Smart Social Media In Five Steps

With almost 3.6 billion social media users around the world, you can bet your ideal client is one of them, scrolling Instagram or checking Facebook throughout the day. Wouldn’t it be great if they saw one of your posts and thought, “Hey that would make my life easier” and then immediately purchased your product or booked a consultation with you?

Of course it would be!

Social media has become the epicentre of content marketing: if you build it (relationships and trust) they will come (shop, that is).

But in order to “build it,” you have to have a plan. Posting on social media just for the sake of posting won’t get you anywhere. How do you create a plan that works? Follow these five steps to creating a custom plan that not only works but that you’ll actually stick to – and watch your social media turn from a waste of time to lead generator:

1. Get Clear on Your Target Audience

Like any other marketing strategy, you need to understand who you’re trying to reach and connect with. If you don’t know your demographic, everything else is just a guessing game. The language you use, the images you use, the pain points you address all depend on your ideal customer. If these don’t align, your efforts won’t stand a chance.

2. Audit of Your Past Content

If you’ve been posting on social media for a while, take a look at your insights and see which type of posts perform best for you. Is it memes? How-to style content? Reels? Images of your product being used by real people? Whatever it is, you’ll want to make sure to include this ‘super’ content in your strategy going forward.

This can also be a good time to see what kind of content does not perform well – but the key here is to remember that you’re looking for trends. A post can flop without any rhyme or reason sometimes, so just because one picture of a dog didn’t do well, doesn’t mean you should avoid all images of animals going forward (tip: people love animals!)

3. Define Your Goals

Your social media goals should be aligned with your business goals, for example:

  • Do you want to increase brand awareness? Monitor your follower count and post reach.
  • Do you want to generate new leads? Monitor calls or form completions. 

Be sure to set these out in advance, and track your starting point too. As you’re tracking progress over the next six months or so, be sure to focus on the big picture. As mentioned above, a post can flop for no reason at all, and sometimes a ‘bot cleanup’ by Instagram will see your followers plummet. It’s important not to get hung up on these events and instead monitor overall progress.

4. Create Content That Positions You As A Thought Leader

There’s no denying it, there is a lot of noise out there on social media. A lot of people talking about and selling the same things. But if you understand your audience (step 1, remember?) and what their pain points are, then you can stand out from the crowd by speaking directly to them as individuals.

Take what you know about them, and create content that helps them solve their problems. It’s as simple as that. By sharing value, you become someone they want to keep coming back to see what else you have.

Remember, value doesn’t always have to be educational. It can also be entertaining or inspirational, so use your imagination and expand the content you share beyond just your business.

5. Engage, Engage, Engage.

Social media is a long-term game and is all about building relationships and trust with your audience. Your content positions you as an expert, but it’s the engagement that positions you as a trusted friend. Someone they can rely on to deliver. Also, someone who will help them if they have questions post-purchase.

Be sure to respond to all comments on your posts, and reach out to other ideal clients (again, see step 1 above) and engage with their content, too. Even if they don’t follow you. It’s just as important to start the conversation as it is to continue it. 

**

Every business will have a different strategy or plan for social media. Who you target. The content you create. How often you post. They’re all dependent on your business and shouldn’t be part of a cookie-cutter strategy. If you have questions about getting started on social media (or maybe changing how you’re approaching it), send us a message and let’s chat.

Eight Creative Ways To Drive More Website Traffic

If you’re checking your Google Analytics and wondering why your monthly website traffic seems to have stalled, this article is for you. We’re big fans of creating content and making regular, valuable updates to your website, but that’s not going to be enough to get new eyes on it.

Follow these creative tips for driving more traffic to your website:

1. Write Guest Posts

Building backlinks – links on other websites that direct back to your website – are an important part of what’s called off-page SEO. (Off-page SEO includes everything you can do to increase your Google rankings that take place off of your website.) A great way to earn more backlinks is to write guest blogs, but pay attention to the sites you’re pitching to. Google favours backlinks on sites with two things: 1) relevance to your own site and 2) site authority.

