The final part of our marketing primer for local businesses. If you missed the previous articles you can find them by the following links:
A logical continuation of networking and personal branding is to integrate your local business with others. Find companies that serve your target audience but are not your direct competitors. Synergy with them opens the way to more global PR campaigns and the exchange of customers.
Here are some examples of potential partnerships for different kinds of businesses:
To find the right partner ask yourself these questions:
Setting a partnership right requires some time but it pays off with time.
We combined these three channels into one section because they have something in common – the appearance of personal communication. All of these channels are quite cheap if used correctly. Let's see how you could leverage each.
CRM. Customer relationship management software aggregates data about client purchases and interactions – think of it as your command center. With CRM you can coordinate text and email campaigns, reactivate old customers and see the big picture for the whole sales funnel. It allows personalizing communications by categorizing the clients and profiling personal details for each one. So, from a marketing perspective, you will be able to conduct campaigns with separate messages to different customer segments. From a sales perspective, you will be able to easily retrieve information about a customer during your calls and create personalized proposals.
CRM marketing is especially powerful if united with reputation management software. It dramatically increases the number of reviews you get on Google Reviews for Business and other platforms.
SMS. This channel is perfect for providing instant updates to customers. Often they are more convenient for customers than emails because of a simpler interface and shorter messages. It's considered one of the most efficient channels with a 99% open rate. The important thing to remember is not to overuse this channel – people don't like violations of personal space. You can use SMS marketing for such purposes:
Email. Still one of the most effective marketing channels. One of the biggest challenges for it is to build a decent email list. You can use incentives for users to sign-up for your mailing list, like providing discounts or high-quality educational materials.
There are two types of emails: operational and marketing. Operational is used for notifications about changes of a user status or his actions: sign-ups, purchases, payments, and so on. Marketing emails help you to promote and sell your services. Some ideas for content topics we proposed in the second part of this series. If you want to dive more have a look at this article:50+ ideas for email marketing.
One of the best ways to reduce the load on your call center and increase engagement on your website or social media is to create a chatbot. With modern solutions, it's quite an easy thing to do. Some things that chatbot can take care of:
If you want to learn more about chatbot marketing, we recommend reading the complete guide to chatbots from Sprout Social (link).
Listings are a good way to collect additional leads almost for free. Most directories have quite cheap conditions for advertising, but they invest a lot into their SEO. You can choose different keywords for the titles of your ads, so search results will provide not only your website but also links from different listings.
There are hundreds of directories for any kind of business – here are some resources to start: Craigslist, Yelp, Locanto, Offerup. Also, look for specific listings for your industry and location, so you cover all possible channels.
QR codes are a very powerful tool for reinforcing your business reputation and collecting customer feedback. Just put QR codes with invites to leave a review at reception, tables, public places, and doors – it'll increase the number of reviews dramatically.
It's said: "If you don't measure, you can't improve it". So it's very important to track all the key marketing stats to see how your actions influence your results. KPIs will vary depending on the channels you chose, but here are some key ones to start:
Measure KPIs on a weekly and monthly basis, analyze changes, both positive and negative. Such retrospective analysis, if based on numbers, can bring you a lot of insights and hypotheses for improvements.
We mentioned a lot of marketing channels to consider, but, of course, you don't need to use all of them. For each type of local business different channels are effective. In this infographic you will find which ones could work the best for you.
Of course, you don't have to start with all channels – it could even do you harm. The trick is to choose two-four channels and concentrate on them. We marked short, medium, and long-term channels. Short-term channels provide results quicker and are easy to set up, but usually are more expensive and have a limit for scaling. Long-term channels take a lot of time to set up but provide consistent results over long periods. Plan your marketing campaigns accordingly.
Plan, implement, measure, and improve your local business marketing based on this article, and someday, we believe, you will be the most thriving business in your area. Happy journey to the top!
Originally published here.