As a small business owner, what do I focus on?
In today’s online world, leveraging your online presence is a great way to grow your business, some may even say it is essential. One of the most efficient ways for new customers to find your product or service is for them to find you online.
The good news is there are MANY ways to do this.
The bad news is….there are MANY ways to do this and determining which methods will be most effective for your business can be challenging, let alone implementing them well.
The Good Ol' Days....
Before the internet, the ‘go to’ marketing platform for local small businesses was The Yellow Pages. Of course there were other options, like radio ads, TV ads and the newspaper, but EVERYONE used the Yellow Pages.
Fast forward to today and there are now a HUGE variety of options available to small business owners:
Facebook and Social Media
…and the list goes on.
With all these options and marketers bombarding you from all sides, how do you wade through the weeds and find a strategy that will work for your business and your budget?
This can seem like an impossible task.
On top of that, how do you find time to execute all these strategies when you are really wanting to just focus on what you are good at – your business and clients!!?!?
3 Options for Small Business Owners
As far as we see it, you have 3 options as a small business owner:
1. Become a digital marketing expert and DIY
I LOVE learning new things and this is very appealing to many people. The challenge here is that many of the effective marketing methods are complicated and it takes MANY hours to be an expert. As entrepreneurs we are wired to ‘figure it out’ and ‘do it ourselves’ when we start out – to bootstrap a solution that’s ‘good enough’ to get started and go from there.
2. Hire Someone to do it for you
If your business is anything like mine, I bet you are bombarded on a daily basis with digital marketers promising you the first page of google and a steady stream of leads for your funnels. Just like you wouldn’t give the keys to your store front to someone you didn’t know or trust, the same should be true for your businesses online assets. While there are many great and trustworthy companies who can help you, there are a gazillion more who don’t really have your best interests at heart. They aren’t local, they don’t know your business or take any time to learn about it and you are a number to fill their monthly quotas.
3. Hybrid 80/20 rule working with a digital marketing expert
Thankfully, there is a middle ground here. At PinPoint Local Grimsby, we don’t believe you need to be an expert, but you do need to be involved. No one knows your business better than you do and it’s important that you are the guiding light for any marketing effort.
The concept here is that focusing on the right 20%, will actually give you 80% of the reward. Arming you with a quick foundation of knowledge will help you to navigate the digital marketing landscape, by knowing what questions to ask, what strategies to focus on and how to achieve your goals.
4 Key Activities to Apply the 80/20 Rule
As a small business owner, in general, the four key areas that will tend to give you the biggest bang for your buck are the following:
Just having a website is only the first step here. Google actually offers 3 different ways to be ‘found’ online:
Organic Search – this is what traditional SEO efforts focus on and it’s about showing up in the regular search results. This mainly has to do with your website and it’s authority in the eyes of Google.
Local Search or Google Maps – in order to show up on the map, you need to have a Google My Business listing. After that there are several factors that can help you to improve your ranking.
Paid Ads (Pay-Per-Click) – Google makes money by selling ads. They give the top result spaces to these ads, which are marked as ‘Ad’ on each result.
2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
This refers to keeping a central repository of your customers’ information and communication details, mainly an email address and/or phone number.
It is typically easier to get more business from people who already know and trust you, so you can use a customer list to run promotions and keep them engaged with your brand by offering helpful info or special VIP deals. You can also ask them for a review on Google or Facebook to boost your social proof.
3. Reputation Management
Speaking of reviews, this is one of the main forms of maintaining your online reputation. The internet has made it exceedingly easy for people to share their opinions on EVERYTHING, including your business.
People have access to a wealth of information right at their fingertips and they are using it more than ever when making purchasing decisions. According to a recent Oberlo article 63% of shopping occasions begin online!
So no matter if you have a brick and mortar location, a service area business or strictly offer your products or services online, more than half of your customers are starting their journey with an online search. Your digital front door and what people are saying about you are more important than ever.
4. Facebook Presence
People go to Facebook primarily for social reasons, not necessarily to purchase BUT the one thing that your social presence can do that is extremely valuable is to improve your brand awareness, share your expertise and engage with your customers.
OK, great, so where do I start?
Well, where to start really depends on where you are currently at, both with your business itself and your current online presence.
Do you have a website yet?
Have you claimed your Google My Business listing?
Do you have a business Facebook page?
Have you done keyword research and optimized your website for search rankings?
Not sure where you are at?
In the next few articles we will be going over each of these 4 ‘best bang for your buck’ (both time and dollars) items in more detail, along with tips on implementing each of them.
Want a second opinion?
PinPoint Local Grimsby can provide you with an online presence report for your business that includes feedback on your website, your social presence, your listings and reviews and your SEO results. Submit your information here and we’ll get back to you with your customized report, including at least 3 concrete suggestions that you can implement on your own right away.