If you’re like most of the small & local business clients I work with, this probably describes you pretty well:
- You have limited resources (time & money) to market your business
- You are overwhelmed with the number of options & tactics available and aren’t sure where to start
- You can’t afford to spend your time & money on “fluff” marketing strategies that don’t drive bottom line results – like new customers coming through the door
- You can’t wait 6 months or more to start seeing results
If that’s you, here are some important things to consider when figuring out how to best market your business.
1 – Use Direct Response Marketing for Fast Results
Direct response marketing is a form of marketing or advertising that is geared toward asking the potential customer to take a specific action, immediately. That could be signing up for a special offer coupon, inquiring about a free consultation or even just getting a price quote.
This also means that you have to ensure your marketing message or offer gets in front of your target audience. Activities like creating blog posts or attempting to improve search rankings can take quite a bit of time and there is no guarantee that your target customers will find you via search OR discover your blog posts (without additional promotion). With direct response advertising, you’ll be paying to reach your ideal customers (ideally via tools like Google Adwords or Facebook Ads) and you’ll have a clear ask that is geared toward moving them toward becoming a customer and providing you with their contact information.
2 – Make Sure It’s Something You Can Measure
With direct response advertising through mediums like Facebook Ads & Google Adwords, you’ll be able to measure each and every lead (if you’re doing it correctly) that comes through as a result of your campaign. This means you’ll have hyper-measurable marketing that allows you to monitor total spend, cost per lead, and ultimately a cost to acquire a new customer. This is HUGELY important for local businesses looking to grow their customer/client base and see a clear positive return on their marketing investment.
3 – Experiment, Test & Scale
Since direct response marketing (done correctly) is measurable, you’ll be able to test/experiment and optimize your campaigns until you see reliable and satisfactory results. Once you have that, you’re in a great position to expand and scale your business growth!
Let’s say, for example, a lawn care company runs a campaign to attract new lawn care and maintenance customers. The company knows that each customer stays for 1 year on average and they pay $100/mo for your services. That means each new customer creates, on average, $1,200 in revenue. Let’s also say that the expenses for that specific client are $400 for the year in labor & gas for the equipment. That means a new customer has an expected lifetime value of $800 profit. If for every $200 this business spends on an ad campaign they can expect to close 1 new lawn care customer, that means they are seeing a 4x ROI (return on investment) for this ad spend. From there, you can scale your ad spend to increase the volume of new customer leads coming into your business!
As you can see, direct response advertising is an incredibly effective way to start with marketing your local business. It’s a bit of simplified example, but this is the gist of where I’d suggest starting with your local business marketing. From there, you can start focusing on additional strategies like content marketing, leveraging organic social media, and improving your organic search rankings position, branding etc; but first, I HIGHLY recommend getting a reliable paid ads strategy in place to get the balling rolling.