2. Create a Content Strategy

Adding new copy to your website prompts search engine crawlers to scan your site for information and rank it in the search results. It also gives visitors a reason to keep coming back to your site. The best way to consistently have new information is with a solid content strategy. Begin writing a blog either weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. Whatever schedule you can consistently stick to.

3. Stay Active on Social Media

Use social media to promote your content. Consistently sharing content and value on social media platforms will help build your authority, develop a relationship with your audience, and build trust. The approaches are all necessary before a potential customer takes the next step and visits your website. The more you stick with your social media strategy, the more your website traffic will build.

4. Create Videos

You no longer need a high-tech, expensive production studio and editing team to create quality video content. Many business owners are creating fun, informative videos using just their cell phones. Video content is highly engaging and performs well on social media platforms, but also helps your search rankings when embedded on your website.

5. Invest in SEO

The top three search results on Google receive more than 75% of all website clicks. If you’re serious about increasing your website traffic, spending a bit of money on a great SEO strategy is the way to go. If you’re interested in learning more about how SEO can help you generate more website traffic, send us a message and we can book a free call to discuss how we can support you.

6. Invest in Influencer Marketing

If you work with the right influencer, taking this approach can increase traffic to your website almost overnight. Influencers will share your product, service, or story with their followers. If the influencer’s audience happens to also be your target audience, this recommendation from them can quickly drive traffic to your site. It’s important to choose the right person, with the right following.

7. Review Your Website Copy

Are you sharing the right information on your website? Are you answering the questions your potential clients would be asking? When your website provides the kind of information your audience is looking for, it increases the amount of time they spend on it. This decreases your bounce rate and helps increase Google’s ranking of your website. Creating an FAQ section that you regularly add questions and answers can also help in this regard.

8. Start Sending Emails

If you’re not already, start sending out regular emails ASAP. There are a few reasons you want to make email an important part of your content strategy. First, because you own your email list, which is more powerful than trying to connect to your followers on social media. Second, email marketing has a relatively high conversion rate, so if used properly (AKA you’re including calls to action in each one) it’s a great way to build relationships and increase website traffic. At 10|20 Marketing, we use Convertkit for all of our email marketing.

Have you tried and had success with any of these strategies? We’d love to hear from you and share your story as a case study. Send us a message with your experience! Of course, if you have questions or are struggling to implement, we’re here for you, too. Book your free consultation and let’s chat about how to best drive traffic to your website.

Calling All Local Business Owners

Local Business Owner? Be featured on our website to drive awareness of your business.

If you’ve been following us for a while, or if we’ve recently connected on social media, you may have noticed that we regularly feature local business owners from across North America on our website and social media. And there are two reasons for that!

First, because we love getting to know our community and chatting with other local business owners. Second because we strive to be a resource for local businesses everywhere, by sharing information, trading success stories, and making business connections.

We’re always looking to expand our network and feature new entrepreneurs and businesses on our website. The following is a list of opportunities we have available for you. Just reach out if you’d like to learn more or be featured! 

Note: these features are absolutely free, we don’t accept payment to appear on our website.

Owner Stories Series

Our founder Mark Goren regularly interviews (mostly) local business owners from all varieties of industries for our Owner Stories Series. And it makes for some really interesting stories! From web developers to lawyersco-working spaces to ostomy suppliers, and financial advisors, we really have a range of incredible entrepreneurs sharing their stories with us.

You do not have to be a client to be featured in our Owner Stories Series – or anywhere else on our website, for that matter! If you’d like to participate, Mark would love to chat with you. 

Guest Blogs

We have an active blog page that we update quite regularly that’s full of great marketing tips and advice for local business owners. Some of our personal favourites include:

We are always looking for experts who would like to share their knowledge here. If you have advice you’d like to share to help other business owners, we’d love to hear from you.

Case Studies

We have a number of case studies that highlight the successes of real local business owners with Directory Marketing, Google My Business, Paid Search, Remarketing, E-Commerce, and/or Review Marketing.

Industries we currently have featured include Car Dealerships, Eateries, Jewellers, Opticians, and Independent Retailers. If you’ve had success with local marketing tactics, whether you’re in one of these industries or another, we’d love to feature you! Send us a message, and let’s chat about your story.

Of course, not only will we feature your business on our website, but across our social media channels as well, driving increased awareness of your business and services along the way. 

