Note: This post first appeared on LocalVox.com
At LocalVox, we spend all our time thinking about local Internet marketing and the challenges for everyone from multi-location retailers to single location businesses. They each struggle with executing the fundamentals of marketing: getting the right message delivered to the right customer at the right time, every time.
Whereas large brands have big budgets to command distribution, most small businesses struggle with limited budgets and resources. Even if they have the right message – an event, announcement or deal – it’s hard for them to deliver it to a wide enough audience. They have the message but not the distribution.
That’s why many businesses settle for search engine marketing (also known as paid search or PPC). It gets the brand awareness and message to a customer searching for a business like them. Right message, right time.
But PPC isn’t without its pitfalls. The downside of PPC advertising is two-fold:
- It has become extraordinarily expensive on a cost-per-click basis for most businesses. Local businesses are being squeezed by online services and bigger brands with better optimized campaigns and conversion rates.
- Advertising does not build an asset that grows in value over time. You are not building distribution, you are renting it. The moment you stop feeding the beast, you have nothing.
That’s why LocalVox focuses on marketing, not advertising. We focus on building lasting distribution over time and as a result, the costs go down over time too. This includes:
Your Email List
If you gather just 3 emails per day, you’ll have a list of several hundred in a couple months so every time you have a message to email out, a bunch of customers will show up. Email marketing is at the core of BroadCast. Ourmobile deal targeting platform is as focused on gathering emails for future marketing as it is in getting immediate coupon redemptions.
Your Facebook Fans
Every fan that “Likes” you is agreeing to let your posts go on their newsfeed. That’s distribution. You can be extraordinarily effective with putting Facebook widgets on your website to attract easy Likes. Even using a modest Facebook ad budget can help you attract targeted consumers at anywhere from $0.10 to $1 per Like. Hyper targeted Facebook ads are a core tactic in our social reputation management offering.
Your Twitter Followers
Twitter is a lot like Facebook, except that you can actively message to people talking about your brand or types of service that you offer, even if they don’t follow you directly. Building a Twitter audience requires time and technique more than money. Find an expert.
Your Organic SEO Footprint
Local SEO is 16-20x more cost effective than pay-per-click and 95% of clicks happen on organic listings, not the ad units. Publishing content is crucial to organic SEO. Additionally, local SEO is now dominated by Google+Local and directory optimization. By investing in organic search, you are building a lasting marketing asset that will lead to more and more clicks as you outperform your competition.
Now more than ever, local businesses have the power to control their marketing without paying extraordinary sums for advertising and PR. Managing so many channels may seem daunting, but it can be easy if you use an integrated local marketing platform rather than a separate tool for each social, local and mobile channel.
But the key is to start building those assets now. There will be twice the competition in 3 years. Now’s your chance to get a head start. If you need help on where to focus, give us a call or drop us a line at GetHelp@LocalVox.com.