One of the main concerns local businesses have when developing an online marketing campaign is affordability. Costs can potentially spiral out of control, with the desire to build campaigns across a wide range of channels. Most local businesses are targeting a specific audience, though, by reaching those with interest in their products and who are nearby. Thankfully, various strategies can be both cost-effective and targeted.
The following examples can quickly become the go-to marketing strategies for local businesses across all types of niches.
Taking a broad approach to marketing can be costly and time-consuming. For local businesses, focusing on specific local areas will be a better use of your time and budget. You can set up pages on your website, using local keywords to narrow the scope. Images can get posted with geographical data and regional keywords as the alt tag. If you are paying for advertising, major platforms let you target specific areas, so you can avoid reaching people who would never use your services.
Competing with prominent brands is tough, but geo-targeting lets you focus your attention on the ideal audience.
Consumers have come to expect businesses to be present on the major social media networks. Even local businesses need a presence, with the potential to generate new leads and make additional sales. Social media can be free, but there are ways to invest steadily and make a return. Advertising on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be done gradually, ensuring you don’t spend your budget without any return. Facebook advertising is a great way to get in front of local customers and businesses.
Mobile advertising can also track locations so that you can tailor ads based on proximity to your business.
Local events allow you to build your brand in the area that most counts. Attending a local event might not offer the same quick response as a targeted ad, but you can often make connections that last into the future. Local events frequently take place between business owners, offering a chance to network. You can, however, develop events of your own, possibly sponsoring sports teams or music productions. The best approach is to think about where your customers go and then form a plan that builds their interest. These events can later be promoted online, using forums and social media to market your endeavours.
Reviews have become an important part of online marketing, with local and global businesses focused on customer opinions. Many consumers will not use a company without first checking reviews. Sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google My Business, Trustpilot, and Facebook Ratings and Reviews all feature review facilities, but you don’t need to leave things to chance. While many of your clients will be happy to give positive reviews, they will usually need a reminder. You can make it part of your process to ask customers to leave a review, simplifying the procedure by explaining what needs to get done.
Local businesses can often find joint venture partners that don’t pose a threat to their sales. A hair salon could work alongside a spa to provide discounts to their customers. A bar could partner with a restaurant to reduce costs and offer more options to customers. There will usually be a related business to your own that could benefit from exchanging ideas, resources, advertising, and customers.
Content marketing is one of the most effective modern marketing strategies, working just as well for local businesses. Most towns and cities have several blogs, news sites, and video channels that are focused on the local region. Study the main platforms catering to your area, analyzing what content resonates with audiences. You can then develop content of your own that helps to increase brand awareness. Additionally, you can look for opportunities to expand your reach, targeting people further afield who are interested in the general niche.
Adding an e-commerce element to your site can help cultivate a wider audience. Your location can be a benefit to you, with consumers often seeking out authentic sales experiences. Fashion, for example, is often promoted based on the site of the brand. Food products might get marketed around the origin of the ingredients. It is relatively easy to build an e-commerce store, or have one developed for you so that you could grow your audience without too much extra effort. By using these strategies, local businesses can reach a wider audience without spending a great deal of money.
Online companies typically start low-cost campaigns, focusing on their ideal audience. As these marketers begin to see success, the budget is increased to broaden the target audience. Similarly, local businesses can use one marketing strategy, before gradually expanding their scope.
Affordability is a major concern for most local enterprises, so using a smart approach to marketing will ensure you build at a rate with which you are comfortable.
If you need help with any of the above please feel free to get in touch for an obligation free chat. We love chatting to local Sydney businesses about small business marketing.
How to reach the 98 percent of people who leave your website without converting sales.
The Easiest Way In the World To Turn Website Visitors Into Customers…6 Steps to Profiting with Retargeting Advertising. It Works Like Magic.
Getting customers to your website is only half the battle. The question is are they converting into customers?
As a small business owner, you want to know how to reach the 95 to 98 percent of people who leave your website without converting into buyers.
