Don't Get Lost, Get Local
“Siri, find a Mexican restaurant near me.”
“Google, where’s my nearest costume shop that’s open now?”
As 21st century consumers, we want things now and we want them nearby. We take Google’s word for it every single day: what route we take, what restaurant we choose, what outfit we buy last-minute for that event we forgot about.
We ask and Google answers...with information from listings, websites, pictures and maps. Usually, we just make our choice based on what’s on the top of the search results, has the most stars or is the most convenient.
So as a business owner, the challenge is to get your business to the top – to get those Google ratings and to make sure that consumers know where you are and when you are available. That can feel like a whole lot of pressure! It can be hard to know where to start and it may seem really expensive.
But it doesn’t have to be.
For our digital marketing clients, particularly those with limited marketing budgets, we start with the basics for creating an online local business presence. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Just start here with our local area marketing hit list.
1. Google My Business
Google My Business allows you to have your business listed on the side of Google Search and Maps results. Put yourself on the map by creating your listing in just 30 minutes – all you need is your business contact information and some photography.
This listing will also help customers give you feedback through Google Reviews. It’s great to get glowing feedback from long-term customers – but if you do happen to get a 1 or 2-star review, don’t panic. Use the opportunity to recover that relationship by responding with helpful advice and support. Demonstrate your amazing customer service! We’re also now seeing some awesome new ways to promote special offers through your profile as well.
Long gone are the days when consumers pull out their physical Yellow Pages to find a business to fill their needs. But the trusty old Yellow Pages (and directories like it) are definitely still alive and kicking online. Create a listing for your business on as many free directories as you can find and add as much information as you can about your business. You'll most likely see some phone calls and website visits coming through as a result.
3. Facebook & Instagram
Get on the ‘Gram! It’s free to set up a business profile on Instagram and Facebook, which connects your customers to your brand personality and makes your business available via phone or email at just the touch of a button.
You also benefit from giving your customers the ability to ‘check in’ at your venue or office – leverage that social proof as much as you can. Customers will use their social media to check out your menu, venue, previous work, and your vibe. Take control with links to your blog, photos, videos and even boomerang between Facebook and Instagram to drive engagement and conversation within the community around you.
It can seem difficult to get yourself on the digital map, with the amount of information that customers are already saturated with online. But with the three suggestions above you’ll be able to make a really good start to getting your brand out there.
Once you’re comfortable with your online local business presence and you’re ready to take on the next marketing challenge, reach out to our Digital Marketing team at BlueRock Digital.
From website development and content to social media and Google Ads, we’ll help you find the right customers, channels and messages to rocket to the top with your online presence.