Marketing is like doing laundry. It's not necessarily hard, but it can be time-consuming. However, as a business owner, you cannot neglect your marketing. This blog details some of the local digital marketing sins you may be committing. When you read this blog, you will find that you already know how to do most of these marketing "chores," and you also already know why they are essential to the success of your business. To help you out, though, I have tucked some helpful links inside each paragraph to get you started on your road to redemption!
1. Ignoring Your Google My Business Listing
Your Google My Business (GMB) page is one of the most under-appreciated and underutilized tools that Google gives the local business owner. Your GMB page is how people find information about your business when they do an online search. Ignoring this listing opportunity is a huge mistake. When Google gives you a free tool to use to get found online—you better check it out and use it. We wrote a blog about how to optimize your GMB listing, check it out.
2. Not Posting on Social Media Regularly
We all know that everyone is on social media, so why is your business not using it regularly? Do you feel like it is a chore? Do you hate using the apps? Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but we are living in the 21st digital-everything-century. So buck up, get logged in, and start creating some simple posts on your social media accounts. Think of social media like a cocktail party. You ask questions, answer questions, share meaningful human interactions, and have a nice time.
3. Taking Your Business Too Seriously
Guess what? We are all human here on this spinning ball in space. Customers enjoy meaningful interactions with their local businesses. When you do use social media and build content on your website, don't shy away from sharing the funny, emotional, and more edgy stuff out there. And even better, create some of your own! People buy from people—not businesses. Always take your audience into account, and don't fake it—be real with your customers. It will keep them coming back for more.
4. Not Investing in the Local Community
Your online digital presence is linked to your real-life actions. Even Google builds its algorithm to surface brands, products, and services that link their real-world marketing to their digital presence. So, get involved with your community. Sponsor a little league team or the local chamber of commerce event and make sure you get a backlink from their website. Write an article on your website about your involvement locally and link back to the organizations you support. Showcasing your local commitments will only solidify your online presence and build trust with your customers.
5. Ignoring How Your Customers Make Purchases
Who is your best customer? Think about the customer that spends the most money with you, loves your product or service, and tells others about it. That is your best customer. How does that customer find your brand? Do they search online and fill out a form on your website? Do they search online and call in to order from you? If you define how your best customer (or buyer persona) finds your business and how they decide to make a purchase, you will know where to spend your marketing dollars and time. Keep this kind of customer happy, and your business will succeed!
6. Assuming People Will Find Your Business Without Digital Marketing
How do you make a purchase? Chances are you start by researching a product or service online. Then you narrow your search to the different vendors or companies that sell what you want to buy. Guess what? Even if you are buying locally, this process is the same for most people. These days, your online presence establishes your business' legitimacy to the world. Ignoring your website's health, GMB listing, and social media accounts tells the world that you either don't care, or your business is not trustworthy. Both of those sentiments negatively reflect on your brand and your bottom line.
7. Ignoring the Power of Video
Video is everywhere! Forbes reports that “Internet Video Traffic will be over 80% of all consumer internet traffic in 4 yrs”. That is a statistic you shouldn't ignore. Video content helps your company showcase its human side. And video content is easy to consume for customers—face it, it's harder to read than watching a video, right? If you don't have a video strategy or are not exploring how to add it to your marketing arsenal, the time is now! If you need some help with it, we wrote this blog to help: 7 Resources for DIY Video Marketing.
The Path to Redemption
All-in-all, try. Right? I mean, learn a little, try a little and do some minor maintenance of your website, social accounts, and online listings. Stay relevant and engaged with your buyers. And if you find that it is too much extra effort, give us a shout!