Remember, being featured also gives you something to share on your social channels, allowing you to point to content about your business with pride.

Not interested in being featured but what to keep up with us? Connect with us on our social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or sign up to receive our newsletter, which features tips and tricks to help you build your small business. 

If you’d like to be featured on our website in any of these capacities, please send us a message! Mark will reach out to learn more about your story. 

Why 10-20 Marketing is a Tiny Bit Like Ted Lasso

Years ago, when we launched 10-20 Marketing, we were asked what 10-20 means. So why did we choose 10-20 Marketing as the name of our agency? 

10-20 is CB radio speak for “location.” As in, “What’s your 10-20?” (At the time, we answered it in a blog post.) Our primary service then, and still now, is local listings management, a strategy to help location-based businesses build awareness and drive leads via directory marketing – and foot traffic to a specific location. 

It’s a service that’s proven and works. And it’s all focused on your business location. Everything fit together well. 

Pivoting along with our clients

Then the pandemic hit. Retailers were locked down. Suddenly, for those who weren’t among the essential service providers, their specific retail location was no longer the most relevant source of income. As a result, many of our clients pivoted to create an income stream via the web. 

At the time, we felt a great responsibility to help our clients weather the storm. We also felt a great responsibility to support local businesses in general. So we pivoted as well.

We launched our “Owner Stories” series, which put the spotlight on business owners and allowed them to point to themselves with pride. We brought in experts who could help our clients build awareness online. And, rather than only specializing in driving foot traffic, we looked at different ways to drive qualified web traffic to their e-commerce and general websites. Getting leads and closing them online became our top priority because survival was our clients’ top priority. 

Google Ads and paid social media were one way. Managing our clients’ presence on social media was another. Ensuring they became set up to measure the success of our campaigns was vital too. We walked our clients through these processes, took the load off their shoulders and kept our promise to provide low-cost solutions. It was not time to take advantage of business owners who were worried about survival. 

So why is our name a little bit like Ted Lasso?

So here we are almost two years later. And some people may think that our name is still all about location, location, location even though today we promise to drive traffic to your website too. So why does our name, 10-20 Marketing, remain so meaningful to us?

Because, in the same way our clients showed an ability to change, we accepted that the meaning behind our name has too. At first, 10|20 Marketing was about a physical location. And it still is, but it’s also about more. 

It’s more about a mindset. 

Rebecca: Oh, do you believe in ghosts, Ted?
Ted: I do. But more importantly, I believe they need to believe in themselves.

It’s about where our clients are on their journey to success. It’s about what’s in their heads and what’s in their hearts. Whether that’s a physical location. A website. Social Media. It’s also about the buyer and where they are on their journey. 

10-20 Marketing is about believing in your success. About helping you get there, no matter where you are. 

As the chant in the show goes, our clients and their customers are Here! There! Every-fucking-where! 

And we couldn’t be happier to help them along their way. 

Antoine Marchand of Uberall Breaks Down The Importance of Business Directories

We recently sat down with Antoine Marchand, our Customer Success rep at Uberall to chat about the importance of a digital presence for local businesses – including directory listings like Google My Business.

Uberall provides many tools and services to support local businesses through their partners, helping to manage their customer’s customer experience. This includes the user’s online presence and reputation management, among other features. Uberall also helps ensure their client’s information is properly disseminated to Google, Facebook, and other key online directories and platforms, while gearing each specific listing to the business’s environment, location, and industry, as not every online directory is right for every business.

Antoine has been with Uberall for three years now, coming over to the company when they acquired SweetIQ. Today, Antoine is an expert at helping ensure customers receive the guidance they need to properly navigate the different features available to them through the Uberall platform. So who better to chat with about online marketing for local businesses? We wasted no time jumping in.

The pandemic’s effect on local marketing

Over the past five years, the pace of online marketing for businesses has increased. And that’s even more true over the last year and a half, thanks to the pandemic.

Every business, large or small, recognized how critical it was to use digital tools and technology to acquire, engage, and retain customers,” Antoine explained. “E-commerce in all its forms, including online ordering with in-store/curbside pickup, grew significantly. Retailers also finally recognized that digital and physical retail are not two separate things, but part of a single, larger customer experience. That’s been one of the biggest changes. Customers are entering a singular user journey. Before, marketing was much more siloed.”

