We at Endlessrise and our digital marketing partners are really passionate about helping local businesses prosper through online marketing. Well, Google is in good company as they also take steps to give advise — they recently released a video tutorial for local businesses. Watch these videos and impart the tips to your prospects.
Many local business owners need help in attracting customers. Most of them know that they need an online presence to reach more potential customers but they just don’t know where to start. They begin to think, “Do I need to put up a series of social media accounts for my business? Should I build a website? Should I hire someone to take care of my business online?”
Fortunately, to help these local businesses establish their online presence (from scratch), Google has put together a video series called “Build Your Local Business Online”. Led by Google Developer Programs Tech Lead Maile Ohye, the six-part series basically sums up the steps needed to be taken by entrepreneurs when bringing their businesses online. The videos explain ways to create business goals, how to identify a business’ value-add and find customers online. They also contain guidelines to help business owners implement an effective online strategy that will ensure their online marketing success.
Go ahead and watch to learn more about the steps local businesses can take to attract potential clients, gain leads and close more sales.
Introduction and Hot Topics
In the introductory video, local business owners will know what the purpose of the video series is: to guide them in building their online presence. To get started, entrepreneurs should first identify how potential customers find and select their business. Are they searching from their home using a desktop? Or are they outside using their smartphones? According to a recent research by Google:
- 85% of smartphone users have searched for local information
- 81% have taken action as a result of search information
- 40% have visited in person
- 35% have called a business after searching
Interestingly, Ohye mentioned that it is no longer a requirement for businesses to have a website – as long as they have social media pages, directories, and good standing in review sites. While we may agree with this, we believe that it is still optimal for businesses to have a website as a basic online presence. Our white label responsive web design services will enable you to offer your clients an optimal online storefront. We are known to set up websites in less than 30 days.
However, not having a website should not stop businesses from getting into online marketing from day one. In fact, we have this new service called the Brand Establisher wherein our partners can offer to their clients the service of securing their social media accounts, blog, and local directories with the design work required to establish their brand and online presence.
Today, more than ever, tons of options can help potential customers discover a local business online—there are social media, local listings, review sites and a whole lot more. What’s even better is that most of these online channels can be accessed using mobile phones, so people can immediately look for and find a local business they want with just a few swipes!
Determine Your Business’ Value-add and Online Goal
In a nutshell, this clip talks about determining a local business’ “value-add”. A value-add describes the reasons why a customer chooses a particular business over its competitors. What makes a business unique? How does a business fare with its competitors? Once a local business owner identifies his value add, he can then integrate this to his online marketing campaign.
Another important takeaway from this video is to set up an online goal. While majority of local business owners will have “to increase revenue” as their goal, some may put more importance in maintaining repeat customers or reaching more clients. It’s beyond important for local entrepreneurs that they know their online goal, as this will serve as their drive in everything they plan to do for their business online. Lastly, local business owners need to know what actions taken by potential customers constitute a conversion, which may either mean calling businesses or visiting them online for inquiries. Ohye also gives a quite impressive outline of the marketing funnel in this clip—perfect for those who are still getting the hang of online marketing.
Find Potential Customers
At this point, local business owners should understand how exactly potential clients look for their business online. This is called the “customer journey”. Though the most common customer journey starts by word of mouth referrals, customers nowadays prefer the use of internet to search for a particular product or service. A customer journey may start with viewing businesses in review sites like Yelp or maps apps. In addition, if a customer journey includes a potential client looking for recommendations from others, a Facebook or a LinkedIn account can be very helpful.
Basic Implementation and Best Practices
After identifying their unique value add, online goals and recognizing customer journeys, this clip now focuses on implementing strategies in order to position businesses online and eventually attract customers. To do this, local entrepreneurs need to start setting up accounts on online channels that they feel are relevant to their customer journeys—take note: only on sites where they know their clients are active. As Ohye puts it, local entrepreneurs need to remember to “put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and address their needs.”
It’s also imperative to highlight some of the best practices mentioned by Ohye to help local entrepreneurs position their business online:
- Facilitate a referral loop with customers.
- Avoid copying reviews from one site to another.
- Remember log in details and create strong passwords for each of their online channels.
- Ask tech savvy friends or family members who love engaging with social media or online profiles for help or feedback.
Differentiate Your Business from the Competition
After establishing their online presence, this video now aims to help local businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors. This step requires a bit of research on the local businesses’ part. First, they need to identify their competitors and check out their online activity. Do they have a Google+ page, Yelp page, or a website? What’s compelling about the competitions’ online presence? Of course, businesses should be careful not to come out as a “copycat”—they don’t want that. Instead, they can put their own spin on whatever strategy their competitors do that works! Doing this enables them to pick out good ideas and provide a benchmark for their own business’ online presence.
Engage Customers with a Holistic Online Identity
In the final stage of the series, the focus turns to creating a “holistic online presence”. What does this mean? Simply put, creating a holistic online presence means that potential customers will be able to navigate—seamlessly—from one local business channel to the other. More importantly, these online channels should convey a single message. It may be done by integrating similar links and information to various networking sites like Google+, Facebook, Yelp and LinkedIn.
Introducing our Online Marketing Outsourcing Services
Here at Endlessrise, we offer services designed to help businesses start out with an online presence. We already have the system your clients need to assist them with their online marketing efforts – from branding, building their own website, creating compelling content, to helping their businesses gain more leads, customers, sales and much, much more.
How can we help your client’s business
In the first video of the series, Ohye emphasized the importance of catering to customers using mobile phones other than desktop computers. With our responsive web design services, you can ensure that your client’s potential customers won’t have trouble viewing their site through smartphones. Having a website that is responsive in design proves to enhance user experience and increase conversion rate, while also decreasing bounce rate.
If a client isn’t ready to have a website yet, don’t worry. As we mentioned earlier, this is not a reason not to implement online marketing. You can use our Brand Establisher service to secure your clients’ accounts in YouTube, Blogger, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. This service also signs your clients up to many other local directories, social and blog sites with the design work required to establish your clients’ brand and strengthen their online presence.
Our SEO, Local Buzz, and Brand Booster services on the other hand, can help their business achieve its primary goals – just like what was mentioned in the second video. Through the use of compelling content in the form of videos, blogs and articles, you cannot only enhance their professional brand; you can also drive more traffic to their websites, leading to more leads, customers and sales.
The third up to the sixth video basically talk about how entrepreneurs can find, engage and keep potential customers. To do this, they will need to generate exposure through all forms of channels. Our Local Buzz, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Optimization (SMO), Online Reputation Management (ORM) and Pay-per-Click advertising (PPC) can definitely help them with that by optimizing their websites and content both in local and general searches, publishing positive reviews while pushing down negative ones, and executing effective advertising techniques that will place their ads in significant places around search results.
Apart from these services, we also offer Website Audits to ensure that their website complies with Google’s guidelines, thus, allowing them to achieve better ranking in search results.
What are you waiting for? Get ahold of these services so you can immediately help your clients get their head around the online world. Sign up as an Endlessrise partner today!