The Importance of Local Businesses

Think about the shopping habits of the average US Consumer in 2018 and it becomes obvious that ease of purchase has become key. People want to be able to go to Amazon or Walmart or Jet.com, search for their desired product and buy it. In this digital age of shopping, where does that leave the local business owner? The brick and mortar store front that serves a niche market or the local tavern that attracts all the people who live in that area.

In 2018, local businesses – either digital storefronts or brick and mortar – are as important as ever. The industry does not matter. Look at your typical Marketing Consulting firm that is starting out – and you’ll see a single owner, probably working from their home – with an on-line presence. These local agencies and businesses are the lifeblood of America. It’s these small businesses that know the specific needs of their customers, and they alone can best serve them. The trust that consumers have with a local business is one of the things that hearkens back to a much simpler time. And it is something that needs to be cultivated and appreciated, even in the face of the rise of on-line conglomerates like Amazon and super stores like Walmart.

With that in mind, Bedford Street Marketing wanted to offer some tips on how to make your local business thrive in 2018.

Establish an On-line presence: If you have a website, then you are off to a good start. If you don’t have one, set one up. Keep the content on your site relevant to the services/products you are offering. Engage the prospective customers/returning customers with lively content, great offers and always make sure that you have multiple sign-up forms to capture contact information. This is the beginning of a customer list that is invaluable to your marketing strategy.

Social Media, Social Media, Social Media: You need to be there. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest (if applicable to your business). Here’s a little stat for you: “In 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe, up from 2.46 billion in 2017. Social network penetration worldwide is ever-increasing. In 2017, 71 percent of internet users were social network users and these figures are expected to grow.”

You read that right – 2.77 billion potential customers and advocates for your brand waiting to be contacted. Build up your followers on all these platforms, post daily and keep your audience engaged. Keep a good post mixture of offerings (Services or new products or sales), issues important to your customer base, humorous posts and interactive posts (i.e., polls, questions, etc).

If you cultivate this audience, you’ll have in-store and on-line traffic that will grow organically over time and they will be some of your most loyal customers.

Paid Advertising: Set-up a monthly marketing budget and include paid advertising. Depending on that nature of your business, On-Page advertising, insert media and programs like Valpak are great sources of new business.

Look into services like Google Ad Words and other similar services to deliver display and text ads to your target audience. These ads can be used to drive customers to your website or to your store front.

The contacts you capture from your website and promotions – run a few email campaigns. Set-up a monthly newsletter telling your customers what new products are coming up or what offers they should not miss out on in the near future.

Omni-Channel: We at Bedford Street Marketing LLC cannot stress this enough. Don’t pigeon hole yourself into one particular type of marketing promotion.

Engage your customers in all the channels that they consume. Run a campaign that utilizes  display advertising to drive customers to your website, then once you capture their contact – do a follow-up email campaign – and re-target them with digital advertising on the sites they visit. The more times you contact a prospect – the more likely the are too respond.

It’s all about relationships: Once you have converted a prospect, they become ambassadors of your brand. Make sure to always follow through on the promises your services or products offer – and keep your fans/customers engaged.

Sometimes the best marketing in the world is still “Word of Mouth”. If someone loves your brand, and they tell a friend or better yet post about it on social media, that is free advertising with an endorsement from a user of your products and services.

We hope this helps and if you need assistance in getting any of the above ideas in place, please contact us at info@bedfordstmarketing or visit us at https://bedfordstmarketing.com.

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