WHY 2021 CALLS FOR DIGITAL MARKETING IN THE LOCAL BUSINESS LANDSCAPE?
TIME TO GO ONLINE
The odds of small businesses making it in the increasingly brutal market of the tech era are slim to none. This is because, more often than not, they either fail to offer as much variety or as many discounts as those provided by their wholesale counterparts. However, those that do come out victorious do so because they use the other edge of the sword that is technology to their advantage: digital marketing.
Let’s discuss, in detail, certain online marketing strategies that small businesses, like corner shops, can use to give their sales a much needed boost.
CREATE A DIGITAL FOOTPRINT
The first order of action for any business to draw in more customers is to set up a My Business account via Google Listing. This way, when people search for something ‘near them’, their outlet will actually pop up as a top result—if it has any relevance, that is.
SET UP VIRTUAL SHOP
While, just having a website to propagate information about your business is good enough on its own, the desperate times we live in today require more of us, therefore:
- Get a web development company on board, and set up a responsive website.
- Make it mobile-friendly because most users that search for local businesses, do so on their phones.
- Either, make it your virtual shop, or partner up with E commerce sites like Amazon or E Bay to make sure you never have to go down with the ill-fated ship that is your physical store.
Having a social media account is a great way to spread brand awareness and is the most popular tool used by modern businesses to make potential customers check out their website. Many digital companies offer businesses social media management services to not only introduce them to as yet unexplored marketing strategies, but also match them up with those that would best suit the products or services they provide.
Additionally, with social media advertising services at your disposal, the ads that you put up can be targeted to specific age groups, locations and interests.
Be that as it may, both websites and social media accounts require optimization that can only be achieved through great SEO-based content.
OPTIMIZE YOUR CONTENT
The thing about great content is that, no matter how creative you get with it, Google and other search engines will not acknowledge it until it is optimized for SEO.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the practice whereby professional writers add commonly searched keywords to your content to bring it as close to the first page of search engines as possible. Indeed, according to a study carried out by Bright Local in 2017, 92% users who carry out a local search, never venture beyond the first page. This makes sense because it is good to be as specific to what the users are looking for as possible; even better if it just so happens to be in their line of sight.
While, Local SEO looks simple, it actually takes months to get just right, which is why it is better to start off with, at the very least, a local SEO specialist.
TEAM UP WITH AN EMAIL MARKETING AGENCY
Sending emails is a great way to retain your existing customers and get leads. com Score data shows that people spend an average of 24 minutes a day reading emails as compared to search engines, on which they dwell a mere 3.5 minutes.
Emails enable you to promote your business by keeping users in the loop about any new developments like upcoming events. It also bears mentioning that you need a company account if your website is a virtual shop because that transaction receipt needs to go somewhere. However, even if your business demands a visit to your actual store, it always makes a good impression when you offer to email the customers paperless receipts.
Many companies provide what we call targeted email marketing services. What these do is they divide your customers and target consumers into categories according to those that signed up for daily, weekly, monthly or annual emails, and the specific type of emails that they did so for. In this way, you are able to spare your followers the hassle of unwanted emails and open yourself up to new leads.
THE BRICK-AND-MORTAR DILEMMA
According to a 2019 study carried out by Nectafy, 88% users that look up a local business on their cell phones, end up popping in for a look within 24 hours. That same year Go Gulf also found that a whopping 46% of all Google searches are of a local nature. However, let’s not talk numbers because—bleak as they looked for small businesses—they portray a world we knew before the coronavirus turned it upside down.
These days, the only thing that kills a local business faster than its lack of competitive prices is its reliance on traditional marketing. The certainty of this was further reinforced by a global pandemic when those that did not have any digital presence faced an uncertain future when they had to literally close shop. If you somehow made it past the lockdown without a website or—at the very least—a social media handle, now might be the time to hop on the digital bus.