It’s not always easy to make it as a local business owner. But the digital world provides plenty of ways to do it on a budget, in a creative way and without any special skills or knowledge.
Whatever your business is, you need to have online presence and to be growing your brand on multiple platforms. That requires great overall marketing, content creation, and social media strategies.
For now, however, you can follow the tips below to start promoting your local business more effectively. Whichever works best for you, you can invest more time and resources in it and double the results it gives you.
- Turn your car into a billboard.
What better and easier way to grab the attention of the locals than to promote your business on your car and on the vehicles of your family and employees? More and more business owners are doing it and it seems to be contributing to getting the word out there.
- Boost the reach of your Facebook page.
Needless to say, you need a Facebook page for your business with a great profile ready for conversions. But how do you get those few hundred likes when you’re stuck at just a few right now? Believe it or not, that can happen without Facebook ads.
Start by diving into the stats of your page by going to Insights. See what type of content got the most attention (likes, comments, shares) and analyze what helped it perform better than the rest.
This will give you an idea of what to share more of.
When you have more than 100 fans, you can use another great feature of Facebook pages for free – the ability to target your posts based on different factors about your audience. That’s a great way to reach those located in your area who might be interested in your services.
- Publish quality content.
One of the best ways to promote your website is to write great content on anything related to your business and field of expertise and share it with the world. Not only can this bring you a ton of traffic and backlinks (if you learn the basics of SEO), but it can also make others in the niche see you as an expert, seek your advice and trust your judgment.
The best thing about blogging about your business is that you provide value for free and that always pays off. Such reputation will also mean more sales down the road.
- Register your business with Google My Business.
A fantastic way to make your local business stand out and let it be found more on Google Maps when people search for anything similar in that area is by getting on Google My Business.
You can attract new customers with a free listing, which can be updated frequently.
Go through the guidelines, claim your local business, verify it, create a Google+ page for it, and start getting found more.
- Get reviews.
Getting positive reviews from people is a big deal for businesses and brands. That works well because those reluctant to check out more about your products or make a purchase would feel more comfortable when they see that their peers are already happy with the results.
But then comes the question, ‘How do you get reviews when you’re a new business or just building your brand online?’
For a start, give people a chance to leave feedback. That begins with Google My Business and having profiles on directory sites.
Focus more on providing the best customer experience. That’s what encourages people to share their opinion once they’ve had the chance to see how you do business. Making a good first impression is key but using incentives, showing you care and asking for feedback are all signals that you’re a business owner with attention to detail and who puts the customer first.
Don’t neglect your website and social media profiles. Find ways to make people leave comments and reply every time, ask questions on social media, run contests to spread the word and invite those who’ve been at your store, restaurant or else to share their opinion and tag friends to earn a prize.
All this helps with SEO and will naturally make your website more popular.
- Understand local SEO.
There are some important things you should know when optimizing content for a local business. While many of the principles remain the same (Google wants to see others talking about your business on social media, high-quality links from relevant sources are a must, there should be trust signals and brand elements on your site, etc.), there are some tweaks you can make to boost SEO.
Here’s what you can do:
– Include store hours;
– Make NAP visible on your website (Name, Address, Phone Number);
– Optimize your title and meta description tags;
- Use local structured data markup;
- Research regional keywords;
– Link internally with proper anchor text.
- Local coverage.
Attend events in your area and hand your business cards whenever you get the chance. Connect with journalists and let them know what differentiates your business. Chances are, they will be interested in covering your story on their platform (or whoever it is they work for) and you’ll be mentioned there and will receive a link back to your website.
You can even host an event and invite potential customers and/or other business owners or even sponsor a local meeting.
- Make videos about your business.
Small businesses should be using video as part of their content creation strategy. That’s for a few reasons.
For a start, you get to appear on YouTube, which is a powerful search engine and a place where people are watching 5 billion videos a day! They are highly engaged and form better relationships with brands thanks to this medium.
What’s more, video gives you a chance to connect in ways text doesn’t allow you to. Such as to show behind-the-scenes content.
Did you know, for example, that people love seeing a video of a product being unwrapped, presented or even used by someone before they buy it? This creates a whole experience for them and helps them take the decision to buy.
- Ask for referrals whenever possible.
Usually, that’s always possible but most small business owners forget or don’t feel like doing it. But asking is all you need to do most of the times to get your product in the hands of one more customer.
- Try Pay Per Click.
Paying for ads still works effectively for local businesses. It guarantees you your ad will be seen by people in your area. It’s worth giving it a try and seeing what results you’ll get. Then, you can decide whether it’s a good investment or not.
The ways to promote a local business above are all doable for anyone regardless of how tech-savvy they are or whether or not they have connections in the area. Optimize your content and website today and start looking for exposure by taking a small step every day.