There is no second-guessing that this year is hard on business Coronavirus has likely forced you to make big changes to the way you operate. However, it’s still absolutely possible to grow your local business at a time like this.
You just have to be smart about it and be a little creative. In this article, we will give you a few tips on how you can exactly do that.
Expand Your Digital Marketing Strategy
In more “normal” times, you might not put too much of effort into your digital marketing strategy. Maybe you just write a few posts every now and then and send out a promotional email once every two months.
During these times of insecurity, that just won’t make the cut. People have a lot on their minds right now and one single post is not going to make much of an impact.
This is why you need to have a proper digital marketing strategy.
Let’s say you offer business supplies to other local businesses.
Since you are a small and local business you are more flexible with exceptional rapid delivery. This is something that you can highlight in your marketing emails. Why not make it the foundation for an entire monthly campaign?
You can create a bunch of case studies and testimonials that show your unique selling point, (USPs), in action. You can then build a mailing list of local firms you would love to do business with, and slowly feed your content to those prospects. Since you have built a whole strategy, you know the best times to reach those prospects, the platforms they use, and the sort of messaging that resonates with them.
This approach will help you strike up a conversation, which ultimately means you may close more deals.
Make Your Google My Business Profile Shine
Want people to see your name when they search on Google for businesses like yours? Well, then you need a Google My Business profile.
Setting up a free profile makes it more likely that your business shows up in relevant searches, along with useful information like:
- The type of service you offer
- Your opening times
- Your address
Once you’ve set it up you can optimize your Google My Business profile by:
- Ensuring your information is accurate and comprehensive
- Sharing business updates, like new opening hours or product launches
- Asking customers for Google reviews (and of course responding to them)
On that last point, we understand that it can be hard persuading customers to review your business. They’re busy with their schedules and would not want to spend their valuable time seeking out your Google My Business profile or Facebook Business Page.
This is where the Podium App comes into play making it a lot easier for customers to give their valid feedback. You can simply text customers asking them for a review, and they will be linked straight to your Facebook, Google, and Tripadvisor pages, so there’s hardly any clicks (and hardly any work) for them. This is simply one reason Podium has powered more than 15 million business reviews for its users.
Create and Implement a Local Paid Marketing Strategy
You might have heard of the saying “it takes money to make money”. If you’re serious about growing your local business right now, you’ll want to consider investing in some sort of paid activity.
Google Ads can be super effective for smaller firms, especially web-based businesses targeting online traffic and/or conversions. Local keyword phrases like “bakeries near me,” or “realtor in Melbourne,” are typically a lot less competitive than broader, non-geographic terms like “realtor.” That means you could get a lot of visibility and clicks with a relatively small outlay.
In addition to Google Ads, consider advertising on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Social ads are less intention-based than paid search because your audience isn’t actively looking for the thing you’re advertising.
However, ads on social media often cost less than Google Ads. For instance, if you’re a law firm, you’re paying on average $10.96 per click on Google Ads, but on Facebook, that figure drops to just $1.32.
Use Analytics to Monitor and Improve Site Performance
When times are hard, you need to squeeze every dollar from your potential customers. Analytics software (like Google Analytics) can help you do that by allowing you to identify trends, plan new strategies, and measure the results of your current efforts.
Let’s say you’re a fashion designer. You have just added a page to your site to promote a special offer on a new T-shirt collection. A month later, you click into Google Analytics and see that a group of people have landed on your page, however, the conversion rate is low.
You compare it to other, similar pages on your site. They’re performing much better. Now you know there’s a problem, such as:
- Your current offer is priced too high
- Your new page isn’t engaging or persuasive enough
- You don’t make it easy enough for customers to convert, so they leave
- You don’t provide enough detail about the offer
These comparisons give you an added advantage against better-performing pages, you can tweak your approach and improve your results.
Conduct Local Promotions
Now is not the time to throw a big party with a huge guest list. But there are opportunities for community engagement if you think a little out of the box.
Maybe you have introduced a new take away service due to Covdi19. How about giving your customers in your area a special 10% discount or introduce a new loyalty scheme? Tailor your offer to what your customers want right now, then promote it on social media, via email marketing, or through direct mail.
Optimize Your Social Media Accounts
There are dozens of social platforms out there, but when it comes to growing a local business, you need to focus on those that give you the best reach, like:
Finding the right platform will depend on the type of business you run. On a basic level, if you’re B2B, LinkedIn’s likely your best channel. Otherwise, almost everyone is on Facebook, but if your product is highly visual you might see more success on Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube.
Whichever platform(s) you choose, you need to identify some tactics that ultimately help you sell more, like:
- Showcasing and/or auctioning your products on Facebook Live
- Starting conversations with new prospects in LinkedIn Groups
- Setting up Instagram Shopping so people can browse your products in photos and videos while in-app
In Conclusion, growing a local business is never easy, and it’s certainly harder right now. However, if you’ve set up your own business, you’re likely comfortable with hustling for results. You are naturally entrepreneurial, and you’re driven to make this work.
Combine that attitude with the right mindset and strategies, there is no reason why you can’t come out of the pandemic in a stronger position. 💪🏽 If you need any more assistance feel free to get in touch with us.