“Make In India”
“Vocal For Local”
“Support Small Business”
“Boycott Chinese Goods”
The names are many, but the intention is the same- boosting small local businesses.
The Covid-19 pandemic has spelt disaster for businesses all over the world. Job cuts, migration from cities to villages, halted infrastructure, decreased spending- all these are taking a toll on the economic growth and the road to recovery is not in sight.
Many countries already burdened with a collapsing health system are coming up with stimulus packages to recover the economy. One of the strongest and motivating solutions has been the step towards supporting local businesses.
A spin-off of the famous ‘Swadeshi movement’, ‘vocal for local’ is gaining momentum not only in India but also throughout the world, albeit in different ways. In America, President Donald Trump had coined the term “America First” to endorse populist nationalism in international trade and globalization.
Shift to local small businesses:
It comes as no surprise that the government has told the e-commerce companies to display “country of origin” for all goods sold online in India so that buyers can make an informed decision. Given that the impetus is on local, it is a golden opportunity for local businesses to cash in on the increasing nationalist fervor and rise to the occasion.
Online marketing strategy for small businesses:
A simple and cost-effective way for local businesses to increase their reach is through online marketing. It is no wonder that many social media platforms have already taken the plunge in promoting local small online businesses. Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter- have taken various measures to help businesses sell their goods online.
Online marketing techniques:
Let us see how local businesses can promote their services online.
1. Social media platform
Social media platforms are a cost-effective and easy way to do business. Given the increase in social media viewing, you should engage your customers on it and try means to gain new followers.
But, be sure to have an appropriate social media strategy so that you build brand consistency and loyalty to have a good and lasting online presence. From your social media profile optimization to paid campaigns- you have the best techniques to help your business grow. A good social media manager will help you with social media optimization techniques.
>> Join online communities and forums that are in plenty on these social media platforms. This not only helps you to grow your network but gives you loads of ideas and information.
>> Contribute through suggestions on industry-specific forums so that you add value to your business.
>> Leverage the power of social media influencers and bloggers on Instagram and YouTube. Start with the local influencers first for getting a taste of the local market before you plunge to wider markets.
>> Create posts in the form of images and videos as a resource for marketing your business online.
>> Run contests and offer gifts to gain new followers and raise brand awareness.
>> Make full use of hashtags, location, tagging and trending topics to drive instant traffic.
>> Go live on social media or conduct webinars with content that provides value to the viewers.
2. Local online listing
Listing your business on Google My Business is a great way to rank yourself on top of the local search results.
>> Optimize your GMB profile and work on getting good customer reviews. This will work wonders for your business.
>> There are other online directories like Yellow Pages, IndiaMart, Sulekha, JustDial, HelloIndia and so on that will help you rank higher.
>> Many offer a free listing and charge for upgraded services. Pick some of the best online listings and pay for the annual subscription. Check if you are getting increased traction. If yes, you can continue to opt for their paid services.
Many digital marketing experts will help you with profile optimization for online listings.
3. E-Commerce website
Get your e-commerce website and mobile app built so that you can redirect viewers from your social media posts to your home page or products page. A website helps in building credibility and lets people make purchasing decisions easier and faster.
Even if you have many social media followers, a working e-commerce website is a must.
>> With the website, you have full control on what your customers can see and for how long it has to be visible.
>> Also, with an e-commerce store, customers can just search the product what they like instead of going through the posts on social media.
>> Many online companies allow you to set up a basic website. But we would recommend you to get it done from an expert e-commerce web development company because you would want your website design to be neat, user-friendly and easily attract customers.
>> The other benefit of having an e-commerce website is that you can write blog posts that inform visitors about your products and services. Also, it improves your chances of ranking higher in the SERP.
4. Digital marketing
Digital marketing is a vast field and you can select strategies that fit your budget and improve the audience reach.
>> A website pays dividends when you do a thorough SEO analysis. We would recommend that you perform keyword research through an SEO expert to stay on top of the search results.
>> The keywords can be put to use in the website content and blogs to improve the chances of search engine rankings.
>> Create backlinks to your website. This can be done by commenting on other relevant website blog posts or by writing guest blogs on other websites. Backlinks can also be created through many do-follow links on high ranking websites.
>> Check the website speed and use as many on-page and off-page optimization techniques to rank your website better.
>> The other forms of digital marketing are through paid Google PPC ads, social media campaigns, influencer marketing, Email & mobile advertising.
>> The pay-per-click (PPC) ads are the most cost-effective when it comes to online advertising given you design your campaign properly. Take the help of a digital marketing expert to design campaigns and run it for better-targeted reach and leads.
5. Email & SMS marketing
Though SMS marketing can be considered as mobile marketing more than online marketing, yet we will combine it here in the same category. SMS and email marketing are the cheapest forms of marketing.
>> Promote any new product launch by sending personalized emails to customers. A well- written email is one sure way to help customers keep updated about your business products/services.
>> SMS marketing is the cheapest and most effective marketing strategy when you need to offer any coupon code, discount or launch any new product or service. Contact any best SMS marketing service provider to send bulk SMS to your customers.
6. Free products/services
The best way for people to know about your product/service is to offer them something for free either in the form of products, consultation or basic package.
>> Social media is a great platform to run contests that will increase brand awareness and help you gain new followers.
>> You can also take the help of social media influencers by providing them freebies so that they promote your brand.
Now is the right time for small businesses to follow online marketing techniques. They have to step forward and invest their time and effort into it. If your business belongs to the SME category, have you taken the plunge into digital marketing? You can contact a good digital marketing expert and start with the basic plan in the beginning. You can also opt for the profile optimization package so that you get an increased reach.
Start before it is too late. It is now or never.