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Facebook Ads Quick Tips for Getting Started

Facebook is the world’s largest and most widely used social network, which makes it a powerhouse in the online advertising world. And whether you

10 Quick Tips to Start FB Ads
10 Quick Tips to Start FB Ads

want to acquire new customers or build brand awareness, Facebook ads help many small businesses just like yours grow.

  • Facebook is still the most used social platform, with nearly 2.45 billion monthly active users. (Facebook)
  • 71% of American adults use Facebook. (Journalsim.org)
  • An average Facebook user clicks on 11 ads per month. (Hootsuite)
  • Facebook use is prominent among high earners at 74%, and even surpasses LinkedIn, which reaches just 49% of users making more than $75,000. (Pew Research)
  • 94% of Facebook Ad revenue is from mobile, with only 6% of Facebook’s advertising revenue comes from desktop-only users. (Facebook Q2 2019 Financials)
  • The average price for Facebook Ads decreased by 6% in 2019. (Facebook Q3 2019 Earning Transcript)

Looking at the popularity of Facebook, we can assume a large cross-section of your customer base is using Facebook and Instagram every day.  To effectively market your business and increase awareness among an audience that matters to the growth of your business, Facebook Advertising needs to part of your digital marketing mix.

10 Quick Tips for Getting Started with Facebook Ads

Facebook ads should get top consideration when looking to diversify your digital marketing efforts. Facebook offers the ability to hyper-target your audience, monitor the effectiveness of your ads, and modify the ads to adjust to responses.

Here are 10 tips for getting started with Facebook ads:

1. Begin with a Clear Goal.

The two most common goals for Facebook ads are to generate sales directly from the advertisement or to increase awareness of your business and build a contact list for future marketing efforts. Everything about your ad should focus on your primary goal.

2. Choose Your Geographic Area.

Does your business only serve your local area? Don’t waste ad spend on people who would never visit your location or use your services. Tailor the regions where your ads will appear to match the area of your ideal customers.

3. Customize the Demographic You Want to Reach.

Facebook collects so much information about its users you can define your target market based on age, gender, location, interests, income, and even purchase history. Combine these criteria to match your target market when building your ad campaigns.

4. Show Your Ad to Existing Contacts.

Upload a customer or contact email lists into your Facebook ad manager. Any of the people on that list that are also Facebook members will receive your ad reminding people you are still around to service their needs.

5. Set and Control Your Budget.

You can choose to run ads continuously or for a particular period. You can also set how much you are willing to pay. Budgets are set as a maximum daily expenditure or total expenditure over the duration of the campaign, so you have full control over how much you spend on your Facebook ads.

6. Use Images in Your Ad Creatives.

Ad creatives are the part of the ad that Facebook users see. Images get far more interest and generate higher response rates than text-only ads. Consider creating multiple ads with different images to test how your audience responds. Then adjust your campaigns to focus on what works best.

7. Monitor Performance with the Facebook Ad Manager.

Ad Manager accumulates metrics on responses to your ads and presents them in comparison to goals established when the campaign was initiated. Monitor and use this information to alter and improve campaigns, change the budget or target market, or scrap an ad that is not working and start over.

8. Use Conversion Tracking to See What Works.

You can place JavaScript code on your website that tracks visitors’ actions – this is conversion tracking. That JavaScript sends info to Facebook, and then Facebook compares that list with a record of prospects that looked at or clicked on your ad. Now you know how many people viewed your website or made a purchase after seeing your Facebook ad.

9. Boost Your Facebook Posts.

Boosting a post is a different type of advertising and the easiest way to advertise on Facebook for beginners. Boosting a post makes it appear higher in the News Feed of the ad recipients, increasing the likelihood it will be seen. You can promote any post with a boost to raise its exposure.

10. Don’t Forget to Have a Call to Action – Every Time.

The purpose of any ad should be to get the viewer to do something. Don’t waste time or money by making people figure out what they should do next. Do you want them to buy something, click a link, subscribe, follow, like, click-through to a landing page to learn more? Whatever it is, you need to clearly and boldly tell them what to do in every ad.

Follow these ten tips when you get started with Facebook ads, and you’ll see a tremendous lift in how often and how much people engage with your ad campaigns.

