Marketing your local business can seem like a full-time job. Most business owners can’t afford to have a marketing department which means that you’re adding marketing to all your other responsibilities.
Since there are only so many hours in a day, it’s essential to have a few tricks up your sleeve: things that can help you fine-tune your marketing and get the most bang for your buck. Here are some marketing hacks to help you focus your attention and reap the rewards.
1. Pay Attention to Your Data
When was the last time you looked at your data on Google Analytics? If it’s been a while – and if it has, you’re not alone – then it’s time to take corrective action.
The truth is that your analytics provide a wealth of information that can help you improve your marketing and grow your business. For example, do you know which page on your website has the highest bounce rate? Can you pinpoint which blog posts are getting the most traffic?
Review your data and take notes. The best marketing decisions are data-driven. Then, I suggest setting aside some time – even 30 minutes a week can be helpful – to stay on top of your analytics and put them to use.
2. Ask Your Customers for Feedback
Customer feedback is essential for every business. You need to know what your customers think to figure out which marketing tactics will have the biggest impact.
There are several ways you can reach out to your customers. They include:
- Text messages
- Social media posts
I love client surveys because they provide an easy way to collect data. The key is to keep the survey brief and focused – and make it easy for your customers to respond.
3. Get Your Customers Involved in Your Marketing
You already know that reviews and testimonials can make a big difference for your business. You should be asking for reviews regularly – something you can do:
- At the point of sale
- In email
- In a text message
- On social media
- Via a chatbot
You should also be approaching your most loyal and most satisfied customers to ask for a testimonial. Testimonials are generally longer and go into more depth than reviews. While written testimonials can be helpful, your best bet is to ask for and record video testimonials. Videos get a lot of engagement both on websites and on social media.
4. Embrace Video Marketing
Are you one of the small business owners who has shied away from video marketing because you think it’s too technical or too expensive for your budget? If so, it’s time to shed those (dated) beliefs and embrace video marketing for the powerhouse it is.
- Increase your open rate for marketing emails
- Get huge engagement numbers on social media
- Earn a high return on your investment
You can post videos on your website or blog. You may also want to link to them in social media posts, emails, and text messages.
Keep in mind that video content doesn’t have to be expensive to produce. You can create Facebook Live videos from your computer or phone. Consumers don’t expect a high-gloss finish on live videos. Just make sure you have good lighting and a good microphone and do what you can to minimize background noise.
5. Market to Mobile Customers
When people look for local businesses like yours, they’re far more likely to search using a mobile device than they are a computer. That means that you should have a mobile-adaptive site and marketing that specifically targets mobile customers.
Some of the most effective mobile marketing techniques to try are:
- SMS messaging (text messages)
- Call-only ads
- One-click calling on social media
- In-app advertising
You may also want to think about beacon marketing, which allows businesses to use Bluetooth technology to ping customers when they’re near the business or store. Local customers want convenience and you can use mobile marketing to provide it.
6. Monitor Your Competitors
Has it been a while since you’ve peeked at what your competitors are doing online? If the answer is yes, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to find gaps in their marketing or borrow their ideas for your own business.
Set aside some time to cruise your competitor’s websites and social media pages. You should be looking for:
- The keywords they’re targeting
- The audience they want to attract
- The places where their marketing falls short
- The content that gets the most engagement, e.g. blog comments or social media shares
- The tactics they’re using to engage visitors to their site
It’s important to pay attention both to what works and what doesn’t work. You may have a close competitor whose website isn’t properly optimized for a local keyword or is missing out on connecting with their audience. You can capitalize on their shortcomings to fine-tune your own marketing.
7. Diversify Your Marketing
When I talk to small business owners, one of the most common mistakes I identify is that they’re not diversifying their marketing. Many have a few tried and true techniques that they use and they’re not in the habit of testing new things.
I’m not saying you should abandon the things that you know are working for you. However, it’s a mistake to rest on your laurels and assume those tactics will work forever. They may not. Marketing is a constantly evolving field and the businesses that do the best at it are those that remain agile and open to new possibilities.
What I suggest is carving out some money from your marketing budget to experiment. You don’t need to spend a fortune. With a small investment, you can play around with your ad targeting or test out some new content formats to see how your audience reacts.
The bottom line – and the thing I hope you’ll take away from these suggestions – is that you don’t need to spend a ton of time or money to get the most out of your marketing. Keep an open mind, try new things, and use what’s available to you. The profits will follow.