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Tag : local marketing

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

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17Apr

Local businesses can’t succeed online without optimized Google My Business (GMB) listings. First impressions are everything, and your GMB profile is the first thing that a lot of your potential customers will see. Why not make it impressive?

The number one reason I hear that local businesses don’t use GMB is that they’re not sure what they’re supposed to do. You fill in your business’ name, address, and…then what? I’m going to walk you through how to optimize your GMB listing so you can catch up to your local competitors!

Add a Business Description
Let people know who you are! Whether your local business’ name is something obscure like “Vulture Inc.” or it’s super clear like “Jim’s Pants Shack,” not having a business description is a missed opportunity.

No matter how you write it, it’s going to give your brand a distinct voice. If you do it well, a business description can give your brand a more human aspect for people to connect with. If I’m looking for a jeweler and find “Stefano’s Luxury Diamonds” then I’ve got some idea of who they are, but when I read a description describing their “60 years of jeweler experience to provide customers with unparalleled service and expertise that blah blah blah,” I get a better sense for who they are and if they’re who I want to buy from.

Never treat a business description as optional. You need it, and just as importantly, it needs to be clear, on-brand, and error free!

Fix Any Inconsistencies
Your listings need to have the same information across all platforms. No duh, right? But think of the areas you might be overlooking. Are your hours EXACTLY the same? I can’t tell you how often I see local businesses listed as open 9:00am-5:30pm on one site and 9:00am-4:30pm on another, and trust me, that’s going to matter to your customers. If you don’t know your own hours, why should they come by and hope you’re open?

The same rule applies to spelling your business’ name, your address, etc. But it doesn’t stop with information issues! Your style needs to be the same across platforms. So if your Twitter bio says you work on, “Planes, trains, and automobiles!” then your GMB listing can’t say you’ll handle “Planes, trains and automobiles!” Believe it or not, commas matter!

Take a good chunk of time to check this. You don’t want to post a listing and find a mistake three months later!

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Check On Your Customers
If you haven’t heard; a LOT of people use Google. When a potential customer looks you up on Google and they have a question, they’re going to ask on your GMB page. And if you don’t answer, you can kiss their business goodbye.

82% of customers expect immediate responses, so don’t think you can get away with checking your GMB listing every other day. You need to have alerts set for customer questions and be actively monitoring the page to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

You should also set up messaging so that customers can reach your cell phone directly. This way you’ll be able to answer any questions as they arise and earn the confidence of your local customers!

If it sounds like a lot of work, it is! But the alternative is losing local business, so think of it as a necessary evil.

Post Updates
While you don’t need daily updates like on Facebook or Twitter, GMB is a great place to share details about your latest sale, event, or blog post. You already know that your local audiences are going to see your GMB listing, and these features are crucial in drawing them in!

Posts stay live for seven days after posting them, so bear this in mind when you’re scheduling your GMB content. Old posts are still visible on your listing, but they’ll be pushed down by newer GMB updates. Bear this in mind when building a content mix and recycling old content!

Don’t Think Small
Optimizing your GMB listing isn’t as simple as filling out a box or checking on things twice a month. You need to be engaged, proactive, and present with your listing. Take this advice and make some big changes to your GMB listing if you want to succeed!

Does this all sound like a lot to handle? Let’s talk about your business’ GMB listing during your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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Shop Owners, Here’s How You Can Be Successful on Instagram

Shop Owners, Here's How You Can Be Successful on Instagram
20Mar

Is Instagram right for your business? I tend to see a lot of uncertainty in local store owners with this question, but you should have some confidence! There are plenty of ways for local businesses to use Instagram, and small shops are no exception!

I’ve been at this a long time, and I’ve seen every kind of business you can imagine give Instagram a shot. And local shop owners have been some of the most successful! Here, I’ll give you the tips that helped them get tons of attention on Instagram!

Give Them a Tour
What does the inside of the store look like? What’s actually on the shelves? Is this somewhere I want to visit?

These are all questions that your audience is going to have when they first stumble upon your Instagram account. So answer them with a video tour through your store! Take your viewers through the front door, guide them through the different sections, and overall do anything you can to convince them that your store is somewhere that they want to be.

Keep in mind that in no scenario is this a license for you to walk through your store and say “Here’s where we keep X. Here’s where we keep Y. Here’s where we…” You need to make it interesting. Talk to your viewers like they’re there in person. If you’d try to be friendly and charming with a customer in your store, then try especially hard for Instagram, because you’re potentially talking to hundreds of your customers!

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Offer Exclusive Deals
One of the best things you can do is give people a reason to follow your Instagram account. And what’s a better motivator than the chance to save money?