Time to Prepare Your Local Marketing for a Comeback

Time to Prepare Your Local

Time to Prepare Your Local Marketing for a Comeback
Time to Prepare Your Local Marketing for a Comeback

Marketing for a Comeback

We are all making adjustments in response to the pandemic, and many regions of the U.S. are transitioning to a new open-but-not-too-many-inside retail model. As businesses begin to reopen, some people will be eager to get back out there and spend their money. It’s time to prepare your local marketing for a comeback to drive local traffic ready to buy.

Prepare Local Marketing for Post COVID-19 Comeback

For the past decade, marketing has been evolving with new, improved digital marketing tools and platforms. This year was forecasted to be the first year online advertising surpassed offline channels. With home-stuck consumers turning to the internet for online shopping and entertainment, actual numbers should be more significant than expected.

As coronavirus restrictions loosen, people will want to shop local. Not only will they want to minimize how far from home they travel, but they will want to support local small businesses in their community.  Your local marketing efforts should focus on getting your business’s products, services, and offers in front of ready-to-shop customers over and over again in your area.

The Global Pandemic Changed Local Consumer Behavior

With the global pandemic, consumer behavior has changed drastically. For those without significant disposable income, an economic downturn might result in a sharp decline in their propensity to spend.

While your customer base could take a “wait and see” approach, local businesses should consider their target audience and how their buying habits may change as a result of the current economic climate. Use your knowledge of customer behavior to adjust campaigns as needed quickly.

You will need to produce clear direction on how your business will proceed as customers look for easier, safer ways to do business. According to Agility PR Solutions data, “Sixty-five percent of consumers expect that company actions during this time will likely impact which brands they decide to purchase in the future.”

Focus local marketing on letting customers in your area know that you are open and what you have to offer. Still, there is more that needs to be said. Communicate what precautions are being taken with your own employees and what systems are in place to ensure a reduced risk of contamination or spread of the virus to customers.

As local market dynamics continue to change, you should continuously reassess active marketing campaigns and reevaluate current strategies. What was effective and relevant two weeks ago may not necessarily be appropriate today. And we should assume in this situation that things will continue to change for the next six to twelve months.

Prepare Now for the New Normal

Businesses should anticipate the fade of coronavirus and that a “new normal” will bring an economy where consumers’ spending habits stabilize. With that in mind, remember that your local digital marketing efforts are part of a long-term strategy. What you do today to promote your business will affect how people find your business and how people feel about you one, two, twelve months from now.

Now is when you’ll find that you will have less competition, which means it is easier and faster to get results. Plus, when you see competitors closing down or reducing their marketing, it’s the perfect opportunity to double-down. You may not see the biggest return right away, but in the long-term consistency and perseverance pay off.

Once the dust settles, and consumer behavior has stabilized, there will be a number of marketing and branding shifts that will need to be adjusted back, such as updating any of your business operations on your website, Google My Business & Bing Places.

Finally, ensure whatever adjustments you made to business listings, hours, descriptions, or phone numbers on your website or online accounts during the quarantine are changed back.

How COVID-19 Has Changed Local Marketing

How Co-Vid-19 Has Changed Local Marketing
How Co-Vid-19 Has Changed Local Marketing

Some Local markets are opening up retail and business locations in hopes of relieving the economic hardship of the coronavirus pandemic. Even without mandatory stay-home restrictions, more people are still working from home, unemployed, or homeschooling. So, how has COVID-19 changed local marketing?

Home-stuck customers translate to more time spent online for personal, professional, and educational activities. This means more eyes for longer periods of time on social media, search engines, and apps that cater to a greater need for entertainment, online shopping, and virtual connections.

Fewer people in the streets and more people online signals a need for a more digital approach than traditional offline methods of local marketing.

How COVID-19 Has Changed Local Marketing

As global and local markets grapple with how to proceed in an ever-changing public health crisis, compassion and empathy need to remain at the forefront of your marketing messaging. Evaluate the content, tone, and purpose of every possible touchpoint with customers across paid and owned channels, from Facebook ads to the automated emails you’re sending.

Ask yourself, “Is this message right for this moment?” And if the answer is no, it’s time to pivot. It’s vital during turbulent times to find ways to connect with your customers like never before. It shows empathy and keeps you relevant at a time when your business needs to project a positive presence online and in the community.

Questions To Guide Your Post-COVID-19 Local Marketing

With this pandemic, consumer behavior has changed drastically. For those without significant disposable income, an economic downturn might result in a sharp decline in their propensity to spend.

