Five Benefits of Local Listings Marketing & Five Risks of Ignoring Local Listings Marketing

Welcome to our series titled “The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing.” This seven-part series aims to provide business owners, particularly small business owners, with fast, actionable strategies to win and keep more customers.

Part One is already available; you are now reading Part Two, “Five Benefits of Local Digital Marketing & Five Risks of Ignoring Local Digital Marketing.”

The seven parts of this series break down as follows:

When we last left you, we talked about how powerful ‘near me’ search is for local businesses and pointed out how to save time and money with local digital marketing strategies at the forefront. 

The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing, Part Two

Five Benefits of Local Listings Marketing

Good local and location marketing is like a bat signal for online and mobile search engines—putting you right where those customers are looking when they decide to buy. Here are five of the benefits of investing in your local marketing strategy and creating strong ‘near me’ customer experiences:

  1. Name recognition

    Your business needs to be on the top of the list, whether a customer searches for you by name or something you offer. Optimizing for local search ensures that a customer won’t miss you if you’re close to them when they execute their search.

  2. High volume foot traffic and calls

    More than 3/4 of people who create a ‘near me’ search on their mobiles visit a related business within a day. Populate all of your online listings with your accurate address, hours, and phone number so customers can click to call you or get directions, and you’ll be ready to turn those online searchers directly into walk-in customers.

  3. More sales

    Google research shows that ‘near me’ customers are more ready to buy—with 28% of searches resulting in a purchase. So if you are poised to capture those mobile searches, you will win more customers who will purchase today.

  4. Better word-of-mouth reputation

    82% of adults in the U.S. say they either “almost always” or “sometimes” read online customer ratings or reviews before purchasing items for the first time, and according to the LSA, reviews are the “most important” influence on purchase decisions. You’re leveraging an opportunity if you’re using local digital marketing to boost your reputation and showcase your reviews.

  5. Competitive advantage

    One in three local businesses is not even trying to win local business through Google—never mind on other tier-one directories, apps and maps that could be optimized. Focusing on local search lets you claim the business your competitors are leaving on the table.

Very few small- or medium-sized business owners have figured all of this out—so you’ve got a real opportunity to expand your scope. And it’s not just about data management or technology. It’s about using the tools customers already trust to extend the human element of your physical locations, meeting customers earlier in their journey, and winning their business before they ever step through your door.

Five Risks of Ignoring Local Listings Marketing

Local business owners can’t afford to pass on local digital marketing. Here are a few of the risks of ignoring this critical channel:

  1. You will be invisible

    Your location doesn’t exist if your listing doesn’t appear when a customer searches for a business near them. According to Uberall research, 82% of searches are ‘unbranded’—meaning people are looking for what you offer but not by name. Every ‘near me’ search you don’t appear in is a lost opportunity to make a sale.

  2. You won’t control your business information

     Just because you aren’t managing your online listings doesn’t mean someone else isn’t. Whether well-intentioned or malicious, people may be changing your online information or confusing your customers. A solid local marketing game ensures you’re in charge of your data and listings.

  3. Your reputation may suffer

    Nearly 70% of customers use social media to help resolve customer care issues. If you aren’t actively monitoring and responding to reviews and online communication from your customers, you risk harming your reputation instead of helping it. (You can also learn many other things to improve your services and reputation from reviews.)

  4. You may be a blank slate

    When researching where to shop, customers use online reviews and listings to decide, including Google Maps & Reviews, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’re not active on these review sites and directories—claiming your listings, monitoring reviews and having skin in the game—customers may determine there’s not enough information on you and give you a pass. Active, populated listings and profiles and good reputation management are the keys to winning customer trust.

  5. Your competitors may snap up your customers

    When a local customer looks for you and your listings are not optimized to capture their attention, they may be seeing your savvy competition instead. Prevent a local rival from moving in on your sales by creating bulletproof listings that will grab the top search spot.

The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing

Thank you for reading part two of our series titled “The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing.” Part One, “Near Me’ Marketing is Your New Superpower & Save Time and $$ with Local Digital Marketing was originally published on February 22, 2022. Up is next Part Three, “The Fast Five-Step Strategy.”

