The question of whether your business has a robust online marketing strategy should not be dependent on the type of market you have. There’s plenty of room for online marketing, regardless of your type of business or customer.
The smaller and more local your business, the more difficult it might be to dedicate the time and resources to a successful online marketing campaign. It’s really worth the initial setup and ongoing maintenance, though, for the potential rewards it brings.
Why You Need Online Marketing Even if Your Local
Local People Search Locally
Marketing is about looking at the composition of a business’s customer base, then looking at its potential customer base and finding a way to reach out to all the people who aren’t being reached currently. This basic goal of business expansion doesn’t change when you’re a Fortune 500 company or a mom-and-pop hardware store.
A physical space for a business to call home is crucial, as is outfitting that space to fit the business’s personality. Location, signage, and displays all contribute to how people find the store when they’re passing by, but that’s as far as the business’s reach goes until it engages with the community via marketing efforts.
Online marketing has a distinct advantage over physical spaces, which are becoming increasingly irrelevant as even locally focused consumers start to act like long-distance correspondence shoppers from their living rooms. The presence you establish online for your business encompasses those who would physically pass by your store and reaches beyond to every other possible customer who might search for you.
A solid online personality can essentially mean that, through searching and advertising, any person who needs information on something you’re good at will end up passing by your store.
The Expertise Factor
Good online marketing includes a large helping of content generation. This content, whether that be email, blog posts, tweets, or Facebook updates, has to be meaningful and relevant, both to yourself as well as to your potential audience.
Content possessing meaning and relevance, in a business sense, means that you’re proving yourself to your potential customers by showing how good and knowledgeable you are about what you do. Providing free content to your potential audience is a good way to lure in those who were curious but not yet sold.
Online marketing does a lot of the initial sales job for you; it introduces your business, puts a personal face on it, and familiarizes the consumer with everything you do before he or she even sets foot in a physical space. This is as important for a local business as it is for any other.
Chances are, with a successful online marketing campaign, any given customer will be able to point exactly to the online content that converted them from a searcher to someone who was persuaded enough by your expertise to make the sale. And there are few ways of cementing your position within a community than being recognized as the foremost expert in your field.
Room to Grow
And if those two major reasons weren’t enough, it’s worth mentioning that a business should always keep its options open for other types of opportunities. Maybe someone will be coming to town from somewhere else entirely and needs services like yours. You want to be available. Maybe word of mouth spreads to other places and suddenly you find yourself with a greatly expanded market!
Or it could also be that a competing business is looking to move into your market – a robust online presence could mean a lucrative buyout or a successful deterrent from having competition move in next door. Either way, you have to be online and findable first!