It hasn’t just fallen to local businesses to keep up with the changes, however. As business directories became much more important in helping get up-to-date (and often changing) information to consumers, those directories had to adapt as well.

Directories had to make it much easier to update business hours, and Google My Business specifically added new attributes, including curbside pick-up, and the option to add a COVID-19 update, among other things. 

Looking beyond directories is also important

Beyond directories, though, business owners need to focus on the overall “customer experience,” says Antoine. With online marketing (as with traditional marketing) the overall focus needs to be on the customer experience. Ask yourself:

  • Will you be found when and where your customers are searching? 
  • Do you have a sufficient number of reviews? 
  • Is your site fast and easy to navigate? 
  • Can customers easily get in touch with you to get their questions answered?

“Consumers value convenience and business owners need to provide that convenience across multiple channels – where the customer is looking,” said Marchand. “It’s quite challenging. The ‘customer experience’ is the sum of all these things [mentioned above]. Online is where customers will encounter a business first in most cases. That first impression – often on Google – is essential. But the information customers discover must also be sufficient to answer their questions.”

Bottom line? Marketing for local businesses has become a Digital First endeavour.

While you should be present and active on a number of business directories (and Antoine says you should have a full directory line-up), Google My Business is a great place to start.

“Everyone’s reaction is to open the phone and map the business location, and usually it’s from within Google,” said Antoine. “It’s a strong place to start. The world of directories and apps is always changing, but the need to have business data distributed to all the right places remains consistent.”

He offered these finals words of advice for local businesses:

“Ensure your processes are properly set up. Be consistent, be patient, and enable yourself to have success in the future.”

Full disclosure: 10|20 Marketing is an Uberall partner, specializing in helping smaller businesses gain access to this award-winning platform they otherwise would not have enough locations to qualify for. Ask us for a free consultation to understand how this platform can benefit your local business. 

Does Influencer Marketing Work for Local Businesses?

Marketing for small and local businesses can include anything from flyers to social media, or radio ads to email newsletters. But what about influencer marketing? Is this something reserved for big brands, or can local businesses actually profit from working with influencers too?

Influencers are this generation’s version of a celebrity endorsement, so in short – yes! Any business, big or small, can benefit from influencer marketing.

According to Tribe, Influencer Marketing is the fastest growing customer acquisition model, with 40% of businesses dedicating budget to it and 80% of those using it finding success.

Influencers can help your business do two main things:

  • Build brand awareness among a local audience
  • Attract new customers to your business
Think of your audience first

The key to a successful campaign? It’s all in the influencer.

Audiences on social media look to and follow influencers that they trust and admire – the same as people do celebrities. Most teenage girls for example are more likely to buy something used and recommended by Selena Gomez than they are Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

It’s important therefore that you have a really good understanding of who your target audience and ideal customer are. You’ll then need to use that information to work with an influencer who has a similar audience.

Of course, in today’s age, celebrities and influencers walk a fine line that could easily get blurred. Take the Kardashian’s for example. Love them or hate them, they’re celebrities in their own right and have also become influencers, charging more than a million dollars for a single Instagram post.

But the problem with these massive influencers for small businesses (aside from the budget) is that they actually have a disconnect with their audiences. This is where micro influencers come into the picture.

What is a micro-influencer?

Unlike the celebrity influencer, micro-influencers are those folks with roughly 10K-20K followers (some will say up to 100,000). They have a highly targeted, very niche audience that feels like they know the person on the other side of the screen. Engagement is usually higher, and trust levels are through the roof.

Typically, these are local people who really focus on local products, brands, and businesses. Because they’re “just like us,” their followers value their opinion.

And, bonus: their rates usually aren’t $1 million per post, either. 

Check out these Canadian micro-influencers for some examples:

How do you get started with influencer marketing?

