Online marketing for local business is now more effective than ever due to data collected from companies like Facebook, which allow advertisers to lazer target their customer base with a precision which was previously unheard of. Now, you can target people according to their age, marital status, geographical location as well as by their interests, online habits and even earnings.
Using Facebook to advertise is particularly useful for a local business because you can geo-target your specific area to within whatever radius you decide depending how far your potential customers are likely to come for your services.
Creating adverts through your Facebook profile is fairly straight forward. You will need to create a business page and get access to an advertising account. This can depend on how long you have had your business page up and running and your number of likes etc. Check Facebook for business here.
You can decide how much you want to spend on a daily basis so don’t worry if you’re on a tight budget. By targeting your specific audience carefully, you should get a good return on your investment. Just start small and build up over time as this becomes apparent.
Adwords is another tool which can be used by a local business in order to find more potential customers. Again you can target geographically, along with an number of other demographics. The keywords you use to find targeted visitors, will determine how successful your campaign is. For example, if you are running a photographic business in Harrogate, you should target those specific keywords in order not to waste money on people who are looking for a photographer elsewhere. Your keywords in this situation might be “harrogate weeding photographer”. You advert will then only show up when people type these keywords in to Google. If you geo-target Harrogate specifically, you will only get people from Harrogate, typing in this search clicking on your advert. This is a good way to start, especially if you have a tight budget. As you see the results you can broaden your target audience for more visitors.
Again you can set a daily limit on your expenditure and your ads will stop running once that limit is met. Start out with a small budget and increase slowly once you can see a return on your investment. Start with specific keywords to limit your ‘clicks’ from unlikely buyers and target your adverts to buyers rather than ‘tyre kickers’. You can do this by being specific about what you offer and adding the price if appropriate.
You can also use a number of other tactics to reach potential customers online. See how to promote local business online for more ideas.
- Get a website and blog regularly
- Get a Twitter account and advertise
- Use free ads like Gumtree, Ebay, Freeads and Craigslist.com
- Start an email list to keep in touch with your audience. See why build an email list.
Fear of spending is counter intuitive
If you have never spent any money on an online marketing campaign, you may be hesitant on doing so. However, marketing to your potential customers is the only way to grow your business and you need to get over this fear if things are ever going to change.
Your marketing efforts should yield some good results for your business if done correctly. Don’t over-spend however, thinking that just throwing money at the problem will solve it. You need to be smart too.
Start with a monthly budget which is well within your means and expect a little trial and error. Target your audience well before creating your adverts and campaign. See Why is target market important. Your return on investment should be good before you start to ramp up your advertising budget. Of course, depending on your particular business, there may be a limit to how many new customers you can attract within a given time frame.
Track your results over time
Make a note of your advertising expenditure but also your sales. If you can correlate a difference in sales since your advertising began, you are in a better position to determine how effective your campaign has been.
Online business vs physical business
A physical business will have strict limits as to how many people can be served at any given time, the potential customer base in any given physical location and the demand for your particular service or product and how this relates to the deliver of that service or product.
With an online business you can sell internationally. For many products you can also lift the limit on the delivery of service because you can automate much of the process. Digital products can be bought and accessed online without having the need for a physical presence or a physical point of sale. The delivery of items such as membership sites or digital downloads can be automated and therefore serve multiple purchases at once. This mean scaling an online business is much easier than scaling a physical business. Learn more about starting an online business here.