Over the past few years, experts have been saying that the death of local retail stores is upon us! While the online marketplace continues to grow, local businesses have a differential advantage to keep their market coming back to them. The exciting news is that it’s just getting started!
A combination of offline and online marketing, or omni-channel marketing, can help drive customers to your local business. Omni-channel marketing is a powerful process because it includes in-store, traditional, and digital marketing. Your Internet marketing can even pull from your customer’s in store experience! The possibilities are endless.
Mapping Out Your Customer Data
Internet marketing is by far the most cost effective and versatile form of advertising for your local business. As the Internet was truly opening up to local owners, small businesses were restricted to Facebook posts, banner ads, and email marketing when it came to reaching their customers. Today, you can dive even deeper to maximize your small business exposure, and open those tools up to brand new heights.
Mobile technology is to thank when it comes to truly knowing your market. Smartphones have opened up the ability to target prospects that drive past your business everyday but never stop by your store. All of this translates into dollars well spent versus wasted marketing dollars used to blanket people that might (crossing fingers!) want to visit your business.
There are a few emerging tools that are knocking down boundaries and helping small businesses grow.
- Geofencing: Snapchat Geofilters have knocked down doors when it comes to the idea of targeting through geofencing. Their On Demand Geofilters allow small businesses to target extremely specific areas with ads for a specific amount of time. You can rest assure that Facebook will roll out an option just as specific in no time. Facebook’s current geomarketing is impressive in its own right by allowing small businesses to target by people currently in the area, traveling through, recently visited, or call the area home.
- Local Search: Search engines drive a significant amount of website traffic to small businesses. Sites like Google, Yelp, Bing, and Tripadvisor are sending prospects to small business websites and converting them into customers. “Near Me” searches have grown 146% year over year, which means that data (website, hours, address, name, phone, etc) matter more than ever. Being found for “restaurants near me” or “bowling near me” is crucial for growth.
By knowing how to use the geo boundaries of your prospects, you can kick down advertising boundaries and reach them and help move them through the process of becoming paying customers. The data behind local advertising is evolving at an exponential rate, and provides small businesses with the opportunity to compete where major eCommerce stores struggle.