‘Near Me’ Marketing is Your New Superpower & Save Time and $$ with Local Listings Marketing

Welcome to our series titled “The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing.” This seven-part series aims to provide business owners, particularly small business owners, with fast, actionable strategies to win and keep more customers.

This series will be broken down into seven parts as follows:

Let’s jump in with part one!

The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing

‘Near Me’ Marketing is Your New Superpower
In The Days Before Search

In the old days of marketing, advertising and promotion were like kryptonite for owner-operated businesses. It was a waste of money to use broad-reach channels when trying to reach local customers, and offline directories were cluttered and hard to use. Even if you wanted to go big, most small or medium-sized business owners couldn’t compete in traditional broadcast or print. And to make it worse, it took hours to manage on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis—with only a trickle of customers to show for it.

Times have changed. 

In The ‘Near Me’ Days of Search

Now, when customers want to find a local coffee shop or personal training services ‘near me,’ they open online maps, apps and search engines. They look for ratings and reviews to make their decisions. They look at inventories, services and menus online to see if you have what they want. Then, they make reservations or appointments right from your listing—or click to call or get directions to your door.  

This ‘near me’ way of shopping may be relatively new, but it is incredibly beneficial to local businesses. It puts you on the same level as the big guys with less time or effort. So when someone searches for “hair cutters nearby” or “pizza near me,” your business could have just as big a flag on the map as any national chain. 

Your Natural Advantage

But it’s even better than that. You can gain an advantage over big brands and local competitors if you play it right. Your business is already pre-tailored to appeal to your local customers—so it’s easy to optimize fast, with local content, listings, and stellar reviews right from the neighbourhood that will capture local customers’ attention in a single bound. A little upfront effort on ‘near me’ can vault you past the competition—big and small—to the top of search and map results. Owner-operators have a head start in the age of ‘near me.’

It’s a huge opportunity—and a real superpower if you know how to leverage it. 

That’s where this guide comes in. Use it to help you build a ‘near me’ marketing strategy that works, and you can finally focus your marketing time, effort, and dollars where they will drive the most customers to your door. Interested? Read on.

Save Time and $$ with Local Listings Marketing

We weren’t kidding about the superpower thing. The right kind of effort upfront on ‘near me’ marketing can result in significant returns that will save time and money and make you feel heroic.

The Stats Tell The Real Story

You don’t need X-ray vision to see how important digital location marketing has become for local businesses in the past decade. Online searches are leading directly to offline sales. Look at some of the statistics:

  • 91% of consumers use search to find business information locally.
  • 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone visit a related business within a day. And 28% of those searches result in a purchase.  
  • According to Google, “near me” mobile searches that contain a variant of “can I buy” or “to buy” have grown over 500% in the past two years, and we’ve seen a 900% growth in mobile search for “__________near me today/tonight.” 

That’s because smartphones, laptops, tablets, GPS and voice assistants like Siri, Google and Alexa have transformed how your customers buy goods. Most of today’s shoppers and clients don’t turn on televisions, read newspapers or open yellow pages to find local businesses. Instead, they pick up their phones and search. And then they buy.

An Equal Playing Field For Small Businesses

Local businesses don’t need to break the bank to use ‘near me,’ either. You can finally compete on an equal playing field in online digital marketing because location marketing doesn’t require an astronomical budget or dedicated headcount to manage. 

A single owner-operator with a strong location marketing and reputation management platform can do the job in only a few hours a week—less if you have the help of an agency partner or tech platform. And a ‘near me’ marketing strategy can keep your business at the top of search results and win more walk-in customers—all without breaking a sweat.

The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing

Thank you for reading part one of our series titled, “The (Small) Business Owner’s Guide to Local Marketing.” Part Two, “Five Benefits of Local Listings Marketing & Five Risks of Ignoring Local Listings Marketing” is up next!

Five Years of Local Marketing, Lead Generation, And Leadership

And just like that, it’s been five years for 10|20 Marketing. Five years of helping clients optimize their local presence. Five years of generating leads for B2B and B2C companies. Five years of growth – and fun.

