When it comes to deciding how to grow your local business, it’s a necessary first step to build a marketing strategy that will get your brand noticed. Which is often easier said than done. On paper, it’s not that hard to think about what you want to achieve, who you want to target, and what kind of money you’re willing to spend. In reality, though, it can get pretty complicated fairly quickly. If you feel overwhelmed, rest assured that you’re not alone. Thankfully, you’ve found Surefire Local, and our team is here to help you make the most of your local marketing efforts. We’ve put together a quick list to help you maximize your local marketing strategies this year and beyond. The tips we’ll discuss here are geared specifically to help you grow your local business during times when the only constant is uncertainty; like during a global pandemic.
Prepare for Anything
Before you begin any planning, you need to know that it’s important to be nimble and able to quickly pivot and adapt as needed. Things can change on a moment’s notice, and if you’re not on top of your game, your website and content could easily become irrelevant. The best way to ensure you’re doing everything you can to optimize your ROI when it comes to brand awareness is to leverage the power of technology and software. When you have the right tools at your fingertips, you can more easily:
- Take fast action
- Keep everyone up to date and working towards the same goals
- Measure results and ROI
- Enjoy greater efficiency and time savings
Nobody ever said it’s easy to grow a business, and in these times of global, societal, and economic uncertainty, it can be harder than ever. But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! You just have to do your homework and plan in order to overcome the challenges associated with creating your strategy to guide you on how to grow your local business during uncertain times.
How to Grow Your Local Business Amidst Uncertainty
Congratulations! You’ve put all of your blood, sweat, and tears into your small business, and now you’re ready for customers to start flooding through the doors. The truth is, gaining customers is often more difficult than many business owners realize when they first start out on their marketing endeavors. Your customers probably have a lot of choices, so it’s up to you to build relationships that are strong and meaningful within the community. Of course, this is on top of all the other things you have to do on a daily basis to keep your business running during difficult times.
Fear not, dear reader! We’ve captured some tips and tricks to help you maximize your local marketing strategies.
1. Use the Right Tools
The mere idea of having a separate tool for every single thing you need to accomplish in a day can be quite overwhelming (and expensive)! You see, it’s not about the quantity of the tools you choose to use; it’s about the quality. When you utilize an all-in-one local marketing platform, you’ll have access to all the information and assistance you need to get the word out about your brand. At Surefire Local, our local marketing tool provides transparency and easy access to more opportunities and future successes by way of a user-friendly dashboard and all the navigation points necessary to get to know your customers so you can speak directly to their needs.
It’s always better to have everything in one place, including email lists, access to data about your website, online reviews, the content you post, and social media updates. When you use a platform that incorporates all of these facets, you’ll ensure your budget is being spent effectively, as to not waste any dollars, while still making sure your customers know who you are and what you’re all about.
2. Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Marketing isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it element to owning a business, nor is it something that can be completely ignored or neglected altogether. You have to put some thought into how you want people to perceive your brand and where your customers are so you can meet them there. Don’t feel disadvantaged by other businesses who may have larger budgets and resources; use your local attraction as an advantage. In other words, are you able to offer a more personalized approach, greater flexibility, and a better customer experience? These are things you need to tout in your digital marketing strategy.
Case studies and testimonials are great ways to talk about what you are and who your business helps. Once you incorporate the right tools for the job (see above!), you’ll have access to vital information about your customers’ behaviors that can help you hone in on the best times and channels through which to send messages.
3. Make Your Google My Business Listing Stand Out
Google My Business can be a small business owner’s best friend if it’s used right. You want your company’s name to appear when people search for your type of work on Google, right? Of course you do! This is why Google My Business is a vital component to any small business’s online presence. For starters, it’s free, making it an ideal option for any size budget. Beyond that, when your profile is filled out completely and accurately, Google is more likely to showcase your company to searchers who are querying the types of products and services you offer.
To make your Google My Business profile shine:
- Make sure all information is complete and accurate, including your company’s name, address, phone number, and hours of operation
- Share business updates like any changes in hours or new products or services you’ll be providing
- Ask your customers for Google reviews (and be sure you respond when people do take the time to rate and review you)
4. Invest in Paid Advertising
The old adage is true—sometimes, you really do have to spend money to make money. If you truly want your brand to be recognized in ways that attract customers and grow your revenue, you should consider investing in paid advertising. Another Google Product—Google Ads—is usually an efficient, user-friendly way to target online traffic and increase customer conversions. People often use the terms “near me” or “best xyz in [city]”. By optimizing your paid advertising content around words like this, you can get a lot of visibility in a fairly short amount of time.
In addition to Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms are great places to consider investing some of your online advertising dollars. Social ads work a little differently than Google Ads, though, because they’re less driven by the audience’s intentions since they’re not actively searching for the thing you’re offering.
5. Use Analytics and Track Everything
Nobody wants to waste money, but that’s exactly what could happen if you’re not monitoring your campaigns to ensure you’re getting every last dollar out of your efforts. You should be constantly analyzing your data to identify trends, bottlenecks, and opportunities in your strategies. When you have the numbers at your fingertips, you can compare your existing pages against each other, too, to help determine which are performing better and what’s causing successes or deficiencies in your approach.
6. Get Involved with Your Local Community
People pay attention to brands that interact with their local communities. In fact, an estimated 82 percent of consumers in the United States indicate that corporate social responsibility is something they consider when they’re deciding to patronize a company. During uncertain times, people look to support local, small businesses in their area even more. To build a presence within your community, get your company and employees involved in events, sponsorships, and other things where you can build business relationships and put your brand in big letters.
7. Put Your Best Foot Forward on Social Media
There are literally dozens of social media platforms these days. Don’t feel like you need to have an account on every single site; instead, focus on one to three where your target demographic is most likely to be hanging out. Finding the right social platform can take a little digging, but the effort often pays off when you put yourself right in front of consumers who are likely to convert.
Use your social profiles to:
- Showcase your products and services
- Start conversations with people who are asking about stuff you’re an expert in
- Set up Instagram Shopping so people can browse your offerings without ever leaving the app
8. Build Your Online Presence
Optimize your online presence for any kind of search, whether it’s paid, organic, voice, visual, or mobile. Simply having a website online isn’t going to cut it anymore; your site needs to be easy to navigate and accessible from any type of device. Your online presence includes everything from customer reviews to the blogs you post and the social media shares you indulge in.
Request a Demo
You’re not in this alone and you don’t have to face the scary uncertainty of local marketing by yourself. Surefire Local is here to help, offering a team of local marketing experts who find a thrill in seeing our clients succeed. Find out what it means to run your marketing with the industry’s most powerful local marketing platform today. We can’t wait to hear from you!