There’s a bit of work to do before you start approaching local influencers offering a partnership. Here are five key steps to get you started:

  1. Get really clear on who your target audience is
  2. Start searching Instagram for local micro-influencers with similar audiences (or your preferred platform, but remember that Instagram has the highest engagement rate among social networks, which is important when trying to connect with an audience)
  3. Decide on your budget and what product or service you would like to promote.
  4. Decide what kind of campaign you are looking for. Remember that most influencers will have certain ways of working with brands that are on-brand for them, and you’ll have to work within those parameters. For example, if the influencer never posts reels, they likely won’t want to start now.
  5. Reach out via the appropriate channels – many influencers will have an agency manage their requests for them and will include this info in their Instagram bio. 

Influencer marketing might sound like something reserved only for big brands with deep pockets, but by tapping into the local micro-influencer market you can set yourself and your business up for success. To discover more unique ways to grow your local business, check out our blog or book a free consultation.

Four Unique Ideas To Market Your Local Business

Five years ago, if you had an Instagram account for your business, you were ahead of the game and likely generating leads and traffic with ease. These days, however, more and more companies are online, and it can be hard to break through the noise! So here are some unique ideas to market your local business that will help you stand out from the crowd, online and offline.

1. Create Educational Videos

Video has spiked on the marketing stage. More and more consumers choosing to consume content via video instead of reading blogs or listening to podcasts. According to Buildfire, YouTube was generating more than 1 billion unique views a day more than ten years ago! And social media platforms have caught on – Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels, and, of course, SnapChat and TikTok are rising in popularity. Yes, even for small businesses across sectors.

Video content can be anything from a lengthy, detailed, professionally shot and edited YouTube video to a 15-second Instagram Reel with a few quick, actionable tips that are shot and edited right inside the app.

However you do it, remember to provide value for your audience, and have fun!

2. Guest Post

Increase your reach and get in front of new audiences by guest posting on other sites. Search for local businesses or websites that have the same audience as yours so that you’re talking to your ideal clients. Once you find a perfect site, it’s all about putting together your pitch and offering up a unique article for them to share. Make sure you are offering something special, valuable, and that isn’t a carbon copy of something already on your website. 

Check out more tips on guest posting and other marketing ideas by John Lincoln here.

3. Host an Event

Events are a great way to attract a local audience. While COVID-19 is still lingering, most events will need to be online, but hosting an engaging, valuable event virtually or while following local regulation is entirely possibles. Whether it’s a party, promotion, product demo, anniversary sale, or anything else you can think of, the options are endless and don’t have to blow the budget.

LOCALiQ suggests pairing your event with a promotion to draw in more visitors, and to host your event (safely) outdoors if possible to attract the attention of passersby.

4. Give a Speech

It’s not just giving a speech – addressing an audience is always a great way to position yourself as a local subject matter expert. Public speaking or presenting can be nerve-wracking, and organizations like ToastMasters can help make it easier. However, they will get easier as you do more, and as a bonus, the more you do, the more exposure you will receive!

As Constant Contact points out, especially when focusing on hyper-local events, these opportunities can go a long way to position yourself as an authority in your industry. And if you’re worried about the old adage saying that the definition of an expert is “someone standing at a podium one town away,” don’t be! The more you speak, the more you extend your reach, build your credibility and gain more trust. 

Thinking outside the box and marketing your local business in less saturated areas can help set you apart from the rest of your competitors. If you’re looking for other concrete ways to market your local business that will help you stand out from the crowd, check out some of our past blogs.

Lessons For Independent Retailers On How To Increase Sales In Uncertain Times

independent-retailer

During the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, many local independent retailers pivoted and opened online shops. With the country mostly reopened, business owners have the opportunity to make sales both online and from their physical locations. And we believe there’s no reason to choose which one to make your focus of attention.

Independent retailers can succeed in both the online and physical spaces, with the right strategy behind two powerful tools: Google My Business and Paid Ads.

Google My Business

Google My Business is an online directory allowing local shops to share all of their essential business information. Being present on directories like Google My Business increases a retailer’s online presence while simultaneously creating consistency. In addition, the more information you include in your business listings, the more Google rewards you by promoting your business in search results.