While your customer base could take a “wait and see” approach, local businesses should consider their target audience and how their buying habits may change as a result of the current economic climate. Use your knowledge of customer behavior to create local marketing plans optimized for the COVID-19 recovery period.

  1. Is your business brick and mortar, eCommerce, or both?
  2. Is your industry controlled by pandemic restrictions?
  3. Are your employees safe, and are you offering safe consumer experiences?
  4. How does COVID-19 impact your customers’ lives?
  5. How is the pandemic influencing your customers’ buying habits?
  6. What unique problems do customers have at this time that can be solved with your current or new variations of your products or services?
  7. How can you provide more value to those customers at this time?

With the answers to these questions, you can prepare responsive marketing strategies and find new opportunities to promote your business.

Where to Find Opportunities During COVID-19 Recovery

As long as coronavirus is around, at-home online and smartphone activity will increase. Your business can reach customers during this time by investing more in digital marketing, app advertising, and direct mail over your usual in-store and physical advertising due to decreases in public foot-traffic.

It’s likely to see the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) decrease across auction-based ad platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Bing Ads for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, especially as some businesses scale back on their marketing spend during this time.

It is also worth highlighting that as some consumers choose to remain in their homes despite loosened restrictions, businesses who have figured out how to provide no-contact payment, delivery, and service fulfillment will continue to see new business.

Delivery services like Amazon and GrubHub have seen increases in demand due to their ability to provide products and services directly to the consumer’s device or door. If you are able to mimic some of those benefits with your business, make sure your local marketing is promoting the benefits of doing business locally when possible.

Let Your Customers You’re Open for Business

This is not the time to be hidden online, and local marketing is how you make sure that customers in your area who are looking to shop are spending money with you. Whether it’s local SEO, social media, PPC, or speeding up your website, make sure that your business stays top of mind and perceived as the best option in town.

While many businesses paused or reduced their advertising in the last few weeks, smart companies set strategies in place to react to the changes in consumer searches. Though it may seem counterintuitive, now is the time to double down to ensure a strong comeback for your business after quarantine. There are numerous growth opportunities for businesses able to maintain long-term marketing activities.

Best Tools for New Remote Sales Teams

Best Tools

Remote Sales Tools
Remote Sales Tools for New Remote Sales Teams

With more employees working remotely worldwide in response to the recent global crisis, we all have been forced to adjust to a new way of doing business. Small and local businesses switching to a strictly remote salesforce (even temporarily) are making the leap into unknown territory.

Whether you were already switching to remote sales or being forced to sell remotely due to the pandemic restrictions, this is an opportunity to introduce new, better processes and systems.

Tools for Highly Productive Remote Sales Teams

Throughout your transition to remote sales, there are going to processes and activities that will only work with the right tools. Here is a quick rundown of popular services you can research to support your sales team.

Team Communication Platforms for Remote Sales Teams

SLACK – an integrated messaging and chat app that connects your conversations with your online tools using a robust API that integrates with 1500+ apps making it easier to access and share files.

MICROSOFT TEAMS – host audio, video, and web conferences internally and with third-party organizations on a platform that allows you to schedule bookings, set deadlines, take notes, screen-share, upload files, and instant message. Works well with other Microsoft products but doesn’t play so nice with other tools such as Google Docs.

Video Platforms Specifically for Sales

CRANKWHEEL – zero-hassle screen sharing with no download, tailor-made for sales teams who need to connect with and convert hard-to-reach prospects. Prospects view using any browser — desktop or mobile. Add a “Call Me Now” button to your website to find an agent to call the moment your prospect requests it.

DEMODESK – screen share with prospects with no downloads, content shared on a virtual display, instant control sharing. It comes with automated scheduling, real-time sales assistance, and analytics so you can perform better demos, onboard customers faster, automate manual tasks, and scale your team.

CRM for Remote Sales Teams

SALESFORCE SALES CLOUD – CRM and sales automation software with analytics functionality that provides detailed insights on customer sales history, interactions, and social media activity with automatic lead scoring and routing.

HUBSPOT CRM – CRM and sales automation software solution that offers pipeline and contact management and leads scoring. Predictive lead scoring functionality lets you focus on high-impact leads and prioritize outreach based on a contact’s likelihood to convert to a customer.

PIPEDRIVE – CRM software to manage the sales pipeline, generate sales reports, and do sales forecasting. Categorize deals based on the pipeline stage and focus on high-priority deals first.

