Using digital marketing as a local or small business owner is no longer optional. Small businesses that ignore their digital presence risk being left behind and overtaken by the competition. So, prioritizing digital marketing is critical for small local businesses as well as large brands.
Whether you’re stuck for ideas or don’t know where to start, these digital marketing tips should help you get started. The following five action items should provide you with plenty of ideas for growing your small business and catching the eye of your potential customers.
Talk to Your Customers
A successful marketing strategy cannot be built on guesswork. Therefore, it is strongly advisable to spend time talking with current customers and, if possible, potential customers. You may already have a good understanding of who your customers are and what their needs are. But if you want to build a long-lasting and successful relationship with them, you must define them carefully.
You can describe your customers and their interests in the following columns:
- Demographics (age, sex, occupation, locale, etc.)
- Frequency of visits
- Purchase interests
- Payment methods
Interviews and surveys are free to conduct, and you can start small by focusing on a few specific themes that you want to investigate further. A few user insights are infinitely preferable to none.
Investigate Your Competitors & Set Yourself Apart
Competitor research is essential because, as a local business, you’ll want to be able to provide added value in the market. What do you have to offer potential customers that your competitors don’t? You can see how your competitors position themselves in their advertisements.
Here are some methods for differentiating yourself:
- Product – most notable, but easily replicated and potentially fleeting
- Service – training, installation, speed, and ease of doing business, among other things.
- Suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, or retailers with whom you collaborate
- Employees and customer service relationships could be an effective way to differentiate
- Image/Reputation – This can be established through existing customers who can later become advocates for you.
- Price – once again, easily replicated. Customers may choose to pay more for your product if there is an added value in doing business with you.
Enhance Your Google My Business Listing & Customer Feedback
When a prospective customer searches for your product/service, your online reputation as a small business owner may be the deciding factor. Fortunately, with Google My Business, you have some control over how people perceive your company.
Avoid the mistakes listed below:
- Listings that are duplicates
- Creating unnecessary new listings following a change of address
- Misuse of a company name, such as adding unnecessary promotional messages
- Not keeping your listing up to date and providing incorrect information to potential customers, such as opening hours
- Customer reviews are nothing new, but you’d be surprised how often they go unnoticed, 77% of customers regularly read reviews when looking for local businesses
Create Engaging Blog Content
If you are in a highly competitive industry, as most local businesses are, you must consider a content strategy that will drive results. When it comes to SEO, it is extremely unlikely that you will rank on Google’s first page, especially if SEO has never been a part of your strategy before.
This is where the content of your blog comes into play. It will not only help you get found, but it will also provide you with content to share on your social channels. It will allow you to connect with your customers more deeply and demonstrate your knowledge.
Concentrate On One Primary Social Media Channel
Social media marketing strategies and updates are constantly changing, but these platforms remain a free and simple way for businesses to connect directly with people who are interested in their products or services.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to begin, start with the social media platform most relevant to your business and where your customers are most active. As a small business owner, you probably won’t have the resources to manage more than one channel effectively, so make the most of the time you do have.