Local Businesses are not so different from big corporations, except from the scale at which they operate. Taking advantage of what Digital Marketing has to offer can help you to grow your business on the long term.
Whether you are a bakery or a barber, you can use digital marketing to increase customer's loyalty and grow over time.
This article is about to give you some techniques you could use in order to thrive online. Let's dive in!
Does It Matters?
Customers are more and more connected, they surf the web at home, on their mobile. They tweet and click like crazy. They expect you to be connected, to follow you and like you, online. They want to have a digital relationship with you. Why let them down?
Effectively using Marketing can be source of a huge competitive advantage. In the future, you can expect many local businesses to be online and to have a digital strategy. Competing will be harder when you aren't online.
Besides competing and reaching your actual customers, you can reach new customers online. People who wouldn't have come to you in the first place. This is a huge opportunity for repeat purchase as some techniques can greatly increase loyalty.
Hope you got my point. Digital Marketing matters for local businesses. It will allow you to increase customer's loyalty over time, creating more repeated purchase. Which will consequently grow your business faster.
Online services, such as Google Maps, allow users to search for various places and find them directly on the map. They can for instance search for "bakery" and get their way shown on a map.
You can get on most of these listings for free. However, managing several listings might be hard. You can use Moz Local to manage a couple of listings for $84 per year.
Getting on listings will ensure you can be found where customers are searching for you. They will then be able to find your contact information and where to find you.
2. Email Marketing
Reaching consumers directly through email can be extremely powerful. You can send them discount, information about new products... You could even talk about your next holidays and explain where you will be.
The main issue is: how do I get their email? You could sign them up yourself when they make a purchase. Another idea is to put a card next to your checkout where they could go online to signup. The goal is that they register. Once you get their email, you can reach them whenever you want for free.
Setting up a newsletter can be done for free through Mailchimp.
3. Social Media
Twitter, Facebook, Google+ are the focus of customer's attention. They spend most of their time connecting with their friends on these networks. Guess what? They can also connect with your business.
Be sure to open an account on: Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Buffer can then help you to post on several networks without wasting too much time.
Consumers can now review your business online to inform their peers of their experience. These reviews can be of great value to you. People look at them as an "endorsement".
Encourage people to post their review by asking them directly inside your store.
Wanna play in the major league? Advertising is for you. Platforms such as AdWords and Facebook Ads allow you to target people depending on their geographic location. You can therefore target people who are physically close to your shop.
Send people to a landing page offering them to signup to your newsletter and incentivize them to come to your shop (discount can work pretty well).
Digital Marketing can grow your business to the next level. Use it correctly and you'll see your business growing. Customers are going to love you even more...
Leveraging these techniques will give you a head start in digital marketing, however, you could use other techniques in order to build a bigger business. Most of digital marketing techniques can help you; you don't need to be a software company to use them.
It's your turn now, do you have any other techniques in mind? What results did you get?
- Add Your Business to MapQuest Local Business Center (Susan Walsh)
- Whos Your Competitor? - St. Stephen Relation Building (Anthony Pensabene) (Ed.: A must-read on building a local brand)
- 5 Essential Local SEO Tools for Marketing a Small Business Online (Alesia Krush)