Can Your Business Benefit From A Local Marketing Campaign?

If you have a business then you can benefit from a local marketing campaign. How’s that for a straight-forward answer?

People often dismiss online marketing as something that is useful only for internet or for those who run virtual businesses from home. If you operate a brick and mortar office or store, then there’s no need to market online, correct?

Sorry, you would be mistaken if you believe that an online local marketing campaign wouldn’t benefit your local brick and mortar business.

Local Marketing Campaign - Facebook Marketing Guide for Local Business

Consider all the small businesses in your town that range from the local diner or pizza restaurant to the neighborhood auto mechanic or corner gas station.

Garden shops, florists, preschools, restaurants, grocery stores, fitness clubs, daycare centers, dance studios, day spas, martial arts studios and a host of other businesses that have a physical presence need to get the word out about where they are located.

And did you know that using Facebook ads can be one of the the most effective ways to accomplish this kind of social media marketing?

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Social Media for Local Business

Social Media or PPC?

When it comes to driving website traffic, local business has typically gravitated more readily toward buying traffic, primarily using PPC (pay per click) advertising, over tapping into social media and learning how to harness social media marketing.

The tendency for local business to favor PPC over Social Media is understandable. Local business operators look for quick results, and usually don’t have the bandwidth to focus their efforts on mastering online marketing. They tend to have limited marketing budgets and often favor the “do-it-yourself” online marketing approach rather than spend precious budget on outsourcing their electronic marketing to a qualified professional or online marketing company.

At first glance, social marketing looks promising to the “do-it-yourself” local business owner. Social media marketing seems to be all the rage, and the outlay of dollars to conduct social marketing campaigns can be minimal. But actually generating successful results with social media is elusive and local businesses quickly discover how time consuming social marketing can be. Frequently, with nothing to show for the countless hours invested.

Hence, the favor toward PPC. Buying paid traffic has generally worked reliably enough. Traditionally, the ability to achieve page one placement for PPC advertising in the search engines (Google Adwords), has been reasonablly attainable for many local businesses in most local and regional markets. However, this trend may be starting to shift. PPC competition, even for local business, has become much stiffer. The prospect of beating the competition at PPC advertising by paying higher and higher bid rates continues to push PPC into a more expensive proposition for local business.

The shift to social media from paid search starting to accelerate for local business

Social Media for Local BusinessTypically, local businesses have been more comfortable with the fast and scalable results from paid search. The biggest frustration with social media has been the time.

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A Local Business Blog For My Small Business?

In so many ways, a local business blog can be the very best website solution for your small business and serve as the foundation for your local search marketing strategy. Here are just a few reasons:

  • Easy to manage with a content management system.
  • Search Engine Friendly means you can improve your website’s ability to rank higher in the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
  • Interactive – unlike a static website, a local business blog encourages a two-way conversation with your reader, audience, and market that builds a sense of community from your website.

local business blog

How Does A Local Business Blog Help My Social Media Strategy?

Maybe you think that blogs have been around for awhile and don’t draw the same attention that they used to. Perhaps with so much recent focus and attention on social media with Twitter and Facebook all the rage, people feel that the business blog has fallen out of the spotlight to some degree. You couldn’t me more wrong.

Not that social media isn’t critical to your local business marketing strategy, the fact of the matter is that your local business blog should be the foundation of your social media strategy.

Chris Brogan, Founder, New Marketing Labs. “No matter what, the very first piece of social media real estate I’d start with is a blog.”

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Mobile Landing Pages

Mobile marketing is clearly a major online marketing trend underway at full speed. This is especially so for small and local business.

More and more consumers rely on their mobile phones and mobile smart devices to stay connected online everywhere they go. The shift from being tethered to the home or office desktop PC to the mobile phone or mobile smart device is dramatically changing the way many of your prospects and customers will discover and engage with your local business online.

It seems like everywhere you turn today, whether you’re in a restaurant, walking down the sidewalk, waiting in line … people are glued to their mobile phones, either surfing the net, friending someone on Facebook, or text messaging away.

More often than you realize, people are using their mobile devices to search for a local brick and mortar business.

But there’s a problem …

Have you ever searched for info on your phone, found a website, and had to struggle with a website that simply wasn’t designed to display on a mobile device? Most websites are designed today for more display real estate on full-sized desktop monitors and for faster Internet connections with higher bandwidth pipes.

On a mobile device, these websites are painfully slow to download pages bogged down with bandwidth-sucking graphics and images. And they simply don’t rendor or navigate properly on the limited display sizes found on mobile phones and smart phone devices.

Pretty irritating, don’t you think?

The answer is to enable your site for mobile devices. Continue reading Mobile Landing Pages


Mobile Marketing Suggestions For Your Local Business

A mobile phone marketing campaign can be one of the most effective ways to promote and market your small business. Contrary to what many small business owners believe, mobile marketing is not as difficult as you might think. In fact, it may be one of the least difficult and most cost-effective forms of marketing that you can put into action today. However, be aware that you can easily waste your time and resources if you go about it the wrong way.

Here are several pointers that small businesses can easily follow to take their mobile marketing and cell phone advertising plans to the next level: Continue reading Mobile Marketing Suggestions For Your Local Business


Mobile Marketing Trends For Small and Local Business

For small and local business, mobile phone devices are  quickly becoming your strongest option fpr communicating with your target market in the most relevant and interactive way. And you may be surprised how easily you can multiply your marketing reach on just about any mobile network and device out there today.

