10 Effective Digital Strategies for Local Businesses
- September 28, 2015
- Digital Strategy, Local SEO
Hope you guys will love this post!
I’m here to let you know that it really isn’t all that hard to get into marketing for yourself and begin to create a real impact on your business, for the better, if you do it right.
Here are 10 effective digital strategies that will help your business without the use of any digital agency.
1. Social Media
The quickest way to get yourself out there is by creating a presence for yourself on social media – it’s quick, it’s free, it’s effective; although you do have the ability to pay for additional advertising to increase your chances of being seen. Social media signals are often one of the first we see when searching the web on any search engine – having active social media accounts on multiple platforms under your business name will begin bringing more traffic. Just like recent Google algorithm update which shows Tweets on Google search results.
Social Media has the added benefit of being able to help build a strong network of people and other companies that you trust. It’s worth it to contact businesses that have similar customers as yours (not competitors) that will help to get your name out there. Many local businesses don’t mind sharing another business for a share themselves on your page.
While social media can be a terrific tool – don’t allow it to eat up more time than you can spend. Try to post daily and have at least three different platforms to post from that are active (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). To save time I use Hootsuite which allows me to to schedule posts.
Be sure to always be positive and polite with any interactions on any social media outlet – anything that happens online lasts forever, one moment of heat towards anyone could result in years of repercussions for your business – building a good relationship with customers online will also help to insulate you in the future from any negative feedback and will make it easier for you to bounce back from any negativity that may occur down the line.
2. Join a Community Online
There’s an online community for just about everything these days – somewhere out there is a place that your niche is talked about regularly that’s a trusted source of information for whatever that may be. For example if you are in SEO industry like me, a great community to join would be Moz. So find this community – regardless of what your specialty may be – and join it.
A great way to become a well recognized member in any community and begin to gain the trust and admiration of not only consumers – but competitors and potential partners – is to become a figure in their online worlds. Being able to honestly and accurately answer questions and discuss problems will get you a long way in this day and age. Being able to add your blog, social media or webpage link, brings all of your posts together. This is also a great way to market yourself as people are much more likely to visit your link off of a related forum than just seeing is offered in the PPC (Pay-Per-Click) area of a search, especially if they think you’re knowledgeable on the subject.
3. Build a Webpage
It’s important for you to have someplace your business can call home online, one converging point that brings all of the different media platforms together. Having a homepage can be an essential part of successful online marketing.
Building a webpage isn’t free but you can almost get around this step entirely by combining social media and a blog together, depending on what type of business you’re intending to run. If you can afford it – it isn’t a step you should miss. You can easily get started with WordPress themes, with some research and effort, you can have a webpage running with in a week. Here’s an awesome guide by SiteGround.
It’s important to have a great internal link structure to your home page and inner pages, this will allow people to find you and interact with your company directly. They’ll read your statement, see your business, this is your chance to get them to sign up for a newsletter (more on that below) so that you might be able to keep them coming back.
You might not think much about blogs – I didn’t for a long time, everyone else read them and I just thought – eh, it’s not for me. That is until I realized, It’s not for me – it’s for them, the people that you’re looking to get in touch with – they read them they like them – it helps you come up in search engines, so why not give it a shot!
I’ve roped you into it now, right? You’re thinking, yeah – you’re right; I’ll bite the bullet and give blogging a shot. Why not! It’s free, it’s fun, and it can be super easy. Or it can be the biggest nightmare of your life – Your. Entire. Life.
Really – blogging is terrible for some people, writing literally pains them, which is terrible because blogs can be such an intricate part of your campaign – this is a terrific platform in which to be able to talk about who you are, what you do and bring your personal flair into the mix – not to mention the perfect place to optimize your keywords which is exactly what any SEO agency would do for you.
Blogs need to stay active – it’s not unheard of for people to just bring works of other artists or companies onto their blogs just to keep them alive and active, of course giving credit where credit is due – whatever you choose to do remember that blogging can be a great way for you to market yourself.
If you think blogging could be worth a shot but aren’t sure what platform to use – the best option for any business by far is WordPress. It’s a free blog although you can pay for more advanced features like a custom URL for your blog or more custom add-ons for your blog.
5. Embrace Multimedia
Alright – blogging really isn’t for everyone, so maybe your niche might be videos! Anything from promotional, informative videos to silly skits can help you to reign in the masses. People enjoy being entertained and videos can be shared and easily seen again and again – we’ve all seen the Youtube videos that get circulated around the internet daily.
