Finding customers and gathering leads has always been a challenge for smaller local businesses. Larger businesses with well-established names have the advantage of name recognition and large marketing budgets to get the brand in front of a lot of people.
However, reaching out to new audiences has never been easier than it is these days. Digital media has made finding customers and reaching new people easier and more affordable. In fact, according to fundera:
- 47 percent of businesses spend less than $10,000 annually on digital marketing.
- 47 percent of small business owners run their marketing on their own.
- 81 percent of shoppers research online before purchasing.
Here are five digital marketing tips that small business owners can use to grow their customer base.
1. Create Local Visibility
- 75 percent of local-intent mobile searches result in offline store visits within 24 hours.
Google My Business is the standard for local online visibility. Using both Google Search and Google Maps, Google My Business helps people find businesses near them. Be sure to claim your Business Profile and update all information, personalize your photos, create offers, and post updates often.
2. Leverage Social Media
- 74 percent of consumers rely on social media to guide purchasing decisions.
Social media is a great way to reach a large audience and expand your online visibility. Using Social media platforms that make up your customer demographic helps narrow down your efforts and focus your budget where it will get the most bang. In addition to consumers looking to social media for purchasing information, customers engaging with a business on social media are likely to spend 40 percent more with that business in the long term. Optimize all current business information with your hours, products, services, and post informative and interesting updates daily.
3. Optimize Your Website
- 92 percent of business owners believe having a website is the most effective digital marketing strategy.
Update your company information, add new photos, and regularly update your website. Verify that your website is mobile-friendly and make sure the load time for the pages is quick. Don’t overload your site and slow it down. Skip keyword stuffing, the old standard for SEO, and publish information in a readable format that also will match searchable phrases that people will be using to find what you are offering.
A blog is another great way to keep your website active with new content. It is also a great way to get people interested in visiting your site and potentially learning more about what services or products you offer.
4. Send Monthly Emails
- Email is the top marketing tool used by small businesses.
If you are collecting emails from customers or potential customers, put this database to use by sending out a monthly email. Emails are a great way to contact an interested audience and share any special offers, sales, or business updates.
5. Focus on Referrals
- 41 percent of brick-and-mortar buyers read reviews before making a purchase.
A great way to grow your customer base is by using your current customer base. Leverage the goodwill from your happy customers. Word-of-mouth is no longer spoken—it’s tweeted, pinned, posted, and updated. Loyal customers will spread the word about your business for you.