As a society we are moving away from high street shopping and as a society more and more we are shopping online. Previously there we’re two or three choices to shop for a particular product or service on the high street. But online there are hundreds to choose from.
Digital Marketing ensures your business is visible to your audience online. Just like a window display on the high street or a poster on a bill board Digital Marketing is about exposing your brand online and showcasing your products or services.
On the high street how many people walk past your shop window or view your bill board advert? Online and through Digital Marketing the audience for your virtual advert is huge. Looking for an tutor for your child or a florist because you need to make amends to your partner online search and visibility is now more important than ever. And even if you have a presence on the high street 76% of people will look for you online before visiting your store!
Easy wins for Local Business
Social Media provides a great platform to showcase your products and services and expose your brand. Social media allows you to talk directly to your audience and become the local expert and go to business of choice. However, it takes some commitment to use social media effectively, from posting good quality content every day to understanding which platform to use and how to get your content in front of your audience.
LinkedIn is now the medium of choice for b2b and the great things about LinkedIn is that your posts have velocity, this means a post two days ago will still be visible today. With other platforms such as Facebook you are lucky if your post is seen by 10% of your audience. Some of these platforms expect you to pay for your posts to reach further.
Website and SEO
Having a high-quality website is like having a great window shop display that entices customers into your business. But all too often websites sit somewhere on page 4 of Google gathering dust. SEO refers to Search Engine Optimisation and is a method to increase the visibility of your website. Content is the most important part of this (hence why we write blogs on our site).
In your local area there are probably 10 or 20 competing websites in a similar field to you. It’s a bit like a popularity contest. Search engines will show the websites that it feels has the best information. The winners of the website popularity content are the ones that have the best content, the best back links (do other sites mention you?), reviews and whether it has been built technically well.
The easy way for a local business to appear on page 1 of Google. Free but requires some effort here. Simply tell Google you have a physical address for your business and ad plenty of content here including reviews, opening hours etc. Again, a popularity contest, the businesses with a better profile overall will appear higher up. But if you can mange to get into the top three positions of the Google Map Pack you will certainly send more traffic to your website. Just make sure your website is set up to convert!
Should you spend money on PPC (pay per click ads) or Social Media Advertising?
There is no simple answer to this question, the great thing about PPC is that your ad is only shown to people that are already looking for your product or service, but each click costs you and the cost of each click varies depending on the competition and what they are spending.
Social Media advertising is slightly different in that your ad is shown to people that may purchase, regardless of whether they are interested in purchasing or not. If you are a florist you can target your ad to be shown to a certain gender, age group, in a certain geographical area and within that parameter people who are interested in flowers. Your ad needs to convince them to purchase.
Top Tip. People rarely purchase on seeing your ad once so retargeting (show your ad again) to people that have clicked your ad can make a big difference.
To increase your chances Digital Marketing success its important to use ALL of the above. If prospects have seen you on social media, they are more likely to click when they see you on search engines.