Remote Sales Video Messaging Tools

ONEMOB – the video engagement platform for Salesforce that gives sales reps the ability to connect with buyers via video emails. Record and upload videos, customize landing pages, and then send them from anywhere. Measure engagement with real-time tracking.

BOMBBOMB – a video email marketing platform with tools to send, and track the results of video emails. Create and send rich video emails in an Email Editor and get analytics on precisely who’s opening your emails, clicking your links, and watching your videos.

LOOM – record your screen, voice, and face to create an instantly shareable video in less time than it would take to type an email. Reduce back-and-forth typing and get your message across the first time.

Document Tracking for Proposals, Contracts & Signatures

GETACCEPT – e-sign important contracts, agreements, sales quotes, proposals, and other documents with a single click. Built-in video messaging feature that allows users to create personal video presentation with the document and a real-time live chat feature.

PANDADOC – manage contracts and documents with this collaboration solution for professionals, all with a built-in eSignature feature. Various teams can collaborate on a single document by commenting and in-activity logging. This works well with quotes, contracts, agreements, and other sales collateral.

Cloud Storage for Remote Teams

DROPBOX – popular free cloud storage, with a web interface that remains streamlined and easy-to-use but has one of the least generous free packages for new users at just 2GB.

IDRIVE – offers continuous syncing of your files, even those on network drives, and supports sharing files by email, Facebook, and Twitter. Files deleted from your computer are not automatically deleted from the server, so there’s less danger of removing something important by accident as up to 30 previous versions of all files backed to your account are retained.

Integration Tools to Connect All Your Remote Sales Tools

ZAPIER – automate everyday sales tasks in workflows by connecting over 1,500 apps using conditional logic. Collaborate with your team with several features on plans that range from free to $250 a month.

INTEGROMAT – an online automation platform with an editor that allows users to visually create automated workflows without having to touch a line of code integrates with hundreds of apps and services. It provides templates to set up workflows quickly.

AUTOMATE – integrate cloud-based apps and create complex workflows to automate marketing, sales, and business processes. Automatically generate and send invoices and track orders and payments.

Adaptability is a key characteristic of small business success, and savvy leaders are seizing these crisis conditions as an opportunity to roll out new, more productive systems. Research these tools to get your remote sales team through transitional times and back to closing deals.

Managing Productive Remote Sales Teams

Managing Productive Remote Sales Teams
Managing Productive Remote Sales Teams

Whether you are transitioning to a full-time remote sales model or it’s your usual mode of operation, you soon realize that the change is more complex than merely handing out laptops. A new set of systems, strategies, tools, and expectations are in play when managing productive remote sales teams.

How you set up your remote sales team has a profound effect on personal productivity, the efficiency of the entire sales team, and the revenue of the whole business. (No pressure!)

Your Remote Sales Team CAN Be More Productive at Home

If you’re worried, know that there is a reason to hold out hope that this is a good thing. It is possible your new remote sales teams may actually thrive with new, more productive, and less costly sales systems in place.

In fact, you might never go back to the office desk sales model. Many studies have shown that remote workers are just as, if not more, productive than in-office teams:

  • 77% of remote employees say they’re more productive when working from home. – CoSo Cloud
  • A report by Aon Consulting showed that some organizations have seen productivity gains of up to 43% after adopting virtual teams. -HBR
  • A study of 80 global software teams indicated that remote teams can outperform those that share an office (if well-managed). -HBR
  • If they could, 99% of people would choose to work remotely, at least part-time, for the rest of their careers. – Buffer

Whether you have already switched to remote sales or being forced to sell remotely due to the pandemic restrictions, we’ve got tips on how to make your remote sales team more productive.

3 Best Practices for Managing Productive Remote Sales Teams

According to HubSpot’s 2019 Remote Work Report, communication with co-workers, feelings of loneliness, and overworking are challenges that remote workers face daily. Managing a remote sales team can be overwhelming, but these tips and best practices will help you set a foundation for success.

1. Set Goals, Organize Meetings, and Stay Motivated

As you develop your remote sales team, you will need to set clear goals from the start. With goals in place, you can keep salespeople on track while working remotely and ensure that the activities you have in place support your sales goals.

You will know what to expect from your remote sales efforts, and members of the sales team will know what you expect from them.

