With the rise of the internet and smartphones, digital access has been changing consumer behavior. Local businesses often have to compete with well-known, national brands without exceeding marketing budgets. But consumers want to support local, so here are four easy ways for you to create a marketing plan that sticks to your budget and gets customers to fall in love with your business.
1. Build Your Story & Brand
Today, many consumers are interested in the values businesses represent, and it can be a differentiating factor. For example, a consumer might be pulled to choose a florist who dedicates proceeds to a local charity versus one that doesn’t. So it’s important to decide what’s important to your company beyond the service or products you provide and the values and brand you want to present. Create a personal connection with your audience through transparency on your social media and other digital platforms by highlighting your activity in the community, your staff, and your customers.
Tip: This is especially valuable (and easy) for local businesses! Highlight how you support your community through employee activities and local charities and then post them on your various digital media platforms or through online campaigns. For example, run a spring promotion where a certain portion of proceeds goes to a local food bank.
2. Make it Easy for Customers to Find What They’re Looking For (& Contact You!)
Did you know that up to 50% of potential sales are lost because consumers can’t find the information they are looking for? It’s key that your consumers can quickly and easily find any information they need on your business or have easy access to contact your business directly (such as through live chat). Make sure you provide detailed information about your company and services on your website and also have your phone number and other contact information readily available.
Tip: Live chat is a great tool to add to your website to create an open communication between you and customers. In fact, 63% of consumers said they would return to a website that offers live chat. Check out how live chat helped these businesses.
3. Ensure Great Customer Service
Price isn’t the only factor consumers consider during the purchase process. A major factor is the ease of purchase and customer experience throughout their experience. Training your staff on customer service may be put on the backburner due to time constraints or other factors, but customer service is still extremely important. Great customer service can make the difference between you or your competitor winning the sale. In fact, 97% of consumers listed customer service as a critical factor in brand decisions.
Tip: Check out our blog posts on customer service to learn easy ways to turn your staff into experts.
4. Manage Your Leads & Continue to Engage
Your marketing process doesn’t end at driving new inbound leads to your business. Having a lead management process and marketing automation system at your business is key. Not only is this essential for you to be able to convert more leads, but to retarget previous customers as well.
Consider this: up to 92% of consumers don’t intend to make a purchase during a first visit. So it’s important that your team is trained and organized on how to follow up with and retarget consumers. Not only is lead handling important to convert first-time buyers, but it’s important to create recurring loyal customers. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
Tip: Make your life easier by maintaining a lead inbox and communication outreach plan for all your leads. Don’t feel like it needs to be complicated. Keep it simple and clear so your employees can be experts at reaching out to all leads in a timely manner.
In today’s business climate, especially with local brands competing with larger brands online, it’s essential to have a marketing plan in place that makes your customers fall in love with you. For more information on branding and developing your marketing plans, check out our blog.