Retargeting converts window-shoppers into buyers. Generally 2% of shoppers convert on the first visit to an online store. Retargeting brings back the other 98%. Retargeting works by keeping track of people who visit your site and displaying your retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online.
For that reason, retargeting has emerged as a must have marketing channel, and all of the major companies are doing it. Retargeting is the cornerstone of any online advertising strategy since it improves the results of every other channel out there if it is implemented correctly.
Retargeting advertising allows you to “capture” all website visitors and add them to a list. Then once you have a list of your lost prospects, you can display banner ads to them on other websites to convert them to leads and sales.
So retargeting gives you another shot (or multiple shots) to convert website visitors that left before buying or giving you contact information to follow up.
HOW RETARGETING WORKS
Retargeting may sound complex, but it’s really quite simple.
Have you ever looked for an item online, but didn’t buy it, however when you visit other sites on the Internet, you see adverts for that item following you around? THAT is retargeting.
Technically speaking, retargeting relies on browser cookies. So when a potential customer visits your website, a cookie is saved on their browser. This is no different than how Google Analytics or any other analytics program works. Browser cookies are totally safe and completely legal. In fact, nearly every advertising platform relies heavily on cookies for tracking and reporting capabilities.
So once the cookie is saved on your prospects browser, then you immediately have the ability to “retarget” that prospect. As more and more prospects visit your website, your retargeting list will grow and you’ll be able to display ads to a larger audience.
When someone on your retargeting list visits other websites like CNN.com, you’ll be able to display banner ads promoting your business or a special offer.
WHY IS RETARGETING SO EFFECTIVE
Retargeting generates greater online sales by keeping your brand front and center and bringing “window shoppers” back when they’re ready to buy.
Every time your customer sees your retargeting ads, your brand gains traction and more recognition. The high click-through rates and increased conversions that are typical with retargeting campaigns underscore the value of good branding and repeated exposure.
That’s pretty cool, but it gets even better.
With retargeting, you do NOT buy ad space directly from CNN.com or any major site that displays your ad. As you may know, big websites like these are very expensive and typically require large minimum media buys. And it may not make sense to target everyone visiting those websites right? However, it makes perfect sense to target the people visiting those websites who previously visited your website. Those are your ideal prospects.
So rather than buy ad space directly from a website like CCN.com, you can buy from a retargeting ad network that has access to that ad inventory. By going through a retargeting ad network, you’ll get a huge discount because your ads are only showing to a small percentage of the entire website’s audience.
Plus, because retargeting is fairly new, there are very few competitors driving up the costs. This means retargeting is a very cost effective tactic to follow up with your lost website leads and give them the impression you have a million dollar brand image.
WHAT RETARGETING IS NOT
Retargeting is an amazing tool, but it’s not a silver bullet solution for lead generation. First, it’s important to understand retargeting will not fix your online conversion rate. So if you’re not currently converting any prospects to customers on your website, then retargeting is not going to magically solve your conversion problem.
In addition, retargeting does not help websites that do not already have traffic. This one should be obvious. If no one is visiting your website now, then no one will get on your retargeting list and you will have no one to display ads to.
Also, retargeting is not unethical or against any online privacy laws. The cookie used to create a retargeting list does not include any personal identifiable information (PII). Therefore, retargeting is completely anonymous. The only information you have is the total number of people whom you can retarget ads to.
Finally, retargeting is not a replacement for online forms to capture contact information on your website. Since retargeting is anonymous, you still need to collect contact information whenever possible to follow up via email, phone, and mail.
6 STEPS TO PROFIT WITH RETARGETING
STEP 1: CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT
The first step is to choose a retargeting ad network. Most of the big ad outlets are adding retargeting as an option so if you’re already advertising then ask your rep. If you’re not yet advertising or your ad outlet doesn’t have retargeting capabilities then here are a few specific retargeting networks we recommend:
Perfect Audience is the best well known in terms of ease of use and performance. They reach 95% of all websites on the internet (including Facebook) so they are one of the big players if you want to reach a wide audience.