2. Organize weekly sales pipeline meetings

Setting weekly or biweekly sales pipeline review meetings with your remote sales team have several advantages:

  • You can align on the next steps that should be taken with prospects.
  • You can run through the pipeline and make sure it’s all up to date by changing the stage or removing prospects that are no longer relevant.
  • Any pipeline or prospect issues can be identified and discussed.
  • Team members can share what’s been done since the last meeting and what’s on deck.

These meetings create transparency, foster accountability, and significantly increase communication within the team – three things that significantly impact the success of remote sales teams.

3. Create a Virtual Culture Where Team Members Can Connect

When working remotely, your sales team can easily miss the face to face connection with the rest of the team. To help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation, introduce ways to encourage informal chats withing your team’s remote communication tools.

The first step is creating channels of communication, specifically for engagement between team members. Plan a daily or weekly recurring video call around lunch or at some dedicated point of the day, where you can chat about things that are not related to work.

An Opportunity to Create a Better System

The current business climate is putting added pressure on sales teams to generate revenue in a whole new way. However, you should see this as an opportunity to roll out new, more productive systems that keep your business going.

A productive remote sales team needs the right leadership, software tools, and processes in place to reach sales goals. There will be plenty of challenges while transitioning to strictly remote sales such as communication, social opportunities, and loneliness/isolation. But providing clear goals, practical tools, and frequent communication ensures your team is more productive wherever they are working.

Starting to Build Links? Two Things to Do First

Things to Do First When Building Links
Things to Do First When Building Links

Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to your website. These backlinks let search engines know that other sites find your information useful and trustworthy. Basically, backlinks mean other websites believe your website content is worth sharing and provides value to their readers.

The trust that is implied with a simple backlink is a small but powerful indicator to search engines that they can trust your website as well. Search engines crawl pages to analyze content and website structure, including backlinks, so they can decide if a page is of sufficient quality to be ranked high for relevant keywords.

National and global websites need high authority domains to link back to their website – the more, the better. But local businesses benefit more from local link building done with the intention to show search engines their relevance for specific localities.

To compete in local search, small businesses will find an easier path to ranking and a higher return on their investment using local SEO tactics. With a smaller pool of competitors in your local area, you can rank faster and gain increased visibility for your business by getting in the local 3-pack. The local 3-pack and the top of search engine results pages are where local customers focus their attention when looking to visit and buy from businesses in their area.

But, before you start your link building campaigns, there are two things you should do:

Get Your Local Citations Before You Start Link Building

Citations are online mentions of your business on local business directories, on websites and apps, and on social platforms and networks. Building your business’s local citations and correcting the information where you are currently listed will help you get started link building.

Citations are useful because they offer the ability to place your NAP more places online and usually let you put a link back to your website, which gives you more backlinks from established local sources. Getting your citations listed and consistent will also get you in the habit of getting your business online in as many places as possible.

Local niche citations in industry-specific directories are important ranking factors because they identify for Google the industry in which you operate, and thus, increase your chances of popping up in their search results when somebody conducts a niche-related query.

Search for local online directories by using queries such as “city+business listing” or “city+business directory.” Or try “city+industry listing” or “city+industry directory” to find niche-specific local listings.

To be clear, citations and link building are not the same thing, but they have a lot in common. Both appear on third-party sites, work as online references for your business, and can affect your ranking. But where citations must include your name, address, and phone number, backlinks don’t require your NAP to work for your business. Also, a link must be clickable and redirect users to your website, whereas citations don’t have to link back to help rank your business.

Create the Content Local Websites Want to Link To

Your local business website must include webpages with content worth linking to. This could be your homepage, but it’s more relevant and more effective when there are unique resources such as blog posts or tools that local businesses would want to share with their website users.

If you have website content that is link-worthy already, you’re ready to go. But most will need to create resources explicitly designed to earn backlinks. When you start with something of value to link to that people find useful and want to share, link building gets a whole lot simpler.

With super useful information on your website, there is an opportunity to get natural editorial links. These are the best because you didn’t have to put in the effort of researching, contacting, and asking for links. But most backlinks will come from manual outreach link building. That means contacting website owners and bloggers and asking them to link to your website (because of that super useful information you have).

Rank Higher in Search with Local Link Building

When it comes down to optimizing your website to rank high for search engines, backlinks can be the difference between ranking somewhere on page one or two and ranking in the number one spot. Make an effort to gain backlinks for a local business so you can rank higher in search and expose your business to new customers.