While the last two years have been spent operating throughout the pandemic, we’ve watched our clients’ resilience and fight – which inspired us to play our part to help them through it

What started as an agency focussed on helping local businesses optimize their local presence has grown into a company that helps with more strategy and services – all at below market value rates. 

Specialists and Services

How have we grown? In two ways mostly. 

First, as we gained trust among our clients, we started getting requests to help them in other areas. Domains such as paid media management, social media marketing and website design and development are among them. So we went out to look for senior specialists who know their area of expertise like the back of their hands. People who also understand how to work with clients properly. So our team is made up of responsive experts our clients trust with projects, budgets and driving results. 

Five years later, we’re proud to say that these specialists are now a regular part of our service offering. 

Second, what started as a relationship with SweetIQ (now Uberall) has turned into multiple partnerships and agreements with other software providers. The idea? Use our agency’s buying power to deliver services our clients wouldn’t otherwise be able to access on their own. 

We’re still with Uberall for local listing management, but rather than offer just ten directories in our base package, we now include 40. And we offer that at not a penny more.

In addition, our recent agreement with Review Robin – check out our launch offers – gives business owners the opportunity to get more positive reviews for their Google listing, Facebook page or other review platforms. And we can also help clients show off their ratings with a fantastic little widget for their website – for just $19 a month. 

And we’re also now exploring low-cost ways to offer copywriting for content, including blog posts, business articles, guides, case studies, white papers, or maybe even e-books. We ask for a brief, and we’ll take it from there. 

A Personal Thought

The year ahead looks like an exciting one. And we’re equally excited about the next five too. If we outline our goals moving forward, what would they be? Actually, it’s quite simple. We’re always looking to build partnerships and grow our network. Which means that 10|20 Marketing is committed to:

  • Bringing in new high-value, low-cost software services to benefit our clients;
  • Growing our network of specialists to continue offering senior expertise across new disciplines;
  • Building stronger relationships with our clients as we continue to deliver leads to their physical and online locations. 

On a personal level, I remember someone once telling me that you won’t know what your business is until it’s at least five years old. And I remember thinking that was wise advice. But now that we’ve reached this milestone, I can honestly say that I’m happy with where our business has landed. But I’m also happy to know it’ll evolve some more. Being defined is good. But being open to that definition changing is probably wiser. 

So how about we just take it five years at a time?

Why You Need an Email List for Your Small Business

Almost every big company has an email list for their email marketing, but what about small businesses? Many small businesses are beginning to discover the benefits of email marketing and have started gathering an email list. Should your small business do this?

What is an Email List?

What comprises an email list? An email is the email addresses of people, visitors or customers that would like to receive information, updates, discounts, or other information from your business via email. As a result of signing up for your list, the people on the list will receive your small business’ promotional and marketing material.

Building an email list is essential to email marketing. There are a few ways you can make this list. For example, you could allow customers to opt-in for emails when purchasing something from your small business. You could also put a call-to-action to subscribe to emails on your website by offering an exclusive discount. Another way to build your list is to advertise a promotion or special offer to those who sign up. Whichever way you make your email list, it can help your small business’ marketing strategy succeed.

The Benefits of an Email List

Email lists can have a surprisingly positive effect on conversion and revenue. It’s an effective form of marketing and a great way to build relationships with customers. We’ve got all the details on why building an email list is essential for your 2022 small business email marketing strategy.

It’s Personal

One of the most significant benefits of email is that it allows you to develop a personal relationship with your customer. When owning and operating a small business, relationships are so meaningful. The relationship you have with your customers has the power to shape your entire business. Therefore, it’s so vital for you to nurture this relationship. An email list is a perfect way to do this.

By creating an email list, you can focus on building that critical relationship with your customers. For example, consider using your customer’s first name in the subject line or sending out a special email promotion for your customer’s birthdays. Doing small, personalized things like this will make your customer feel important. To your customers, being on the email list is like being in your small business’ exclusive inner circle. Take advantage of this and make your customers feel special with the emails you send.

Cost-Effective Marketing

Email marketing is a highly affordable way to market your business. Chances are, most of your customers use email. Therefore, reaching your customers via email is an easy and inexpensive way to impress your customers.

