Let’s be upfront right from the beginning. Local business owners never have enough time. You are constantly fighting the fire of the day, managing employees, servicing customers and handling finances along with all the other “hats” you wear. So, why should you care about what is happening online when your “bread and butter” comes from the local clients who buy your products and service offline?
Here’s the deal…while a majority of consumer spending is offline in their local community, 70% of U.S. household use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally for products and services. Think about it! A majority of people in your local community right now are using the Internet to find someone that can offer your products and services. Are they finding your business…or your competitor?
Many local business owners have bought into the myth that the Internet is not useful to a traditional “brick and mortar” business serving a specific geographic area. In the early days of the Internet this assumption was somewhat correct, but now this myth needs to be “busted”. With the advanced technology in use by search engines like Google and Yahoo, it has never been easier to target the people in your community who are searching for the products and services you provide.
If you have been around the block a few times as a business owner you may be thinking at this point, “Yeah, but I already tried putting up a website and it didn’t do a darn thing for my business!” I understand your frustration on this. You were probably misled into thinking that all you needed to do was put up a website and the customers would do the rest.
The obvious fact here is that a website that nobody looks at will never deliver any results. That would be like opening a beautiful restaurant in the middle of a ghost town. It just doesn’t work. It’s not that building a restaurant is a bad idea, it just indicates that there are other critical success factors that need to be considered. Likewise, your local online marketing strategy needs to include the critical components of being visible, being attractive and closing the sale.
This may sound a bit harsh, but don’t ever let yourself fall into the trap of thinking that local marketing online doesn’t work just because it didn’t work for you in the past. The fact is that it does work…and Local Marketing Source is here to give you the information and tools you need to get results.
Everyday local businesses are using the Internet to:
– Build credibility and customer loyalty by providing valuable content
– Improve the visibility of their products and services in their local market
– Get a steady stream of new customers from targeted online traffic
– Take customers from their local competitors
– Increase repeat business by “staying in touch” with their customers
There is a very real shift occurring in how people in your area are looking for local products and services. This means each day traditional print advertising alone is becoming less effective, while online marketing done correctly is yielding a growing return on investment for local businesses.
With so many demands on your time and your finances it is vitally important that you focus on activities that provide your business the greatest results now and into the future. No matter what your feelings are towards new technology and the Internet, it is clear that the future of local small business marketing is online. It’s time to rethink your online marketing strategy and take action that will pay dividends for many years to come.
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