Link Building is Hard – But Still Necessary

Link B

Link Building is Hard, But Still Necessary
Link Building is Hard But Still Necessary

Link building is hard when you look at the time and resources required to get quality backlinks. As far as SEO tactics go, link building is one of the trickier activities to be successful at. You either need epic content that naturally attracts links, or you need a detailed and proactive outreach program that consistently requests backlinks.

Small and local businesses rarely have the benefit of employing an in-house SEO or content creator to handle the heavy lifting of running effective link building campaigns. If you’re doing it yourself, you must ensure the time you do devote to building links is spent on activities that work for your business, in your niche, in your market.

Link Building is Hard, but Backlinks are Worth It

Backlinks are hyperlinks on a third-party website that direct users to your “back” website through a clickable link. These links are significant factors in where your website ranks in search engine results, whether you’re a local retailer or local service provider.

Link building is part of a comprehensive SEO plan that includes building online citations with consistent NAP (name, address, and phone number), earning backlinks, and creating hyperlocal content consumers in your area want to read, and other websites want to link to.

When you can combine all these ingredients, you create an established, geo-targeted, online presence that is easily recognized by search engines as a good result for local search results pages on relevant queries.

How is Local Link Building Different than Traditional Link Building?

Local link building differs from traditional link building only in where you want to concentrate your efforts. When someone searches with a keyword that shows local intent (i.e., Dallas dentist) that locator signals Google to use a separate algorithm to deliver the most relevant results according to the search user’s location.

With local searches, the geolocation of backlinks is more important than the authority of the source. That means that a dentist who has a backlink from the local chamber of commerce article he got published and the “Best of Dallas” participants list on the local news website has more powerful backlinks than a dentist who has a backlink from a Forbes.com expert panel.

As far as local search is concerned, those local references back to the website mean that area organizations respect a specific business, and they can be trusted as a good result for local search users.

Beat Competitors in Local Search with Link Building

Search engines crawl pages to analyze and add website content (including backlinks, aka inbound links, from external websites) to their indexes so they can decide if a page is of sufficient quality to be ranked high for relevant keywords.

National and global websites need high authority domains to link back to their website – the more, the better. But local businesses benefit more from local link building done with the intention to show search engines their relevance for specific localities.

The sweet spot is when backlinks are both relevant and local to prove to search engines that your business is the best result for local search queries. The added benefit of local backlinks is the increased online exposure for your business and the opportunity to broaden your online audience in the local market.

Local Link Building is Necessary for Local Businesses

While the landscape of local SEO is continually evolving, one thing that has remained a constant is the importance of backlinks in ranking your website on search engines. For a business to thrive, they need to win the competition for online visibility. And nowhere is a business more visible to people with intent to buy then at the top of Google search results pages.

Link building is a crucial component of any digital marketing local and small businesses invest in to attract new customers. Be intentional in the time and resources committed to link building, knowing that your efforts will be rewarded over time.

SEO and Online Marketing for Local Businesses

SEO & Online Marketing for Local Businesses
SEO & Online Marketing for Local Businesses

Online marketing strategies for local businesses are specifically engineered to get your business in front of and attract local customers. To do that, the first and most important factor for growing your business with local online marketing is to master local SEO and ensure your website is ranking high organically in search results for your area and type of business.

Local Businesses Need Local SEO

SEO is the practice of optimizing your online properties and content to rank high in search engine results for queries that are relevant for your business ensures people in your area know that you are close and available to supply the services and products they want right now.

When your business relies on local customers to thrive, you need to focus on proven search engine optimization tactics that put your business at the top of local search results and map results. Maps puts your business in front of shoppers on the go when people are in your geographic area.  These local searches are performed by customers looking to make a purchase soon, most of them the same day.

If you run a local business, then you’ll want to know these statistics:

  • 72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their current location. – Wordstream
  • 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps. – Go-Globe
  • 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase. – SearchEngineLand

Search engines and search engine users knowing exactly where you are located, being able to see customer reviews, and easily being able to find all the ways to get in touch with you is vital to beating out the competition in your area.

Why Your Business May Be Falling in Local Search Results

Have you seen your business listing drop down in local search rankings?

Local search marketing has dozens of ranking factors and can be so complex; it’s near impossible to tell why your business listing has fallen in search engine results at first glance.

But some key questions can shed light on where the problem lies. And once you’ve determined where problems lie, you can get to work on getting back on top and outranking competitors.

