Do you run a local business where you only serve a specific area? Businesses such as hairdressers, beauticians and sandwich shops across the world can become alienated within the current marketing scene with big businesses and budgets seemingly the norm in search engine pages.
So what can these local businesses do to raise their awareness on Google?
Remember the Yellow pages? The big thick book that used to come through the door every year with a list of local businesses in. You might not be surprised to find out that these have stopped in many places with teh rest due to stop before the end of next year.
So why is it on this list you might be wondering. With the growth of the internet for searches for local services, many directories have moved online as well as new ones popping up to take advantage of this growth.
Directories such as Yell.com and Thomson local grew out of these original yellow pages and moved online offering free directory listings (they do offer free upgrades). Some industries such as construction have developed their own niche that caters specifically for this sector.
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a great tool to use for your small business to raise awareness in the local area. It acts as a promotional, PR and custom feedback tool all in one platform.
What is better than having all of that in one platform. It’s free.
By having a fully optimised listing you are able to interact with your customers as well as responding to their messages and reviews, therefore, allowing you to build trust with your customers.
Plus you are now able to create listings for each of your company locations, for example, if you have a shop in Birmingham and one in Wolverhampton you would be able to create custom listings for each location whilst managing them from a single login.
Will be more suitable for businesses that have a regular supplier of branded products such as hairdressers and beauticians. You can often find that if you buy directly from the manufacturer you will be able to register to become a certified retailer.
This can see you listed on the manufacturer’s website and provide you with added credibility when customers are viewing a brand that they are familiar with.
Facebook. Instagram. Tik Tok. LinkedIn
Social media can be one of the biggest tools at your disposal as a small business. Not only can you interact with your local customers.
Facebook is in some ways very similar to GMB. You can place a physical location and share posts to your audience showcasing your range of products plus if you want to showcase your products to a larger audience you can invest in low-cost advertising that is specific to your service area.
Instagram is a great place to showcase your products and the people in your business. This is especially true if you are in a visual industry such as a beautician, cake maker or decorator. With Instagram being owned by Facebook the same ability to advertise easily on the platform by location, demographic age and gender can allow you to grow your business.
Tik Tok is a short-form video sharing site. You can use this to share a wide range of videos from celebrations to process videos showing off the unique aspects of your business.
As the biggest B2b social network, LinkedIn will not be suitable for everyone. It does however offer huge opportunities to network and interact with local businesses that can eventually become customers. Whilst it is a predominantly business based platform, small businesses such as cake makers and florists can find that their products will be well suited to the platform because of being able to be used as corporate gifts and office parties.
These four methods aren’t exhaustive, however, they will give anyone with a small local business an opportunity to build the awareness within the local area.