Today, people demand options and want to have the best experiences when interacting with local businesses. As a local business owner, to grow the business, it’s essential to reach people in the moments they seek information. Thankfully, technology has made this relatively easy, with information sharing now easier, faster, and more effective than ever before. Leveraging digital marketing strategies can bring in a consistent flow of new customers and help you retain current customers. Upping your marketing game is important, even if your current pipeline is full.
Consider these seven digital marketing strategies to effectively transform your online presence and grow your local business.
#1 – Get More Online Reviews
91 percent of 18 to 34 year old consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors.
Online reviews aren’t just beneficial for the local pub or hotel. Service providers across all industries that service a local area can reap the rewards of positive online reviews, and also feel the sting of a negative review. However, at times it can feel overwhelming and entirely out of your control when it comes to whether or not your customers will actually write a review about your business. These techniques may be able to help those odds be in your favor.
- Claim your business on as many business listings as possible so your customers have options to write reviews (Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Nextdoor, FourSquare, etc.).
- Make it easy for customers to write a review, such as a one-click website link or via social media.
- Write a thank you response to all reviews to encourage others to write their own.
- Share positive reviews across your online presence, including your website, social media, business listings, paid ads, etc.
- Ask your customers in person if they would be willing to share their feedback and experiences as a review on a specific platform.
#2 – Claim Your Business Listings
Local businesses that don’t claim their (free) Google listing lose out significantly when it comes to getting more local visibility. Claiming your business on Google means gaining control of the information displayed about your business and the information your customers are searching for. As I mentioned above, it’s important to claim your business on other sites like Yelp, Facebook, Nextdoor, Instagram, etc. Once you’ve claimed your listings, it’s critical that you make complete each one fully, such as adding a phone number, website URL, address, and open hours.
Did you know the Surefire Local Marketing Platform helps your business to appear in over 70 business listings while giving you control over the information displayed in each? There are some you may never even have heard of which your customers are using. Others could already have a profile of your business created by a customer (or worse, a competitor) that displays incorrect information. Request a demo of the Surefire Local Marketing Platform to learn more today.
#3 – Optimize Your Website
Local SEO and SERPs are terms marketers commonly talk about, but how do these terms affect your local business’s website and online presence? SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SERP (Search Engine Results Page) can make it easier for customers to find your website by ranking it higher on Google. According to Social Media Today, 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local businesses. If a website is not optimized so it appears on Google, your business can lose out on a lot of new business opportunities.
#4 – Engage on Social Media
Customers can switch their allegiances for many reasons, including negative reviews, hard-to-use websites, and a lack of an online presence, especially on social media. With more and more local businesses becoming active on social media, customers now expect your business to be there. Statistics from the Pew Research Group show Facebook as the most used social media platform across all demographics (not surprising). Three-quarters of Facebook users visit the site at least once a day. After Facebook, Instagram and Twitter rank near the top.
#5 – Publish and Share Content
People naturally spend more time on a website when there is relevant content to read, watch, or listen to. Infographics, videos, and engaging blog posts keep people on the website longer, and on average, help to establish your website as a trusted authority. That in turn, leads to higher visibility in search results.
#6 – Advertise on Google, Bing, and Facebook
Postcards, email campaigns, and billboards are common local advertising strategies. However, in today’s multi-touch digital world, online advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach new customers. Today, paid advertising has evolved beyond those banner ads that would appear in the middle of a website. Paid ads appear naturally without even appearing to be an ad at times. With the proper targeting measures and tracking setup in place, you’re able to achieve great success with just a limited budget. Our recent workshop walks through an example of how you can maximize ROI and results to create a consistent flow of new customers with just a $5,000/month advertising budget – watch the replay to learn more.
#7 – Measure and Track Your Marketing Efforts
No matter how great your marketing strategies might be, if they’re not measured and tracked properly, it’s hard to know what is working and what you may be wasting money on. Google and social media sites offer analytics for tracking which campaigns have higher engagement, plus a host of other relevant performance metrics. The key is to have one place where you can see the effectiveness of all your marketing efforts across your entire online presence…rather than having look at a dozen different tools to figure out what’s happening.
Increase Your Local Search Visibility with the Surefire Local Marketing Platform
Local isn’t a part of our name by accident, it’s what we do best. Surefire Local is committed to helping local businesses take control of their digital marketing. By leveraging the Surefire Local Marketing Platform, you’re able to connect with and engage existing and potential customers to continuously improve and expand your reach. Request a demo of our all-in-one local marketing platform today, and get the operating system to take your digital marketing to the next level.