Because email is such a low-cost form of marketing, there’s a high potential for a high return of investment (ROI). Because of this potential for high ROI, your business doesn’t have anything to lose by building an email list. It’s cost-effective and simple!

Email Lists are Targeted

With an email list, you have a way better chance of reaching your intended customer. The recipients of your small business’ emails will most likely be quality leads because the people on your list have either purchased from your company or shown interest in purchasing from your business. Because this email list is your target customer, there’s a good chance for high conversion rates and repeat business.

Need Help Building Your Email List?

There’s no doubt that building an email list can be beneficial to your small business, but where should you start? We can help.

Here at 10|20 Marketing, our team has extensive experience in all aspects of digital marketing. We specialize in helping both big and small businesses generate quality leads. Our expertise gets businesses results.

Contact us for a free marketing consultation if you want an extra hand marketing your small business!

Four Best Strategies For Small Business SEO In 2022

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial for getting more clicks on your small business page or Shopify site. And as website interaction becomes more and more likely to determine a business’ fate, it’s essential that you’re up to date on the latest small business SEO trends.

SEO is a form of digital marketing that helps websites appear higher in search engine results. If you want your business to be successful, customers need to be able to find you online.

SEO is complex and combines a few different strategies. With search engine algorithms constantly changing, staying up to date on the latest SEO strategies is essential.

So, what will small business SEO look like in 2022? We have the latest trends and strategies right here.

Create Quality Content

The number one key to optimizing your website’s search engine results is to create quality content. Quality content is always trendy for SEO, and your business’ website must reflect that. Here are a few content guidelines to follow when optimizing your website:

  • Make it Accessible: The most critical part of your website is that the content is accessible and user-friendly. What does this mean? Ensure that your content is readable, has a quick load time, and is organized by H1, H2, H3 headings, etc.
  • Don’t Try to Stuff in Keywords: Nothing will push your website further down search engine results than forcing keywords into your content. However, you should avoid stuffing too many SEO keywords into your site to the point that the content doesn’t read well. Google’s algorithm will be able to pick up on the fact that your content isn’t easy to read, which will cause them to suppress your website in search engine results. Instead, be strategic with your keywords and know when enough is enough.
  • Answer Questions: Speaking of keywords, strategically optimize the content on your site so that it answers commonly asked questions on Google or other search engines. Answering questions will boost your website’s content further up the algorithm. An excellent way to do this would be to create an FAQ page.
  • Come up with a Content Strategy: Find a strategy that works for your business to boost your website’s content. A content strategy could include starting a blog, having a website calendar, publishing a newsletter – anything that promotes more clicks on your website.
Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

Mobile internet usage is becoming more and more popular. Now is the time if you haven’t already optimized your website for mobile devices.

Some ways to do this include using a responsive design that will automatically display on a mobile device. Other considerations are to optimize website load time, turn off pop-ups, and ensure that you have appropriate spacing and size for easy mobile clicking.

Target Local SEO Keywords

When creating content for a small business website, local SEO keywords are essential. Google’s algorithm now shows users more results from their local area. If your website isn’t already optimized for local SEO, you’re getting left behind.

An easy way to do this is to update your content to include your local area. For example, if you sell sneakers and your location is Toronto, contain the phrase “Toronto sneakers” somewhere in your website’s content. But be sure to keep in mind not to over-stuff your content with keywords. Instead, ensure there’s a well-written flow and that the local SEO keywords sound natural.

Optimize For Voice Search

Voice search is becoming increasingly popular in 2022, so you want to ensure that your small business is ahead of the curve. Make these small changes to your company’s website for voice search optimization.

Since many voice search results are location-based, you’ll want to geo-target the keywords or phrases that you include in your content. Geotargeted keywords go hand in hand with local SEO keywords.

Another way to optimize voice search is to make your content more conversational. Since voice searches tend to be more casual, you want your content to reflect that tone, which will help boost your website for voice searches.

Need Extra SEO help?

Navigating SEO and the ever-changing trends can be intimidating. But, don’t worry, we’re here to help if you need us! 10|20 Marketing has extensive experience assisting small and big businesses with their digital marketing strategies.

Contact us for a free consultation if you want an extra hand in creating up-to-date SEO content for your small business!