Try posting a code of the week that visitors to your store can use for a discount on their next visit! You can go cute and make the code your tag line or something relevant for your brand, or simple and just say “Mention this post to get a free gift with purchase!” Your customers are incentivized to follow your page, and you can guarantee they’ll be regularly checking your content if you’re sharing discounts!

I know a lot of small business owners will point out that weekly discounts might hurt their bottom line. But I promise you that (as long as you’re not offering 50% off) a successful Instagram marketing strategy will more than make up for any losses from modest deals to drive customers to your store.

If you’d consider running an ad for a special discount in your local paper but not on Instagram, then the problem is how you’re undervaluing social media, not the discount itself.

Highlight New Products
Rolling out something new? Tell your audience about it! Instagram is a visual platform, so share pictures of your new releases. If someone loves your store, they’re absolutely going to follow you to see what your next release is.

If you really want to make the most of this strategy, you might even want to share products on Instagram before they’re available in-store. That way your shoppers are encouraged to be loyal customers and check your Instagram regularly if they want to stay up to date with the newest products. And why not reward the people who are engaging with your brand online?

Post Away
If you’re seriously considering posting on Instagram, then it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and get started. Just because you’re a local business doesn’t mean that you can’t find huge success on social media. Use these tips and start sharing content that your local audience will get engaged with!

I’ve got even more tips to help your local business succeed! Let’s talk about them during your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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Does Marketing Your Business Make You A Sell-Out?

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31May

A few days ago, I met with an old friend who had recently started up his own business.

He was looking for some advice. His company was doing well. He had a popular niche product and a list of customers waiting to buy it. But he wanted to take things to the next level.

Soon his company was going to expand, and he knew that he’d need to find new customers somehow. He couldn’t live off word-of-mouth forever. That’s why he came to me.

So I sat him down, started to tell him what his first steps would be. But each time I told him what he needed to do, he would cringe. He never had to say it, but I knew what he was thinking, “I don’t want to sell out.”

I’ve heard this before.

Often when people go into business for the first time, they find it hard to market themselves. They often see marketing as a negative thing. They don’t want to be like every other business out there. They think that the more they run their business like their larger competitors, the less unique they’ll become.

They don’t want to be “just another company”.

Here are a few points I threw at my friend to think about:

Growing Doesn’t Mean Losing What Makes You Unique

A common issue for businesses is that growth means more employees, more products, and more customers. Which often can lead to the personal connection of a smaller business being lost.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. When a business grows, it’s easy to lose the human element as it often feels like the least important thing to focus on when there are a hundred other things to think about.

But by choosing to make that human element something important to your business and its ethos, you can ensure you gain customers while continuing to make connections. If it’s important to you, nothing will stop you.

The great thing about being a small business is that the business itself is more accessible. By keeping that accessibility as you grow, you won’t lose what makes you unique.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that you’re the business owner, so you’re the one that controls what makes you unique. No matter how big you grow.

There’s Nothing Wrong With Promoting Yourself

Many people balk at the idea of promoting their product as they fear a negative backlash. I often find that it’s not the imagined backlash that’s the problem. Often it’s just a case of feeling insecure with the business.

“Marketing” often feels like a dirty word to some as they think everybody will look at them and see a Used Car Salesman.

I prefer to think of marketing as simply a way to connect people to what they want.

My friend has a great product that he’s passionate about. A product that many people would love to use as it would solve some of their problems.

But without making those people aware of the product, his passion is wasted. Just because he wants to share his product with others, that doesn’t mean he can’t genuinely want to help others.

If I have a problem with my plumbing, I don’t get annoyed at plumbers for putting ads online. I’m grateful that they’ve made it easier for me to connect with them.

Truly Loyal Customers Don’t Judge You

This is some advice that isn’t even about business, so much as it is life.

People often feel bad when they make changes in their own lives because of negativity from their friends. But if somebody doesn’t accept the changes you make, are they really your friend? (No!) And if they’re not your friend, why should you care what they think?

The same can be said for business. Any “loyal customer” that turns their back on you when you make decisions necessary to keep your business going isn’t a loyal customer at all. So why care what they think?

A Niche Won’t Last Forever

This I leave for last, as it’s a sad truth.

If you’re not willing to expand your business into new areas and create new products that appeal to a range of customers, your business will be dead in the water.

My friend’s business is doing well now because his product is unique and he’ is tapping into a dedicated group of customers. But what will he do when all of those customers have his product? Eventually, there’ll be nobody left to buy what he’s selling.

So he has two choices:

Either to find new customers or sell new products.

Regardless of his decision, he’s going to have to connect people to his product.

Which means marketing.

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