December 18, 2017 | By:

How to Successfully Market Your Local Business Online

With today’s digital landscape, having an online presence is now considered a necessity for every business, regardless of size. Every smart business owner knows how important it is to take a digital approach to marketing their business in order to reach their target audience and gain visibility. If your business is not online, you’re missing out on a significant number of potential leads. If it is online, it could always be better.

For local and small businesses, online marketing can seem to be extremely overwhelming especially when working within a limited budget. The truth is, online marketing is a lot more cost-effective than traditional marketing methods, and there are many resources and tools that businesses can use for free. Here are some tips on how you can get started with marketing your local business online:

1. Set up a business website

A website can be used to accomplish a variety of marketing strategies—from showcasing and selling your products and services to gathering a customer list and establishing your brand identity and reputation, among many other things.

Building a simple website shouldn’t cost all that much. For a low fee, you can register your domain name and then use an open source platform like WordPress to create a website or opt to outsource your web development needs to an agency. Google My Business also has a free tool called Website Builder which helps local businesses build a single-page website that can easily integrate with Google My Business accounts.

2. Submit your business to online directories

Many customers turn to online directories to find information about local businesses that they are looking for, just like how we used to look through the yellow pages of phone books back in the day. Registering your business in online directories is free and only takes a few minutes to set up.

Local listing sites such as Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Yahoo! Small Business are among the most popular business directories online. You only need to provide basic information about your business, such as your address, phone number, and business hours.

If you have a website already in place, search engines may have automatically listed your business from directories such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, The Real Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, and Thumbtack. All you need to do is claim your business from these directories and make sure your company information is correct.

3. Create social media profiles for your website

Social media is now a way of life for most people, which is why it’s important for businesses to include social media in their marketing strategy too. For local businesses, social media is among the most cost-effective marketing tools: it’s free, easy to use, and gives the opportunity to reach a worldwide audience with ease if you know what you’re doing.  

Each social media platform, however, has its own demographic of users and unique set of features and services. Knowing who your target market is and what services and products you offer will help you pick the most appropriate social media platform to use. For example, if you are selling handmade crafts, image-centric sites such as Instagram and Pinterest are your best choices. 

Social media can open many doors to opportunities for your local business. An example would be, for a very small amount, you can run ad campaigns on Facebook to boost engagement. People can also conveniently get in touch with you through your social media page, which is a good way to establish customer relationships.

4. Network with bloggers and local influencers for PR

Small and local business owners often struggle with getting the word out there that their business exists. Word-of-mouth marketing can still be applied digitally by networking with local influencers and bloggers to help you with press releases. PR is a powerful marketing tool to help your business generate publicity.

Social media is a good medium to find bloggers and influencers within your area. Look through their bios and location, and see if their niche is relevant to your products and services.

Bloggers accept sponsored posts, brand ambassadorship, and product reviews for a minimal cost. In return, you can also share their articles and promote their blogs; it’s a win-win situation for both parties.

The internet has made it far easier for many local businesses to get started with their marketing efforts. With the proper strategy and patience to learn the technicalities of digital marketing, you can successfully promote your local business online.

If you want to know more about marketing your business online, or if you’re interested in working with a reputable digital marketing agency in Fort Worth, Texas, give Ilfusion a call at 888-420-5115, or send us an email creative@ilfusion.com.

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