A lot of small business owners don't realize this, but online marketing is NOT only for online businesses or those seeking a global audience. Online marketing and blogging can help local businesses too!
After all, you're still looking to grow your customer list, right? Unless you have a locked set of clients and no interest in expanding, you probably want to see more business come to your door. Well, people spend plenty of time online searching for local business information. In fact, half of smartphone and tablet users search for area businesses from their mobile devices!
These are exactly the sorts of customers you can drive to your door by drawing more attention to yourself. A local business blog is the perfect way to make yourself stand out in your community, gain more interest, and get more involved in the community.
Get Connected With A Local Business Blog
How does writing a blog for your local business help you? It works in multiple ways, actually:
First, when you write blogs using keywords that people are using to search for you, it makes your site more likely to be near the top of Google's searches. In other words, if you write a lot about how you are an "Atlanta divorce lawyer," people who then run Google searches looking for an "Atlanta divorce lawyer" are more likely to see your page. They they'll click on it, rather than one of your competitors.
A local business blog also helps establish you as an authority. Even in the area around you, there are plenty of other businesses people can choose from. If you have a blog where you clearly lay out your expertise and experience, it builds your credibility and makes you more attractive to customers.
Along with this, it's also great for brand-building. Since your blog will become one of your main lines of communication with your customers, you can use it to give your business personality. Talking about your daily life and your interactions with the neighborhood is fundamentally great PR, as well as raising awareness of you.
Finally, it's easy to take a small business blog and use it to cross over into other forms of online marketing. Local networking through sites like Facebook, Linked-In, or FourSquare are also good for getting word out about your enterprise and creating more customers.
Plus, of course, there's the other really good news:
A Local Business Blog is Cheap
Blogging is one of the single least-expensive and most-effective forms of marketing you can engage in. If you've got half an hour free each day, as well as some sort of existing website, you already have all the tools you need, and all the expenses covered. You don't have to pay anything else if you don't want to.
If you take a look at this report and flip down to the section on "costs per lead," you can see it for yourself. Blog writing is both cheaper and more effective in creating new business leads than virtually any other single marketing activity you could use.
Online Marketing Is Here to Stay
The other reason you should embrace online marketing and local business blogging is that, honestly, they aren't going anywhere. Offline ad budgets are decreasing as online marketing budgets increase, and there's a growing number of people in this world who have never used a phone book to find information.
The Internet is becoming THE way that people find information, both local and remote.
If you haven't gotten in on the online marketing wave, it's definitely time to start. It's cheap, it's easy, it's effective and it might even be fun. What else could you want from a marketing venture? Start a small business blog now and see where it takes you!
Fun question: When is the last time you used a phone book to find information? I can't even remember myself.