May 2, 2014

Three trends transforming local marketing online

Written By Martin Sandhu

Kings Walk Nottingham

Small businesses are being forced to rethink their local marketing strategy in an increasingly complex online world. Everyday there is another tool, platform or trend to master which promises to give dramatic results or simplify the whole of their marketing efforts.

Often without a dedicated marketing person, or even just the one person, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by online marketing and simply stick to traditional routes. However, there IS a lot of benefit to be had and if investment in website design and development has already been made, it makes sense to implement an online marketing strategy.

Here are three key trends to bear in mind first though…

Growing importance of social media

Social media is something you just cannot avoid; a businesses presence on platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be the making of a brand. But it’s important to remember you don’t have to be on every network!

It’s easy to get carried away and set-up accounts left, right and centre only to forget about 75% of them in two weeks time. Do your research and find out where your audience is, use tools like the targeting features on a social networks ad platform to find the amount of users that fit your audience profile, and are in Nottingham or Sheffield for example. These tools are highly sophisticated and within minutes can tell you whether or not it’s worthwhile investing time in the platform.

Less definition between acquisition and retention

The days of an acquisition strategy and separate retention strategy are firmly behind us. Interacting with consumers and being where they spendvtime can both build loyal customers and attract new ones.

Content marketing, blogging and social media can all aid in both these functions, for example a thought leadership blog about the property market in the East Midlands, or a feature about dressing for the changeable weather will appeal to customers old and new. Not only that but it drives customers to your website from other platforms, ensuring ROI on web development and increasing traffic, which often leads to new customers having a ‘look around’ to find out more.

Increase in the use of online booking tools

This isn’t applicable to every business, but it’s important to understand that websites and online marketing isn’t just for e-commerce companies. Increasingly consumers want to be able to book local services online, be it a hair appointment, taxi or the services of a plumber.