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Just How Visible Is Your Local Business?

Posted by:jimkimmons Dated:January 22, 2014

imageDon’t you yearn for the “good old days” of local business marketing?  Find a space in town with walking traffic and some parking available, put up a sign, do a little radio advertising, throw up some newspaper ads, and open the doors.

 

People walked and drove by, liked your window display or sign and came through the door.  If they liked your products or services, they told their family and friends, and you picked up some new and repeat business.  It doesn’t get an better than that … except it doesn’t work that way any more.

 

Visibility was a lot easier back then for the local business.  Today it’s not necessarily more expensive to get the visibility you need, but it’s certainly a whole lot more involved.  People don’t find business, product, or services information like they used to.  They’re online and they’re mobile.  They also don’t do verbal recommendations anymore.  It’s all about social media and texting.  There are just so many pieces in today’s online and mobile marketing world, and it’s overwhelming to most small business owners.

 

  • >Website
  • >Blog
  • >Hosting and domain names
  • >Lead generation
  • >Email marketing
  • >Google Places, maps, Google+, Communities and Pages
  • >Facebook
  • >Yahoo and Google Ads
  • >Text message marketing

 

There’s more and there’s more than a single step involved in each of these.  It’s no wonder that the majority of local businesses are not taking advantage of the online and mobile marketing tools that will generate more business.  Just what does a local retail or service business need to do to pull all of this together and grow their business?

 

1.  You’ll need to get hosting for your websites or blogs, register domain names that will help with the search engines, and create a Web presence that will draw visitors and keep them engaged while you attempt to convert them from visitors to customers.

 

2.  From the site, depending on your business type, products or services, you’ll either take them directly to your door, or you’ll want to get their contact information so you can continue to market to them.  Actually, you really need to do both if you want repeat business.

 

3.  Once you know who they are, you’ll want to use two very different but very effective marketing tools, email and text messaging.  Follow-up emails and text messages that call them to action and bring them through your doors require proper headlines and wording.

 

4.  Social site profiles and business pages must be developed for Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and others.  Just a profile isn’t enough, as you’ll need to add new content regularly as well.

 

5.  Much more rapid business generation can come from PPC, Pay Per Click, marketing, but it must be done right or the money is wasted.

 

OK, let’s not beat you up here.  Really you can just place all of your needs into our hands, and we’ll develop your online and mobile local business marketing plan, implement it, and we’ll help you to celebrate all of the new business walking through your door.

Text Message Marketing – Resistance is Futile

Posted by:jimkimmons Dated:December 9, 2013

imageIf you were a fan of Star Trek, you may remember the Borg.  This collective conscience alien entity was fond of letting their victims know that they would be “assimilated” into the Borg collective and that “resistance is futile.”  They always won.

 

Now, back in 2009 the New York times had an article about the growth of text message marketing and how businesses should be checking it out for value in local business marketing plans.  Well, it’s four years later and the vast majority of local small business owners are still resisting.  It’s not that they don’t think they have good reasons.  Most believe that it’s very regulated and complicated and will get them into trouble if a mistake is made.  It takes a whole lot of value recognition to get a small business owner to take on perceived risk.

 

Regulations are stiff to prevent text message spamming.  However, we’ve worked hard to create a system that works for our clients.  We help our local marketers to understand the value of text message marketing, develop a list of opt-in customers and prospects, and then to market to them for walk-in business.

 

Let’s consider for a moment just how valuable text messaging marketing can be for a local business.  We’ll use a restaurant as our example. This restaurant usually experiences their busiest times on the weekends and after around 6:30 PM on weekdays.  They’re pretty slow up until that time, as people are going home from work and some decide to go back out for dinner take-out.

 

Using point of sale signs and offers to their customers to get them to opt in for text messages of special deals, the restaurant has grown their subscriber list to several hundred people.  Now their slowest weekdays have a whole different traffic pattern.  A text message is sent out right at 5:00 PM to catch people getting off from work.  It offers a fast take-out special coupon between 5 and 6 PM.  Suddenly they’re busy on days and in time frames they used to be idle.  It also moved some of that later evening business forward, helping them to respond to the later demand with better service.

 

It’s time to take a look at text message marketing for your local market and increase and streamline your business.  Resistance is futile.

A Lead is Only as Good as Your Follow-up

Posted by:jimkimmons Dated:November 1, 2013

imageTake some time in your busy marketing schedule to track just how you spend your local Internet marketing time and effort.  If you’re like most of us, you’re spending many hours each week in:

 

  • 1. creating content for your blogs and websites.
  • 2. posting and cross-posting on social media sites.
  • 3. creating and placing ads to draw local business into the store.
  • 4. tracking results of form submissions and coupon codes.

 

Some of our activity is a direct connection between an online offer and a customer through the door with a coupon.  However, a lot of our activity is all about building lists by generating leads through our marketing efforts to send other offers and sale information to our subscribers.  When we spend this much time, effort and maybe PPC money in generating traffic and sales leads, it’s common sense that we want the very best in sales results from all of this effort.  Internet and text message marketing leads are only as good as the follow-up marketing we use to work the leads.  If we’re doing it right, customers walk through the door.  If we’re not doing enough, we’re leaving money on the table.

 

Let’s use an example of a local electronics business owner building an email list to send follow-up coupons and subscriber-only special sales notifications.  This marketer, let’s call him Ted, is very tech-savvy and writes a lot of great content on his blog about the newest hardware, apps and software for everything from desktops to tablets, games and phones.  He’s gathered a reasonable number of regular site visitors and promotes in-store to get email and text subscribers for advance sale notice and entry, as well as coupons and offers only for subscribers.

 

Ted’s email and text lists are large and growing fast, but he’s not happy with the walk-in traffic from his offers.  He also is experiencing a high percentage of opt-outs or unsubscribes.  We were able to help Ted to analyze his email campaigns, auto-responders and text message campaigns for improvement.  His high unsubscribe rate was in part due to too frequent emails and text messages without clear calls-to-action or with mixed offers and a lack of focus.

 

We’re all about local business marketing on the Web and through mobile and text messaging.  There’s a balance between frequency and message that is crucial to success.  Once Ted began to focus each email or text message around a single core offer, coupon or sale, and he adjusted his frequency, suddenly opt-outs dropped dramatically and more people began to walk through the door.  Let us help you do the same.

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