How to Market Your Local Business Online

The market today is extremely competitive, so it is very difficult for businesses to make themselves noticed, especially if it is a new, small, and local business with a tight budget. Fortunately, digital marketing offers a wide range of opportunities and strategies to promote your business and grow its online presence with the minimum investment. Let’s have a look at the list of the most effective marketing strategies that you should consider applying for your business:

List Your Business Online

If you want your business to get noticed by your target audience, you should list it online. Here are the best platforms for listing your business:

  • Google My Business. By listing your business on this platform, you make it visible on Google, so people can find it with Google Maps or Google search. The best thing about this platform is that it is absolutely free, and it allows you to provide such details about your business as the description of services, photos, location, and hours of operation.
  • Bing places. If you have already created your listing on Google My Business, you can easily import your business profile to Bing places. This platform is also free.
  • Facebook business profile. Creating your business profile on Facebook is one of the smartest things you can do because over 30% of the world’s population uses Facebook. The main advantage of a Facebook business profile is that you can use it to interact with your audience by posting relevant content.

Leverage Social Media

Initially, social media were created to help people connect with each other, find friends, and keep in touch. However, today, business owners use social media to increase their brand awareness, find new prospects and convert them into customers. There are several social media platforms that you can use. In order to decide which one is the best for your company, you need to analyze your target audience and understand what social media platforms they use. Here is a list of social media platforms that you may want to consider:

  • Facebook – almost 3 billion users
  • Twitter – almost 700 million users
  • Instagram – 1.2 billion users
  • Twitter – almost 400 million users
  • LinkedIn – over 300 million users

All social media platforms offer free tools that you can use to promote your products and services. For example, you can use Instagram Reels (short videos) to tell the audience about your brand and establish closer relationships with them.

Promote Your Business on Video Platforms

Video content is one of the most effective tools for promoting your business, because people like watching videos and spending hours doing that. Therefore, if you have a business, you should start making videos and posting them on popular video platforms, such as YouTube, Vimeo, and others. YouTube is as popular as Facebook, which makes it one of the best platforms for business promotion. The best thing about using YouTube is that you do not have to pay anything – creating a YouTube channel is completely free.

There are also other less popular platforms to try, including Dailymotion, Vimeo, Twitch, and others.

Set up Your eCommerce Store

If you sell a product, it is recommended to create an eCommerce store. You may think that creating a store costs money, and you are right. Unlike other marketing tools, an eCommerce store requires some investment. However, if you are doing it correctly, it will not cost you a fortune.

There are also many platforms that allow you to create your own store without any skills or knowledge. All you need to do is to sign up on any of the platforms and customize your store. Here is a list of platforms that you may want to consider:

  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • BigCommerce
  • Wix
  • Squarespace

As mentioned above, the process of establishing a store on any of these platforms is very simple and takes only a few steps. You can Google and find the instructions online on how to do it step by step. If you are a complete beginner and have never run an eCommerce store, it is better to start with WooCommerce. This platform is very flexible, free, and has an excellent customer support system.

Generate Content Around Your Brand

If you have already created a website for your business, it is time to start adding valuable content for your audience. The good thing about creating content is that it is free and does not require any investment. All you need to have are some ideas, creativity, and time. It is recommended to create various types of content, such as:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Email templates
  • Freebies
  • Press releases

You should also consider creating a blog where you will post blog posts regularly. The most popular blogging platforms that you should consider are:

  • Tumblr
  • Medium

Join and Be Active in Online Communities

One of the best and most effective ways to build a loyal customer base in your area is to be active in the communities. There are many communities that you can join. If you are a local business owner, you may want to consider the following:

  • Small Business Bonfire
  • Startup Nation
  • Slack communities

Slack communities are considered the most effective. You can easily interact with them, make video and conference calls, schedule meetings, and do other things. Moreover, you can access them on your desktop or mobile device. That is why slack communities are highly recommended for marketing a local business.

There are also communities that you can join on Facebook. Users on Facebook constantly create different groups that are related to their interests or hobbies. You can engage with their groups as well, in order to create new connections and promote your business.

Influencer Marketing Is the New Normal

One of the most popular and trending methods of digital marketing today is influencer marketing. It is a type of social media marketing that uses bloggers and influencers to promote a brand, product, or service to a larger market. If you watch YouTube channels or Instagram stories of influencers, you will see creators promoting different products, services, and other things.

