Did you know that recent studies reported 90% of customers would go out of their way to promote local businesses in their community?
This is great news for businesses that depend on a local customer base, especially after the uncertainty of the past two years. The question is, how can local businesses take advantage of this unique opportunity?
The trend towards supporting local businesses does, however, come with challenges. It means that local businesses are in high competition with one another, and if you aren’t fully on top of your marketing, you will get left behind. BizBuilder.io partners with local businesses to create game plans that leverage current trends, as well as overcome marketing problems we see business owners run into across all industries. Read on to learn about the top problems we’ve seen, along with actionable solutions to solve them + find success in marketing.
Problem #1: Generating Leads and Finding New Customers
It's no secret that customer acquisition has become a major problem for small businesses. Today, 60% of customers start their shopping journey online and this number continues to grow each year! This means that the first crucial step in generating more leads is to craft an outstanding online presence.
So, what are the actual steps you need to take to build a strong online presence that converts leads into customers? Here are some of the most important pieces:
- An accurate online footprint. Your Google Business Profile is often a prospect’s first impression of your business—before they even visit your website—and when used effectively, it can be an excellent lead generation tool. It’s important to clean this up and ensure that Google has an up-to-date and clear idea of what you do. This will make it easy for online visitors to call, message, visit your website, or get directions to your business.
- A killer website. Your website is your online storefront. It should be clean, professional and most importantly lead generating! If you're struggling to generate leads from your site, look to create a website that makes it easy for customers to learn about your services and start conversations with you. Interactive tools like webchat can be game-changers when it comes to turning your website into a lead-generating machine.
- A great online reputation. Generating more positive reviews for your business is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal right now. Businesses with great ratings get ranked at the top of local searches. If you can get in touch with happy customers to consistently leave reviews about their experience and give you some stars, you’ll be golden.
These are the foundations for putting your business in a place to dominate local search and get discovered. Once you’ve optimized these features, you can focus on digital marketing to capture even more leads.
Problem #2: Retaining Customers
Businesses often reach for new customers before they reach for the HUGE opportunity that is sitting right in front of them (and is much easier to obtain)… Existing customers! Customer retention is a huge way to increase revenue, not to mention much cheaper than acquiring new customers. Returning customers are 60-70% more likely to purchase from you than new customers, 7 times more likely to buy a new product, and 4 times more likely to bring in referrals. Nurturing existing customers should be a top priority!
The best way to keep customers coming back is to give them a value-packed experience and to continually nurture them through marketing campaigns tailor-made for them. Here’s what we’ve seen works best:
- Craft a high-value experience. Providing over-the-top value and an outstanding experience creates loyal customers. When you delight your customers, it becomes a no-brainer for them to return and spend more on your services. Businesses should go beyond the product or service at hand to craft an amazing customer experience. Every touchpoint with your business can be designed to craft an all-around delightful experience: Advertisements, online presence, discovery, interactions, and follow-ups after the sale are all pieces of the overall experience. This can seem daunting, but you don’t need to overhaul your whole process at once. Focus on simplifying your customer experience to make it as convenient as possible. Then, you can dive in deeper and add the cherry-on-top value boosters that will make working with you an absolute no-brainer.
- Keep in touch with existing customers. Keep your business top-of-mind for past customers by reminding them that you are there to provide for them whenever the need arises. You can even create special deals or events especially for past customers. Try and use a more personal form of communication, like texting, with these folks, since they already know and trust your business. Data shows that customers prefer texting, and we have plenty more resources to build this out if you’re interested.
Problem #3: No Time or Resources to do Marketing
Running a small business isn’t easy. You already have to juggle a million roles and tasks, so it’s no surprise that people can’t always find the time or resources to put into marketing. Here are some tips to ease the burden and make marketing easier for you and your team:
- Automate. You need the right tools to automate and schedule tasks. Every business uses software tools, sometimes even dozens. Your platform should give you time back to focus on running your business, while sending out emails, SMS, changing contact status, and scheduling appointments on autopilot. If your software tools do not allow for integration or automation, seek out a system that does. At BizBuilder.io, we marry awesome strategy with amazing tools to create a seamless marketing experience that saves you tons of time.
- Communicate. Phone calls may be the most common way for leads to get in touch with your business, but other forms of communication can be even more effective and convenient for your customers. Leveraging texting can connect you with more customers and save you time. Pay attention to trending forms of communication, and choose a business texting provider and advertise your phone line as “textable.” You could save dozens of hours every week by moving routine communications from phone calls to text messages.
With trends to #SupportLocalBusinesses, small businesses have more opportunity than ever to connect with their community and scale. Properly taking advantage of this opportunity means staying on top of marketing in order to beat out the competition. By focusing on online presence, optimizing existing marketing, and the help of tools like BizBuilder.io, you can overcome these problems and build a business that succeeds.
If you’re interested in how BizBuilder.io can help you get there, book a strategy call, and we’ll take the hard work off your plate.