1. Has Google done an update that affects local ranking?

Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms, and they claim to do this to deliver search results that are as relevant and useful as possible. Dozens of updates can happen in any given month, and they usually won’t affect hard-earned rankings. But sometimes they’ll throw out a change or uncover a bug that needs fixing, and your ranking falls because you didn’t know.

2. Have you violated Google’s guidelines?

Use Google Webmaster Tools (go to Search Traffic and select Manual Actions) and Google Analytics (look for drastic changes in search engine traffic) to check if Google has penalized your website.

To avoid falling in rankings, or worse suspensions, you should make sure new web pages or other online content (such as reviews or business listings) aren’t spammy or misleading by Google standards.

3. Do you routinely update your Google My Business Listings?

Sometimes competitors are passing you in local search rankings because they are simply putting in more effort. Your competitors want the top spot, so don’t slack on keeping your Google My Business listing fresh with new content like reviews and photos, as well as updating hours and services as they change.

Consider Outsourcing Your Local SEO and Online Marketing

The desired result of your investment in SEO is that everyone in your area sees your business at the top of page one of search engine results or map search results when they are looking right now to purchase the type of services or products you provide.

Outsourcing your SEO simply means you are engaging a contractor or agency to manage your website’s on-page and off-page search engine optimization. SEO services could include activities such as the creation and execution of SEO strategies, Google My Business listing optimization, content marketing, link building, local SEO, and web design.

The same way a business would contract out maintenance of the landscaping or the janitorial services of their office, you can contract out the setup and continued maintenance of your businesses search engine optimization needs.

If you don’t have the time or lack the know-how, consider retaining the services of someone who specializes in SEO (search engine optimization) and has the expertise to deliver routine results and continuous quality traffic to your website at a low cost.

Should You Add Paid Advertising to Your Marketing Mix

Should You Add Paid Advertising
Should You Add Paid Advertising To Your Local Online Marketing

For local businesses, there is no shortage of potential media placements across both online and offline marketing channels. But realistically, most local businesses want to appear prominently where the vast majority of their consumers spend the greatest amount of time—online.

That means you should consider adding paid online advertising to your marketing mix. According to a recent State of Digital report:

  • Social is expected to command 40% of the ad market by 2022
  • 63% of digital spend goes to the duopoly of Facebook and Google
  • 12% of digital spend goes to the next five top publishers (Amazon, Microsoft, Oath, Twitter, Snap)

Local Business Can Use Online Display Advertising

One common form of paid advertising is online display advertising. These ads can be highly targeted based on the demographics, zip code and interests of your target customer.

Whereas paid search such as Google Ads pay-per-click ads appear on search engine results pages, online display ads appear on the websites your target market visits. Retargeting lets your advertising follow users of your website or ads around the internet when they are on other websites. Statistics point to 40% of small businesses planning to use paid online advertising, according to Statista.

Pay-Per-Click Ads Let You Control Your Budget for Better ROI

When looking to get people on the phone and visiting your location, many local businesses use PPC (pay-per-click) tools like Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Google and Facebook work for all business types in general, and local businesses in particular, because of their unparalleled access to data. With that data, they provide a number of highly targeted marketing solutions.

TrendStatistics reports that roughly 80% of all companies focus on Google AdWords for PPC. Google gets 3.5 billion searches a day, and with Google Ads, the main benefit is you pay to appear at the top of search engine queries and map results.

That’s prime real estate for any local marketing campaign that has the power to increase website visits, calls, and store visits while generating leads. Add Google Ads with Google Local Service Ads (where you appear at the top of search and pay per lead), and it’s clear why Google is one of the top local advertising publishers.

Facebook is another leader in paid online advertising for local businesses, with a Nanigans study showing retailers advertising locally on Facebook, seeing an average ROI of 152%.

In particular, businesses that advertise on Facebook love it because Facebook allows local advertisers to get very granular on how far they can drill down their ad targeting.

Some of the features of Facebook include:

  • Specific advertising objectives —Custom tailor your ads to hit the right people whether you’re looking to increase awareness or drive conversions.
  • Audiences — Target very specific groups of people based on demographics or use custom or lookalike audiences which is a favorite for local advertisers. You can even target broadly and let Facebook find the right audience for your ads.
  • Ad Formats — With a half dozen formats to choose from—including carousels, video, images, and stories—you can easily find a style that works for you and your customers.
  • Placements — Like Google, Facebook has many places to show your ads. Control where your ads are seen, whether it’s on Facebook, in Facebook Messenger inboxes, on Instagram, or the Audience Network.