If your budget is limited, this is something you want to try. All you need to do is to find influencers with your target audience. You need to contact them and negotiate your collaboration. If you own a small local business, you may want to find a creator, blogger, or influencer in your area and convince them to promote your business.

There are several tools you can use to find content creators to work with. The most popular and reliable are Followerwonk and Awario. You can also contact influencers directly.

Make Others Sell Your Product with Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy in which a brand or merchant pays a commission to affiliates based on sales that are generated through their referrals.

As a merchant, you have two ways to sell your products through affiliate marketing – Affiliate Networks and In-House Program.

Affiliate Networks are an open program where merchants can register their products and affiliates can access these networks to find and choose the products they want to promote. The best affiliate networks are Amazon Associates, ClickBank, ShareASale, and Commission Junction.

An In-house Program is when you set up an affiliate program on your own website. Affiliates can visit your website and contact you if they are interested in promoting your product.

There are other sources that you can use for affiliate marketing. For example, you can approach influencers and content creators through YouTube and blogs and ask them if they are interested in your product and want to promote it through affiliate marketing.

List Yourself on Local Business Directories

Another effective local marketing service for promoting your business locally is listing it on local business directories. What are reliable business directories to use? Here is a list:

  • Yellow Pages
  • Thumbtack
  • Foursquare
  • Manta

These platforms are free, and they are perfect for those businesses that are not very popular on Google Maps or other large platforms.

You can list your business on all of them, but there are some things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure that the information about your business is identical on all platforms. If you need to update the information about your business, make sure to update it on all of them in order not to misinform and confuse your potential customers. Also, do not forget to add relevant and recent videos and photos, as well as the link to your website.

Never Compromise with Your Customer Service

If you want your business to grow and have a good relationship with your customers, excellent customer service should be your main priority. Good customer service is your powerful tool that can help turn your one-time customers into permanent and returning ones. According to several surveys, over 93% of customers return to companies and make a purchase again if they are satisfied with their customer service.

You may wonder how you can improve your customer service. Here is what you can do:

  • Know your product and all the details. If you do not know all the features of your product, you will not be able to answer questions from your customers. You need to know your product inside out to tell customers about its benefits and provide all the information buyers may need.
  • Be personal. Do not send impersonal emails to your customers, make them personal. Instead of saying “Hello customer”, say “Dear Chris” for example.
  • Work on your listening skills. You need to learn how to listen to the problems of your customers. If you do not listen to them, you will not be able to offer solutions.
  • Respond as quickly as possible. Customers do not like to wait, especially if there is a problem that needs to be solved. Therefore, try to respond to their messages as quickly as possible.

Optimize For Local SEO

Optimization for local SEO is a lucrative marketing method that helps businesses grow. If you want your website or your online store to be found by prospective customers and buyers more often, you need to learn how to use effective techniques of local SEO.

Here is a list of techniques you may want to consider:

  • Create content that is related to any local activity, including news, local events, or something else.
  • Optimize your website for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
  • Create content using target keywords. In order to find relevant keywords, you can use Google keyword planner.
  • Add the location of your business on your website pages.
  • Share your listing on social media platforms.

Collect and Respond to Reviews

If you have already established your business and started selling your products or services, it is time to start replying to reviews, feedback, and comments from your customers and buyers. Listing your products on business directories is not enough – now you need to monitor reviews people post and respond to them as quickly as possible.

If people leave reviews on your website, do the same – respond to them immediately. It does not matter if reviews are positive or negative – you should respond to all of them.

Spy On Your Competitors

As a business owner, you definitely have competitors, which is a good thing. Competition is a great driving force for you that also provides you with important insights and ideas.

Therefore, it is recommended to check regularly what and how your competitors are doing. It is called “competitor analysis” in marketing. It involves checking competitors’ best-selling products, reviews on these products, their social media pages, content that your competitors are posting, the keywords they are using, and more.

Competitor analysis will help you to see what things are working and try them. It does not mean copying your competitors – it means getting an idea of what they are doing and trying to create something better.

BizIQ – Smart Local Marketing for Your Business

If you need professional help with marketing your business, BizIQ is a company in Phoenix, AZ that is ready to help you. We specialize in local SEO for small business and local business SEO services and offer local SEO solutions to different businesses in Arizona. If you are interested in digital marketing for local businesses and you want to know more about local SEO company pricing or local SEO packages we offer, do not hesitate to contact us.