Local Business Marketing Essentials
New local businesses open daily. Actually 1,643 new businesses open each and every day and over 600,000 each and every year.
We have run into this time and time again. People go to school or college for a particular major and they learn all about this subject and become proficient in doing that subject. Unfortunately, that particular subject doesn’t teach you how to run a business, how to market your business or even how to keep a business solvent.
What does a new business need in terms of marketing? That is exactly what this article is about.
When thinking about all the marketing a business needs to grow, this could be a very long list, but we aren’t talking about everything. We are talking about the essentials based on opening the business. This is that list:
- Color Scheme
- Google My Business
- Additional Local Listing Directories
- Ability to get reviews from multiple sources
- Facebook Page
- Instagram Page
- Twitter Page
- LinkedIn Page
- Business Cards
The Logo and Color scheme are essential due to the fact of branding. A brand is the idea or image people have in their mind when talking or thinking about a particular business.
You want your logo and color scheme to be unique to your business, so when people see it they know it is your business.
Therefore a logo and color scheme that stands out and reminds people of your business is essential.
A website is the foundation of all digital marketing. Period. It is the virtual gateway and first impression that over 90% of people will receive of your business.
If it doesn’t properly highlight your business and if it doesn’t answer people’s questions, your digital marketing is going to take a huge hit.
There are 5 components that every website must have:
- It needs to communicate immediately who it is the business services or sells to.
- It needs to spotlight the problems or pain points that clients and potential clients run into.
- It needs to enlighten people on how your business solves the problems of component #2.
- It needs to highlight what makes your business the best option.
- It needs to acquire the identity of those people visiting your website.
If a website can do the above 5 components and do them well, it will be a very successful website.
Search Engine Optimization is a technical subject and most business owners have no idea what to do to increase their rankings on search engine result pages.
Having a blog on your website and consistently posting engaging articles on said blog is something tangible that a new business owner can do.
The article needs to be helpful for your potential clients. So when you are thinking about things to write for your blog, think about your ideal client.
What knowledge could you give this person to improve their lives that is industry specific. Write about that.
A new business should post at least 3 blogs a week and keep writing these blogs consistently. When it gets up to making enough money it can pay someone to do this for them.
For a local business, there is NOTHING more important than a GMB page. GMB is like a mini website located within the Google platform. It will show the Name, Address, Phone, Services, Products, Directions, Reviews, Pictures and so much more.
When people are looking for “Near Me” options, the GMB page is almost exclusively what people look at. It is also the #1 way people find directions to your location.
If you don’t have a GMB page you will never show up here:
So your Google My Business Page is a local listing directory. But it is only one listing directory and there are many, many more.
I’ll list out the important ones here:
Facebook Yahoo Twitter
Instagram Bing Maps Yelp
2findLocal 8Coupons. ABLocal
Allonesearch Amazon Alexa AmericanTown
Apple AroundMe Baidu Maps
Bizwiki ChamberofCommerce. CitySearch
CK Maps Cylex DeKnows.com
Dun & Bradstreet eLocal EZLocal
Find Open Fliggy Foursquare
GoLocal247 HERE HotFrog
iBegin iGlobal Insider Pages
Local Database Local.com LocalStack
MapQuest MerchantCircle MyLocalServices
n49 Navmii Nextdoor
Openi Pitney Bowes PointCom
Property Capsule Show Me Local SnapChat
Soleo TomTom Tupalo
Uber USCity.net. VoteForTheBest
Where To? Yalwa Yandex
YaSabe YellowMoxie YellowPagesCity
You”ll most likely never have even heard most of these names, but when a search engine like Google looks for a local business it will do a fast search through all of these to see how many times a business shows up and how accurate the information is.
A business will have to individually go and set up an account on each one of these sites and you have to make sure that each profile you set up says the EXACT same thing as every other profile.
So make sure you list your business on as many of these directories as possible and ensure all the information is 100% accurate. 99% of these listing directories are free and you won’t have to pay a dime.
In the Google My Business section we covered reviews briefly. This can not be stressed enough.
With the advent of the internet, the sales cycle changed forever.
15 years ago, brands controlled public perception about themselves. They released what information they wanted the public to know about them or their product and services.
Not anymore. The consumer is fully in control of the perception of any business and if you get on the wrong side of that perception, it can greatly affect your bottom line.
There are many, many different review sources. Google, Facebook and Yelp are just the main ones.
The more reviews that a business has across multiple platforms, the better it is for that business. Search engines will reward your business for good reviews and punish your business for bad reviews.
Therefore if you want your business to show higher on search engine result pages, one of the most proactive things you can do is GOOD REVIEWS from multiple sources.
In terms of search engine optimization, Facebook has most persuasion in terms of results.
There are over 3 billion people that use Facebook. Nearly 80% of all businesses have a Facebook page.
I won’t get into all the technical details as to why a business needs to have a Facebook account and should post to it regularly, but they need to.
Each new piece of content posted by business is tracked by search engines, which means the more a business posts content, the more it will get seen and added into the algorithm so that it can move up the search rankings.
Facebook might not be your demographic user base, but post to it anyway.
The same holds true for Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google My Business. Post to these as often as possible with engaging content.
When a business is just opening its doors it usually doesn’t have a large amount of money to spend on marketing of any form.
The business they do end up getting is either based on location where a large number of people can see them or on personal connections they can make when networking.
Business cards are a very inexpensive way to leave your brand in the hand of potential clients when networking or just to give people when they visit your location.
People for the most part will keep business cards if they are truly interested in the product or service and give you a call when they are ready to purchase that product or service.
The above, by no means is everything a local business should do for their marketing. There are many, many other activities that it can and should do.
The above are essentials. Meaning if you don’t have the time or ability to do everything that can possibly be done, these are the things YOU HAVE TO DO.
A business can get away with not doing digital advertising or spending money to have a marketing company do search engine optimization for them.
It can not get away with leaving the above essentials out.
Local businesses are bombarded with communication about what they should be doing by every source imaginable. If you are a local business and would just like to get some advice with no strings attached. Reach out to Evolved Strategic Marketing. The Local Marketing Experts.