Locally Sourced Customers
One of the biggest marketing buzz-phrases of the last decade is “locally sourced”; as a byword for sustainability it has been applied to everything from food to firewood in a bid to earn some green credential points. There's nothing wrong with promoting your low food miles, green delivery vehicles or other environmentally friendly business practices (in fact most customers actively look for these things), but are you applying the same approach to your marketing?
While many businesses offer their products and services nationally (and even internationally) there is still a lot to be said for a local, family run firm providing top class service to their community, and the secret to success for a small or local business is locally sourcing your customers.
Word of mouth has its place in local marketing, but the days of putting up a business card in the local shop are well and truly behind us. No-one reaches for the Yellow Pages any more, but they will still use the digital version – Yell.com. As well as directory sites like Yell, Google offers a great set of marketing tools designed to maximise the results of online searches for local businesses. With over 97% of internet users having searched specifically for a local business, you can't afford not to be taking advantage of digital marketing tailored to your type of business.
The latest research suggests that over half of businesses haven’t claimed their My Business listing on Google, which is a massive oversight. While Google will fill in some of the information in there, without active input you will be left behind by your competitors. Now that consumers are very familiar with getting the information they want directly from search results without even having to visit your website (to see your opening hours, for example) it is vital that you give them what they want.
Of course, there's no reason to wait to start on a local marketing campaign, but there are some good times to ramp up your efforts, refresh your website content and update your My Business listing. As we know, Google favours the freshest content and this rule applies to the newness of your My Business information, so the run up to seasonal sales spikes, or when a new housing estate is being settled are excellent times to take advantage of a natural increase in search and purchase activity.
You want potential customers to see something positive when they search, so encourage happy customers to leave good reviews on Google, and do respond to all of them, even the negative ones. The way a business deals with a complaint carries more weight than the mere existence of a complaint, with a pro-active approach reflecting well on a business. Responding to negative reviews shows you care, and this is more important to potential customers than the fact that someone else had a negative experience.
Setting up and managing your My Business information is something that we can do for you, and we'd recommend that you update regularly with any changes, such as bank holiday opening hours or new pictures as Google loves anything that is recent. Your website can be easily linked from the My Business listing and send potential customers straight to you without them ever looking at your competitors. With over half of consumers eschewing businesses that don't have an online presence there's no time like the present to get online and start locally sourcing your customers.
Tel: 01242 697 692