Social Media For Small Business: Top 4 Trends Marketers Should Watch in 2022

There’s no doubt that social media for small business marketing is the future of digital marketing. With approximately 4 billion social media users globally, it’s the fastest, most efficient way to reach a large audience. In 2022, social media marketing for small businesses will be vital.

Social media is an ever-changing platform, so it’s essential to stay up to date on the latest social media marketing trends for your social media marketing campaigns to be successful. So, if you plan on implementing social media into your business’s digital marketing strategy, you need to keep ahead of the trends.

Here are the top four social media for small business trends that marketers should watch in 2022.

TikTok

If your business isn’t already on TikTok, you’re missing out on the potential for excellent viral exposure. With 1 billion active monthly users, it’s the fastest growing social media platform. Videos go viral daily, and the algorithm makes it easy for businesses to connect with the target customer.

Here are some tips for creating TikTok videos for your business:

  • Keep it short: Videos under 15 seconds tend to get pushed more in the TikTok algorithm. Viewers often have a short attention span, so keeping it short and sweet is essential for grabbing the viewer’s attention. Get right to the point with your videos, and you’ll likely see more success.
  • Use trending sounds: Stay up to date on the trending sounds on TikTok, and be sure to incorporate them into your videos. Using trending sounds will help you reach more potential customers and increase your chances of going viral.
  • Keep it exciting: Pay attention to what kind of videos are trending on TikTok and take note. Making fresh and attention-grabbing videos that cater to your business will likely get you more exposure.
Social Media Customer Service

No one enjoys calling a company’s customer service line. From the long holds to the potential for miscommunication, it can be a real hassle for customers. However, companies know that ineffective customer support could cost them their customers, so some companies are beginning to integrate their customer support services into social media. Setting up a customer support service for your company through a social media platform like Twitter may be the future of customer service.

After all, most people are already on social media and spend much of their time using it. It’s an effective way to reach customers and position yourself as a business that prioritizes customer needs.

Influencers and Micro-Influencers

Don’t discount the value of influencers. Employing influencers looks like a big piece of the future of marketing. These influencers have followings that are often very impressionable to the products they share. It’s almost like pre-planned word-of-mouth advertising.

And don’t count out micro-influencers either. They may not have as large a following, but micro-influencers may be more accessible for small businesses and can be very influential among their following. And if you’re using TikTok micro-influencers or influencers, there’s a greater chance for your influencer marketing content to go viral.

Paid Ads

We tell our clients all the time that paid ads are an integral part of social media. Even today, companies are still relying on organic results of their social media campaigns. However, history shows that an organic presence does little to create awareness or engagement and help you reach your objectives. Therefore, we highly recommend a complete, paid media plan to ensure that your content generates views and engagement. In addition, a strategically run paid media plan will help ensure that your websites and social media content work together and help you reach your marketing objectives.

In 2022, paid ads will be an effective strategy for many businesses. Paid ads can help you stand out among competitors and increase exposure. In addition, it’s an easy way to target your intended customer, leading to higher conversion rates.

Want Some Extra Social Media Marketing Assistance?

Want to learn more about social media for small business? 10|20 Marketing stays on top of the trends so that you don’t have to. We specialize in helping both big and small businesses generate quality leads through effective digital marketing strategies. Our team at 10|20 Marketing has extensive experience in all fields of digital marketing. We’re here if you need us!

For a free marketing consultation, contact us!

Bring in More Business for Your Retail Business With Paid Search

Paid search isn’t just for driving web traffic to online businesses. Paid search is a successful marketing strategy for getting more foot traffic into your physical retail location.

Paid Search is successful because it creates a highly targeted audience and measurable results. For example, if you sell women’s footwear, people who have previously searched for women’s footwear will see your ads. It’s almost foolproof, but you have to do a bit of work to discover appropriate keywords and properly set up your ads. 

Drive Foot Traffic to Your Retail Location

Despite the increase in online shopping, in-store shopping still owns the majority of retail sales for several reasons, including:

  • Ability to try on clothing or shoes before purchasing
  • Save on shipping costs
  • The instant gratification of being able to walk out with the items
  • Easier returns
  • Avoids having to enter personal information online

But this doesn’t mean consumers aren’t doing their research online. So how do you get consumers to go from researching online to travelling to your store and making the purchase?

