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3 ideas for local business communications

Jessica | Sunday 11th September, 2016

If you own a small local business, you may sometimes think to yourself: “How can I get my business heard and seen?”. More and more companies are achieving this by creating content through different local business marketing communication strategy’s.

Local businesses may not have a full content marketing plan, due to the size of their team and also trying to juggle many tasks at once, this no more so when it comes to posting content regularly.

All businesses, local or nationwide, should know that content marketing to reach their customers and build their brand is essential. But how do you keep it fresh and get new ideas when it comes to creating new content? Or maybe you are already creating fantastic content but aren’t sure if this is working for your business and you don’t know if you’re seeing results?

There are a few different techniques that could inspire you and help engage your audience, spreading the word of your business.

E-Newsletters

E-Newsletters are seen by some as a more ‘traditional’ approach to marketing and some even argue they’re now not even necessary in ‘modern’ marketing, but maybe this is because it’s the type of E-Newsletter companies send, sticking with the same type of weekly newsletter, full of information no one actually reads?

According to Campaign Monitor, email marketing technology is used by 82% of B2B and B2C companies; that’s because they reach your target audience instantly and most of all, they work.

Something to consider to improve your standard E-newsletter is personalisation. With the advances in digital marketing such as remarketing and location targeting, people quite obviously appreciate the personalised approach and if people like personalised ads, then people will definitely appreciate personalised emails.

Personalising emails has been proven to improve click-through rates, and according to campaign monitor, this is by an average of 14%, with an increase in conversions by 10%, all from taking a little extra time and care in your email campaigns to your customers.

When trying to analyse your return on email marketing, look for the amount of sign-ups, as this will show you if people are actually interested in receiving your news. Then look at the open rate, are people opening your email? Checking the click through rate (CTR) is important as this will show if the content in your email is driving traffic back to your site. Finally, what conversions has your email gained? Are people visiting key site locations? 

Using your local business area as an advantage – local business marketing

As a small business, your local area should make an appearance in your content. Your target customer is in your area, so knowledge of your surrounding region will show relevancy to your customer.

Larger businesses play on this idea, by using main stream news which the public can relate to, such as The Olympics and sporting events, the referendum and politics etc. so scale it down but do the same.

Try to write content about appropriate local news such as any special events, festivals, shows, local business news etc. and use this as a chance to showcase your services.

One example would be to start a promotion around The Great Yorkshire Show, a great time of year where businesses gather to promote the best of Yorkshire. Get involved, do special offers, post content staying up to date with the local news. Use relevant hashtags that link to these events i.e. ‘#Yorkshire’.

To track this, look at where your traffic is coming from. You may see an increase from Social Media, -Newsletters or from where you posted this content to your website. All in all, local people will see that you’re a local company available for business.

Customer testimonials

We have all probably written a review on Google and Trip Advisor, both good reviews and bad, but a customer is more likely to write a review about the bad service received from a business than good. The bottom line is, online reviews have a significant influence on the decision making process of a customer.

It’s rare nowadays to have a customer who hasn’t first investigated your business on Google, Social Media or review sites. 88% of consumers surveyed by Search Engine Land have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. So when it comes to creating a persuasive piece of content, nothing will improve your status than a good customer testimonial. People need to feel confident that your business is what they’re looking for, so have a testimonial page on your site, fill your pages with quotes from real customers who had great service. Yes, some people will Google and find 1 bad review somewhere and there are those who are inclined to write bad things about a business no matter what happened or how you remedied the situation, but nothing beats word of mouth when promoting a local business.

Review your click-through rates for your testimonial pages and see if this increases your conversion rate and inquiries. Allow a comments section on your site and review these regularly. Thank the people who have taken the time to comment and leave a good review, as said earlier, most people are likely to write about bad experiences than good, so for people to take the time and write something nice is fantastic for your business.

So remember, when promoting your small business, the customer is key; keep content targeted and relevant to your audience.

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