You can do it. It just takes creativity and hard work.
If you are like many local businesses you may be struggling to get a grip on your online marketing. If you have researched internet marketing and getting more traffic to your website you have probably heard about getting links to your website and how that is so important.
But the push for the last year, well really all along was to create great content. The problem was for a long time you could produce crap and if you got the link that was what mattered.
Yes it may still work, but before long it will not. And the time and money you spent on that effort you will have been wasted. In fact you may be penalized by Google for going in that direction.
Produce Great Content – Make It Easy for YOU – Be Creative – Use What You Have On Hand
So your focus should be on creating great content and sharing that great content. As small business owners we are actually in a pretty good position to create great content. We are in the trenches every day and get the opportunity to interact with the customers, and thus have new opportunities every day.
27 Strategies You Can Implement Yourself
1 – You are an expert in your industry. Share you knowledge through videos that you create, post to YouTube, Vimeo or other video sharing service.
2 – Take pictures of the jobs you do and your finished product you are selling.
3 – It is popular to make un-wrapping videos and then do product demos. Do product demos with products that are in the same category, like two similar camera models. You only need to do a few. Some people actually do not want too much choice. Help people make up their mind.
4 -You could interview your staff. Post on your website or Facebook page. Get your staff member to share with their friends or family. Even talking about the great things your staff is doing outside of work is good.
5 – If you have an interesting location you could do a tour of your business location.
6 – Offer a product of the week and write a story about it, explain the many uses, or share a few stories you know of that helped out some of your current customers.
7 – Have a sign at the register to offer a 10 % discount if they like your Facebook page and send a tweet out that they are “in your store buying (item here) again” they sound like regular shoppers.
8 – Send a letter with every invoice that is a cheat sheet with diagram how to leave your business a review on your Google Places For Business.
9 – Through in a free-bie or go above and beyond your original agreement and tell your customer – “if they are totally satisfied all you ask is they leave you a Google Review.”
10 – Be really creative and go out of your way for a customer and take a picture and post to your website.
11 – Show before and after pictures.
12 – Tweak your product to have a Holiday Theme. We know of a local Italian restaurant that sold a lot of cannolis for catered lunch deliveries. On St Patrick’s day the white filling was dyed green. They could have made a small batch a week ahead and promoted this on their Facebook Page or their website.
13 – Make a weekly or monthly video showing people how to make a dish in your restaurant. If you are afraid people with just make the dish at home and not come to your restaurant? I am sure some will, but many will realize how many ingredients go into the dish and decide dining in house is a way better option. Once again you stand out as an expert in your profession.
14 – Take your picture with you with your customers.
15 – Donate your product or service to a non-profit in exchange for a review if they are completely satisfied. Get a review on multiple channels from them – A video posted to YouTube, mentioned on their Facebook page, a review on your Google Local Business Listing.
16 – Partner with a local Charity and they could be your Charity of choice. Allow a member to come into you location twice a year and not only spread the word about the Charity but spread the word to your customer base about the good deed you are doing.
17 – Make helpful videos – We have worked with Wilbur Henry Plumbing, Heating and AC to do just this. Most of the videos we produce offer advice to homeowner that they can use themselves to solve small plumbing problems.
18 -Get your staff to model or explain the products you offer. Check out this Zappos video. She is not a model and probably did not rehearse more than a few times. They don’t even use coffee grounds or coffee in the demo. I think
watching the unpolished review is really cool.
19 – Have you or your staff speak at local events. Ask the people at the beginning of the meeting to mention your company on twitter or facebook.
20 – Are you a contractor or you have an involved job (days or weeks) you are doing for a customer? Take video or pictures and post to a page on your website, update this page each day. 1 – Your customer or client will know everyday what is going on and what is the status of their project. Think of the killer customer goodwill. 2 – You will be building content for future customers to see the work you do and your EXCELLENT communication skills and how your focus is on each customers job.
21 – Create 101 guides for customers that are in the market for your product or service. Share these with similar businesses in non competing markets. Only asking for a link in exchange.
22 – Embed social sharing icons on your website. So people can like or share your content with others. (Hint if you got something valuable form this post use my share icons above).
23 – Get your product or service in front a people that have a strong online presence. If you have a restaurant invite them in for a free meal if they will give you a mention to their audience. Have a product in a specific niche? Send it to an online authority in that space to review the product and provide some feed back that you can use as social proof.
24 – Choose a customer of the week and lavish them with freebies. Look for one that is interacts on twitter and Facebook often. People normally associate with like minded individuals. It would be likely they have friends or family that may be in need of your product or service and when they see how well you treat your customers they should be thrilled to do business with you.
25 – Offer Webinars to help your customers get the most of your product or service. Again provide killer customer service and your customers will become your evangelists for your business.
26 – When you get donation requests from local charities tell them you are glad to as long as they give you a link from their website to yours. If this is not possible then you request they have two of their employees or volunteers with strong followings post a message on their Facebook page how you donated and a link to your website.
27 -Offer to leave reviews for other local businesses that are your vendors in exchange for getting a link back to your website. (I got this idea from a SEER Interactive post a few months ago.)
In Summary – Pick Something And Get Started
You see after your website is up there is a lot you can do to spread the word. It is not all about driving “search” traffic to your site. There are other ways to drive traffic. But what holds true is to produce great content and do it for the user not the search engines.
Thanks to Matthew Barby who wrote the post on Moz.com titled Why Local Businesses Don’t Need Big Budgets for Their Content Marketing.
We do understand that as a small business owner you are busy, so if you need help getting started or just need done for you content creation we can help. Give us a call at 717-814-9579 or use our contact form.