So much has changed as a result of the pandemic, but the shift to online purchases, virtual meetings and events, and contactless service was happening even before COVID-19 arrived. Many local businesses that rely on foot traffic, referrals, in-person networking, and face-to-face sales calls have been struggling to adapt, and some are wondering if their business model will ever return to normal, says Donna Botti.
Can local businesses thrive? Absolutely, as consumers overwhelmingly do want to support local businesses. However, businesses have to wake up to the reality that their customers and prospects turn online first for information and expect convenience in their interactions.
The changes brought about by the pandemic are here to stay (and it looks like COVID may be too), but that doesn’t mean keeping your business in a holding pattern. It’s time to figure out how your online presence can work for you, and that means integrating it with what you do on a daily basis.
It’s a great time to look at your online presence through the eyes of a potential customer. Do they find what they are looking for? Do they know what to do next? How will you continue to build a relationship with them?
Connecting with your local customers online doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require a plan. Rarely does delegating this function of your business to your neighbor’s daughter’s boyfriend because he knows social media work out. Once you know who you are trying to reach, what your goals are, and how to measure them, outsourcing can be effective, however.
Here are three steps you can take in your marketing to get more traffic, more leads, and more revenue this year.
First, if you serve a local audience make sure you have claimed and regularly update your Google Business Profile. This is a free service from Google (formerly called Google My Business) and helps you appear in search and on maps when people near you are looking for your products or services.
Note: Google doesn’t call you about this, but many scammers do so set this up yourself.
Second, make sure that you have identified your ideal customer, what problems you are solving for them, and what questions they have when considering your products or services. Make sure your messaging and content speaks directly to this customer. The internet is a noisy place and we are all very good at tuning out anything we don’t find relevant to us.
Third, stop throwing spaghetti at the wall. Getting results depends on having a strategy, plan, and process in place to make it happen. Consistency is key, as is measuring your results. To grow your business, you have to have a plan and execute the plan.
At Delos Inc., we understand that online marketing can be overwhelming as it is too time-consuming and there are so many options that are constantly changing.
That is why for the new year we have created a special virtual event, Digital Marketing Live! where we’ll teach you simple, effective strategies that work to get you more clients and revenue.
At this live, virtual event you’ll not only learn the practices we’ve used for years to get our clients more customers, better leads, and more revenue, you’ll work on your business and leave with a plan that is ready to implement.
Vibrant local communities depend on successful independent businesses, and in today’s world that increasingly means also building relationships with your audience where they are –online.
Donna Botti is the owner of Delos Incorporated, an award-winning digital agency in Collegeville where they make the web work for you and take the headaches out of your local marketing efforts.
Originally working in corporate and later with large corporate clients, along the way Donna rescued a number of smaller businesses who ran into trouble with their online marketing efforts. Donna is now passionate about helping local businesses thrive in an online world.
Companies hire Donna to get more clients and revenue using digital marketing strategies and a playbook that is easy and sustainable and gets results.