A brief overview of how we approach digital marketing and growing clients’ businesses.
Getting results from advertising / marketing requires a coherent strategy that’s well thought out and well executed. The following page provides a basic framework of how I approach and think about developing advertising & marketing strategies for local businesses, with the aim of achieving the best possible results.
Growing A Local Business:
You run a local business and you want to increase your sales & grow your bottom line.
In essence, there are two main ways to do so:
Upsell / Resell To Past Or Existing Customers
Acquire New Customers
Acquiring new customers is generally the most substantial opportunity for sales revenue growth.
The main question then is:
How does a local business acquire new customers?
Acquiring New Customers: The 3 Essential Components
#1: Get Found
#2: Generate Interest
#3: Drive Action
#1 Get Found
First and foremost, for someone to become a new customer, they need to become aware of your business.
Where your business gets found depends on the types of customers you’re going after:
People Who ARE Looking For Products / Services That You Offer
If someone is looking for a specific product / service, they will typically go search for it.
The key here is to make sure people find your business when they are searching, through methods such as:
People Who Are NOT Looking For Products / Services That You Offer
They’re not looking for anything specifically, but if presented properly, they may become interested.
The key here is to place ads in front of the right people with the right message, through methods such as:
#2: Build Interest
Getting an advertisement in front of your target audience is just half the job.
The more important part is to draw them in and build interest & desire, so that they take action.
Present Your Products / Services Effectively
People will form an opinion about your business based on what they see and feel – from the wording that you use in your ads or website, to the images and visual style.
You have one opportunity to form an impression, so it’s important to be super meticulous with how you present your brand and offerings. Consider things such as:
Tap Into Consumer Needs & Emotions
What is your business really selling? If you run a spa, are you providing a hot stone massage service, or are you providing an experience for relaxation, tranquility, and rejuvenation?
It’s usually the effect that people are after, not the actual object or service. Therefore it’s important to consider highlighting how your business is able to satisfy people’s needs, rather than just describing what products or services it offers.
Humans are generally avoidant of taking risks and incurring losses. Rather than thinking about why they should choose or purchase from a particular business, consumers often look for risks and assess if there are reasons why they shouldn’t.
To overcome this essential fact about human nature, it’s important to consider:
- What objections or hesitations may someone have about your products / services / business?
- How can you help overcome or diminish these objections or hesitations?
To illustrate the thought process, below are some general ways to overcome different objections / hesitations that consumers may have:
A person can’t be certain if something will live up to expectations until they actually experience it – whether it’s the quality of a service or the longevity of a product.
One way to reduce the uncertainty of expectations is by giving consumers assurance, by highlighting things like returns, refunds, or service guarantees.
People may be weary about making long term commitments when they’re not fully sure about what to expect. This is particularly relevant for ongoing / recurring type businesses (such as gyms, martial arts schools, dance classes, house cleaning, etc.).
Offering free trials can help alleviate the pressure from consumers having to make uncertain commitments.
When hiring a business for a service, some things that consumers deliberate are things like: “is this business & its personnel truly experts in their field?” and “will they actually be able to achieve desired outcomes?”.
Rather than simply just stating how competent you or your business are, showing past work that you’ve done (through testimonials and a portfolio) is a more effective and direct way to demonstrate your competence and capabilities.
The same goes for retail businesses that sell products. Rather than saying how good your products are, reviews / testimonials speak for themselves.
People love and appreciate convenience.
If you run a physical retail store, that can include things like having easy access to your location and free parking available.
If you’re a service based business, that means giving a narrow 2 hour service window so customers don’t have to wait all day and be unsure when you’ll arrive.
Highlighting how your business offers convenience can significantly reduce hesitations and can be a selling point in and of itself.
Consumers generally have a sense of value and what something is worth. People also tend to avoid uncomfortable situations – such as dealing with sales pressure and being squeezed for money.
Although it’s not necessarily the right approach for every type of business, being clear and upfront about pricing can eliminate the hesitation that consumers may have that they may be getting priced unfairly or that they will have to deal with unwated pressure.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Rather than just saying that you focus on “quality and attention to detail” or that your spa is a “tranquil getaway with modern amenities”, a photo is infinitely more effective in establishing what consumers can expect from your work or when they visit you.
Good service should always be at the core of a business. However, strategies that leverage human psychology can also help in stimulating and increasing sales.
Some brief examples of this include things like:
Scarcity is the idea of something being in short or limited supply. You may have heard the term “Fear Of Missing Out” (FOMO).
When something is in short supply or about to expire or become unavailable, people are more likely to want it or act to get it. This is particularly effective when running a sale.
Some ideas of using scarcity includes themes such as:
- “Limited Time Sale, Ends December 21st”
- “Only 5 Units Available”
- “First 20 Customers Get 40% Off”
Humans make judgments based on what other people do. When you see a huge lineup in front of a cafe, you generally get the impression that the cafe offers good selections or something to be desired.
You could leverage the effect of social proof, by demonstrating how others have enjoyed your products, services, or business in the past, using callouts or concepts such as:
- “Over 10,000 Units Sold”
- “Most Popular Product”
- “Over 5,000 Happy Customers”
#3: Direct Action
The last essential step to taking a person from discovering your business to becoming a customer is directing them to taking action.
Calls To Action
A call to action is simply a prompt telling consumers what action to take next. From TV commercials to online ads and websites, most places where people interact with businesses have some sort of call to action.
“Call Now”, “Visit Us In Store”, “Learn More”, are just some examples of calls to action that you surely may be familiar with.
It may seem trivial, but calls to action are mightily important. Among others, they help to direct prospective customers to take desired actions, and avoid having them get distracted and continue to explore other competitors.
Certain tools and integrations can help make customer interactions more seamless.
Does your business run on taking appointments? Include an online scheduling tool on your website. Do you want people to reach out and message you? Add a chat widget or online contact forms.
Being thoughtful about how you use different tools and integrations with your calls to actions can make the experience easier for consumers, and greatly increase the chances that they take desired next steps.
The main takeaway is this:
Marketing a local business effectively doesn’t simply involve creating ads and hoping for the best.
For best results, it’s important to be very thoughtful and deliberate with every aspect, including:
#1 - Awareness
Advertising on the right platforms / channels, depending on the target audience you’re going after.
#2 - Interest
Being meticulous with every aspect of the strategy – from wording & imagery to leveraging psychology, to build consumer interest.
#3 - Action
Directing prospective customers to take action, and using integrations to make the experience as seamless as possible.
See how a meticulously executed marketing strategy can drive a constant stream of customers to your business.
Get A 15-30 Minute Strategy Proposal Video
I’ll go through exactly what I propose to do for your business, including costs and timelines, in a thorough and detailed video proposal.