Digital marketing would prove to be more beneficial for local businesses that are often short on funds. It is only with digital marketing that small businesses can achieve success in shortest possible time.
Let’s look at some interesting statistics about digital marketing
- In 2014, an average Internet user had 3 social media accounts but in 2019, the number of accounts rose to 7
- Total number of Facebook users constitute 22% of the world population
- 76% users of Facebook and 51% of Instagram use their accounts daily
- Google receives nearly 2.3 trillion searches every year
- In 2019, mobile traffic constituted 52% of online traffic and desktop traffic was only 45%
- People search local businesses and 72% of them visit local stores they find in their vicinity
- 81% of consumers perform an online search before making big decisions regarding brands
- 87% of Smartphone users do online search at least once a day
The above statistics show that small businesses can easily make big leaps on the web. There are more customers available and there will be little difficulty in targeting potential buyers, if you know how to apply digital marketing tools.
Digital marketing is important for local businesses because it can establish quick connection with potential buyers without requiring much advertising, money and efforts.
Let’s count the reasons that tell why should local businesses invest in digital marketing
1. Local business listings
Google My Business
Google is the largest search engine and being so, it has a responsibility towards local businesses. It needs to provide space and promote every business including those that operate locally. For businesses that work in limited areas, it has Google My Business (GMB) listing.
Businesses listed in GMB become visible for consumers looking for products and services in their vicinity like within a 5 km radius. And listing a business in GMB is a hassle-free affair. Google guides businesses in the process. And even brands are using GMB listing to get targeted customers.
Bing Places for business
Bing is also a popular platform for listing businesses. And one would have little difficulty in listing a business in Bing, if that business is already listed in GMB. The profile of a business can be transported to Bing for listing. The new profile will be created in Bing and listed in places for business. Bing also works like Google and for this reason businesses listed on both the search engines have good opportunities to get local consumers.
Facebook business page
Facebook is the largest social media site but it can also help local businesses in thriving. They can make business pages on Facebook to attract buyers residing in specific areas. There are over 2.4 billion people using Facebook and most of them follow local businesses. It is really a good thing for local businesses.
2. Advantage social media
Social media has an advantage that is it provides ample freedom with unlimited opportunities free of cost. Another advantage of social media is that it is always bustling with activities. People keep sharing their experience in the form of pictures and posts. Also, they like pictures and post comments.
What local businesses need to do is to add as many fans and followers as they can. And this they can do by posting interesting content like videos, pictures and posts. For example, they can share pictures of their facilities and make interesting offers. Local businesses can take help of tools that can schedule content so that businesses remain free to monitor their progress.
3. Video platforms
YouTube receives more than 3 billion searches every month but it isn’t the only video platform where local businesses can promote their products/services as there are others as well and it is advised that local businesses should become active on every platform.
Video or virtual content could be quite helpful in targeting local markets. The videos could be used for giving live demonstration and educating potential customers about usability and advantages of products/services. Also, making videos is easier and more interesting.
Local businesses that operate with little money and target a short area don’t have resources for making blogging sites but there is little need to create a new site when there are many free blogging platforms available.
Blogging has an advantage that is it starts two-way communication between bloggers and readers. Also, blogs allow updating text matters with pictures, graphs and visuals. Simply put, bloggers are free to improve their blogs in the best possible way.
5. Join online communities
Local businesses should become active on online communities like Startup Norton, Small Business Bonfire and Entrepreneur.com. These are the communities where local businesses can find targeted audiences. People create groups to discuss needs and availability of products. It is the duty of local businesses to find those platforms and become active to connect with members.
6. Locate your targeted audiences
There are many ways local businesses can follow to locate niche markets. For example, there is Google Analytics that shows how may people visited a specific website and the time spent on that site. Also, the social media trends can tell about need and mood of buyers.
If you are local entrepreneur, you should try finding answers to the following questions to locate your niche market
- Who your competitors are and who their customers are?
- What do you offer to the targeted audiences?
- What do the targeted customers expect from your business?
- What is the profile of your customers like their age group, profession, income and residence?
Answering these questions will help in understanding who your targeted audiences are and what you need doing to attract those customers. Also, you can determine whether your business can fulfill the needs of targeted customers. If you can address their problems, you can establish a connect with them.
7. Run sale
Sale is the four-letter word that attracts maximum eyeballs and it isn’t surprising to see people travelling to long distances to take advantage of discounted price. You should look for opportunities to offer discount. For example, there could be weekend discount; prices could be sliced on festivals and people can be offered discount on bulk buying. And you can go to social media to aware the targeted audiences about upcoming sale and discount offers.
8. Email marketing
If you can collect emails ids of the targeted audiences, you can approach those clients with customized emails that could contain surprises like gift vouchers and discounts. Advantages of email marketing is that you can easily time your messages so that they are sent directly to the targeted mailboxes. Just like email, you can take advantage of SMS marketing.
9. Mobile optimization
The entire marketing campaign can be optimized for mobile searches and mobile customers whose number is growing with each passing day. Today there is a huge mobile market to target and you shouldn’t miss this market as it can give a huge business and profit in the long run.
Mobile customers often look for local shops that they can access while on the go. For example, a mobile user searches nearby restaurants and chooses one restaurant that he finds within walking distance. You can also guide consumers looking for the products/services you are offering to your shop.
10. Search engine optimization
It is the most important thing to in online marketing. You shouldn’t let your website become invisible for the people that are looking for information about the business you do. Because if it happens, you would never get the traffic that your site deserves.
In SEO, you can target local customers to get specific results. Your SEO partner will take responsibility of optimizing your site for local searches. Here it is necessary to understand the value of having a reliable digital marketing partner. You should join hands with an experienced ad agency to take your small business on the web.
If you are running a local business but you don’t have any plat for taking your business on the web then you are denying you the technology that can push your site up on search results and take you closer to the targeted audiences.
Some doubts regarding online marketing
Q: It could be an expensive affair
A: No, it isn’t. There in no data to support the claim that digital marketing is expensive. On the contrary, it saves money. You can start with little money and increase your spending on digital marketing only when you see benefits.
Q: It is time consuming
A: No, it isn’t. If you compare the time consumed by digital marketing in giving results with that of traditional marketing, you will find that former is much lesser than the latter.
A local business can do well, if it works on the web. If you are a local businessman then you should seriously consider doing digital marketing. The above-mentioned data and reasons are more than sufficient to encourage local businesses to rely on digital marketing like Google My Business listing and local searches. An ad agency can help in taking advantage of digital marketing.