Promoting your small business in your community can feel frustrating or ineffective at times. That’s why we compiled a list of the best ways to promote your small business. It may be easier than you think.
Optimize Your Site for Local Searches
Local customers have to be able to find you and they’re not going to be able to do that if you only rely on passersby. Your website should offer your location (not in an image, in actual text so it can be indexed by search engines), the products and services you provide, and other relevant keywords. More on this later.
Have a Clean, Professional Design that’s Optimized for Mobile Users
Your website is an essential part of your business. It needs to be clean and professionally designed. Mobile users account for more local searches than any other type of device. This means your site must be mobile friendly and fast enough to keep their attention.
Update Your Address and Hours Everywhere
We mentioned this earlier, but you absolutely must update your address and business hours at critical locations: Social media, review sites, Google My Business, LinkedIn, and your website. Apple Maps Connect uses Yelp to integrate addresses and reviews in their searches, so you should definitely ensure Yelp is a priority update. Claim your local listings before someone else does.
Offer Multiple Contact Methods (and actually utilize them)
Have a contact form on your website, and offer a way for customers to call and talk to someone. Shopping local usually requires a more personal touch. You’ll want to make sure people can get in touch with you when they need to.
Host a Small Business Saturday Event
Small Business Saturday is an important yearly event initially created by American Express to connect the local community to small businesses. Create an event and include a few elements that entice post Black Friday weekend shoppers. Utilize social media to get the word out and update your website with any sales ahead of time so your customers can prepare.
Use Geofencing to Target Locals
Geofencing is a way to target smartphone users in the local area with ads. If you have a non-retail business, you can use this to advertise giftable promotions like home cleaning specials, gift certificates to local businesses, and more.
Partner with Local Businesses
There is power in community involvement. Get together with other local businesses to offer promotions and discounts to one another’s customer base.
Advertise and Engage with Social Media
This is really important. You have to advertise ahead of time on all of your platforms. Small Business Saturday isn’t a “show up and be surprised” kind of event. Shoppers are focused and determined to get most of their shopping done between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. (Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, there’s no harm in starting your preparations for next year.)
Share on your social media pages, look at local groups for promotion, and more. Engage with your social media accounts and market appropriately to get the word out.
Use locally optimized keywords that are relevant to your business and where it’s located. Offer bonuses for local referrals, and use ads that target those in your area who meet your shopping demographic.
Retargeting is a way to bring back existing customers. Satisfied customers are 75% more likely to shop from you again. It’s also a great way to convert previous leads who may have been interested before but didn’t complete a purchase. Offer a special incentive for these customers to draw them into your Saturday sales event.
Host a Class or Demo
Modern shoppers are resistant to aggressive marketing. As a matter of fact, the pushier a marketing effort the more it may backfire. As a result, think of ways you can share your message and connect with your local community. Can you offer demos or classes for them?
Ask your current customers what they struggle with or common obstacles they face. Each class/demo should focus on one way to solve a problem. Be creative and enthusiastic about gathering your local customers. Remind them that buying local sustains your local economy.
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