How to Make an Impact on your Local Digital Advertising & Marketing Efforts
We’ve all been there, not having the time or energy to focus on your marketing strategies or how you position your business online. To local businesses it’s not a matter of them not understanding the importance of how they are positioned online, but a lack of time to be able to do it. So here’s a few quick items to help get you started.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google, Bing, Yahoo, and many others are a key ingredient for local businesses and have many free and user friendly tools to help grow your local search. Your search rankings play a role in when and how often your business is showing to potential new customers. Google is the key to please with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices and the biggest suggestion here is to make sure that your site is mobile responsive (the page and elements on the page adjust automatically based on the size of a screen), Google has made it clear of the increasingly important factor that mobile is playing in the search function and how it prioritizes sites that are mobile responsive in both organic searches, local mobile searches, and digital ad placements within Google Adwords.
Another Solid practice is to look at your site pages and landing pages, map out where you want to take the user and focus on making your site pages direct your users through the journey. A few quick tips here, look to make each page concise and focused on a particular topic, having multiple topics on a page can be confusing to a potential customer as well as you could potentially be missing a SEO opportunity.
Social Media Marketing and Advertising
Don’t Be afraid to utilize social media. According to Digital Information World, “internet users are now spending an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social networking and messaging platforms”, local businesses need to embrace social media content and work social advertising into their advertising campaigns as a utilized media channel. The best thing about posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or any of the other platforms out there, is that people tend to engage more with brands that are being genuine and authentic, as even Coffee with Summer points out. Also make sure that you’re engaging your customers that engage with you you want to be open and easily accessible where your customers feel most comfortable. Need some inspiration? Check out these mini case studies from Social Media Examiner to start.
Leverage your Local Media and Traditional Media Sources
So you struggle with the basics of the advertising platforms out there, that’s okay, you can still get the needed advertising digitally through your other media sources. Chances are that if you are placing in the local newspaper, they also have an avenue to place local online advertisements for you as well, and this can be worked into your current placements with the paper. Local grassroots campaigns are great too, sponsor a local youth soccer team and ask the coach to share some pictures and provide you a shout out back to your brand’s social page or website, this influencer marketing is just as important in building trust in your brand as a great website with an advertising strategy.
Last bit of advice, don’t be afraid to ask for help, a SEO consultant or an agency that specializes in small businesses is a great asset to help you grow your digital brand and online presence. You started a business because it was something you were good at and enjoyed doing, you didn’t start it because you have a degree in marketing and know how to set up Google Display campaigns and Facebook Advertising campaigns, find a partner that can help you achieve the KPI’s and goals that you have both short term and long term, make sure that they’re as responsive as you need them to be, and of course don’t focus on price, you typically get what you pay for with digital and social agencies, some provide a extremely cheap price to support you and your business, but they don’t look to be invested in what your goals that you wish to accomplish are. Lastly, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples, companies like to use buzz words or internal jargon that can confuse you or make something seem more expansive or expensive than it actually is, ask questions to get to what the actual root of the product is to see if you really need it or not.