The next step is to add the retargeting code to your website. To keep it simple, simply add the code to every page of your website.
If this has made absolutely no sense to you or you find it daunting, then don’t worry! You don’t have to do it alone. This is a simple task for any Webmaster or company like ours, and we can do this for you.
Once the code is on your site, then everyone who visits from that point forward will be added on to your retargeting list. So if you typically get 500 visitors in a month, then you can expect to have 500 people in your retargeting list within a month. Most retargeting platforms recommend you wait until you have about 500 people to target because otherwise there are just not enough opportunities to display your ads.
STEP 3: DESIGN BANNER ADS
The third step is to design your banner ads in all of the major dimensions. Here’s a list of the dimensions we recommend you create in order to get the most exposure:
Banner – 468×60 pixels
Square – 250×250 pixels
Small Square – 200×200 pixels
Leaderboard – 728×90 pixels
Medium Rectangle – 300×250 pixels
Large Rectangle – 336×280 pixels
Skyscraper – 120×600 pixels
Wide Skyscraper – 160×600 pixels
When you are designing your ads, make sure you include the following 3 key components:
Benefit focused headline
Phone number call to action (Important: Use a trackable phone number!)
The first component is the headline.
Make sure your headline is all about the benefits of your product or service. For example, if you’re a dentist then the benefit might be a brighter smile. It’s not how long you’ve been in business or how many patients you’ve helped. Think about the problem you’re solving and how your customer’s life will improve by using your product or service.
The second component is your phone number call to action, which should be a unique trackable number. For example, “Call 646-470-3753 Today!” or “Call 646-470-3753 to Schedule Your Appointment Today!” By including your phone number in your ad you give the prospect the opportunity to call without having to click on the ad. Always make it as easy as possible to contact you and remove as much distraction as you can.
The third component is your business logo. With direct response advertising, we would normally never recommend you add your business logo. Especially for a small, local business where most people will not recognize the name and logo.
However, with retargeting, you’re only showing your ads to prospects who already visited your website and should remember your name and logo. Therefore, your business logo will improve your conversion rates because prospects will recognize and remember you.
STEP 4: DEPOSIT MONEY & SET BUDGET
This is easy. In order to start any ad campaign you’ll need to deposit money or add a credit card to your account so pay for the ads. While you’re adding money to the account, also set a daily and/or monthly budget to ensure you don’t exceed the money you set aside to invest in this retargeting campaign.
STEP 5: ENABLE ADS & MEASURE RESULTS
The final step is to enable the ads if they are not already and measure your results. We recommend you log into your ad account to check the stats every day for the first 3 days. If you don’t see any ad impressions after 3 days then contact the ad network to see if there is a problem with your account setup. It’s possible you didn’t add the code correctly on your website.
If you do see ad impressions and possible a few clicks after 3 days, then we recommend monitoring every other day to every week for the first month. After one month you should have enough data to calculate your return on investment (ROI).
STEP 6: TRACK YOUR ROI
When designing your banner ads we strongly recommend you use a trackable phone number so you know exactly how many calls come in from your retargeting ads.
Also, if you have a contact form on your website, then you can add conversion tracking so you know exactly how many contact form submissions come in from your retargeting ads.
To get conversion tracking set up, you or your Webmaster will add some code to your contact form “thank you” page. The “thank you” page is the page immediately after the contact form is submitted that typically says something like “Thanks for contacting us.”
If you need help adding conversion tracking to your website, then contact your ad network and they’ll help you get set up.
Armed with your trackable phone number and contact form conversion tracking, you can calculate the ROI from your campaign. For example, you may find that you generate 5 phone calls and 10 contact form submissions after the first month.
To calculate ROI, you need to know the value of a phone call and the value of a form submission. Note that the values will typically be very different because phone calls tend to be more qualified prospects than contact form submissions.
If you’re not sure about these values, then you’ll need to track all of your calls and form submissions over the next month or several months to see how many convert to sales. Then based on the value of each sale, you’ll be able to calculate an average value for every call or form submission.
