If there’s one thing that’s true about running a small business, it’s the reality that you have limited time, resources and finances. But small businesses represent what makes America so great, a dream and a drive to make things happen.
On any given day, your to-do list as a small business owner may include: completing payroll, approving expenses, employee management and acquiring new customers. That doesn’t always leave time to be involved in an in-depth marketing campaign or the day-to-day management of marketing tools like social media, digital ads, mass email services or online listing tools. But, your growing business must have a local marketing strategy in place in order to reach your audience.
The biggest change to the marketing landscape in the past decade is the advantage of every person to have access to the world in their hands at all times. Yes, we’re talking about mobile devices. Mobile phones are everywhere, and consumers are searching for your business in more ways than ever before. Incorrect use of online marketing tools or outdated information online is no longer an option, and can cause irreparable damage to your business’ reputation.
Your growing business must have a local marketing strategy in place in order to reach your audience as they search, chat, tweet and make purchases online.
We’ve compiled a list of six local marketing tips that produce results and a re easily manageable with limited time and a limited budget.
- Centralize Location Data Management: Use an online listing management tool so your business name, address, phone number, hours, etc. is housed and able to be updated all in one dashboard.
- Google My Business: Google is where local businesses can really get some traction and real estate online. Make sure your business has a branded and verified listing on Google with accurate information. After all, the business card in a Google search takes up ¾ of the screen on most mobile devices. If you don’t have a branded and verified listing, your competition can easily slide right into the number one spot in a Google search results page.
- Suppress Duplicate Listings: You may not know this, but online directories have “bots” that crawl the internet searching for new content to add to their listings. Sometimes, these bots can create new listings for your business based on other inaccurate data online. It’s best to monitor and suppress these duplicate listings as they pop up in order to have a clean digital footprint and not confuse your customers with conflicting information.
- Use Facebook Locations: Facebook locations is Facebook’s way for your multi-location business to stay organized without having to create multiple pages for each location. With implementing Facebook locations, a main “brand” page is created and then a page for each location is created. One of the best parts is that if you post on your brand page, that post is automatically pushed to your location pages. Similar to Google, if you play by Facebook's rules by implementing locations you’ll be rewarded. Structuring your pages like this can lead to higher engagement and visibility on your posts.
- Monitor and Respond to Reviews: Good customer service online is a must, just as it is when people interact with you in-person. Responding to both positive and negative reviews on your Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. is an easy way to show that you are an engaged business and can handle criticism in a professional way and value customers for positive feedback. Also, if you are actively responding to your Google reviews it could help increase your SEO.
- Set Ownership Controls and Permissions: Let your team help you! You don’t have to do this alone. Most social or digital marketing tools have different permission levels you can set if you add other team members to the account. Empower your team to help you so that everything isn’t riding on your shoulders.
If you want to position your business for success, you need a local marketing strategy. Keep these tips in mind as you develop your strategy and you’ll be off to a great start and ahead of the competition in the digital space.