One of the challenges Local business owners face is “not having enough time”.
They don’t have enough time or human resources to carry out some basic aspects for their business growth …like promoting their business.
This can be a result of them doing all the heavy lifting in their business like ordering & stocking of goods, managing inventory, in-charge of sales or simply not knowing how to promote their business online.
Which has resulted in some pitiable statistics about small business failure rate which are,
- 20% of small business fail in their first year
- 30% of small business fail in their second year
- 50% of small business fail after their five years in business
- And, 70% of small business fail in their 10th year in business
This is really sad especially when one takes into account the energy, time and money invested in starting up a business.
This is my inspiration for writing this short guide to help you promote your business the right way, and remain successful in years to come.
I made sure that every strategy in this guide is something you can do in the next 24 hours to successfully promote your local business online.
Let’s dive in…
1. Setup Your Google My Business Listing Correctly
This is probably the best and most effective way for customers to find your business online without spending a penny.
Most of the time customers use search engines especially Google to find what they are looking for.
Assuming you run a Spa home and a customer uses the search term “spa near me” or “best spa in new york”
Google bots do it best to list out 3 closest spa listed in Google My Business from the location the searcher is searching from.
Having your business listed in Google My Business is a great way to drive unending organic traffic to your business without doing extra work.
2. Sign Up For Local Directories
Just as you might guess, you’re not the only business in your locality listed in Google My Business.
Your competitors might as well have gone through that route before you.
To improve the chances of your business appearing in local search results, you need to register your business in local directories relevant to your business.
Make sure your NAP (N=Name, A=Address, P=Phone number) data are the same as the one you use when setting up Google My Business and social media accounts.
This is one of the ranking factors Google considers while ranking businesses in local searches.
3. Join Local Group
Local groups are a great way for local businesses to generate leads on autopilot.
For example, joining a local chamber of commerce in your locality has a huge benefit for your business. They normally charge a small annual fee but it’s totally worth it.
By attending events and networking with other local business owners, you create new opportunities for your business to grow and expand.
And this can mostly come in terms of gaining referral from them or vise versa.
Let’s say you run a web design company and you were able to establish a relationship with a printing press company. The owner of the printing press company can easily refer your business to a client who just finishes printing their company flyers and needed a website to build an online presence.
They will be willing to do this because they believe your business is capable of reciprocating the kind gesture.
You can also find online forums or meetups in your community to join.
4. Setup Google Alerts
Google alerts is a great way to monitor brand mentions.
This can help you stay up-to-date on what is being said about your business, whether positive or negative.
For example, if a customer was not satisfied with your product or service and went online to bash your company, Google alerts can get you notified so that you can address the situation with the customer before it escalates.
You can also use Google alerts to monitor some keywords you’re interested in or your competitor.
5. Run A Contests
To get people to help broadcast your local business you need to answer the question “What’s in it for me”
By showing followers what they could get by sharing your business to family and friends will prompt them to help you spread the word out about your business.
The whole idea of a contest is to build a social media following which you can leverage to promote your business to a wider and focus audience in your locality.
6. Set up Customer Loyalty Program
Most businesses die because they kept on allocating their marketing budget towards acquiring new customers and neglecting past customers.
For a business to remain profitable, they need customers who have already bought from them to keep coming back.
The best way to keep customers coming back is to set up a customer loyalty program that rewards a customer when they reach a certain spending limit or a number of visit to your store.
This marketing strategy alone will keep bringing customers back to your store without spending more money on your marketing.
According to sumALL data, a customer who has only purchase from you once has a 27% chance to visit again, but someone who has made 3 purchases has a 54% chance to make the 4th.
This is important for every business because the more a customer shops from you, the greater their potential lifetime value becomes.
And you can make your business more profitable by using this tactic to get more customers to return after a purchase.
7. Utilize Local Influencers
To get the word about your products and services out their as fast as possible, working with a local influencer can be a big game changer.
A local influencer is someone who has a large number of followers in your locality.
These people generate a high engagement in their post and their audience trust their recommendations.
Some influencers charge more to work with you while most are relatively less expensive to work with.
In any way, utilizing an influencer is a great way to bring more exposure to your business.
8. Provide Excellent Customer Service
Believe it or not, every human being loves to be treated with the utmost respect and attention.
When a customer perceives impoliteness in the way you treat them or their fellow customers, they will find it very difficult coming back or referring your business.
Some might even go as far as to condemn your attitude on their social media handles or online review sites.
It’s advised to respond and act politely when dealing with potential and existing customers.
9. Encourage Your Happy Customers To Drop A Positive Review Online
Over 90% of customers rely on reviews before they could make a decision on where to buy a product or service.
For what it’s worth, I think is good to utilize effective means to get more reviews for your business.
It’s also important to note that you should not be asking all customers to drop a review for your business, as some customers will always find something they don’t like about your business… You need to keep those off.
The best way to get more reviews for your business is to shorten the process it takes for a customer to drop a review for your business.
For example, if you need more Google reviews for your business from your customers.
To make things easier, you could go to whitespark google review link generator, input your business name you registered in Google My Business listing and it will automatically generate a review link for your business.
You can share this link to your happy customers and they will be able to leave a review without any hurdle.
10. Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are a great and cost-effective way to promote your local business online.
With its laser-focussed form of targeting, you can target people in terms of
- Purchasing behavior
- Life event targeting
- Custom audience targeting
- Lookalike audience targeting
- Layered targeting options, that is, the ability to get your target audience meet several interests
- And more.
Facebook ads can help you get that immediate traction to your business.
As a local business owner, you should always try as much as possible to keep improving your marketing strategy.
This is because what works the past 20 years ago might have become obsolete in 2019 and beyond.
And staying ahead of the trend on how to promote your local business can help you stay above the competition.
Let me know in the comment section the marketing strategies you are already using to promote your local business online and the ones you plan to implement.