Welcome to part five of our seven-part series, “The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing.” Today’s focus will be on helping small business owners with driving engagement with their business on a local level.
In its entirety, our series aims to provide business owners, particularly small business owners, with fast, actionable strategies to win and keep more customers.
The seven parts of this series break down as follows:
- ‘Near Me’ Marketing is Your New Superpower & Save Time and $$ with Local Digital Marketing
- Five Benefits of Local Listings Marketing & Five Risks of Ignoring Local Listings Marketing
- The Fast Five-Step Strategy
- Build Awareness: Helping Customers Find You
- Driving Engagement: Winning Customers’ Trust and Business
- Reputation Management: Keeping Customers’ Loyalty
- Ready To Do This?
The last post in our series, “Build Awareness: Helping Customers Find You,” showcased the approaches and networks to use to build online awareness for a local business. Today’s post will focus on driving engagement.
Let’s jump in!
Driving Engagement: Winning Customers’ Trust and Business
Once you’ve gotten your audience’s attention, you may have only seconds before customers decide if they trust you enough to head to your business. So you’ll want to be sure that the sites and listings they find have everything they need for driving engagement and, ultimately, helping people decide to go with your business. So it helps if you offered them the easiest way to turn that decision into a purchase.
Here are some ideas for winning customer trust and prompting them to purchase:
Add exciting content
Use content in your listings that anticipate potential questions from customers: such as opening hours, promotions, menus, services, and wait times. Google notes they have seen a 55% growth in mobile searches for “menus” over the past two years, and mobile searches for “wait times” have grown 120% over the past two years.
Add images, video and interactive elements
Listings enhanced with photos, videos, and other visual content outperform non-enhanced results.
Keep your social pages and directories fresh and up-to-date. Ideally, you will want to be posting to a platform like Facebook or Instagram once a day or 3x a week.
Link to other content
Do you have a blog or video channel? Were you featured in a local article or website? Crosslink your content across your profiles and pages to ensure people can find out more about you. Be sure to include your website and social handles on your directory listings.
Reputation management is one of the most important ways to win trust. See below for a breakdown of our advice on managing online reviews.
Calls to action (CTAs) enhance the content of the listing for search—they also help you turn your listings into direct engagement with your potential customers. A few clickable CTAs every business should consider (if they are available in the directory) are:
- Website link
- Clickable phone number
- Click for directions
- Easy reservation or appointment link.
Some businesses will also collect emails—usually through online forms or offers—and follow up with a customer who shows interest. Email addresses are beneficial if you are trying to establish a client for a long-term business relationship or sell a big-ticket item. Email marketing can be one of the most potent tools a local marketer has, be sure to follow the many laws and best practices that govern it.
The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing
Thank you for reading part five of our series titled “The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing.” Next up in our series is “Reputation Management: Keeping Customers’ Loyalty.”