- Give out free trial offers/ offer discounts occasionally: While it may hurt to give out a product/service worth ₦10,000 for free all in the name of marketing your business, it sure does make up for itself when you start getting an influx of customers. A great way of starting free trials is to send your product to a notable figure in your locality and have them take a picture of themselves using the product. You could also organize contests on your website/blog/social media accounts and randomly select 3 winners that will review your product or service in return.
Belle Beth Cooper sums up the importance of free trial offers in her article on HelpScout where she said: “A free trial gives prospective customers the opportunity to try your product in the context of their own data, their own business, their environment, and the way they work.” It is also important to intertwine your free trial offers with your social media campaigns. This would help attract more fans to your social media accounts while bringing in prospective customers willing to spend their money on your product or service.
- Use Videos: Most business owners are yet to leverage the benefits of using video to promote and market their local businesses online. Some of the benefits of video marketing include higher engagement since most people prefer to watch than to read as well as an increase in your social media shares. Here are a few tips if you intend to create videos:
- Create short videos that show how your business solves the customer’s problem. It should have a 3 part storyline; the problem, your product and how your product/service solves the problem.
- It should be 1 minute long and should be crisp and clear.
- It should have a clear and concise call to action.
- Use captivating and irresistible thumbnails.
- It should have a little bit of humor here and there.
- Share the heck out of your video on social media. Don’t spam, rather, you should run ad campaigns for the video.
Trying these aforementioned guaranteed methods of marketing your local business is incomplete if you don’t look at your competitors in your locality and in other regions. You need to find out what they are doing, how they are doing it and why they are doing it if you intend to be on top of the game. Try to improve on areas where they are failing, and you’ll surely draw their customers to your business with time.
One more thing – never lower your prices so much that it cuts your profits significantly all in the name of attracting customers to your business. Focus on providing quality service that no one else provides and charge just a tad lesser than what your competitor charges, then relax and watch the business grow and attract more customers than you can handle. Don’t forget to combine offline marketing methods with these online methods for even faster results.