Call In the Experts
As you can see, retargeting advertising can be extremely lucrative and can help businesses get customer that they would otherwise have lost.
Thee are lots of points that you need to consider in order to run a profitable campaign. At Flarecom we have lots of experience so it is second nature to us.
If you are struggling with your remarketing campaign, please don’t let that stop you missing out on huge profits using this strategy. Contact us today and let us help you reach the customers you lost when they visited your site and turn them in paying customers.
This morning we were delighted to receive an email from Google telling us that that Google Data Studio (beta) is now available in Australia. If you love creating reporting dashboards for SEO or PCC clients then this announcement is music to your ears.
For those of you not familiar with Google Data Studio, it gives you the tools you need to turn your analytics into beautiful, easy-to-read reports through their data visualization technology.
Data Studio reports are extremely easy to read, easy to share and they are fully customizable. It’s easier than ever to pull and organize the data you need to make informed decisions about your business.
You have the option to present the data in a number of ways — bar graphs, charts, line graphs, and so on. You can even change colours, fonts, and brand the reports with your logo.
Some of the features of Data Studio include:
Put all your data to work. Easily access the data sources you need to understand your business and make better decisions.
Transform your data. Quickly transform raw data into easy-to-follow reports and dashboards — no code or queries required.
Build engaging reports and dashboards. Data Studio gives you the ability to create meaningful, shareable charts and graphs that bring your data to life.
Leverage teamwork that works. Work together quickly, from anywhere by sharing reports via Google Drive.
With this fantastic and free software, you can easily show your clients the results of your efforts in an easy-to-understand, customizable reporting dashboard. Proving ROI on digital campaigns is as important as ever and Google Data Studio will be a critical tool in any marketer’s arsenal.
Google Data Studio provides everything you need to turn your online data into beautiful, informative reporting dashboards that are easy to read, easy to share, and fully customizable. data can be pulled in from various sources in an easy to add module.
Here is a great tutorial on the basics and how to use Data Studio. For more video tutorials visit this page.
Watch the video below to learn how to create beautiful reports using the new Google Data Studio. Data Studio makes it easy to connect to your data, visualize that data, and share and collaborate with colleagues and customers.
Smartphone usage is skyrocketing and that includes reading emails via mobile devices. In the U.S for example, 73% of people use their smartphones to check their emails on a daily basis.
So, what should you keep in mind when sending out mobile-friendly emails? We’ve compiled some tips that ought to help. 1. Short and concise — in both content and design.
Get to the point. Do not waste the recipient’s time. Understand that most smartphone users don’t have the patience or time to read long emails on their 4-inch displays.
2. Single column template
Don’t make people scroll sideways to read your email. Use templates that are already “mobile-optimized” or simply stick to a single column.
3. Clear call-to-action
Let recipients visit your website, call you, or “buy now” with a single click. Place a call-to-action button near the top of the email and another near the bottom.
4. Font size
Make sure the font is big enough to be legible on a smartphone screen. Stick to a minimum 11pt font for the body and 22pt minimum for headlines. Also use contrasting colors so that the text is visible and doesn’t blend with the background.
5. Easy on the graphics
Don’t go overboard on the images. Some email clients already automatically hide images so not all recipients will see them, and heavy graphics take longer to load.
6. Test email
Always send out a test email to yourself first. Open it on a smartphone screen and see how it looks.
Most businesses are on a tight budget, especially when it comes to marketing. Times are hard and many companies don’t have a lot of money to invest on advertising and marketing.
The irony is, not marketing your business will have a detrimental effect on your business.
One local business owner called Tom who owns a fireplace store has just put a closing down sign in his store window because nobody is visiting his store and he says he can’t afford to advertise any more.
This year alone he has spent over $6000 on advertising in his local newspaper with expensive one time ads and it was a total waste of time and money.
Although it is sadly too late for Tom, the good news for other companies who are still in business is that online marketing is not only much cheaper but it is far more effective than traditional methods of marketing plus you can easily track the success of each marketing campaign that you launch.
