How to Grow Local Businesses with Digital Marketing?
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Tired of your own business being in a slump? Perhaps it’s time to grow it! It’s a competitive world out there for businesses big and small alike, and a business needs to grow by standing apart from other similar businesses and competitors. To do so, you will need to employ the right tools to stay ahead of the competition – like digital marketing!
With plenty of digital tools at your disposal, digital marketing opens up numerous opportunities through the Internet that can be utilized to your advantage. Whether you’re based in Malaysia or somewhere else, here are some pointers on how you can grow your local business with digital marketing!
Before we start, what’s a local business?
A local business is a rather broad umbrella term, but generally it refers to any business that provides goods and services to local customers. As they mainly serve people in their local area, local businesses can include:
- Restaurants and café
- Grocery stores
- Car workshops
- Hair and Beauty Salon
- Pharmacies and clinics
Typically, the customers of local businesses are mostly people that either live or work nearby, and the convenience factor plays a big part in driving them to these businesses. If you’re a local business owner, customers in your local area are the ones that you don’t want to miss.
Pointer 1: Build a presence on Google
When it comes to digital marketing, you simply can’t do without having Google as part of your plan. As a lot of people use Google’s search engine these days, it can be very rewarding to make your business visible online to all those users out there.
Having a visible presence online is a big game-changer as statistics show that 76% of people who search for a business nearby visit within 24 hours! For this, Google My Business and Google Maps are good platforms to build your business’s online presence as they work by boosting your visibility on Google’s search engines. In turn, this helps guide more customers to your business and makes it easier for them to find you.
To properly optimize your Google presence, it can be ideal to gather data and statistics on the search preferences that Malaysians have. Search terms, frequent places of visit, and lifestyle habits are just some of the information that’s worth looking up as this can help fine-tune your online visibility to customers. If you want to go the extra mile, requesting reviews from your best customers are a good way to attract more people to your business.
Although setting up your presence on Google might take some time and effort to get it right, it’s better than having customers in your area to patronize at another shop down the road!
Pointer 2: Get active in social media
If there’s one thing a good business can’t do without, it’s social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube, being active on social media lets you better connect with your customers, which is key to growing your business.
For the bare essentials, try to always keep your customers up to date on information that they should know, such as your operating hours and details on any new products or promotions. But if you’re feeling creative, you can consider storytelling to convey the value of your business in a more interesting fashion. Some popular methods of delivery are:
- Instagram stories
- Short videos
- Customers’ stories or testimonials
Depending on your approach, there are plenty of ways you can do it. Even so, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to regular ol’ product posts – just be sure to make them look interesting!
Then again, you should always remember that social media is a two-way platform, so it’s a good idea to have your customers and followers be a part of your social media too. User-generated content (UGC) is an awesome way to do this, but do have some research on how your business can encourage it as not all approaches work the same.
And of course, a growing business will need to keep in touch with their customers and followers. To keep your real-time communication up, consider utilizing chatbots to help provide customers with instant answers to general questions. This way, you get to maintain communication with everyone without risking any customers feeling being ignored.
Pointer 3: Be part of the local online community
An online presence is essential to any business, but so is having a presence among the local online community. As such, look to engage other people in your local community as this will afford your business greater exposure and awareness.
One good place to start looking for local events around you is through Facebook’s “Events” section. Whether you’re participating or just showing your support, you’re allowing your business to be seen by more people, which can bring in more customers.
But if that isn’t feasible, you can always stay up to date on local affairs and share local news – this gives customers the impression that you’re a part of the local community, which can drive more people to your business.
Additionally, don’t miss out on joining local online community groups as they are great places to promote your business and seek customers. If you’re a small business owner based in Subang Jaya, for example, you can find groups by entering keywords like “Subang Jaya Facebook Group” in the search bar.
With the power of social media, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to establish yourself as part of your own local community!
Pointer 4: Have a good landing page
As first impressions are everything, you’ll want to be the one impressing your customers and not your competitors! To do so, you should have a good landing page that will really attract everyone’s attention and direct them to your business.
While similar to a website, a landing page is designed more for running promotions. But there are some differences that are worth noting:
- They are designed for a specific marketing goal
- They have a clear and direct call-to-action for visitors (encourage sign-ups, sales, etc.)
- They are more simplified than websites
When creating your landing page, your call-to-action should be clear and persuasive enough for all your visitors, be it for booking, ordering, or making a purchase. If traffic to your landing page is low, incorporating SEO into your landing page with long-tail keywords like “Best Pizza in Subang” or “Cheap hotel at Port Dickson” can help bring in more visitors. As long-tail keywords have better conversion rates, you’ll want to turn this to your advantage.
Although a landing page is not as comprehensive as a website, it can still suffice in bringing you some new customers. But if you wish to have a website for business use, you don’t necessarily have to build one from scratch – if you have an old website, Artisense can help you revamp it to get you your own mobile-friendly and secure website.
Pointer 5: Cultivate business partnerships
It’s no secret that connections are everything in business, which is why forming business partnerships can certainly help you grow your business. It doesn’t have to be a partnership with businesses in the same field – you can even work together with an entirely different one to complement each other!
For most businesses, there are plenty of brands or businesses in your local community that you can partner with. For example, if you run a gym, you can partner up with spas or massage parlors to offer special promotions or coupons, which is ideal for both of you and your customers to relieve muscle soreness after an intense workout. Likewise, if you sell large kitchen appliances, you can partner with someone else that sells food ingredients. The idea here is to find the right ones that can complement your business’s strengths well.
Once you’ve found the right business partner, you can find ways to better appeal to your existing customers and also tap onto each other’s markets. A joint ads campaign on social media is a great way to do this as you can readily promote each other while also reaching more customers at the same time. It’s a win-win situation for both you and your business partner!
All in all, digital marketing is a rather effective way to help grow your business. Among the tips above, the most important thing is to always build connections with your fans and followers to gain positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations. It makes sense – they are your customers, after all!
But if you really want to bolster your digital marketing, you could always go for paid ads (like Google Search Ads or Facebook Ads) to maintain a competitive edge. But if that sounds too technical are your concern, you can always reach out to Artisense! From social media, landing pages to comprehensive ad campaigns, there’s no better place that can handle all the digital marketing needs for your growing business.