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The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Brick and Mortar Business Online

Local business marketing for brick and mortar businesses is a complex form of online marketing. Instead of optimizing everything for a broad audience, you need to optimize everything for a local audience, specifically the exact type of people who spend money at your business.

You also need to be careful and meticulous in how you set things up as you want to make sure you attract customers who are local to your area. With that in mind, let’s get started.

Master Local Business Marketing by Optimizing Local Search

Google utilizes a user’s location to enhance the search results they see when they search for certain queries, especially those that may relate to local businesses. The user doesn’t even need to enter a location for this magic to happen

This is why it’s important for you to optimize each location of your business for local search. All of the tips outlined throughout this article will help you increase your business’ digital presence, but there are a few things you can do to boost your appearance on Google, too.

They include:

  • Obtaining and optimizing a business listing on Google My Business.
  • Encouraging customers to leave reviews on Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Trip Advisor, etc.
  • Optimizing your local business website(s) for Google SEO.

You should also make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices. The majority of Google searches are being conducted on smartphones and tablets these days, which means you have a higher likelihood of losing a potential customer if your site is not optimized for these devices.

Make sure your website is responsive by using a tool like Responsinator to see how your website looks on a variety of different devices and screen sizes. You should also make sure the mobile version of your website doesn’t have elements that look terrible on small screen sizes, such as images with small text, sliders, animations, auto-playing videos, etc.

Finally, you should optimize the user experience of your website by making it as easy as possible for users to find the nearest location of your store. Our locator tool My Store Locator Plus allows you to create a directory of up to 5,000 locations. Common businesses who use this application include coffee shop chains, restaurants, and grocery stores.

One of our customer’s most beloved features is the location sensor, which detects a user’s location and displays the nearest store automatically. Certain tiers of this service even allow you to use location categories and territories.

With the most advanced tier, you can create a directory of up to 50 locations, free for a limited time. This tier comes with the location sensor and full styling capabilities. Even if you have more than 50 locations, you can still take advantage of this free offer to check the application out.

Try My Store Locator Plus

Manage Multiple Business Pages with Facebook Locations

A lot of Facebook users like to share the shops and restaurants they visit with friends and families, connect with businesses, and leave reviews. Creating and optimizing dedicated Facebook pages for each of your locations is a great way to harness the power of Facebook marketing.

However, managing those pages can be a hassle, which is why Facebook has created Facebook Locations. You can make changes across multiple store locations from a single dashboard, promote an ad campaign for multiple locations, and ensure your ads are relevant to the location they’re being promoted to.

Take Advantage of Local Content Marketing

Content marketing is a beast of a marketing strategy, and it’s actually one of the cheapest forms of marketing you can implement for your business. Unfortunately, that cheap price does come at a cost–your time.

There are many forms of content you can create:

  • Written
    • Blog Posts
    • Ebooks
    • Newsletters
  • Video
    • YouTube Channel
    • Facebook Video
    • Instagram Video
    • Livestreams Through Facebook Live
    • Livestreams Through Periscope
  • Audio
    • Podcasts
    • Audiobooks

In a perfect world, you’d be producing all three forms of content, but a lack of time and budget can get in the way. Go with what would work best for your business. See what’s working for your competitors, and consider what form of content fits in. If time and budget are major factors for you, go with a blog, livestream, or simple podcast episodes.

As far as what topics you should cover and what style you should use, you need to identify your local audience and target your content toward their needs and concerns. One way to do this is to use a tool like IncoPOS by Vladster, which allows you to track sales across multiple business locations. This way, you can see what products are moving where and modify your marketing and advertising strategies accordingly.

Take Advantage of Email Marketing

Email marketing is another powerful form of marketing, except this one can send repeat customers to your business, and you can even nurture potential customers to turn them into buyers.

Getting people on your list can be difficult, but local businesses can take advantage of using things like discounts and coupons as lead magnets. This means you offer an exclusive discount or coupon for your business in exchange for a customer’s email address.

Place email forms on your website, and create landing pages with email forms on them so you can advertise your list through video and audio content. You can also use a tablet app like Forms on the Go by GetResponse to promote your email list in person.

Along with nurturing potential customers, you’ll use this list to connect with your audience, broadcast news and updates, broadcast announcements about new sales and products, conduct customer surveys to optimize your business strategy, and more.

Leverage the Power of Online Advertisements

Did you notice the ads above the actual locations in the screenshot from earlier? Those were from businesses using Google AdWords to leverage the power of online advertisements to increase awareness of their brand in Google local search. In this case, these locations advertised their businesses under the keyword phrase, “dentist in new york city.”

There are many forms of online advertising you can take advantage of. One of the most popular is Facebook advertising. Facebook allows you to target your campaigns to specific Facebook users based on things like demographics, location, and interests. This means you can make sure your ads get seen by customers who would be most interested in buying products or services from your business.

Some businesses may also do well with other forms of online advertising. Food and beauty businesses, for example, would do well with Pinterest and Instagram ads while a business law firm would do best with LinkedIn ads.

As always, you should tailor your ads based on the location you’re in. For example, a Seattle-based pet shop could potentially create awareness for their brand by creating a Facebook ad campaign to promote a blog post called “10 Best Dog-Friendly Parks in the Seattle Area.” The store could then acquire new customers by promoting email discounts for leashes, portable water dishes for pets, and waste bags.

List Discounts on Coupon Sites

A lot of consumers use coupons to try out new businesses. If you want more ways to reach potential customers online, list your discounts on popular coupon sites that list coupons for local businesses.

These include:

  • Groupon
  • LivingSocial
  • SmartSource
  • RetailMeNot
  • Valpak

Create and Advertise a Customer Loyalty Program

Services like Punchcard and Belly allow you to create digital loyalty programs for customers. A loyalty program gives first-time customers an incentive to come back. They receive discounts the more they spend on your business. Customers may like your business, but they may also need that extra bit of encouragement to return.

Combine the power of content and email marketing to advertise your business’ loyalty program.

Local Business Marketing Checklist

Congrats! You can download your Local Business Marketing Checklist here.

Final Thoughts

To wrap up, your main goal with local business marketing should be to attract new customers by marketing your brick and mortar business online. Your best bet is to optimize your business for local search to ensure it appears in Google search results when users search for keywords related to your niche.

You do this by optimizing your Google listings, your Facebook pages, your website, and by leveraging the power of content marketing and online advertisements. You then encourage customers to return to your business through email marketing and a strong loyalty program. That’s local business marketing in a nutshell.

So, what do you think? Have you had any luck with these brick and mortar marketing strategies? Let us know in the comments below.

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