The internet is global, but increasingly customers are searching locally for products and services.
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Content is the cheapest way to build trust and attract customers in the online world. Small businesses should make room in their budgets for online marketing strategies. The internet is known to be great for global marketing, but many small businesses are focused on a local market.
People are looking to their browsers for local suggestions. This means investing in online marketing will bring the local crowd to your doorstep. Just like brick and mortar stores strive to stand out, you want to have a unique and intriguing online presence. Boost local sales with an online strategy that incorporates these six activities.
Content marketing should be your foundation. Your content should be high quality, actionable and useful. You want to present your company as knowledgeable and an expert in your industry. Know your target audience so you can address their questions and service their needs.
Niche blogs or newsletters are a great way to use content to engage with your existing customers and attract new ones. Don’t be afraid to share some content and advice on other platforms, Twitter, forums, LinkedIn, etc., in order to funnel people to your site. Avoid coming across as a spammer or troll by providing quality and valuable advice.
People have access to countless online reviews. You want to protect your reputation by generating positive reviews. Dissatisfied customers are more likely to write a review than satisfied customers.
Encourage happy customers to write reviews, and address the concerns of dissatisfied customers. Seeing that a business is attempting to alleviate a problem by addressing a bad review with good customer service goes a long way.
Networking is not just about meeting influential investors over drinks and small talk. Endorsement from industry experts gives your website an air of credibility. Engaging influencers online can lead to real world associations. Follow their Twitter accounts and respond to their tweets. Invest time and energy into building a strong network of influencers.
4- Email Lists
Newsletters are a great way to interact with your community on a more intimate level. Having access to a person’s inbox is an exercise in trust. Don’t lose that trust. Be respectful and refrain from sending out more than one email a week. Keep customers up-to-date on relevant sales business goings on.
Your website should include email opt-ins but avoid annoying popups. Remember you are interacting with actual human beings. Provide people with value and not just advertisements. This will build their trust.
5- Email Shopping
Even though you own a brick and mortar store doesn’t mean you can’t offer some products online. Customers enjoy supporting local businesses even when they are shopping online.
Setting up an online store doesn’t have to be complicated. Your small business website design should incorporate a shopping cart feature to make these purchases easy and straight forward.
A website is a great, affordable way to advertise your products and services. You can promote sales without spamming your email subscribers’ inboxes. Don’t go overboard with flashy promotional content that pushes visitors away. Keep it simple and customers will respond.
Websites are not just for businesses offering online products and services. Small, local businesses have a lot to gain from an online presence as well. If people are going to walk around with a phone in front of their faces, make sure your store is seen on their screen.