Online Marketing for Local Businesses

The Covid-19 pandemic impacted the world and changed how we do business. In the months and even years to come, we will look back on April 2020 as the month that changed everything.

Local businesses that switched to online marketing saw a huge spike in traffic, sales, and engagement after making the transition.

What exactly is online marketing?

Simply put, online marketing is the use of digital and social media channels to promote and attract potential customers to your business. While not all online marketing is created equal, there are several platforms and tactics that you can use to ramp up your marketing game in the months and even years to come.

Why Digital Marketing in General, and Online Marketing in Particular?

The world has shifted to a digital sphere — and it will continue to do so.

In the past, a business would typically rely on marketing budgets to spend money on newspaper ads, magazine spreads, and TV commercials. While still significant, these methods of traditional marketing won’t produce the same results in today’s digital world.

In the years to come, consumers will choose where to spend their money based on a variety of factors, including price, quality, and even personal preferences. Making your business stand out in a crowded marketplace is increasingly difficult.

The Evolution of Online Marketing and Why Local Businesses Need to Transition Now

Before the pandemic, it was common to see businesses with websites and social media accounts that they maintained themselves. While these methods of marketing are still significant, doing so from the comfort of your home now gives you a whole other set of options.

You can engage with your target audience on a more personal level, and you can measure the results of your campaigns almost immediately. This makes it extremely flexible and easy to operate — even from afar.

The evolution of online marketing is driven by consumer behavior and the changing methods that people use to engage with brands.

In the past, individuals would visit a business’ website to search for a product or service. Now, with many people working from home, they’ve shifted to using their smartphones for research, especially during the day when they’re more consistently “on the go.”

From a consumer standpoint, if you’re looking for a product or service online, where are you going to go? Most likely, it’s going to be to a business’ website to get the information that I need. As a result, businesses that offer good quality content and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry see a huge bump in organic traffic, and subsequently, sales.

What Types of Content Will Get Me Noticed By Potential Customers?

In the past, businesses with websites would post press releases, write articles, and take advantage of any kind of social media platform to spread their message. While still significant, these methods won’t provide you with the same results in today’s digital world.

Now, with many consumers relying on the information communicated through traditional media, businesses need to evolve and establish themselves in new ways to get noticed. Especially during a time like this, when so much is changing, it’s critical for businesses to change with it.

Here are some examples of the types of content you can use to draw potential customers to your business.

Video Marketing:

Thanks to the rise of TikTok and its ilk, videos are becoming more popular than ever before. Research shows that people are 82% more likely to purchase something after watching a short video.

Now is a good time to try video marketing. Not only do you have the ability to record and upload videos quickly and easily, but you can engage with your audience through a variety of platforms.

YouTube and TikTok are two of the most popular platforms, but there are dozens more where you can post videos, including Facebook, Instagram, and Vimeo. Each one of these platforms allows you to track your videos’ performance and allows you to target the exact audience you want to reach with your video content.

Additionally, you can test different headlines, descriptions, and even tags to see which ones work best to bring in the most traffic. Finally, you can implement specific video content into your marketing plan to draw more customers to your business.

E-Books, Blogs, and Whitepapers:

Another effective way to market your business is to write and publish e-books, blogs, and whitepapers. Not only do you have the ability to reach a lot of people with your content, but you can also set the publishing schedule you want and even choose the platform(s) where you’ll distribute your content. You can do this all from the comfort of your home.

E-books are a fantastic choice for local businesses because they’re a fantastic choice for anyone. You can publish an eBook independently and even use a tool like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing to make the process super simple.

If you’re the type of person that prefers to learn things through articles and research, you can use a tool like Scriven to write and submit articles for publication to major news websites. You get to choose the topics you want to write about and even get paid based on the actions of its users.

If you don’t want to write about specific products or services, but you do want to educate your audience about business, you can use Scriven to build a business blog. As you can see, this is a fantastic choice for marketers that want to make their business stand out in the crowd. Even if a business doesn’t have the technical know-how to run a blog themselves, they can use a tool like WordPress to build a professional-looking blog in no time.

Last but not least, if you want to make your business stand out in the crowd, you can use a tool like DocuSign to build a whitepaper. A whitepaper is, simply put, a business document that provides a lot of useful information to the reader. While it can be quite long and contain a lot of content, whitepapers are used to quickly and effectively communicate complex information to an audience of some size.

Social Media:

If you’re not doing social media yet, you should be. Even if you have a business website, you can use social media to let your website “friends” and potential customers know you’re here, and you can use the platforms themselves to connect with people that may be interested in your business.

On this front, TikTok and its ilk are still going strong as ever before. According to the most recent figures available, TikTok users spent an estimated 5.9 billion minutes daily during November and December of 2019.

If you want to use social media to grow your business, start with these two platforms because not only do you have the opportunity to connect with millions of users, but you can also track the performance of your campaigns and interact with your audience on a more personal level.

The final verdict: depending on your marketing goals and plan, you can choose from a variety of content types to draw traffic to your business.