When you’re starting and growing a small, local business, you learn pretty quickly that the more you advertise and market, the more business you’re likely to get. The only problem is that small businesses often don’t have big marketing budgets.
The good news is that study after study shows that digital marketing – and creating an online presence – has the best marketing ROI (Return On Investment) for small businesses. It also doesn’t break the bank. So here’s how you can get your business online and start building your presence.
The first thing you need to do as a local business owner is create a website. It doesn’t have to be big, expensive or flashy, but you do need one. These days, having a website is seen as a sign of credibility. If you’re not online, not only will people not be able to find you online, but they might also think you’re not a legitimate business.
A website is the hub of all your online marketing. It gives you somewhere to send people when they see some of your other marketing efforts online and gives them ways to contact you. Make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly, too – many more people search the internet on phones and tablets now!
For tips on how to build a website as a local business owner, check out this article we wrote: https://www.getfuzey.com/post/the-ultimate-guide-to-building-a-website-as-a-local-business-owner
Adding your business to Google’s My Business service lets you put your business – literally – on the Google Map. This means that when people search for your service in your area, you will come up as one of the results on Google Maps. It also allows your customers to review your service, and having a high star rating on Google is a great way to get more business.
Content marketing and blogging are one of the best ways to share your expertise with people who visit your website, and it also helps to keep your site “fresh.” This, in turn, tells search engines that your site is a valuable resource and helps to get your site higher in search rankings.
You can either write about what you know or hire a freelance writer to do it on your behalf if you’re not a great writer.
Many small businesses have social media pages, but most don’t use them to grow a following and engage with their customers and fans.
Promote your blog content on your social media pages, and post other helpful content like how-to videos or links to interesting stories from your industry. If some of your customers have businesses with social media pages, too, follow them on social media.
You can also run contests on your pages, post and promote job openings and more. If you have the budget for it, social media advertising is another great way to reach a targeted audience.
Last on our list of easy and low-cost ways to grow your local business online presence are directory listings. There are many websites out there that let you list your business free. Some are industry-specific, while others are based around a particular region or area. Not only will people who use those directories find your business, but you can also build links to your website too, and that’s good for search engine optimization or SEO.
Building an online presence is a marathon – not a sprint. If you build it, they will come – eventually. So make sure you keep at it, adding more content, growing your audience, and you will reap the benefits.