Strategy for Local Business Marketing
Local businesses is thriving in the Niagara region., Certainly in downtown St. Catharines, to Niagara Falls, and up through the Golden Horseshoe to Grimsby and Hamilton. These days, marketing strategies for small businesses can offer much more ROI than marketing campaigns run by major brands.
Did you know that local businesses have a set of inherent competitive advantages over large chains and larger brands. So how does a local business, in need of new school digital marketing tactics, leverage these competitive advantages to create a successful website marketing strategy?
Let’s take a look at some secret tactics that smart and savvy local businesses are using in their digital marketing strategy. Before we do, let’s take a brief look at exactly how well local businesses are doing these days.
Local Business Marketing is Working
Believe it or not, local businesses in St. Catharines, the Niagara region, and many other communities is in hyper growth mode. Consumers are demanding local products and local services, and many new businesses are opening to serve the increasing needs of the public.
It’s no secret that small and medium enterprises (SME’s and SMB’s) are the glue that holds communities together and allows communities to prosper and grow.
A recent U.S. study says that businesses with less than 20 employees make up 90% of all businesses and produce $4 trillion in sales. Four Trillion!
Local Business Growth is on Trend
The most exciting thing about the competitive advantages of local businesses is what the future has in store. There was a time when local companies were closing down shop due to competitive pricing from big box retail. That may be changing.
Yodle, a large internet marketing company in the US recently issued a report, surveyed with 6.000 consumers, on what all customers want from their local businesses. As you can imagine, this report has some valuable information for your local business marketing strategy.
The report found that local consumers love local business! They reported 82% of US consumers actually do use local businesses regularly. Guess what else they found? These same people choose to use local businesses over larger national retailers.
As mentioned, shopping at local businesses in on trend as is increasing. The report also showed that 47% of surveyed shoppers say they shop with local businesses more so this year than they did last year.
Forty-eight percent of local shoppers are planning on shopping at local businesses even more over the next year. No one surveyed (less than 1-2%) said that they would use local business less.
How To Leverage Your Local Business Marketing
I’m sure you see that there is huge opportunity for local businesses to tweak their marketing and take their digital strategy up a notch. I say strike while the iron is hot, and it’s pretty much steaming now. Here are some tactics you should use today:
Use Special Offers with Deals to Compete on Price
Let’s face it, it’s difficult to compete on price with national retailers, big box or not. These companies have scale and quantity. So what?
People value customer service, they value value! If your local business marketing strategy includes offering locals special deals or discounts, combined with an awesome product and customer service, you can beat the national chains.
Price increases however have a detrimental effect. It’s been reported that companies who have significant price increases, surveyed customers would stop using those local business. You need to be careful with pricing. Setting temporary low prices just for a boost in business, only to raise prices later is not a recommended strategy.
Keep in Touch With Your Customers Using Email Marketing
I’ve found that many local businesses, small and medium sized, are missing key conversion opportunities by failing to communicate directly with their converted customers or prospects. What would any business owner do this?
If a local business is able to provide regular communication with existing customers, through email, this process can boost brand reputation, help with your customer management, and increase return website visits and return sales.
Does it surprise you to hear that 70% of the people surveyed preferred to receive email from businesses, as opposed to phone calls or junk snail mail.
With the ease of use for email and a solid email marketing strategy from a reputable digital marketing agency, your business can simplify and automate many digital services including payments, reservations, and/or online hotel bookings. This increases revenue and reduces costs.
By no means are we suggesting spamming converted customers. 1 email per month, depending on the nature of the business, is all that is needed. When a business sends regular emails, it keeps the local business top of mind to converted consumers, and these leads to return visits and increased revenue.
Highlight What Customers Love About Your Business
Local businesses need to leverage this advantage in particular,. Highly recommended. Think about what local consumers want from your business or any local business. The first things that come to my mind are: exceptional customer service, good deals, and a personalized experience.
If your business rocks at any of these elements, you should highlight them in your promotions, ads, and social media content. After all, it’s these elements that give local businesses a competitive advantage over larger chain store retailers.
To summarize, now is the time for a local business – small, medium, or large. Your business has valuable competitive advantages to larger chains. You just need a solid digital strategy and a better understanding what consumers want.
Small business is driving the economy in many cities. The report noted above tells that businesses with less than 20 employees make up 90% of all employer business and produce $4 trillion in sales. It’s time to step up your digital strategy.
Our tips include focusing on what customers love about your business, using special offers and deals to compete on price, and to use email marketing to stay in touch with your already converted customers.
The future is bright for local business growth. If you’re a local business owner, take advantage of your competitive advantages! Remember that many people prefer doing business with local businesses.
Keep in communication with your customers, understand who they are and what they want. Create your strategy around those elements and you’ll attract the business your local business needs to grow.
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