If your business isn’t online, you are missing out on potential customers. To build a successful online presence, you must use Digital Marketing for your business.
Digital Marketing for local businesses helps in finding and connecting with your target customers and retaining them. With the rising trend of mobile searches and the influence of social media, the online presence of a business is a necessity. The pandemic and the followed lockdown ascertains this even more. Local businesses are actively using digital marketing to connect with their customers and offer services online. This is the best time for you to start using digital marketing for your business if you haven’t already.
Here are some simple things that you can do to create an online presence for your brand.
- Create a Google Listing for your business.
- Create a business website.
- Create a social media page.
- Use social media ads that target your area.
- Listen to your customers.
- Invest in content creation.
- Build a Digital Marketing plan.
- Use analytics to measure what’s working and what isn’t.
- Maintain customer relationship.
- Never miss a chance to connect.
1. Create a Google Listing for Your Business
How many times have you typed “__ near me” in Google and went through the list of options presented to select the best one? Google Listing helps your business appear in these lists.
Over the last two years, there has been a 200%+ growth in mobile searches for “___ near me” (Think with Google, 2019)
Google Listing, a feature of Google My Business lets you list your business name, service, location, phone number, and other details in Google. The result? When a user searches for a service that your business offers, your business name will appear alongside similar businesses in the Google lists.
How to optimize Google Listing for your business-
- Create a Google My Business account and add your business name.
- Add all relevant details like location, timings, and business category.
- Ask your customers to add reviews for your business. And, respond to them.
- Show regular updates in the Updates section of your business listing.
2. Create a business website
Your business website will help visitors know about your business and engage with you. Since most of the visitors use mobile to search for stores or other local businesses, making your website mobile-friendly is quintessential. A mobile-friendly website with all the relevant information about your business is the way to go.
How to optimize your business website-
- Include a clear message about your business and the value it offers to the customers. The website messaging should be clear, concise, and persuasive.
- Ensure that your website is responsive and doesn’t take too long to load.
- Use a clean and professional design.
- Use SEO to optimize your website for improved ranking in Google SERPs.
3. Create a social media page
While a website provides an identity for your business, social media is where you can actively engage with your customers. Social media when used with a powerful strategy is one of the best ways for local businesses to increase brand awareness and generate interest, which essentially improves customer acquisition.
How to optimize your social media page-
- Check where your ideal customers hang out the most and create your business page there.
- Post regularly and keep your page updated.
- Instead of just posting updates related to your products and your offers, humanize your brand by posting behind-the-scenes, customer testimonials, birthdays, giveaways, causes that the business is part of, and posts that shows the brand’s personality and values.
- Experiment with different formats like images, videos, infographics, etc.
- Actively engage with your audience. Reply to comments and messages and be professional in your approach.
4. Use social media ads that target your area
When you advertise on social media, you can be very specific about the demographics you are targeting. You can also include additional details like the age and interests of the audience that you’re targeting. These features help you target relevant customers and increase your reach.
How to optimize social media advertising-
- Target your local community or city. Add relevant factors in your ad campaigns to make it more specific and reach potential customers.
- Always add a compelling Call to Action (CTA) in your advertisements. Don’t be vague about what you are trying to say.
- Always check the metrics and keep experimenting with your messaging and targeting.
5. Listen to your customers
An online presence not only helps increase your business’ reach to potential customers but also enables you to listen and respond to your customers. Actively engaging with your customers fosters relationships and helps you understand your business from the customer’s perspective. Moreover, when you listen to your customers, you encourage positive word of mouth and gain new customers while retaining the old ones.
How to optimize your customer relationship-
- Respond to reviews. Whether the reviews are positive or negative, take note of the feedback, and respond politely.
- Always be professional in your approach and never compromise your professionalism over some nasty comment or review.
- Send out regular emails to your customers regarding the latest deals, giveaways, or special offers. Email marketing is one of the best ways to build customer relationships.
6. Invest in content creation
Content creation through helpful blog articles, how-to guides, infographics, etc. is an important part of the Digital Marketing strategy. Posting relevant and useful content on your website, helps you attract interested customers and rank higher in the search results.
How to optimize content creation-
- Post content that is relevant to your business and provides useful information to the customers.
- Be consistent with your brand and voice.
- Experiment with different types of content and post more of what works better.
- Refurbish content into various forms and post them on social media.
7. Use analytics to measure what’s working and what isn’t
Your website is SEO-optimized, your social media pages are regularly updated, you are connecting with customers, and you are using targeted ads. Yet, despite doing everything, your ROI isn’t very satisfactory. This is where analytics come to play.
You can analyze all your digital marketing efforts using analytics and understand your campaign’s performance. You must use analytics in everything you do so that you can sort out the high-value activities bringing in the maximum ROI from the low-value activities. Accordingly, you can either plan to change to modify your approach.
How to optimize the use of analytics for your business-
- Connect your website with Google Analytics.
- Build your digital marketing plan based on the analytics report from Google Analytics, ad campaigns, and your social media pages.
- Always let the data lead the way. If something isn’t working, implement something better.
- Regularly monitor your conversions and make changes when required.
8. Build a Digital Marketing plan
There is a myriad of ways to use Digital Marketing for your business. However, you should have a defined strategy to achieve your goals.
A digital marketing plan will help you choose the correct approach for your business’ goals. Whether your goal is to build a brand, improve customer relationships, or increase website traffic, you should be clear on your goals and devise a plan that focuses on that.
How to optimize your digital marketing plan-
- Set clear objectives and goals for your strategy with SMART goal setting.
- Conduct SWOT analysis wherein you identify the business’ Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats. Make a plan that caters to your business’ position in the SWOT analysis.
- Set up proper tracking methods and analytics to get the measure the ROI and results. This report will help you understand what is working, what isn’t, and reframe your marketing approach when needed.
9. Maintain customer relationships – Retain old customers
According to research by Bain & Company, increasing customer retention by just 5% leads to an increase in profits by 25%-90%. That’s huge. It is also easy to retain an existing customer than acquiring a new one — provided you work actively towards customer retention.
Building a lasting relationship with your customers fuelled with trust and loyalty is the key to customer retention.
How to optimize customer retention strategy-
- Use email marketing to share special offers, discounts, promotions, and other information with your customers.
- Use referrals and similar methods to get new customers through existing customers.
- Provide excellent customer support and take customer feedback seriously.
10. Never miss a chance to connect
Show up often and let people remember you. Conduct live sessions, live streaming, giveaways, special offers, and be visible. You can also collaborate with complementing businesses through coupons, social media collaborations, and promotional activities.
The sum is always greater than parts and collaboration is an amazing way to build brand awareness and gain new customers.
Connect with your customers and complementing businesses.
Using these simple steps, you can easily build a strong online presence for your business. The result will be increased brand awareness and customer base. While you can always implement a digital marketing strategy based on your business’ unique needs, your customers should always be at the forefront of whatever you do. While devising a strategy or even a simple blog post, always place your customers first.
“Authenticity, honesty, and personal voice underlie much of what’s successful on the web” – Rick Levine