Small businesses sometimes get the short end of the stick when it comes to digital marketing strategy. Without the size of national corporations or the capital for huge marketing campaigns, it can feel like you’re relegated to old-fashioned marketing techniques to bring in a steady trickle of clients and customers. But before you give up on digital marketing as a whole, you should know that the tactics used by larger companies can be harnessed for local SEO and applied to small businesses for huge results. Here are some of the best tactics to make sure your company gets the local exposure it needs to be successful.
According to MediaBistro, a whopping 98 percent of companies already use some type of email marketing. But while newsletters and promotions might help drive traffic to your company, they can also seem impersonal – particularly when you’re trying to grow a local audience. If you do plan on utilizing email marketing, try dividing your email contacts by national customers and those who are local. After all, some services – a nail salon, for instance—won’t make much sense on a nationwide sphere. By targeting only those who live within your service area, you spend less time clogging up email inboxes and more time extending offers to those who are most likely to patron your small business.
If email marketing is the most broadly used type of digital marketing strategy, then social media is the friendliest. Social media gives customers the chance to get to know your business on a more casual level, and shouldn’t be skipped. Whether you start a Facebook page, a Twitter feed or have chats on your company’s LinkedIn profile, social media gives customers a chance to get to know you. Even smaller local businesses can gather “Likes” on a Facebook page that lists your business’ hours, location and even reviews all from one place. And, the bigger Web presence you have, the better chance at scoring customers and getting feedback.
While marketing is sometimes seen in a negative light, content marketing has changed the face of digital marketing strategy completely. Instead of advertisements being sent to prospective customers, content causes customers to actually seek out your business using articles, videos and other digital content. Whether it’s a funny video on your site or an interesting article that incorporates some of your services or products, content allows you to offer something to your customer: Information. It’s a simple way to drive local traffic to your site, particularly if your content is targeted to a local geographic area.
Of course, content marketing could be a moot point if you don’t optimise your search options. By applying local SEO strategy to your website, social media and overall brand, you help searchers find exactly what they’re looking for— you. The right keywords make all the difference in the SEO sphere, so making sure your content is location-rich and utilizes the places within your service area helps improve search results and eventually, website traffic. Small businesses can look to an SEO agency for help to choose the right type of content and best keywords for search optimization for the best results and biggest bump in traffic.
Along the lines of SEO, a carefully structured local PPC strategy will provide a low-cost alternative to help direct target customers right to your website using local keywords. These types of keywords tend to have a lower cost per click, therefore local business with moderate marketing budgets can leverage this avenue as well. In addition, PPC will also help your business understand which keywords work best to draw traffic to your website before investing time and resources into ranking for a given keyword in organic search.
While it may seem like a brave new world out there for small businesses, what may seem like a daunting menu of marketing options can actually serve up success for local companies. By detailing your marketing strategy to include content, SEO, PPC and social media accounts, you’ll gain local attention fairly quickly—and new customers.
Driving traffic with no clear understanding of revenues or profitability
Intent led, tracked and accounted for profitable marketing spend
An unsteady flow of low-quality enquiries yielding little business
Motivated enquiries, in the buying cycle, who fit your ideal target market
Business critical tasks relying on staff time, subject to user error
Make processes more efficient, thorough, predictable and measurable
I spend most of my development budget fixing errors and bugs
Fast and reliable cash-generative e-commerce and lead generation websites
My organic traffic is not translating to the bottom line
Rankings with purpose, targeting your converting keywords
Dated branding which doesn’t match the quality of your business
Modern, digital, flexible brand, guidelines, messaging and identity
Low resolution homebrew quality with little impact
Short, sharp videos designed specifically for the right media channel
Marketing visuals that fail to engage your audiences
Smart, precise imagery demonstrating design with purpose
Lack of regular contact with previous customers and clients
A clearly segmented customer base with fine-tuned strategies for repeat business
I have analytics, but it doesn’t help with our decision-making
A connected analytics layer providing confidence in tactical and strategic marketing work
Vaguely written aggregated words with little meaning
Refined, considered and targeted persuasive copy with calls to action
Finding it a challenge to come up with quality ideas and engagement
Well-considered, precise, relatable and polished content
Occasional ad-hoc generic email communications
Focused varied marketing content, adapted to suit customer profiles
A store where most of your budget fixing bugs and maintaining
A store where the stock, turnover, margins and yield dwarfs the marketing spend
Leads and customers are mainly in spreadsheets and inboxes
Win and retain more business by selecting the right CRM and systems