Online local marketing for a new small business can seem like a tough nut to crack. A new business has almost no brand recognition and very little marketing budget to work with. Even when you successfully position your business in front of potential customers, they are more likely to go with brands they already know within your industry.
However, despite the initial hurdles, many small businesses successfully carve their own niche into already crowded markets. If they can do it using minuscule marketing budgets, so can you with the help of Local Fresh. Our team of small business experts have the marketing knowledge needed to help your small business generate success with online local marketing efforts.
To help generate the success your business needs to grow, here are a few proven methods for getting the most out of your marketing budget.
Ever done a little online browsing for plane tickets, summer swimwear, or auto insurance only to see ads for those same products appear on other websites you later visit? That’s the power of retargeting, and you should focus a significant portion of your online ad budget to utilizing this powerful marketing tool.
Retargeting offers an astoundingly cost-efficient method for stretching your marketing budget in a way that offers a high return on investment. Any user that lands on one of your business’ landing pages, blog posts, services, or product pages will see ads for your business as he or she continues surfing the web. Because a user has already visited your website, retargeting ads focus on high value leads that have previously demonstrated an interest in your business’ products or services. This level of familiarity often leads retargeting ads to have click-through and conversion rates that are significantly higher when compared to other types of online pay-per-click ad campaigns.
One of the most well established forms of online local marketing, email offers another effective and cost-efficient tool for growing your small business. While most businesses already have some form of email marketing in their tool box, you should consider making it a bigger part of your marketing plan as it can offer significant dividends. Of course, you must first overcome the initial challenge of building your email marketing list. Here are a few of the most common ways businesses build an email marketing list.
- Offering valuable content such as white papers and blog articles to encourage users to sign up for your mailing list when they read or download your content.
- Requesting users join your mailing list when visiting your website.
- Collecting business card at conferences, trade shows, and social events.
- Conducting webinars and collecting participant email addresses.
While each of these methods can be effective, content creation tends of offer the highest rate of return. Not only do you capture the email address of users that interact with your content by downloading or reading it, you also develop a trusted voice as an industry expert with your audience.
Email offers the potential to become one of your most efficient online local marketing avenues because it costs almost nothing to conduct a successful campaign. For example, both Constant Contact and MailChimp cost less than $100 a month for email lists with up to 10,000 recipients. In fact, MailChimp is even free to use for the first 2,000 recipients on your email list.
Just don’t let the power of email marketing cloud your better judgement. It’s easy to lose the attention of your email marketing audience if you make the mistake of bombarding them with content that offers no value. Only send an email blast that highlights special offers, new products, or member loyalty programs. Don’t waste your audiences’ time with content like company updates they may have no interest in receiving.
Developing a successful media marketing plan can take time, and requires understanding your local media market and how to cultivate your reputation as an industry thought leader. However, when you’re successful at getting the light of the local media to shine some attention on your business it’s a major victory.
If you’re in a hurry to generate press coverage and your marketing budget is already stretched thin, try taking a more targeted approach. It’s far easier to get the attention of trade publications and niche websites than immediately becoming the go-to source for information related to your industry for newspapers and television. Because smaller, more niche publications already operate in your space, you and your business may be exactly what they’re looking for when developing content.
Keep in mind that press continues to pick up momentum once the ball gets rolling. Once you establish yourself as an industry leading voice for a small blog or publication that momentum could lead you to breaking into bigger publications in the near future.
In just about every marketing channel you use, A/B testing becomes the difference between a well spent marketing budget, and the unnecessary waste of valuable resources.
Whether you’re developing online ads for a pay-per-click campaign or looking to increase the open rate for your email mailing list, you need to conduct A/B testing to determine the most successful method.
For example, before sending out a major blast to your entire email list, try sending your announcement to just 20 percent of your list using two different subject headlines. Collect the data on which subject line generated a higher open rate, and use that one when sending out the blast to remaining 80 percent.
A/B testing is even more critical when creating online ads. You can waste a significant amount of your marketing budget by failing to properly A/B test. Google will already help you optimize your ads, but it’s up to you to properly test the design. That means you need to test the call to action, body, and headline, as well as the landing page for each ad. Be methodical, and take the time to properly optimize your results.
Successfully developing an online local marketing plan can seem like a daunting challenge. But if you’re savvy, opportunistic, and determined, you can make an investment in your business that will yield significant dividends for the future.