Effective Marketing Tips For Local Businesses Short On Time
There is no question that it has been a struggle recently for local business owners. Small businesses are beginning to start trying to grow post-Covid and need effective ways to market their business while being short on time.
We’ve put together some basic, yet powerful ways to help get your business back on track.
There Is No Magic-Bullet Marketing Strategy
One thing we need to make clear before beginning is that there is no magic bullet marketing strategy that works for everyone.
Marketing is an ongoing process that requires constant attention. You need to constantly monitor what you’re doing so that you don’t get stuck with stale or ineffective tactics.
You also have to keep track of how well those efforts are working because there isn’t one single strategy that works for everyone.
If you want to succeed as a small business owner then you’ll need to learn about all aspects of marketing.
Stay Focused on Clear Goals and Objectives
Marketing campaigns should always be built with clear-cut goals in mind. If you don’t know what you want out of a marketing campaign, then how can you expect anyone else to figure it out for you? The same goes for any aspect of your business: if you aren’t sure why you need something, chances are no one else knows either.
With that being said, let’s jump into some more practical advice!
Don’t Be Afraid of Paid Advertising
Small businesses often feel intimidated by the thought of trying out any form of paid marketing. Many give it a small try for a few days, or a few weeks and get quickly disappointed that it “doesn’t work”.
Paid ads require investment and testing. You need to allow time for the system to gather data. Don’t get put off by something unsuccessful.
Many advertising platforms, such as Google Ads, provide a walk-through assistant to get you up and running with your first ads fairly quickly. While it is always better to manually build out ad campaigns instead of letting an algorithm do it for you, it is definitely faster and can be very useful for inexperienced advertisers. Just make sure to keep a close watch over your ads so you don’t end up letting it run wild.
There are two million small to medium-sized businesses that advertise on Facebook.
Facebook ads are very effective at advanced targeting. You can target an audience based on location, interests, age, sex, and online behavior.
It is very easy to create ads on Facebook. A headline, a bit of descriptive copy, one image, and a link are all you need.
Every second there are more than 40,000 searches done on the Internet using Google. There is no other advertising method that has the potential to get your business.
There are many online marketing channels, but one of the most well-known is that of Google. It has been around for a long while. It’s not always easy. It can be expensive. It can work very, very well for you if you know what you’re doing.
Despite being a paid channel, Google Ads’ goal is still to deliver relevant search results to users, and as a result, it will be less expensive for you when you are utilizing proper on-page search engine marketing. The quality score is a factor in the bid rate you will need to get an ad.
Who Is in Your Business Network?
When being in business for a while, you meet people, you develop relationships with others. Something that can be very effective in marketing a small business is to make use of your business network.
Many of these people already know, like, and trust you. So the likelihood of them being willing to help out, or even do business with you is going to be high.
It doesn’t matter if it is to share ideas, promote each other, work together, whatever way you can find to utilize the connections you already have will be a quick and effective way to help market your business.
If you don’t have a very large local network, then it can be worth joining free business groups on platforms like Facebook. Spend a few minutes each day scanning through to find out if there are any people posting questions that you can help answer. Provide value, show you can be trusted, and over time you’ll become more respected and gain recommendations from people within the groups.
Are You Listed In Google?
Many business owners would have heard about Google My Business, but if you haven’t then you really should get over there and create a free business listing for your company. A Google My Business listing is not just about publishing posts and gaining reviews. You can use it to help get your business found in the “map pack” of organic search results.
Simply create a listing for your business, request to get it verified, and proceed to fill in all of the fields it provides you.
Brian from Alpha Efficiency has also recommended something more unknown and underutilized for small businesses. Google Marketing Kit is a free suite of tools to help you quickly generate marketing materials for your business including videos, social posts, posters, and more. Once you have a verified Google My Business listing then you can use it within the Google Marketing Kit to generate personalized marketing materials and customize them to suit your brand.
Is Your Website Optimized For Conversions?
Emily Hall of Liquid Web NZ says an easily missed opportunity is to focus only on your marketing and neglect the website or page you are directing the potential leads and customers to. A badly optimized page can negatively impact your marketing efforts. But there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you’re doing things right.
Install the free heat map tracker from Microsoft called Microsoft Clarity. This allows you to view browsing behavior on your website for anyone who visits. You can see how far down a page users will scroll, where they are clicking on your website, and even watch screen recordings from people navigating your site.
This helps you spot any potential roadblocks where people may be getting lost, having technical issues, or simply expect something to be where it is not.
Other simple changes such as removing banner sliders, split testing colors of buttons, changing call to action (CTA) in your headings and button names can make a big difference in generating more leads for a relatively small amount of work.
Are You Building Backlinks to Your Website?
Backlinks are still a core part of Google’s algorithm to rank websites in their search engine. As a local business owner, it is still important to be building quality links to your business website. This will help you have more of an opportunity to be found in Google by your customers.
OutRank Competitors NZ says that there are still easy opportunities for local business owners to get significant gains in organic rankings to generate leads for their business firstly by covering some of the basics including:
Owning Your Brand Across the Web
Many companies see this as pointless, but it doesn’t take long to make the effort to claim your brand on as many of the top social media platforms that you can find, along with web 2.0 sites such as Medium, Tumblr, and other blogging sites.
Not only are they a good way to help you protect yourself from nasty competitors stealing these names, but if you then use them to link to each other, and include them in your structured data and schema markup, then you can help Google associate them as part of your company.
Building Directory Listings
Again, this is a simple thing but many businesses still neglect to do this. In certain markets in low competition areas, this alone can see some big gains in organic rankings. Best of all, you don’t even need to build them yourself. For a small fee you can find many companies that will build hundreds of them for you, The work is very tedious so this is a great option for a business owner who is short on time.
Yes, local businesses can also use press releases to have newsworthy content about their business published across the web on trusted news websites. This is perfect for branding, and helps show Google that you are a serious business. Press releases are a staple part of many companies’ SEO and marketing campaigns, so why not give them a shot.
Conclusion: Don’t Give Up!
It is tough out there for small businesses. Many have been through some really hard times, but it is important to know that although there are things that happen that are totally out of your control, there are still opportunities to succeed.
With these top strategies, it should give you something actionable to work on to help improve your marketing efforts without putting in large amounts of time each day.
Be patient, and expect that not everything will go right the first time around. The important thing is to not give up and continue testing and improving upon your marketing efforts.
When you start to see success in one area, double down on it and try to maximize the results it brings in. This may even enable you to start having enough resources to outsource that part of the process so it is off your hands but still generates results.
Each business is different and while one strategy may not work as successfully for one company, it may do extremely well for another. It is worthwhile committing to something and giving it a really good shot before determining that it isn’t working, or you may need assistance to help optimize the performance of that marketing strategy.