Here are some big marketing ideas for businesses on a small marketing budget:
1. Optimise your website for the search engines:
This is one of the first things you need to put on your ‘to-do’ list.
Why? Because Google is not only the most popular search engine on the Internet but it is also your business’ best friend.
Google and the search engines want you to rank high in the search results. If their clients are searching for a product or service that provide, it is Google’s job is to tell them about your business.
However, you have to make it easy for them by optimising your site. This need not be expensive at all and yet will one be of the best investments that you could ever make. The return will be phenomenal as customers far and wide discover your company online.
2. Google Plus Local
While we are on the subject of Google, we can’t miss out Google+ Local. As mentioned in the previous marketing tip, Google really is on your side and it wants to help your business be found. They make sure that if potential customers are looking for a product or service that you provide, Google wants to make sure that its results are totally relevant and your company appears in the listings.
As a result, search results are becoming much more local and personalised and companies who claim their Google Plus Local Page and optimise it properly get the best rewards.
3. Start a Blog
No matter what type of business you are in, you can still have a blog. In case you don’t know what a blog is, it basically stands for ’web log’ and they’re effectively online diaries.
If you are going to create a blog for your company you need to do the following:
Host the blog on your own domain. E.g. YourBusinessWebsite.com/blog
Anyone can set one up, that’s the easy part. Thinking of something interesting to say each time you blog is the tricky bit. You need to write good content that will be interesting for your visitors and customers. People won’t thank you if it’s just going to be one long sales pitch.
Create a community and make your visitors feel part of it by responding to each blog comment. If you do, the more people will be inclined to read and comment on your blog more often.
4. Social Networking
Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are all popular sites that you can’t ignore. By creating a profile on each of these sites, you will not only create new opportunities for potential clients to find you but they will also be excellent sources of traffic.
Local businesses that use social media sites like these, almost always see a significant increase in monthly traffic. The part that excites them the most is the fact that it is completely free. All it costs is a little of their time but the results are well worth it.
By investing a bit of time and effort providing good content that is relevant to your audience and interacting with your followers you will soon build a loyal following. This will raise your online company profile and make your site easier to find in the search engines.
In 2012, 85% of marketers found that social media generated more
exposure for their business. “
5. Case Studies and testimonials
If you already have happy customers who love your product or service why not get a testimonial or case study from them?
Case studies and testimonials are a perfect way to get brand new customers because they build credibility and give the potential customers the confidence to try your product or service knowing that other people like it. They will be less inclined to buy if they don’t see any testimonials or reviews.
The secret is to get your customer to talk about your product or service, how they used it, and they results that they got.
Most customers will be happy to do this if you ask them.
You could also provide feedback forms on your website. Online customers are used to and conditioned to leaving reviews. They are a great way to get more people interested in what you have to offer.
6. Write a free ‘Beginners Guide’ for customers to download
No matter what kind of business you are in, you can get a lot more business by writing a free Beginners Guide. It is an excellent marketing technique.
They are an excellent way to get a lot of traffic to your site and increase the interest in your product or service.
Beginners Guide to Choosing a Fishing Rod
Beginners Guide to Setting Up an iPhone 5
How to Choose a New Bathroom Suite
Choosing the Right Spectacles for You
Beginners Guide to Tiling
These kinds of free reports rank highly in the search engines and do a superb job of up-selling your products and services, as well as making you an ‘authority’ in your field. Customers will see that you know exactly what you are talking about and will decide to buy from you instead of your competitors.
7. Start an Affiliate Program
This is possibly the best marketing tip for any business on a tight budget.
By having a team of affiliates (individuals and companies who promote your products on their websites for a commission on each sale that they get) you get people marketing your product for free. There is absolutely no limit to the number of people that you can have promoting your services. In fact the more you have, the more likely you will make many more sales.
There are a lot of third party applications and plug-ins out there which make setting up an affiliate program easier. They will handle all of your sales and commissions. Feel free to contact us for more information and we will get you up and running in no time.
