According to statistics, about 500,000 new businesses are started each month and half of them fail within their first five years, with the most common reasons being not having an effective marketing strategy in place.
“Small businesses must evolve with the changes that marketing is facing today because consumers are evolving especially with changing technology,” says Ashley Deland, award-winning business coach and founder of https://ashleydeland.com.
So what does it take to successfully market a local business in 2019?
An effective social media strategy
Starting a social media account can provide huge benefits for any business. The content a business pushes out on social media should be highly relevant to their targeted audience.
“Post content that adds value to your clients. If you’re offering plumbing services, talk about five common plumbing mistakes homeowners make or if you’re a mom and pop diner in a small town, talk about fun things visiting tourists can do in the area. You can even curate videos, photos or articles that you think your target audience would like,” says Deland.
With organic growth no longer being a solid option, local businesses need to consider paid advertising. Luckily, running ads on social media is something that works with all budget sizes. With its three billion users worldwide, Facebook has become more and more of a staple for the local businesses.
Deland says that “You can target your audience by city, age, life events and lots of different interest. Facebook ads are a great tool that will immediately put you in front of your ideal clients.”
Standing out from the crowd can be hard for a local business, especially in competitive niches. Nevertheless, there are ways to be visible and brand humanizing is one of them. People buy from people, not from businesses.
“Storytelling instantly establishes a human connection. Have the courage to pull back the curtains and share your story, so that people start to know you: who are you, why have you started this business and what makes you different? What problems do you want to solve and what are the things you stand for? These are a few great things to start with,” says Deland.
Great content is a powerful way to build brand awareness, add credibility, make your audience like you and ultimately build trust and convert readers into clients.
Deland says that “You can use any form of content, from blog posts and infographics to podcasts and videos, as long as it is highly relevant to your audience. This being said, videos are currently getting more engagement and are encouraged by all social media platforms.”
Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Businesses need to create and distribute content that establish an emotional connection with their audience while meeting them where they are on the client journey.
Great customer experience
Consumer trust is tough to earn and in short supply. Going that extra little mile can make a huge impact on the overall customer experience, ensuring increased sales due to referral marketing (word-of-mouth).
“To be a successful business you must live by the manifesto of always over deliver. If a customer feels acknowledged, cared for and heard they would not go anywhere else,” says Deland.
A recent survey found that 86% of U.S. consumers regularly consult online reviews and ratings when evaluating local businesses.
Deland adds that “People trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a friend. If your clients have a great experience with your brand, they will tell their friends, family and then go on social media outlets and let the public know just how amazing the experience was. And this will help your business tremendously.”
Ashley Deland is an award-winning business coach, mentor and marketing expert with over 10 years of experience growing businesses for solopreneurs, small business owners, and start-up founders. When she is not creating personal empires for her clients, you can usually catch her zenning out on the yoga mat or cooking up new things in the kitchen to help fuel her passion for plant-based foods. Find more at www.ashleydeland.com.