Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Local Businesses Need Online Marketing Advice

As I was driving back home this morning after dropping the kids off at school, I noticed the neighborhood dry cleaning service had a new banner stretched across the top of the building that read: “Now on the Internet.”

Most of the clients I serve need help with creating and/or spreading their marketing message to a targeted audience online. I tend to automatically assume that “everyone” is already utilizing the Internet as part of their overall marketing strategy. That banner, however, is proof that this is not so. There are still plenty of small and mid-size local businesses out there in need of guidance when it comes to marketing online.

When I was visiting my hometown last month, I stopped to grab a quick lunch at a very popular mom and pop owned sub sandwich shop. The owner and I struck up a conversation about how they could effectively utilize Facebook or Twitter (they have a huge customer base consisting of college students) to bring in more business.

After a meeting with my father’s lawyer last month, the attorney asked if we could set aside extra time during our next meeting to discuss his website copy and whether or not establishing a blog would be beneficial.

Look around your own community at local businesses that may need help establishing a presence online. Call them up to find out who’s in charge of hiring contract/freelance services and send them a brochure. Then follow up within a couple of weeks to discuss how you may be of service.

Do you regularly market your services to local businesses?


Laura Sultan said...

So true. I work and live in a very small town about 50 miles outside of Atlanta.

In my experience, most of our local businesses are 5-10 years behind those in larger cities when it comes to online marketing.

Given the pace at which the online marketing landscape changes, ignoring it can be a fatal mistake for a lot of small businesses.

Ironically, small-town businesses can usually benefit MORE from online marketing than big-city businesses, especially now that Google is working hard to serve up the most relevant LOCAL search results.

Kimberly Ben said...

Hi Laura,

I have to admit that seeing that banner was a wake up call that I've been falling short in reaching out to local prospects when marketing.

You're absolutely right that many of these small businesses (especially in smaller towns) often need education and guidance with online marketing. And I also agree that local businesses can really benefit from local search results when working an online marketing campaign.

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