If you’re running a small brick and mortar business, you’ve got a heck of a lot going on. You have overhead to worry about, customers to take care of, products and services to deliver, and of course, you have to deal with marketing.
Traditional offline marketing is great for small businesses. Many local companies see great ROI from coupon clippers, direct mail, and print advertising. But if you’ve been ignoring your online marketing efforts, you’re probably leaving a lot of money on the table.
If you’re like most small business owners, you have a website. You’ve tried to blog but you just can’t seem to make enough time in your day to generate regular posts. You probably focus a lot of energy on social media because the whole world tells you that you need to be there. But are you getting everything you can from these efforts?
Consumers will check you out online before they decide to do business with you. They prefer to have options when they find you. They’ll want to browse your inventory if you sell things, and they’ll want to see examples of what you’ve done for others if you provide services. They’ll read reviews, visit your website, peruse your Facebook page, check out your Twitter and Pinterest profiles for even more information or ideas. You might have these profiles in place, but are you leveraging them to generate business?
Ideas To Turn Online Marketing Into Offline Customers
Ask For a Little Help
You know you have some loyal, raving fans among your customers. There are clients who have been with you for many years, or customers who stop into your storefront very regularly. Ask these fans if they wouldn’t mind taking a minute to give you a good review on Google, Yahoo, and Yelp. The more positive reviews that potential customers see, the more likely they are to take the next step and stop in.
You can also ask your most valued customers if you can use them in a case study or detailed testimonial on your website. If you provide services, case studies are crucial. Prospects will want to see the results you’ve generated for others, and if they have a strong library of case studies to browse, you’ll overcome many objections before they even arise.
Give a Little Milk For Free – They’ll Still Buy the Cow
Potential customers want to know that you know your stuff. In order to show authority in your niche, your website should showcase your expertise. Not all of it – you don’t want to give away any trade secrets. But your blog can be an excellent resource for people who are searching for answers to questions or solutions to problems.
This works no matter what size your business. Professional and B2B companies can offer advice on some of the most common questions presented by clients. Yoga studios can provide tips on nutrition, tips for de-stressing on days students don’t have classes, or ways to maximize certain yoga poses. Hair salons can give tips on keeping hair color looking vibrant between visits. The options are endless.
Always make sure that you have social sharing buttons in place so people can share your ideas with their own networks. The more exposure you get, the more potential customers you’ll be able to reach.
And you can always add a call to action to your posts. Give someone a discount if they print out your post and bring it in to your store to buy a product or select a service.
But don’t give it all away. You want to give potential customers just enough to make them want a little more.
Promote Your Offline Events Online
If you’re hosting an event, promote the heck out of it online, and give people a reason to attend. If they sign up online, they might receive a discount, for example. You can also trade shares for a discount. $10 Off admission for sharing this event with your followers. Some people don’t like social share-trades, but many businesses have used them successfully. You could also run a contest on your blog or your social media profiles where people present ideas for your event and the chosen idea wins free admission or a discount on a service.
Never Forget Your Customer
Customers come to you because you have something they need. You can fix a problem they have, or you can provide them with a service they can’t do themselves. When you’re sitting down to post things on social media or create posts for your blog, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What are their most burning questions? What keeps them up at night? What motivates them to get in the car and drive to your business? If you keep your customer in mind, you’ll be able to generate plenty of online content marketing ideas for your business.
What are some of your most successful online campaigns? Let me know in the comments!
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