Local business owners generally have limited resources and budget for the advertising and marketing aspects of their enterprises. Which is sad, because spending for the right advertising strategies pays big dividends. And ensuring competitiveness is becoming increasingly challenging with consumers accessing information through various channels and platforms.
Digital trends are always changing but the traditional ones that have been proven effective stay the same. Get a leg up on the competition by using these techniques to spread awareness about your business and up your sales without busting your budget.
Get a mobile-only web design for your business website.
Even the smallest business now has a website. And with smartphone use expected to hit 90% this year, it is imperative that consumers can view your website using their mobile devices. Although a responsive web design is one solution and has its advantages, the user experience is not as rich as in a mobile site. The mobile website allows left to right navigation and has a more stream-lined performance. It will also load faster on a mobile platform than a RWD and have better chances to rank in local search results.
The downside to a mobile website is, you’ll have two URLs since it is a separate site and you’ll have to maintain both separately. But retail stores, which are what most local businesses are, cater to consumers and these individuals look for web service that is clear and simple, easy to navigate and transact with for online shopping. As a business owner, it’s best to go for a mobile website and overlook the inconvenience in order to satisfy a potential customer.
Use social media wisely.
A very common error of small business is to jump into all the popular social media networks and then forget about them. The business owner’s purpose, which is to reach out to the local population, is defeated and may even turn them away. If its Facebook page or Google+ account contains inaccurate and outdated information about the company and its products and services, 77% of users will leave the page and look for another store. That’s a huge loss of potential customers.
Social media as it is now has been proven to drive small business and 75% of small business entrepreneurs use them as a way to better engage with customers and address positive and negative feedbacks. The new local search features and low cost of using the various social media platforms is what attracts local enterprises to them but what many fail to realize is that they have to invest sufficient time to learn about using them to their maximum potential and keeping them current.
A solution would be to pick a few social networking sites to be active on, based on factors like the demographics of the target market, update them regularly and respond to comments from users and customers.
Don’t forget traditional advertising.
With technology becoming a very powerful force in marketing today, quite a few small business owners focus on digital advertising and forgetting that traditional strategies are still strong media for promoting one’s store, products and services. According to a PwC report, consumers value content experience, placing premium on relevance and convenience over how it is delivered. Further, the outlook for out-of-home advertising is the brightest while the print format is less so.
The projected fast growth of digital outdoor advertising in the form of digital billboards spills onto traditional outdoor banners. These are especially effective for small and local businesses because they cost less than TV ads and the digital version of billboards. The powerful impact of photographic quality large banners forces the attention of the viewer and they are not limited to a specific sector of the market because anyone can see them. They can also be placed on a number of locations as billboards or can widen their reach if placed as bus signs.
Other traditional methods of advertising that bring results are well-crafted flyers. Handed out in malls and busy sidewalks or put on cars’ windshields, they create awareness of your business in the local community and reach people outside of the internet.