Latest Small Business Trends - Local Marketing 2017
I happened to meet my old friend, who had left his decent paying job to grow his father's business, a restaurant business. He is venturing into lots of amazing deals. I could see people walking into the restaurant with lots of excitement and appetite. I'd even witnessed faces with lots of fullfilment and completeness, once the meal was done.
Waiters were making good amounts from tips.
Overwhelmed by my friend's success my curiosity jumped to high. " How did you do that David?" I asked.
"it's simple Francis, leveraging technology, I brought my business online and planned a strategy to increase my online presence. That's it! After that I started getting calls and online reservations."
I was facinated by what I had just heard. I requested him to share exactly how he had done it, so that I could share this with my other friends who owned local businesses.
Here is what he has shared.
Build Online Presence
People nowadays give more authencity to businesses which have a trusted website. This helps them know about your restaurant details, your specialities, most importantly, allows them to check reviews and ratings by previous customers. Star ratings and good reviews are free marketers for a business like a restaurant.
Get Your Business on Google
Now more than ever people have started searching more and more online, even for local services like restaurant booking, car washing and medical consulting. Google can help you by showing your details when someone searches for a service like yours. Google Local Business, lets you update your business address, contact information, working hours and images about products and services.
Google Maps makes it easy for new customers to reach your store without struggling with directions or stopping to ask for them.
Linking your phone number with your Google listing helps customers reach you directly in case they face any difficulty while opting for your service on your website.
Adding your business images is an advantage to impress a customer before he walks into your restaurant.
While this needs no introduction, social media is kind of must for any business irrespective of size and type; local and social, small or big.
Creating a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google + can really impact local business. Spend time on social networks where your customers and potential customers are likely to be present. This way you can save lots of time and efforts.
Posting relevant updates, writing interesting posts and sharing new offers has helped many local businesses grow.
Social media groups are very helpful in reaching to targeted audience.
Connect with Local Websites
For more beneficial business, reach out to local websites like local review sites, local news portal, local travels website, local community groups or websites.
Guest blogging on these sites can help you to get backlinks and reach out to more people who could be potential customers. In a SEO perspective, it is very useful for a local business.
Create Interesting Videos
No, I don't just mean creating videos about your service and brand. Since you are a local business, you often see a number of occasions in your locality i.e local festivals, local meets etc. Creating videos about these local events makes people feel like you are trying to connect with them and that makes them like your brand. They become your future customers.
On more added benefit from this is that since it is about them, people will be more likely to share it with their friends and nothing benefits a business more than Word of mouth.
Sponser Local Programms
Though it looks like CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) it is not just that. A notice to keep in mind: sponser events or programs only if you see a good engagement of people participating in it. Sponsering a local event is like two experiments with single element. Not only are you sponsoring an event, but you also have the opportunity to speak about your business, products and services. If you see an increase in your sales it means your compaign worked. If not to increase sales, it most certainly works for marketing your brand which is always a good thing for business.
sponsoring events makes the community open to your brand.
Ok. you have listed your business on Google my business, but that's not all. There are local directories which help people in finding good places, deals and these are very helpful if the business is new to a locality.
Run Offers through out the Week
Creating interesting offers is an old but useful marketing idea. But running offers through out the week not only makes people want to try your brand more because of the discounts, but also helps people who had missed an offer on someother day due to busy schedule, work etc..
This works great wonders for supermarkets, photographers, wedding planning and other such businesses.
This attracts more people even normal days apart from weekends.
Be it a local business or a globally reputed organization, Facebook marketing delivers an impactful service. With features like location based marketing, age group, gender and interest customization, Facebook marketing is a godsent for local business to run ads to reach a local audience.
With clear insights Facebook marketing can really increase your branding and sales.
TV channels and News papers are a cool way of reaching out to your local customers.
Reach out to local TV channels, radio shows and newspapers before lauching a new product or offer. Write letters to editors, submit your articles to local magazines, attend local business meetings and speak at business related events. It helps in growing your business brand and allows customers to see how invested you are in the community.
Local business should start embracing technology for their business growth. There are number of passionate people trying to mould technology to help local business.
With people spending more time online, it is quite obivous that businesses which use technogogy to serve people will have good days ahead while others may have to sail through hard seas.
Ultimately, local businesses should consider using technology, specially digital marketing through the internet, to position their business in markets and increase the number of loyal customers, as that is how all big businesses were built.
Of course it's a fact that local business owners have very little time to spare, but taking some time out to educate themselves on digital marketing could result in an adaptation of various growth strategies that can really increase their business growth.