Online Advertising Tips to Help Grow Your Local Business
Is your business suffering because of an economic swing or increased competition? If yes, you’re probably thinking about lowering your prices or spending more money on online advertising. Blindly following either one of these strategies will not work.
As far as price goes, you will always be able to find an online marketing agency willing to sell their services at a cheaper price. And throwing money into a paid online advertising campaign requires a well thought our strategy. Doing either of these things haphazardly will just make things worse.
THE QUESTION IS, HOW CAN YOU GROW YOUR MARKET SHARE WHILE STAYING PROFITABLE?
The answer lies in gaining more visibility among prospective customers in your area. Not chasing the market or trying to keep up with the Jones. With a good online advertising & marketing strategy you can increase your presence, build a better brand, & connect with potential new customers. After all, the internet is where most of your customers are. And that’s where you should be too.
Having said that, here are 9 online advertising & marketing tips for you to try:
#1 Have a Great Business Website
When was the last time you updated your business website? As a Houston web design company, the answers we often hear are: “Never” or “It’s been a while.” The truth is, people are increasingly relying on the Internet and their smartphones to get all the information they can. You simply can’t afford to have a website that looks old or one that takes forever to load. Therefore, you need to ensure your website looks appealing, offers easy navigation, & quickly tells your story.
Purchasing online advertising before your website is great, is akin to “putting the cart before the horse”!
#2 Optimize Your Website for “Local”
Because you are a local business, your website needs to be easily discoverable by people in your local community. Local SEO helps put your website in front of those looking for products or services near to them. By optimizing your website for local SEO, or hiring the right website design company, you can get more organic search traffic and stay ahead of your competitors.
#3 Create a Brand That Stands Out
In a market like Houston it’s difficult to differentiate your service from the rest. That is at least in the terms of features, benefits, and/or quality. Therefore, it’s critical for you to create a unique brand image that stands for the values your customers associate with quality.
For instance, it could be unique service add-ons, the customer experiences you provide, or specializing in a particular aspect of your niche. Understanding how customers perceive your brand is important to operate successfully in such a competitive market.
#4 Explore New Revenue Streams
Catering to the same market year in and year out can cause your business to stagnate. By marketing your business online, you get the opportunity to tap into new pools of local customers. Think of new ways to attract them. Leveraging the power of online advertising, you can also expand your reach by testing inexpensive ads on places like Facebook.
#5 Online Advertising – Go Social
These days, it’s common knowledge that businesses need to be on social media. Your business is not an exception. Try to find new ways to use social media for your benefit. Ways other than sharing regular posts. Many social media sites will offer free online advertising trials. So be on the look out for them in your mailbox.
# 6 Create & Share Fresh Content On a Regular Basis
From blog posts to case studies, to info-graphics and videos. There is so much you can do with content. However, the key to make it work for your business is to maintain a consistent brand voice. And to craft compelling content regularly. This is not easy so depending on your level of comfort this is one area that you might seek professional help.
Videos that tell stories about your brand, services and customer experiences is one of the biggest trends in online advertising. If you’re planning to capitalize on the trend, make sure you have an optimized Google & YouTube channel.
Many online advertising firms will tell you email marketing helps improve the effectiveness of your content. Unless you are running a blog that people will want to subscribe to, this is not true. Overuse of unsolicited emails can do way more harm than good! Do you like getting unsolicited emails all day, every day? Of course not.
#7 Become a Trusted Authority Within Your Community
When creating content, it doesn’t always need to revolve around your exact niche. You could get more creative and focus on crafting stories around local news, travel, food or other interests within your community. This is all about showing that you care about your community. This way you can become a local expert. One that people know, & trust.
#8 Turn Customers into Brand Advocates
As a local business you cannot underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. Your customers telling their friends about your business is extremely valuable. Many online advertising companies will tell you that you should think up creative incentives to gain online reviews. At ProEngage Local we recommend just asking for them. We have a unique way to help our customer with this, but that is outside the scope of this post and for another day.
#9 Show Off Online Reviews
Many online advertising studies have shown that more than 90% of consumers now read online reviews. This includes those they seek out & those that are provided to them throughout the buying process. Think about it… Do you want people searching for online reviews after they identified you as a possible solution to what they are looking for?
Of course not! Put your reviews & testimonials on your website! Early and often. You can/should put on every page if possible. And mention things like a BBB rating, or 5 start review ratings in your online advertising copy.
Online Advertising Conclusion
In conclusion, online advertising can be powerful. Extremely powerful! But if not properly planned and executed it can also be a giant money dump. Plan your work, & contact ProEngage Local if you need help.