The Internet is enormous.
Millions of Americans connect everyday through Facebook, Messenger, Snapchat, and Google search. Many might see this as the opportunity of a lifetime (to have so many people to expose their brand to), and yet there is a large number of small business owners that think that the Internet is just too big to use to reach their local market. There are also the business owners that have tried reaching their local market, but have failed miserably. Either they aren’t sure how to be found or they’ve spent hundreds of dollars casting a net so wide that it hits markets that are not even interested in their services.
Why are we chasing after customers that are not even interested in what we offer? Why are we missing the people that might be interested but can’t find us? It seems to me that small businesses have an issue with identifying their target customer and knowing what tools to use to find that customer once they have been identified. There are better ways to use your time and money to acquire new customers and retain your current ones.
Polish Your Brand
Before you send people to your website, Facebook page, or Instagram feed, make sure that your web presence accurately reflects who you are as a company. Information about your company should be up-to-date, functioning well, and clearly articulate who you are and what you do. If your owned web presence (your website) isn’t updated, do not send people to it.
Be Found in Search
Many family entertainment centers focus on the aesthetics of their website but not on the factors that play into helping it be found in search (Google, Bing, Yahoo). What good is a beautiful website if no one can find it? When customers search for, “birthday parties in your city, your State, your website should show up in the search results. It takes more than just a beautiful site to achieve visibility in Google.
Publish Valuable Content
Online content includes blog posts, white papers, FAQ pages, Facebook posts, Instagram videos, and more. The content that you share online should either edify, entertain, and educate your customer. Blogs are an easy and inexpensive way to build value on your website, which is owned by you (hopefully). A quality post provides relevant information to your brand that adds value to your customers. It can be shared in email marketing, social media, and it will eventually be picked up by search engines. Publish quality content as often as possible, and push yourself to sticking to a consistent schedule.
Sharing your content (blogs) on social media is a great way to spread the word about your brand and build relationships (experiences) with your customers. If you’re an established family entertainment center with years of history, your loyal fans online will love reading about the history of your center, news about your employees, or new ways that their friends and family can enjoy your center. Brand new FEC’s can begin to establish their very own history by building and sharing an archive of information about their new business.
Pay (wisely) for Your Content Exposure
Yes, you should do it, but make sure you are knowledgeable before you press the “buy now” button. If you take time to understand the advertising platforms within Google and Facebook, you can reach your target market and get the most out of every dollar spent in paid advertising. Owners that are new or know enough to be dangerous with paid advertising should take the time to learn the in’s and out’s of advertising platforms or outsource it to a trusted marketing agency.
Reaching Your Local Market
A strong web presence that truly focusses on providing its local market with value will win above business that ignores its customers needs. Start by cleaning up your presence, building content that provides value to your local customer, and make sure that every relevant set of eyes connected to the Internet is exposed to it by sharing and paying for visibility.