Online Marketing Strategies for Local Businesses

Increase your sales and attract more visitors to your trade show stand with an online marketing strategy

Small businesses that want to grow and expand are looking at a variety of strategies to promote their brand, products and services. By having an Internet presence and using this to promote the company with an online marketing strategy, small businesses can attract new customers, more cheaply and more efficiently than by almost any other method.

Online strategies will not only attract more visitors to your website, they will also help you to effectively publicize an upcoming trade show presence and can make a dramatic difference to the number of visitors who actually turn up at your stand at the show.

However, negotiating your way through the information available online can be difficult for small business owners who may have to deal with all marketing themselves (both on and off-line).

For this reason, I am delighted to bring you this article by guest author Scott Huntrey who explains how to maximize the benefits of Google Adwords campaigns in the most cost effective way and why your business should be using Google Places.

Benefits of Having an Online Marketing Presence

More and more local businesses are realizing the benefit to having an online marketing presence. You’d be surprised, but not every business has a website, and for those that do, they may not be doing anything to successfully market it and draw in business. The fact is that roughly 60% of people search Google to find local businesses each month, which is a considerable number of potential customers to be targeted with an online marketing strategy.

Regardless of what your business provides, you started it because you believed there was a niche that you could provide a great product or service for. The key to maximizing those opportunities is to first develop a Google Adwords campaign that fully explores the desires and intent of that niche so when they enter their keywords in the search box, they see your ad. Adwords campaigns can be targeted to any geographic location you choose, so if you wanted to only target your neighborhood with ads for your business, you could do so. Keywords are what people type into the Google search box to find what they are looking for. With a bit of research using the Keyword Tool, you can discover which keywords are being searched for and at what volume.

How To Develop Your Google Adwords Campaign

Having a Google Adwords campaign is one of the best ways of getting your marketing message seen by more people in the most cost-effective way.

You place manual bids on certain keywords that y will specifically match what you believe the user’s intent would be in finding a product or service like yours. Google will give you an idea of what bid you will need to place to get seen on page 1 of the results, and through analyzing the data you will see what position you are in and raise or lower your bids accordingly.

Google Adwords has a learning center that explains every aspect of the search engine marketing world according to Google. It is a skill to be sure, and well informed strategies are highly recommended. You can determine your daily budget, shut it down whenever you like, but without careful execution you could spend too much too soon, or not run your ads at the time of day that produces the best results.

There are many issues that can come up, but just keep in mind what each click will cost you, when the best time of day to run ads for the most qualified traffic is, and continue to build off the keywords and ads that perform the best. Google rewards high click through rates (CTR’s) with lower costs per click (CPC), because the more relevant you keywords, ads, and website are to one another, the more credible you look.

This method of marketing is much more direct and precisely targeted compared to using customized envelopes and mailers to gain local business. Although both of them have their own unique value, and it is a good plan to have a balance of both.

Take Advantage of a Google Places Listing

A great tool for local businesses is to set up a listing in Google Places. Google Places offers you a small placement of information about your business, like phone number, start ratings, hours, etc. in the search results. This gives you more real estate on the page and that traditionally results in more clicks. This doesn’t mean you can throw away your business cards; you should still always be networking face to face. In conjunction, both offline and online marketing strategies work to supplement each other very effectively.

Looking for more information about using Online Markting to publicise your trade show stand?

Check out our 5 Social Media Tips that will help you to get more visitors to your trade show stand.

Using social media strategies for crowdsourcing – find out how you can make this method work for your business.

Use Your Online Presence To Attract Visitors To Your Stand

Trade shows are the ultimate networking opportunity for entrepreneurs and this is where having an online presence can draw people to you, while the physical giveaways like business cards and branded custom stickers can leave prospects with a lasting impression of your company. Bumper stickers and branded custom stickers are an inexpensive way to get your brand seen. If you have a great logo or an interesting and exciting image that represents an aspect of your business, there is a good chance it get some valuable real estate somewhere.

Geographic Target
You can use an Adwords campaign to specifically target prospects in the area where the trade show will take place to increase visitor numbers!

In your Google Adwords account set up a campaign targeting the surrounding area where the trade show will be held. To do this, go into campaign settings and select locations targeting. Select the zip code, or just type in the location you want to target; you can also target a radius around a zip code from 15 miles to however large an area you want to cover.

The ads will show in those areas only, so anyone searching for business, trade shows, or a particular product that may be showcased there is likely to see one of your ads; be sure to bid on a variety of keywords that represent these possible search queries. The online strategy will prove to be effective and will increase your exposure 10 fold.

BIO: Scott is a freelance writer on a variety of topics including small business marketing. When he is not writing he is hiking in the mountains of upstate New York.