The survival of your local business is dependent on the effectiveness of your marketing strategy . Without the right kind of marketing strategy, your business is doomed to fail.
It boggles me that I see business after business simply ignore the fundamental thing that drives customers to them… marketing.
I’ve come across so many local business owners who think because they have a sign out front (or a website) that a flood of people are going to magically come pouring in the doors (visit their site).
Marketing is a way for a business to interact with their potential customers and build a nuturing relationship with them. If done correctly people will eventually become loyal customers who repeatedly buy from you.
Why wouldn’t you put the same amount of time and effort in your marketing that your did into opening your business or having great products?
There are various forms of marketing a business can implement:
- Direct mail marketing – newsletters, postcards, brochures, catalogs, etc… These create a form of inclusion and participation for the recipient. Done correctly, could mean rapid growth and a strong relationship with your customers.
- Social media marketing – Facebook ads/posts, Twitter ads/tweets, Pinterest ads/pins, etc. Offer discounts, coupons, promos, branding messages, engage the customer, and educate the audience is practically free with social media and has the potential to go viral.
- Pay-per-click – Google adwords, Facebook ads, Bing Ads. Driving highly-targeted leads to your offer/product and paying per click. If you go this route make sure you test your landing page and offer with a small budget, then scale once you have a good conversion rate.
- Promotional marketing – this form of marketing is used to stimulate an action towards making a purchase. This would include giveaways, contests, and product sampling. An example would be the food vendors in the mall giving you a small sample of a best seller item to stimulate your taste buds and get your brain thinking it needs to eat more of it.
- Search engine marketing (SEM) – one of the most powerful forms of marketing in today’s technology-driven world. Showing up in the search engine (specifically the 1st page of Google’s results) can bring thousand of customers to your business locally and online. Local SEM can take your business to the next level. This form of marketing has made the yellow pages obsolete over the years.
Of course there are dozens of other types of marketing you can do, but personally, search engine marketing is at the top of the heap and should be invested in by any business.
Here is what local search engine marketing and local search engine optimization can do for your local business:
- make your website is easily discoverable by your potential customers
- the potential to make your website one of the top 10 in the search engine results page (SERP)
- increased flow of traffic to your website and to your local store
- generates sales leads
- advantage over your competitors in the local market
The facts are over 50% of all internet search is for local businesses and over 60% of those lead to a sale! This doesn’t just beat radio, print, and TV marketing and advertising, it destroys them.
Investing heavily in SEM/SEO should be a no-brainer, but many local business owners are hesitant to adapt it. It could be their age, the perspective of it, who really knows why? The numbers speak for themselves and they shouldn’t be ignored!
You can find dozens of local SEO services that can help you establish your website as a leader in your niche or you can give it a go yourself. But be weary of who you go with… just like with any service provider, not all are equal in the quality and service they will provide.
The money and time you spend on finding a good SEO/SEM firm will not go wasted. Most will bring you back 10-20x the investment.
If you are tech savvy or one of your staff members are up for the challenge, you can definitely rank your website. In this video below, they discuss some search engine marketing basics that can help you out.
Either way, your investment into marketing your local business can pay off big, whether it be search engine marketing or any other form.
It’s simple come up with a end-goal you’d like to see, develop a strategic plan to get there, implement it (or work with a company), monitor and track your results of your marketing, make adjustments and fine-tune, scale up once you are getting positive results, and repeat…