The best part about Google My Business listings, though, is that they can drive both foot traffic to your store as well as website clicks. Here at 10|20, we track metrics the following metrics to stay on top of Google My Business listing performance:

  •  Listing Views
  • Action Clicks
    • Calls 
    • Directions
    • Website
 Paid Ads

To supplement the increased visibility Google My Business brings, it’s a good idea to set up a paid advertising campaign. It’s important to always start with a solid strategy before launching any campaign, including having:

  • Established campaign performance benchmarks 
  • A planned campaign structure 
  • Keyword research and a bidding strategy 
  • A negative keyword list (words you don’t want ads to appear for) 
  • Developed ad creative and adapt based on campaign objectives

It’s crucial to have these things set out beforehand, so you can measure the success of your campaign and make adjustments accordingly.

You’ll also want to be sure to track Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) – how much are you earning for every dollar spent. If your ROAS is not where you want it to be, you’ll need to review your campaign and see where the problem is. For example, is your target audience too broad (or too narrow)? Is the ad copy speaking to your ideal customers? Is the ad copy on your landing pages creating a roadblock? Understanding where prospective customers are dropping out of your campaign will help you make adjustments that ultimately help your campaign succeed.

Paid advertising can take place on several different platforms. For example, Google and Facebook both have their ad centres. You can also Boost your Facebook and Instagram posts, though we typically recommend taking this a step further and boosting through Ad Manager for more targeting options.

Don’t forget to remarket to your audience as well. Doing so allows you to direct ads to those who have already visited your site. Not only are these leads warmer, but the ad also spend required is generally lower. Win-win.

We’re not out of the pandemic yet. So independent retailers need to be prepared and start driving both foot and website traffic to their business. In the event of another lockdown, you’ll want your online store to be up and running and already generating significant revenue for you.

If you’re interested in knowing more about our processes and strategies for increasing sales, check out our Case Study for Independent Retailers. In it, we break down the technique we used to increase OM Wellness’s Return on Ad Spend and watched their performance soar. 

How To Build Word Of Mouth Using Google My Business Reviews

Remember when your neighbour used to tell you about the best deli in town or the best place to get alterations done? Word of Mouth has always been a potent tool for local businesses. And it’s easy to understand why: people trust their neighbours’ opinions.

As the internet grew in popularity and with the advent of social media, Word of Mouth Marketing not only still exists in the form of online reviews, but now those opinions reach so many more people and have an even more significant impact on local businesses.

In fact:

  • 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

Those aren’t numbers you can afford to ignore! Add to that that 63% of consumers go to Google to check reviews first, it makes sense that getting more Google My Business Reviews should be a focus for your business.

We’ve pulled together five of the best ways to ask your customers to leave a Google My Business Review:

1. Send a Thank You Email

After a customer purchases a product or service from your business, send them a follow-up email to thank them for their visit and ask them to share feedback by leaving a review. Please include a link to your Google My Business listing to make it easier for them to take action.

2. Add a Link to Your Website and Social Media Channels

Take the same link you shared in your email and add it to your website and social media channels. This way, past customers who are happy with your service can leave a review.

On your website, you can include the link on a few pages, in the footer, or even add a pop-up box to grab attention before consumers exit the site.

3. Respond to all Reviews

Responding to reviews makes your customers feel good and shows potential customers that you care and pay attention. It also encourages others to leave a review. People like feeling like they are a part of something!

Also, Google prioritizes active business listings. Doing so means you become more visible in the search engine – just by saying “thank you!”

4. Create Leave-Behind Cards

If you’re a service provider who travels to different locations, have leave-behinds printed. These are small (typically post-card-sized) cards that you can leave at the site. These cards can include any information you like, but your website, social media handles, and a request for a review are all standard pieces of info to have in print.

5. Include a Link in Your Email Signature

People need to see something on average eight times before they act. So including a link to leave a review in your email signature, especially if you’re a service provider who spends much time emailing back and forth, can slowly but surely build your Google My Business Reviews.

Never be afraid to ask for a review to help build your business’ reach via word of mouth. However, before launching a review campaign, it’s a good idea to review Google’s Terms of Service to make sure you’re not violating any rules. For example, offering a reward in exchange for a review can get your listing suspended. 

If you’re afraid of getting a negative review (or maybe already have one) – no need to worry. Check out our blog post on responding to negative reviews.