Use these paid search tips to increase foot traffic to your business:

  • Include your business address in your ads using the Location Ad Extension.
  • Promote sales in your ads
  • Offer an instant-messaging option so consumers can ask questions or book appointments (you can do this using the Message Extension)
  • Run your ads during business hours
  • Use geofencing to target mobile users within a certain proximity to your business (or near your competitors)
  • Use the Google Storefront and Inventory Ads to let consumers know what you have in stock.
Drive Web Traffic To Your E-Commerce Shop

If you have an online shop, you also want to get sales from your website. The key to growing sales through your e-commerce shop isn’t just to get website traffic. It’s to get targeted traffic. That’s why paid search ads are so important. When set up correctly, ads can target people already determined to buy. 

Doing proper keyword research and understanding your audience’s search habits is essential. You can learn more about keywords here.

But there are a few other things you can do to ensure your paid ads convert for you, too:

  • Use Ad Extensions to improve your ads and get more detailed
  • Give consumers a reason to act quickly – i.e., sale ends today!
  • Offer returns and refunds to make decision-making easier
  • Ensure your ad copy (the words in your ad) speaks to your ideal consumer
  • Set up multiple ads for different products and audiences
  • Set up retargeting ads to reach those who have already visited your website (not only are these cheaper, they convert at a higher rate, too!)
  • Optimize your website for mobile and tablet use
What about the Funnel?

Depending on how much time you’ve spent researching marketing for your retail business, you may have come across “The Funnel.” The Funnel is a term that typically refers to the steps a consumer takes before purchasing your business.

It begins with Awareness, moves to Desire, then Interest, and ends with Action or a Purchase.

During the Awareness phase, consumers are typically busy doing research, reading free content like blogs, and educating themselves about the products they are looking to buy. Next, in the Desire and Interest phases, consumers move to targeted engagements with the brand by either reading reviews, engaging on social media, or seeking referrals from friends and family. Finally, when consumers are in the Action phase, Paid Search Ads can attract them to your business when they are ready to purchase.

There are several stages that consumers go through when they are interested in purchasing a product or service, and Paid Search is critical to closing the funnel and converting – whether the goal is an online sale or foot traffic to your local store.

Analyzing Results of Your Paid Search Campaign

No advertising campaign can be deemed successful without examining the results. There are three key metrics to track:

  • Impressions (how many times people see your ad)
  • Clicks (the number of people who clicked on your ad after viewing it)
  • Conversions (the number of people who followed through with an action, i.e. a purchase)

If your ad is not as successful as you had hoped, these metrics can tell you where you need to make adjustments. You can evaluate the ads themselves, the landing pages or even your checkout process. Someone along the way, you’ll learn why your campaign is successful or not. 

For example, if you have a good number of impressions but low clicks, you need to revisit your keywords and ad targeting to ensure the right people see your ad. You may also want to have a copywriter review the ad copy to ensure your message gets across.

If you have a high click-through rate but low conversions, the issue likely lies with your landing page – optimizing your landing pages and checkout pages may be in order and, again, review your copy.

If you’re struggling to set up a successful paid search campaign or Google Ads and Ad Extensions just have you feeling more overwhelmed than excited, book a free consultation and let’s see if we can help you increase your traffic and sales.

10|20 Marketing Brings Review Robin To Its Clients

Review Robin review marketing software is now available via 10|20 Marketing

If you’ve been a part of our community for a while, you’ll know two things about us:

We’re so thrilled to announce that we’ve joined forces with Review Robin as an agency partner to make it easier for local businesses to get more reviews and get more visibility.

Review Robin allows us at 10|20 Marketing to help small businesses manage their reviews on popular review sites like Google, Facebook, Yellow Pages, and the Better Business Bureau. In other words, Review Robin helps us help you manage your online reputation even more seamlessly, something that can make or break your business.

