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Written by: Christian Haskins

Digital Marketing For Local Businesses

Can digital marketing benefit your business? Here's how local business owners can leverage digital marketing to help grow their business!

Small business owners sometimes think digital marketing isn’t for local businesses, but this couldn’t be further from the truth!

In today’s digital age, you can get your business in front of your local customer base like never before with targeted digital marketing.

Let’s look at some of the best ways businesses can leverage digital marketing to grow.

Google My Business

When searching for local businesses, the first thing that pops up is a map along with 3 of the best ranking local businesses, called the Local 3-pack.

Shows te Google search "Pizza shops in Syracuse" and then 3 following restaurants showing up first called the Local 3-Pack
local 3-pack example

Having your business rank in the Local 3-Pack is a very advantageous position to be in. As a result, it drives high-quality, warm, consistent traffic to your business’s website.

Unfortunately, the Local 3-Pack can be challenging to rank in, but not impossible! In addition to other methods described in this article, you’ll be well on your way to ranking in the Local 3-Pack and drumming up more business then you can imagine.

SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher in specific Google searches. In other words, it’s the reason some sites show up before others when searching for something on Google.

It takes into account a multitude of different factors to determine your page ranking, some of the most important factors being:

  1. Site content. Provide your users with what they’re looking for! The content you’re posting on your site should match and fulfill your user’s expectations.
  2. User experience. No one wants to go on a website to do a scavenger hunt. Understanding what your users want to get out of your website will allow you to build the site accordingly.
  3. Mobile-friendliness / responsive design. 50% of all website traffic is from mobile devices. If your site doesn’t accommodate all screen sizes it will be reflected in your site’s ranking.
  4. Site speed. 40% of consumers will leave if a website that takes more then 3 seconds to load. Make sure your website is optimized and lightweight.
  5. Backlinks. Having links from other reputable sites not only increases traffic but is also a vote of confidence for your site. Make sure you have and are deploying an effective link building strategy.
  6. Domain age and authority. Just like with business, the age of your site, and its reputation plays a large role in ranking. So don’t wait, The best time to get a site is now!

In short, SEO boils down to this. Your website needs to allow the visitor to effortlessly find exactly what they’re looking for as fast as possible. Now, how you achieve that is a very in-depth, complex topic. However, it is achievable and when accomplished, it will be well worth the time and money spent.

Social Media Presence

It would be hard to live in today’s age and not know what social media is. Social media is an app or website that allows users to create and share content. Some examples include; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Here are some of the most common questions I get asked when talking about building a social media presence.

“What social media platforms should my business be on?”

The answer to this question really depends on your business. If most of your sales come from other businesses then you don’t necessarily need a Snapchat. And on the other end of that spectrum, if most of your sales come from 15-year-old girls, a strong LinkedIn presence isn’t really going to boost your sales that much. But if you’re still unsure, here’s my best advice.

Use all of them!

By being on all major social media platforms, you allow your business to have a very large digital footprint! Much like the saying “No publicity is bad publicity”, being able to be discovered in more places allows you to be discovered by more people, and more people means more money!

“What should I be posting on my social media?”

Once again that question really depends on your business, but generally, you should be posting content that provides value and appeals to your customers. You also want your social media strategy to stand out amongst the competition.

One of the best ways to have your social media presence stand out is humor. Humans have always used humor to overcome tough times and create connections with other humans. And humor can do the same for your business.

By making your customers laugh or even smile when they view your social media, you make your business feel more personal and relatable and less like an evil corporation. But being funny is a skill in itself and I don’t know exactly how to teach someone to be funny. If you’re not funny you can always just find someone funny and pay them to run your social media, you won’t regret it!

“How often should I post on social media?”

Finding the sweet spot for high-quality social media post frequency is essential to a successful social media strategy.

Post too often and your followers might feel overwhelmed and you might be sacrificing quality for quantity. Post too little and you might start losing engagement from your followers.

But luckily there is a standard post frequency you can reference for every major social media! Here’s the summary.

  • Fcebook logoFacebook: 1 per day
  • Instagram logoInstagram: 1-2 per day
  • Twitter logoTwitter: 15 per day
  • LinkedIn logoLinkedIn: 1 per day

Social Media Marketing & Advertising

Once you have a solid social media presence that you feel confident in as well as a conversion-optimized website, you’re ready to start marketing and advertising. Let’s take a look at some of the best social media platforms for local businesses to advertise themselves on.

Facebook Advertisements

With the use of targeted Facebook advertising, you can get your business in front of your most ideal customers. The platform allows you to create your target audience, promote posts from your page, track how well campaigns are doing and much, much more. It’s a very powerful platform and not to be underestimated or left as an afterthought.

YouTube Advertisements

Depending on your target audience, YouTube might be a very good choice to advertise on. You can choose from a bunch of different kinds of advertisements, some of the most popular being:

  • Non-skippable
  • Skippable
  • Instream(in the middle of the video)
  • Display ads
  • And more!

In addition to the ad types, the YouTube algorithm is a very powerful tool when harnessed. The YouTube algorithm allows you to serve your advertisements on videos being viewed by the most ideal and warm viewers. Allowing you to get the biggest bang for your buck!

Instagram Advertisements

Owned by Facebook, Instagram is another powerful platform to advertise on. It comes with all of the aforementioned capabilities of Facebook advertising while allowing you to reach different demographics and with a different form of media.

Where Should You Start?

Figuring out where to start can be very confusing and overwhelming when trying to build out a digital presence.

From my experience, getting a website is one of the first things a business trying to get set up online should do. It’s the place most interested customers end up and where all the conversions happen.

After a website, I would establish my social media presence along with setting up Google My Business and then start focusing on creating a social media strategy.

Finally, I would launch an advertising campaign to drive traffic and make any adjustments along the way.

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