03.14.20165 min read

Be the Best at Small Business Local Marketing: Part 2 – Search

by Anna Crowe

In today’s fast-paced world, consumers are looking to connect with us in different ways and they expect to receive the information in new, faster ways, especially when on the go. In this second part of the two-part series on local marketing, we’ll discover how to reach and engage our audience where they want to be reached. Picking up from where we left off in part 1 of this two-part series, we move on to local marketing tip #5:

5. Local Directories

It’s a challenge for any new business to gain new customers so why not make it easier for them to find you? By adding your website, contact information, address, and photos to local directories such as Yelp, you’re offering an additional connection point for potential customers to find your business. A complete and accurate business listing goes a long way, and it’s a simple way to ensure that your customers are getting the right information about your company. Also, with local search becoming more important, ask your current customers for feedback. The saying “ask and you shall receive” applies here. Ask your customers, “Would you mind doing a short review for us on Yelp?” You can make this process even simpler by using QR codes that take the customer right to the review page. Take the engagement from offline to online in one simple step. Remember, feedback isn’t always great, but it’s necessary to keep your business evolving. People like to complain, but you can be proactive and turn their experience around by responding to their negative reviews. Turning these negative reviews into happy customers could lead not only a future conversion, but a long-term relationship and potential advocate.

6.  Incentives

Keeping customers satisfied is a great achievement for any business- big or small! By demonstrating a simple act of kindness of saying “thanks” small businesses can retain and gain customers. Try one of these:

  1. Discounts. Blasting out an email with 10 percent for one day only can not only increase sales, it provides a fresh and exciting reason for customers to add their email address to your subscriber list. It has to be a good enough discount to change their purchasing behavior.
  2. Free Shipping. This type of feel-good loyalty reward is really what makes the little things count. This adds that personal touch that can make your customer smile a little longer.
  3. Loyalty Programs. Creating a “members only” program that establishes limited time access allows the consumer to feel special and feel that they have inside scoop on your deals. Plus they’ve earned it!

Use search in local marketing.

7. Responsive Website Design

A website is like a first impression, so you really want to make sure that yours is a good one. 67 percent of users claim they are more likely to purchase from a mobile-friendly website, so going mobile should be a priority for your website design. seoWorks’, Director of Web Development, Rhonda Sweet said, you should “create a mobile website that surpasses business objectives and provides a seamless user experience, scalability, elegant code, design simplicity, responsiveness and insightful analytics.” 2014 is the year to bring your business website into the mobile era. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Conduct a mobile audit. Figure out who is coming to your website from a mobile device, and what they’re looking for once they get there.
  2. Build a mobile-specific website. Use the audit you just did to create a mobile website that offers your customers everything they’re looking for. Stick to what they were searching for on the desktop website so that it’s easier for them to find.
  3. Ensure mobile users know what they can do on the website. Use call-to-action messaging, such as making appointments or purchasing products, and make it clear by using bold text, buttons and other eye-catching graphics.

Having great local marketing is no longer just about increasing the bottom line. It’s becoming a vital element in establishing a strong brand presence and growing long-lasting customer relationships. There they are – seven marketing strategies for you to take on 2014. If you're looking for other ways to improve your small business' marketing, join us at #ICON14 in Phoenix to talk with fellow small business owners, experts and industry leaders.

Anna Crowe is a self-taught dreamer of innovation, a flower child of her generation and self-proclaimed world beer enthusiast. In the real world, when the cape comes off, Anna is a freelance writer/wannabe blogger, digital media marketer and mom of Norman, the basset hound. She also loves peanut butter. Follow her on Twitter.

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