If you make Google and Facebook the foundation for your local paid online marketing efforts, you can be secure in the knowledge that the majority of your time, effort, and budget is going toward the channels that will deliver the greatest bang for your buck. From there, you can judiciously fill in the gaps with whatever additional channels make the most sense for your business and your community.

Local Businesses Don’t Have to DIY Paid Online Advertising

Even with quick results, paid online advertising can prove to be a testing ground, especially for people not familiar with PPC management. But with the ability to get hyper-local with ad targeting, many local businesses believe paid online advertising is worth the effort and costs.

Keep in mind that the effectiveness of your PPC campaign relies heavily on seamless user flow, your budget, keywords, and a few other factors. If you want more eyes on your business, then paid online advertising will get you the results you are looking for.

Facebook Messenger Marketing is More Than Just Ads

Digital marketing gives small and local businesses the ability to connect with their ideal audience in ways we never imagined. With Facebook Messenger marketing, you can put your ad into inboxes or chat with new and future customers directly – more effectively and at less cost than other digital marketing ads.

Marketing in Messenger makes acquiring customers easier by providing a way to directly communicate with people where they are already having conversations all the time. When you know where your customers hang out online, you know where you should be marketing your business.

Communicate with Customers Where They Hang Out Online

Facebook messenger has a massive reach across the United States and worldwide. If you’re interested in seeing a higher level of engagement and like the idea of having AI robots doing the heavy lifting to grow your audience, then Facebook Messenger is where you want to market your business.

In just the United States, the Facebook Messenger app is downloaded millions of times MONTHLY. And one Aimia report showed 31% of consumers say they are using social media channels to browse for new items to purchase.

When you consider that 67% of people indicated that they have made a purchase after seeing a social media ad (The Manifest’s 2019 Consumer Social Media Survey), it seems a no-brainer to get in on the action.

Do More with Facebook Messenger Marketing Than Just Inbox Ads

The easiest way to promote your business on Facebook Messenger is running ads that show up in people’s Messenger inbox. But Facebook Messenger gives you several other marketing opportunities that you can use to promote your business, enhance the customer experience, and acquire new customers.

When you use Messenger for marketing, you can create interactive stories that increase engagement with people who have shown interest in your business. You can also provide customer support manually or by creating chatbot question and answer sequences that mimic conversation by answering frequently asked questions.

Messenger also lets you customize product or service suggestions and deliver downloadable content like lead magnets or catalogs. To keep current customers engaged and happy, you can even book appointments, send event reminders, or send purchase and shipping confirmations.

While the ability to put ads inside people’s Messenger inbox should be considered a digital marketing superpower, you also have the ability to send messaging sequences and create full sales funnels to gather leads, woo prospects, and convert users into customers.

You can do all of this on a platform that provides a higher click-through rate than email marketing. You can expect unseen results when marketing in Facebook Messenger because unlike the multiple email boxes people have that are overflowing with spam, junk, and ads that Messenger inbox they use every day stays junk-free and your marketing attempts will stand out.

Get the Conversation Started and Monitor Your Results

Facebook reports that more than 1 in 2 people said they’re more likely to shop with a business they can message, and 67% of people expect to message businesses more in the next two years.

Facebook Messenger marketing allows you to get personal and communicate with people where they are comfortable chatting and building relationships already. Marketing in this space could be a game-changer for your business but before you start any new marketing campaign, you’ll want to have a plan in place that will help you meet your goals.

You’ll want to test out different ways to engage people in messenger, so you can see what works and what doesn’t. Then track how your campaigns are performing using the two places to view the metrics: Ads Manager and Messaging Insights.

You can see new connections, who blocked a messaging connection, and the average cost for each new conversation in Ads Manager. Messaging Insights shows you the same information (except for cost), and also gives you response rate and time.

Reach More People with Facebook Messenger Marketing

Knowing what marketing goal your working towards, exactly who you want to talk to, and why they should talk to you allows you to create a Messenger marketing plan that gets results.

Small and local businesses can dig into a Facebook Audience Insights to learn more about the demographics and preferences of everyone on Facebook, but more importantly, get detailed information about the people who have connected with your Facebook page.

With this information, marketers for businesses big and small are using Messenger to drive awareness and build a presence on Facebook that encourages people to chat with and browse products and services from businesses they know.