“In less than 10 minutes a week, you can control your online reputation by sending simple follow-up review requests to your customers,” explained Julia McLaughlin, Co-Founder of Review Robin

“Review requests are sent via email or text message. The platform allows business owners to effortlessly collect reviews from customers who had a positive experience and privately manage unhappy customers to help prevent negative reviews from being posted publicly.”

Why are Reviews and Review Management Important?

“Everyone is shopping online every day,” said Julia. “When they’re looking, reviews are one of the first things they are influenced by.”

As we’ve reported before:

  • 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, and
  • 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
  • 10% of all website traffic is a result of online reviews

“Reviews are a powerful way to positively influence your next customer and allow you to build trust and credibility, and ultimately stand apart from your competitors online,” added Julia.

Review Robin doesn’t just help you generate more reviews; it also helps you manage your responses. Review Robin sends a simple “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Down” option to your customers. A Thumb Up will prompt them to leave positive feedback that gets publicly shared.

A Thumbs Down, however, would prompt them to privately share their negative feedback with you, allowing you to respond. Responding will enable you to hopefully resolve the issue at hand and set the tone for potential customers, demonstrating your business’s level of customer service.

Key points to remember for when you respond to reviews

When responding to negative feedback from a customer, keep in mind these four pointers from Julia:

  • Remain coolheaded
  • Do not be defensive
  • Remember: The Customer is Always Right
  • Volunteer to take the conversation offline

Once resolved, you may even be able to prompt the customer to leave you a positive review!

Ultimately, successful review management is about creating confidence in potential customers while acknowledging current ones and keeping them informed. 10|20 Marketing is thrilled to add Review Robin’s software to our lineup of service offerings, so we can continue to help local and small businesses across North America grow with affordable marketing services.

“Reviews is a numbers game. First, you have to follow up with all of your customers and ask for a review – and you have to make it simple for them.”

Send us a message today if you’re ready to start taking leads and turning them into returning customers. We’re here to help; and happy to get you set up with easy review management right away.

2022 Marketing Trends for Small Businesses

2022 Marketing Trends for Small Businesses

Small businesses are still getting their bearings as we’re adjusting to the new normal forced upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the related supply-chain crisis has hit every sized business, small businesses suffered especially hard as priority goes to big box stores. 

With 99.8 percent of Canadian businesses considered small or medium-sized and small businesses employing almost 70 percent of Canadians, small business survival isn’t just important, and it’s critical. Fortunately, there are some marketing steps small businesses should take in 2022 to help weather the crisis. 

Try supply chain collaboration

The supply chain crisis, fueled by a perfect storm of labour shortages, infrastructure problems, raw material shortages, and high demand, isn’t likely to end any time soon. Unfortunately, small businesses have to compete with big-box stores such as Walmart, Costco, and Target over who receives their deliveries. As much as we don’t want to admit it, it makes sense. Big box stores have their own logistics setups and plenty of negotiating power. 

There is one option for small businesses: supply chain collaboration. Admittedly, it might seem counterintuitive to help the competition. Still, studies show that when companies team up to consolidate their purchases, they see higher growth, more profit, and lower operating costs.

Fortunately for small businesses, Canadians are on their side. Three-quarters say they think shopping at small businesses is essential, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. About half of Canadians think it’s worth the wait. That leaves just over one-quarter who want to spend their money locally but might not be so patient. 

Use artificial intelligence

One of the biggest 2022 digital marketing trends is Artificial Intelligence. Unfortunately, many small businesses are reluctant to embrace AI. Some feel it’s impersonal, too glitchy, or difficult to integrate into their existing systems. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Several online platforms, such as Amazon Pre-trained AI services or Google Colab, make building AI models intuitive and straightforward. 

Small businesses can use AI to keep in touch with customers or use features like auto-completion to make in-house tasks easier. Other examples of AI for small businesses are using chatbots for messaging or automating and customizing marketing campaigns

Hire gig workers

Amid the post-pandemic labour shortage, hiring gig workers is almost a necessity. Sixty-four percent of Canadian employers expect to replace full-time workers with gig workers. So what can gig workers do for small businesses?

There are several benefits for small businesses looking to hire gig workers. With very little overhead, gig workers can fill roles in marketing, IT, web design, delivery, accounting, and even engineering, while freeing full-time employees to focus on their primary duties. 