With a little bit of talent you could be easily creating videos that will help to get your name out there and your business seen! This is another free option for you if you’re looking for an easy way to get yourself in the lime light. Although this certainly isn’t a standalone technique and will do best when paired with, at the very least, a blog and social media page.
Your viral video could be the next big thing – it never hurts to try – as the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity, don’t be too afraid of seeming a little silly!
Alright so you’re terrible at writing and you’re a little camera shy, so Youtube and Blogging are quite a bit further out of your sphere of comfort than you’d like to admit, maybe? Well there is a third option, and although a bit more droll, it can have its appeals in certain niches and with different audiences.
Podcasts aren’t really the savior here that many people would like them to be and honestly, at times I wonder if they’re even worth the trouble and time. For some people who have great ideas or great interviews to conduct they can be great – but rarely to podcasts themselves bring in new customers. More than likely it’s the fans you’ve already accumulated that will be listing to your casts – which is still great because it’s a great way to engage your fans!
If you really don’t mind playing radio host and you’ve got some interesting things to talk about – don’t overlook this very real marketing possibility!
7. Work on SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an important tool for marketing yourself online, this is one of the first steps any digital marketing agency will take when getting your name to appear in the search engines. Here’s a quick guide to Search Engine Optimization by Neil Patel.
It’s important to be able to lace your keywords intricately throughout the body of your article or page; increasing the density of your keywords will allow for you to be located by the search engines and more easily found by people searching for your chosen keyword.
Example, you are targeting, Dog Training New York, you would want this to be distributed in your content as: (training dogs in New York City, train your pet, etc.)
Beware of the keywords you choose to use, it’s important to be sure to conduct your own Keyword Research using Google Planner to see what keywords are most often searched. You don’t want to waste all of your time associating your page with certain words only to see no increase in traffic because it’s not something people usually search. Although don’t get me wrong, ranking on long tail keywords can bring a ton of traffic to your business, it’s just you will need a lot AWESOME content.
There are many tools out there to help you with your Keyword Research as well as to help track your SEO efforts and you shouldn’t hesitate to use them if you intent to perform SEO by yourself.
8. Email Lists
You might think that email is done and over with – people never look at their “spam”. It’s amazing how many people think that when now it’s easier than ever to get your customers to look at your emails. Most phones are linked up to an Email account – people these days are hardwired to look at their hand held gadgets whenever they alarm, that includes when your newsletter makes an appearance in their inbox.
Getting customers to your website once is the easy part (As long as you link back to if from you social media platforms) – making sure that your business is compelling enough to get them to click that little link to sign up for your newsletter – that’s the tough part.
Once you’ve infiltrated their barriers and got them to sign up for your email list – it’s all downhill from there. You’ve now got direct access to your customer to keep them coming back again and again to your page for new updates and offers!
Beware this strategy when it’s not used to its full potential. People often prefer to see content over promotion and may be more likely to unsubscribe if you’re constantly attempting a sales pitch instead of providing them with relevant content about your company, your product and the industry.
It’s also important to avoid spam triggers in your emails – certain phrases and words can easily land you into the spam folder, a common promotional word like “Free” can trigger the spam alert and prevent you from fully benefiting from this type of marketing.
Using more uncommon words and phrases like; complementary, no-charge and on the house – will increase the likelihood of your email penetrating the spam filter and delivering your content to its intended location – the inbox. If you want to learn more about email list, check this awesome guide.
9. Be Charitable
Donations can become a strong way to get your business out there and increase your good PR. Picking a charity(s) you like and trust and promoting a donation of a portion of your proceeds to a worthy cause can help you to stand out strongly against your competitors.
Meanwhile customers are more inclined to share and promote your business even if they don’t intend on making a purchase themselves if you’re proposing a donation to a charity or organization they believe in.
Be sure that your charity is also one that you can stand behind and something that is near and dear to your own heart, being passionate about the cause will show your customers why they should be passionate about it too.
This can not only help your reputation to soar, it can also help you to rack up tax benefits from making charitable donations! Every donation counts towards a right off when tax seasons peaks its head around the corner!
Here are a few things to think about when considering implementing charity into your own business.
10. Hire a Digital Marketing Agency
If doing all of this on your own just isn’t the kind of work you’re cut out for, there’s always the option of hiring an agency to do all of it for you. Taking the headache and fuss out of marketing for yourself – you can instead opt to reap all of the benefits of a digital agency without the hassle.
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