Smart mobile phones are readily available throughout the market place and have become an excellent platform for mobile phone marketing. And just how prevalent are smart phone devices? Nielson predicts that 1 in 2 Americans will have smartphones by Christmas 2011. And if the numbers don’t have you salivating, even more attractive to small and local business is the economical (easy on the budget) and efficient (save time and energy) aspect of mobile marketing.

If you haven’t noticed, today’s modern consumer doesn’t leave home without their mobile phone (sorry American Express). The smartphone places all the convenience of the Internet and the home PC right at your finger tips everywhere you go. People no longer need to be tethered to their home computer to be able to search for and purchase their favorite items from stores. Continue reading Mobile Marketing Trends For Small and Local Business


Social Media Marketing – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Internet makes information easily and instantly available. And  more and more consumers turn to the Internet every day to discover, locate and find out more about the local businesses in their area.

And the social web only amplifies the “information at your finger tips” for consumers that turn to peer reviews on social review sites like as a supposedly more “trustworthy” source for feedback about local businesses in their area.

Compounded by the shift to “mobile everywhere” as we take the Internet with us everywhere we go on our mobile devices.

This should be a marketing boon for local businesses that learn how to tap into the viral nature of the social web. And, for the most part, it most definitely is! We see the profound marketing benefits everyday as we help our local business clients learn how to leverage social media marketing.

So far so good, right? So what’s the downside?

Well, it’s that same instant exposure and ability that social media affords millions of regular folks to voice their opinion that obviously works just as easily for the positive as well as the negative. It’s just as easy for one of your happy customers to say something nice about your business on one of the social review sites as it is for one of your “not so satisfied” customers to say something negative, or worse, downright mean and nasty!

Continue reading Social Media Marketing – The Good, The Bad and The Ugl...


Do You Know Where Your Target Market Hangs Out?

You have two choices for reaching your target market online. You can attract your market to come to you. And you can figure out where your market hangs out online and go to them.

In practice, you want to do both.

Attract your target market to come to you …

One of the common methods of driving your market to you is with SEO or Search Engine Optimization. With SEO you optimize your website to emphasize various search terms and keyword phrases that define or describe your target market and hope that the search engines will index and rank your pages for these keyword phrases. For local business, you want these to be the search terms that individuals in your target market will key in when they are looking for information about the products you sell and the services you offer.

It’s more challenging than most realize, but when you practice SEO effectively, the search engines will drive targeted traffic to your website.

Attract your target market to you by going to where your market hangs out …

Somewhat the opposite of waiting for your market to come to come to you, an increasingly effective and widespread method is to proactively reach out and go to your market. Find out where your market hangs out online and engage directly with people in your market at these locations.

Ultimately, if you participate and add value to the conversation with your target market in these online hang-outs, the interested and curious will follow you home, back to your website to find out more about you, your products, what you do, and what you’re all about.

This is the essence of social marketing. Examples of places online where your target market hangs-out include discussion groups and forums. To find discussion groups and forums for your target market, simply do a search from Google.

For example, let’s say you have a sporting goods store and you’d like to promote your fishing, bait and tackle products online. It’s a reasonable marketing assumption that interested bass or trout fishing enthusiasts would be a good target for your fishing products and supplies that you sell online. Continue reading Do You Know Where Your Target Market Hangs Out?


When Video Marketing becomes Viral for Small Business

Video marketing is one of the most powerful methods that small business can employ to drive more traffic and generate more leads. The demand and interest by consumers for online video can produce a staggering number of views. And when the social nature of online video results in users sharing your video with their friends and contacts, the viral nature of a popular video can spread across the Internet like gangbusters.

The viral result of a successful video marketing campaign for a small business can be the catalyst behind a flood of targeted traffic, and a rush of fresh leads that results in new customers. This is one of the key reasons that video marketing plays such a critical component in our Main Street Marketing Power strategy that we deliver for our clients.

One of the best ways to improve your video marketing is to observe and learn from other businesses. I always keep an eye out for effective video campaigns. If I find an interesting video going viral, then I dig a bit beneath the covers to see if there’s a small business marketing strategy behind the video that I can learn from.

The fact of the matter, online marketers are producing great video in such numbers today, you can find good examples of video going viral each and every day.

For example, this week, the “Simon’s Cat in the Box” video shown below sailed past the 2 millionth view on YouTube in just 2 short weeks. If you’re not familiar with the Simon’s Cat comic strip, you’ll enjoy learning more about this business.

Simon Toliver, the creative talent behind “Simon’s Cat” produces a clever animated comic strip about his curious and mischievous cat that has captured the imagination of millions of people all over the globe. He’s based in the UK and in a few short years, he’s grown and developed what looks to be an impressive business.

Enjoy the latest Simon’s Cat animated video …

Continue reading When Video Marketing becomes Viral for Small Business


Some Internet Perspective

For your amusement, here’s a little Internet perspective.

If you’ve started to take the Internet for granted, stop and ponder for a moment …

The Internet is the most amazing and magnificent achievement or our time. It has forever changed the way we communicate, interact with eachother and conduct our business. The revolutionary way in which the Internet connects billions of people all over the globe has transformed our culture and our society. There is certainly no turning back now.

Watch the following video, The State of The Internet, from Jesse Thomas. The numbers and statistics are already almost a year out of date, but staggering nonetheless. Marvel at just how pervasive the Internet has become in the digital age.

JESS3 / The State of The Internet from JESS3 on Vimeo.
Continue reading Some Internet Perspective