Featured image by Dusan Petkovic
Although digital marketing isn’t new, many entrepreneurs have never tried advertising through this channel. This is especially true for small businesses that focus on local clients. Truth be told, if you’re the best mechanic in your neighborhood, you probably have enough work as it is.
However, as new generations come of age, the economy starts to change. Consumers no longer rely on word-of-mouth to discover local stores and handymen. Instead, they use search engines and user reviews to make their selection.
No matter what kind of business you’re in, you can always benefit from digital marketing. This also goes for reputable brick-and-mortar establishments that get the majority of their clients through recommendations.
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In this article, we’ll share seven ways traditional businesses can benefit from digital marketing.
1. Discover New Opportunities
The same way clients use Google to find reputable local companies, businesses can also use search engines to discover new business opportunities.
For example, you can use the search engine to acquire other companies in your area. Check the web to see whether your competition is selling a part of their organization. This would allow you to consolidate and offer a broader range of services.
Alternatively, you can use Google to find franchising opportunities. This approach is especially fantastic for entrepreneurs who want to buy a plug-and-play business. Just type something like cleaning company for sale, and see what pops up.
2. Increase Visibility
As a small, local business, you don’t have to overdo it with digital marketing. You don’t need a fancy website, nor must you spend thousands of dollars on pay-per-click or optimization. However, you should definitely create a local listing.
By making a Google Business Profile, the search engine can know more about your enterprise. This is a straightforward process that doesn’t cost any money but can yield enormous returns. That way, you’ll pop up in the results whenever someone’s looking for a local hairdresser or carpenter.
This listing provides Google and users with the company’s basic data. This includes name, phone number, email, work hours, address, description, and other relevant information. Most importantly, you’ll be shown on the local maps.
Although local listings aren’t that important for large organizations that do business country-wide, it’s crucial for any local craftsman with a registered headquarters.
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3. Manage Your Reputation with Digital Marketing
Aside from enabling discovery, digital marketing is also crucial for reputation management.
Back in the day, businesses would create their opportunities through word-of-mouth marketing. Good craftsmen and craftswomen were renowned, and people would come from various places to hire them. Although word-of-mouth is as crucial as ever, it has been partially replaced by Google user reviews.
Basically, these star reviews provide a quick way of determining whether a local restaurant is good or bad. Based on these scores, potential customers decide whether or not they want to give a chance to an organization.
Besides leaving star ratings, customers can write reviews. These are thorough feedbacks that point out drawbacks or advantages of a particular service. Savvy entrepreneurs can use these reviews to improve their business or to further emphasize the positives.
4. Improve Products
One of the worst things about the traditional business model is that you rarely find out what’s wrong with your product or service. If people don’t like something, they simply stop coming to your shop. Unfortunately, they will rarely confront you directly, pointing out the organization’s flaws.
This is where internet marketing and Google reviews come into play.
When people communicate on the web, they’re not as reluctant to state their minds. If they hate your service, they’ll let you know via website comment sections, social media, or Google reviews. Although their words might sting, this is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the product’s flaws and, after that, improve it.
5. Increase Customer Retention
Nowadays, fewer and fewer people are using phones to make calls. Instead, it has become much more common to communicate with others via WhatsApp or Viber.
If done correctly, digital marketing can do wonders for customer retention. When a person leaves your shop, there’s a chance they won’t come back even if you provided a reliable service. This is especially true for infrequent services such as plumbing or roofing.
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However, if you connect via email, Facebook, or Viber, you can stay in touch without pressuring them. The next time they need your help, they can easily find you by scrolling through their friend list. Among others, they’re more likely to think of you if you’re active on a particular network.
No matter what, don’t be promotional. Sending best wishes for a birthday or the New Year is a nice touch, but everything else can be seen as redundant.
6. Find Your Ideal Audience
One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is being able to track and analyze the audience.
Truth be told, every brick-and-mortar business has an approximate idea of who their ideal customers are. But sometimes, companies are missing demographic opportunities without ever realizing it. For example, there might be a segment of a population or people from other parts of the city who are interested in what you offer.
The best tool for audience analysis is Google Search Console. With this platform, you can track the performance of individual pages on your website and also learn more about your audience. Alternatively, you can use Google Trends for additional insights.
7. Bolster Traditional Marketing Efforts with Digital Campaigns
Despite providing excellent results for several years, traditional marketing channels might eventually hit a wall. Even if you increase your spending, it seems that you simply can’t increase the customer base. When this happens, your only options are to change the message or change the channel.
If you encounter this issue, the best way to diversify is by adding digital marketing to your arsenal. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t necessarily disinvest from traditional marketing. You should just start putting money into something new.
A Final Word About Digital Marketing
By advertising online, you can reach an entirely new audience. These channels are vital for organizations that cater to younger consumers.
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