Whether you’re a restaurant that’s seen a surge in take-out orders or a salon wondering how to get in the game — it’s important to set yourself up for success online. Part of this will rely on successfully marketing yourself, and it’s important to draw inspiration from your competition. That could mean looking at how other small businesses have organized their websites to retain a local feel or understanding how national chains establish the same brand recognition no matter where they go.
Both your website and social media platforms should align with the “ambiance” you’ve created in your business. A fine dining restaurant doesn’t want a bare-bones, deli-counter format for their landing page, and a salon doesn’t need the same things from their web designer that a mechanic might. Either way, the easiest way to hone in on what you want your end product to look like is to find strong examples of the aesthetic you’re going for.
Try to select five to ten brands that you admire across multiple platforms, and examine how they convert their content from one page to another. Maybe their website is super minimalist, but their Instagram is full of bright, flashy videos. For large brands, these decisions are never random — no matter how authentic their content seems.
Finding What Works
Remember that your content is not only a means of reaching out to your current customers but also a way to entice a new consumer base. Part of why it’s so important to identify strong examples of other successful brands is because you need to find the “formulas” for successful content marketing in your niche. Are other local companies making shout outs to members of your community? Are your competitors teaming up with certain influencers or local businesses in your town? Or are they posting all of their videos from one location?
While they may seem random, successful brands constantly “test” their content either through personal metrics or through specific analytics testing programs. These programs can be a way to either simply keep track of how many times a week you’re posting or the best time of day to post on any particular weekday. However, they can also be more complicated. The best programs will release multiple versions of the same post to different key audiences and select the one that “tests” the best.
While you may not have access to this kind of technology, try to keep track of what other brands are posting and how many likes or comments they receive. If you can, write down timestamps when you see them so you can hack into the best times to post your content.
Once you’ve launched a successful brand, you can begin using your platform to amp up your sales. Today, more and more consumers are ordering products online instead of shopping in-person, so it’s important to look into how your small business can get a piece of the pie. If you’re a bar or restaurant, you may easily convert to cocktail kits and carry-out, but if you’re a salon or dry cleaner, it may seem a little more complicated.
The good news is that one of the best content marketing strategies is to simply host a giveaway. People love snagging discounts, which is part of why coupon marketing works so well, but they’ll also love competing for the chance to catch an awesome deal. Use your social media platform to host a contest. Invite your followers to comment on a post and tag a few friends to enter to win whatever you think will create the biggest buzz. This will quickly boost your social media impressions and allow your account to rank higher. Plus, it’ll get the word out about your brand and likely lead to more follows.
Building a Strong Website
When consumers visit your site to learn more about the services you offer — or try to redeem their prize, you’ll want to make sure you’re set up for success. The best way to ensure this is to work with a web designer you trust who can help set you up online. Once you’ve got all your formatting confirmed, it’s time to bring your site to life by embedding shopping portals through which consumers can browse your prices and, more importantly, pay.
To get them there, you’ll want to create click funnels, which are essentially a means to guide your consumer from one part of your website to the next. With these, you can use modest popups or animated guides to point your shopper towards new products, sales, or the check-out button. Talk to your web designer about building these as well as several calls to action to ensure you keep your shopper involved throughout the entire process.
Ensure Great Results
When shoppers Google your business’s name, you want to be found. Then, you want to make sure you impress them. The only issue is that it can be difficult to keep track of where your views are coming from. Shoppers who find your site may give you a follow but may not commute the 30 miles to your town. This is why it’s so important to combine your online presence with a local advertising campaign.
A super simple strategy is to enact a grocery store advertising campaign, which will make use of hyper-local targeting. In doing so, you’ll be able to ensure you’re reaching the customers in your area, especially through a program like coupon-receipt advertising. Through this method, small businesses can print their coupons on the backs of grocery store receipts. That means your supermarket advertisement is going home in the pocket of every single shopper.
With thousands of people visiting grocery stores every week — if not daily — the impressions on your advertisement are sure to surge as soon as you launch your campaign. From there, you’ll also be able to brand your company as a local favorite by simply aligning your business with a local supermarket.