Now more than ever, digital marketing for local business is key to achieving success. It’s not easy to keep up a digital marketing presence, but it’s more important than ever for a local business to make internet marketing a primary investment. As COVID-19 continues to impact the American consumer, the pandemic has pushed internet usage up 70%. If there’s ever a time to start promoting your local business online, it’s right now. If you’re not sure where to start, consider following these four digital marketing ideas for local businesses:
#1: Create and Optimize Your Company Website
The first place to start with any digital marketing strategy for local business is a website. While your physical location has set business hours, your website will work for you twenty-four hours a day, seven days out of the week. People can visit your site any time of the day to learn about your business, find a phone number, get directions, and/or make a purchase. If you haven’t created a website yet, be sure to get one built ASAP.
If you have a website already, be sure to optimize it. This will help your website run smoother, rank higher on Google, and be more user-friendly. Here are a few simple ways to optimize your website:
- Make sure your site is designed for mobile devices—not just desktop.
- Run a site speed test and work through the suggested issues.
- Start a blog and post weekly—focusing on specific topics and keywords people might be searching for on Google.
#2: Build Up Your Organic Social Media
The easiest and most affordable place to begin marketing your local business is on social media. Building up a fanbase on social media is a surefire way to convert fans into sales. It’s also a great place to inform your followers of any business updates or news.
The question is then, what kind of content should you share on your social channels. Share your wins. Find out what common interests your customers have. If you’re a grocery store, share recipes and mention on which aisle viewers can find key ingredients. If you’re a mechanic, start sharing winterization tips. If you’re a local realtor, start sharing short video tours of homes on the market. Want to build a following? Why not partner with other local businesses and run a contest! Your social media pages are a canvas—paint an image of your business for your customers to enjoy.
Be sure that your content is consistent throughout all of your social channels and that your profile photos match on each business account. That will make it easier for someone who follows you on Facebook to find you on Instagram. Also, be sure to fill in as much information on your social media pages’ About Us sections as possible. Include your phone number, email, and physical address—that way you’re easily accessible.
#3: Create a Google My Business Page
Have you ever opened Google, typed in something along the lines of “food near me”, and had a map appear with a list of local restaurants below? Each of those businesses that appear on that list has one thing in common—they set up a Google My Business (GMB) account.
In this day and age, one of the first things someone will do when looking for a business is run a Google search. Google My Business is an easy way to make sure your business appears on the list of local results. GMB shares vital information about your business and integrates with Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Reviews. It’s quite literally how you put your business on the map. Not to mention, it’s a way to signal to your local community that you’re part of their group.
It’s also a useful place to link your social media accounts. When you link your social media accounts to your Google My Business page, you’re certifying that those accounts belong to you. This helps your local community make sure that they’re connecting with YOUR business and not another business with the same name out of state.
Learn more about setting up your Google My Business page here.
#4: Plan Your Strategy
As a business owner, you know that you needed a strategy to get your business off the ground. You need to plan your strategy. One of my colleagues recently shared key steps to guide customers through the marketing funnel, and one thing he wrote stuck with me: “Delight those who have already made a purchase with you.” Just like retention is important for foot traffic in your store, you need online retention to keep your fanbase engaged on your pages.
Need help creating your internet marketing strategy? Get in touch with our team of client strategists and they’ll help you get started! Learn more about digital marketing ideas for local businesses by scheduling a free consultation today!
Matthew is a Brand Strategist who has a passion for learning, and for improving the world around him. He does this by helping share the stories small businesses have to share and building bonds between businesses and communities. He’s currently working through a movie marathon of all the Academy Awards Best Picture winners.