More often, local businesses are needing to adapt to the modern world and its ways of marketing. If you’re plateauing or even declining in sales, it may be time for your team to mix up your marketing strategies and adopt new ways of getting noticed. Even if your business is doing fine, its always great to have these sort of skills to stay ahead of competition in the future. To make things simpler for those looking to market their businesses online, here are seven brief tips on how to get yourself noticed!
One of the best ways for your new customers to find you is through a Google listing. While you may think local businesses thrive on word of mouth, print ads, or direct mail; last year over 97% of consumers used the internet to search for local businesses. More importantly, these consumers trusted local businesses 73% more if they received positive online reviews. When customers use the internet, they’ll often default to Google as their search engine. Adding a google listing allows them to easily find your business, and will have all the information relevant to your business as well. This includes your address, phone number, hours of operation, directions, and links to your site. You can also used photos to show off your products and services to your customers.
Another way to get more hits online is to maintain and run a blog related to your business. It’ll be important for your team to have an understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to increase your overall ranking. Roughly 47% of users will typically use only the top three positions on a Google search result. More website traffic from your blog means more engagements and overall more business. You can also publish posts about special events, new products, or services as well as fresh content. Your posts are also a great way to attract people who don’t know about your business but stumble upon your blog and choose to become customers.
A great way to get people excited about your business is by running contests or events. Some of the best ways for smaller businesses to do this is through the use of social media. Allow things like user generated photos or videos to be entered into a draw; the reward could be a free product or service your business offers or monetary compensation. The idea is simply to excite! And when other members of the community see their friends and family sharing news of your contest, it’ll likely lead to higher exposure for you and your team.
One great way to attract repeat customers to your business is to implement a customer loyalty program. These marketing tactics can be used to quickly bump sales and can help make your business more money without having to attract new customers.
Loyalty programs should primarily focus on two things:
One of the most common examples is that of Air Miles Rewards Miles, or PC Optimum Points in Canada. More than 82% of consumers are willing to shop at stores if they implement a form of customer rewards.
In times of economic turmoil, your customers are more likely to shop with a price-sensitive mind set. You need to recognize this and either adjust your prices accordingly, or you might want to consider offering coupons or discounts for products at your business. In fact, one study found that merchants with an active discount code or coupon program were 8 times more likely to make sales than businesses that did not.
Regardless of what business or industry you belong to, customers are likely accessing information about you through their mobile device. If your company has the funding or team available, it should consider developing an app to help promote your business. Recent studies find that mobile users spend 90% of time on their mobile apps but only 10% of their time using a mobile browser. Another study states that 63% of consumers prefer the use of mobile apps to websites because they find it more convenient. Whatever the case, an app may be another great way to get the word out about your business.
Above all else, local businesses need to provide excellent customer service. Prospective customers won’t be attracted to exchange goods with you if your business has a bad reputation, and if your employees are rude or not knowledgeable about your products; your customers will feel as though you can’t be trusted. You need then, to create teams of dedicated and educated employees who make your customers feel secure when they walk in the door and provide great customer service that leads them to becoming regulars.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. There are many more ideas you can incorporate into your local business to do better. What are some ideas you’ve tried? Feel free to share them in the comments below!
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