Consider resilience training

If gig workers don’t fit your business model, resilience training is another way to weather the labour shortage. Cross-train employees so they can serve multiple roles. Of course, this helps fill gaps if someone is absent, but more significantly, it lets companies prioritize tasks and reduce recruiting costs.

Go carbon neutral

According to the Paris Climate Agreement, companies have less than 30 years to become carbon-neutral (when a company removes enough CO2 from the atmosphere to offset the CO2 released by company activity). That goal will be easier to achieve for small businesses in many ways. A small business has fewer layers of bureaucracy and can move much more quickly. As a bonus, Canadians are willing to pay more for environmentally responsible products from environmentally responsible companies.

If you’re struggling to understand how your business can benefit from a sound marketing strategy that may or may not include some of the above ideas, book a free consultation call! We’re always happy to help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google My Business – make that Google Business Profile Manager – Changes To Know For 2022

It seems like just yesterday that Google Business Profile Manager was called Google My Business. Earlier this fall, this change was made. And many others were made throughout the year to bolster Google’s most important local organic search product. 

Heading into 2022, it’s essential for local business owners to ensure that they know what Google is up to. And as Google Business Profile Manager matures even further, keeping an eye on these new developments can truly be the difference between having success in your neighbourhood or not. Because keeping your profile information up to date based on their latest iterations will make it easier for potential customers to find you.

No need to worry, we’ve put together a list of the main updates for you. And for more detail, go download this guide!

Hours and Service Availability

You may have noticed that Google has added the “Available Online” attribute. This shows customers which businesses offer online appointments or estimates. Presenting your customers with this option is frequently more convenient for them. And more likely to earn you a booking. Adding this attribute is smart, particularly if your potential customer happens to live on the other side of town and you can save them a trip.

Another new update includes the ability to a different set of business hours. For example if you’re open “by appointment only” on Saturdays, letting your customers know is another great way to get in more clients and grow your business!

Reviews Updates

We all know how important social proof is to attaining new clients. Google Business Profile Manager has always been a great way to showcase your positive reviews. Now, they’ve made it even easier for you by making star ratings visible on the search results page.

They’ve also added a ‘NEW’ label next to new reviews, so potential customers can see recent experiences with your business.

Finally, Google has added the option to have a review removed from your profile. While we don’t recommend removing negative reviews, there are cases where you may find yourself needing this option (for example, if you receive a fake review or someone reviews your business by mistake).

Messaging Updates

Log into your desktop or the Google Business Profile Manager mobile app and easily communicate with potential customers. Answer questions quickly and have a real-time conversation with your customers. We see our clients doing this already. It’s a surefire way to build trust and motivate customers to visit your business.

Google My Business Insights

Google Business Profile Manager updated its analytics in January of this year, adding a breakdown of where visitors saw your listing (search or maps), whether on desktop or mobile, and then later in 2021 they added insights into the number of clicks on directions, bookings, and to your website.

At 10|20 Marketing, we take this a step further, plugging directly into the Google API to grab metrics in a more organized way. By pulling metrics monthly, we get precise insights on a business’s performance, understanding view and click counts. We then trend these metrics to see month over month and year over year trending, something Google doesn’t do on their own. 

Updates for the Hospitality Vertical

The hospitality industry has added new attributes as well, including smoke-free options, and kids stay free. Another big update for hotels is free hotel listings. Once in the form of paid ads, booking links share availability and pricing information and are now free for all hotel accounts.

Updates for the Healthcare Vertical

Healthcare organizations can now manage insurance information directly from the platform. Google first added the accepted health insurance attribute in 2020, managed through a third-party provider. This update allows Healthcare Providers to update their Accepted Health Insurance information directly in Google My Business.

Updates for the Food Industry

Restauranteurs, rejoice! You can now update online ordering options for takeout and delivery directly through Google Business Profile Manager. Run out of a certain menu item? No problem – you can quickly remove it through Google Business Profile Manager now.

It’s important to note, not all updates will apply to your business. Many are dependent on the primary category your business falls under. If you’re struggling to keep your Google My Business listing up to date, or you have questions about marketing your local business, book a free consultation call! We’re always happy to help.