8. Answer Questions relating to your product or service
The internet is the first place people look to for answers if they have a question about a particular product or service.
They post their questions on discussion forums and question and answer sites like Yahoo Answers. If you can provide the answers to their questions relating to your products or services, you can attract a ton of brand new customers. It is a perfect free way to get more visitors to your website and gain credibility.
9. Go To Networking Events
Networking events are a great place to find new clients and all businesses should make it a practise to attend networking events if possible.
These are generally arranged by The Chamber of Commerce or global organisations such as BNI (Business Networking International). A quick search online will reveal a number of networking events in your area.
They work because you will always meet somebody who you can form a business relationship with. This will either be as a customer or as a useful contact to give your referrals or joint venture with.
10. Ask For Referrals
It is surprising how many companies don’t ask their customers for referrals. Why not? If you have satisfied and happy customers, you really should be asking for referrals as it a very effective way of getting even more happy customers.
Some people feel shy about asking and are afraid that the customer will turn them down. However, you will be surprised at how few customers actually will say no. If a large proportion of customers do refuse to introduce you to others, it might be a sign that you are doing something wrong and could be doing a much better job of making them happy, giving you something to work on.
For a pain-free way of asking for referrals, why not try this method; Look up your current customers on LinkedIn and see who they are connected with. If you think someone that they know can personally benefit from your product or service, ask them for an introduction.
Most, if not all will say yes, especially if you return the favour.
11. Harness the Power of YouTube
Companies are latching on to the importance of YouTube in their marketing campaigns. Not only do videos now appear in the search results, but you can also use videos to show how good your product or services actually are.
If, for example, you create stunning cakes, why not show a video of you making and icing the cake. Or if you are a painter and decorator, create a video showing the transformation of the room with a before, during and after video. Do you provide a lawn care service? If so, again, video the results.
There is no end to the things that you could video relating to your company. Even a tour around your company premises could be interesting to your customers.
12. Provide exceptionally good customer service.
The best way to keep a customer for life and to get them to tell others about your company is by providing exceptionally good customer service. By doing so, not only will customers be happy with their purchase but they will spend more of their hard earned money on your product or services in the future.
There has never been a more important time for your company to provide excellent customer service, especially as customers are more willing to tell others about their shopping experiences on their social networking sites and by leaving reviews, good or bad.
You want them to tell all of their friends about the great experience they had using your company.
13. Do some online PR
As you know, getting some good PR is a great free way to get people talking about your company. The more they talk about you, the more people will come to your website and check out what you are offering.
Most people think of PR coming from major media outlets such as radio and television. While this would be fantastic, it is not easy to get that sort of attention.
However, there are easier ways to get PR online which can be just as effective, especially if you have a targeted customer group.
Getting the attention of blog owners is one way of doing this, especially if it is a popular and attracts the sort of readers that you want to target.
You can email the blog owner, asking if they would like to interview you. As they are constantly looking for new topics to write about, many will be happy to interview you, especially if it is something that they think that their readers will benefit from.
14. A Crafty Twitter Technique
If you want more customers, here is a great suggestion to encourage people to promote your business for free AND build up a huge mailing list at the same time.
Here is the plan:
Offer a free downloadable report, or set up an exclusive password protected VIP Loyalty Group on your website or Facebook page where you will have special offers and discounts not available to anybody else.
People can get access to the report or VIP area by Tweeting about your product or service.
Once they have sent the Tweet, they notify you and you give them access to their prize.
This is an incredibly powerful way to not only spread the word about your company and website but also to build your online mailing list (if you are giving them the report) or group of followers on Twitter and Facebook. This means that you can keep in touch with these people and build a relationship with them. It will be good for your branding and internet presence.
As a variation, you can do this by asking for ‘Likes’ on Facebook or any other social site.
If just 10 people do this per day and they each have a following of 100 friends and family, you can see how quickly the word will spread about your business.
If you are inspired by any of the powerful marketing tips in this article and want to know more about setting them in place, you can find our contact details on page 3 of this magazine and we can do this for you.
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