In part 1 of this series, we talked about how you can market your business in your “back yard.” But if your customers are primarily coming from your local area, do you still need to market your business on the Internet?
Optimizing your marketing for the mobile web is increasingly important. Your customers are now buying mobile devices more than computers. According to Pew Internet Research surveys, in 2013, 34% of American adults own a tablet and 56% own a smartphone.
Your current customers are checking in, taking photos and writing reviews. Your prospective customers are using mobile to perform localized searches to find your business. How do you reach out to potential customers on the go?
Tips for mobile-friendly local marketing:
- Make sure your website is ready for the small screen. Some common web platforms (such as WordPress) may have a mobile web version built into templates. If not, think about creating an alternative version of your website with single-column layouts, simplified content and smaller file sizes. If it doesn’t load quickly or look easy to use, they’ll navigate away.
- If you have a newsletter, think about how it will be read on a small screen, possibly while your customer is checking their email while waiting in line. Put simple content with clear calls to action in a single column, all right on the screen.
- Be found. In addition to that Yellow Pages directory listing, claim your business on Google+ Local, Yelp, Foursquare, etc. so that when a customer searches for, say, “pizza” or “dentist” or “repairs” on a map for your area, they can find you and contact you right there.
- Embrace social media. You don’t have to be on every network – just the ones your customers are using. Give your fans a channel for praise and feedback, Instagram or Pinterest new merchandise, tweet and Facebook deals and sales, Youtube product how-to’s, encourage Yelp and Foursquare check-ins.
- Build allies. Facebook and Twitter can also be great ways to network with your real-world allies: neighbouring businesses, local tourism bureaus, area business improvement associations and more. The good news is that major social media sites are already optimized for mobile – and heavily used by mobile customers.
Not all of your customers are on social media or mobile, but many of them are. So mix traditional advertising with Internet approaches:
- email newsletters with direct mail to targeted areas
- word-of-mouth and referrals with managing your online reviews
- print ads with banner ads in local newspapers and websites
- online deals with in-house coupons
The way customers find your business and talk about it to their networks is changing dramatically with the rise of mobile.
But marketing fundamentals remain the same: good strategy, choosing the right tools and tactics, and monitoring and measuring results. Don’t let the local potential of the World Wide Web pass you by.