Since 2009, the way that customers find your business has changed significantly. Online marketing was first finding its feet ten years ago and has exploded nowadays to include a range of techniques. What’s more, many traditional techniques are still highly effective. Here, we’re going to look at how people find your business in 2019. If you thought you had some work to-do when it comes to the marketing of your business - then this is just a little reminder.
Word of mouth
Few methods work better than having one person tell another to check out your business. Loyalty and referral incentives can help spread positive word of mouth, as can using reputation management to ensure that the word on the street about your business is thoroughly positive.
Getting your customer’s attention in the real world through billboards, digital displays, and even flyers is still important. Online, there are hundreds of brands competing for their attention at all times in all spaces. Physical proximity and visibility are a little easier to leverage.
Though “snail mail” is often maligned, it’s still one of the most effective and often engaged forms of marketing. People aren’t as likely to ignore a piece of mail as they are to simply delete an email.
However, the ease of emailing your marketing message to thousands of people at no-to-little cost isn’t to be underestimated. Email marketing is being made more effective by subscriber lists, exclusive deals, and the like that encourage customers to open those emails more regularly, too. Still fantastic ROI when used correctly.
An independent 3rd party voice, especially a respected one with lots of followers, vouching for your business is a significant benefit. Reputation management can help you get your business more easily recommended, helping you get positive remarks on review sites like Yelp, and influencer marketing is playing a bigger role in online branding than ever. Frickin Yelp, Google, and all the the other places can leave their mark on your business, good or bad, can drive you crazy but there are certainly tools out there to help you manage them all in one place.
The online word of mouth, social media helps your customers share their support of your brand and helps you engage them directly. Getting viral is difficult, but maintaining a consistent source of support, answers, and conversation with your community is easier and nearly as effective.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a recent buzzword, and it shouldn’t be underestimated. More and more consumers are using Google to find answers to their questions as well as products and services. By learning how to increase your Google ranking you can get many more organic clicks on your website, leading to more opportunities for conversion.
Directories are another tool that customers use to find businesses near them when they have a specific need. Listing your site, phone number, and services on directories like the Yellow Pages and Google Maps can help you reach those most likely to convert. Placing yourself on directories even helps with your search engine rankings.
Also don't forget marketplaces like angies list, etsy, etc.
The right mix of online and offline marketing is the best way to make sure that as many customers as possible are finding your business.