If you ask most people how they would describe a local business owner, they would likely say they’re hardworking and busy people. In a lot of companies, this person wears a lot of hats, from salesperson to bookkeeper and often times, the business’s main marketing person too. This obviously poses some challenges, since the landscape of online marketing has shifted so drastically in recent years, it can be difficult for someone who has many other responsibilities to keep up. However, it IS possible for local business owners to implement an effective inbound marketing strategy, they just have to overcome the myths and find the solutions that make sense for their specific business.
So what are these “local marketing myths” that local businesses can’t seem to overcome?
Myth #1: “Social media just doesn’t work for our kind of business.”
Reality: Although it may be true that some businesses utilize social media more easily, activity on your social platforms helps you rank above your competition for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), even if your business is not in a typical 'fun' industry. It also provides an opportunity for you to enhance your credibility and reputation with potential and current customers and provides a platform for you to share your blog content, videos, tips and insight your customers may be interested in.
Myth #2: “Why do we need to spend time making a blog? No one was reading it when we did.”
Reality: Even if you have just one blog viewer, that’s better than nothing because that one viewer is Google and that is VERY important when it comes to search rankings. Additionally, if the blog is outdated and not optimized with keywords for SEO, then you are falling on search results faster than you probably think. An effective inbound marketing strategy always starts with good content, and a well-written and optimized blog is the perfect way to do it.
Myth #3: “Who would really want to watch a video about our business?”
Reality: Again, even if your viewership is low, Google is important and they care if you are actively creating content and material for your customers. Most search engines also offer blended search results with video results as an option. Wouldn’t it be nice to rank there if it’s an impossible feat to rank on the regular web page listings? Also, video is a fun opportunity to show your customers a personal and creative side to your business.
Myth #4: “I think we’ll just get an SEO person to quickly get us higher on search engine results.”
Reality: If it were that easy, everyone would do it. Think about the number of competitors you probably have locally and beyond, then think about the limited results on the first page of search engine results. In many cases, you could pay someone a lot of money to improve your ranking and you still wouldn’t come close to the first page. SEO within a highly competitive industry is never a “quick fix,” it requires an ongoing and holistic inbound marketing strategy utilizing your website, blog content, social media, and landing pages, in addition to SEO.
Myth #5: “I just don’t think we can change our marketing process so drastically.”
Reality: Change isn’t usually easy, but that’s why there are agencies like our team at ManoByte and software like HubSpot that can help make the process less overwhelming. Our expertise, as well as the support of the HubSpot tools makes it easy for you to build an inbound marketing strategy that carefully places your business in front of the right audience. We work your buyer's journey to ensure you are able to attract the right customers to you, convert them into prospects, close the sale and delight your customers over and over again. HubSpot’s tools also provide unprecedented access to data and insight into what is working (as well as what is not working) so you can continuously improve on your strategies.
We know local business owners have a tremendous amount of responsibility, and it’s not a myth that an inbound marketing strategy will take some work. However, if you are able to overcome the myths and stereotypes surrounding the process, we think you may just be surprised by the results.