Many local small business owners, whether online only or online in conjunction with a brick and mortar location, begin with the idea that by building a website, they have completed whatever local small business Internet marketing efforts are required for success. This “Field of Dreams” effort (if you build it, they will come) does not actually work without a local small business Internet marketing component that tells people about what you’ve built and invites them in. You can develop the most robust website, with the most amazing information, but if your potential leads don’t see you in search results, it won’t matter.
The truth is, local small businesses Internet marketing requires a specific and directed effort, by virtue of the size of the business, to ensure visibility. Unfortunately, a one-size fits all approach will not work for local small businesses, because in addition to trying to compete on a global scale, the small business owner is usually limited in resources and the staff necessary to carry out the marketing plan.
To make local small business Internet marketing more effective, it’s important to leverage both local Internet marketing efforts as well as more global efforts. Visibility is achieved with local small business Internet marketing when the business takes a multi-pronged approach to reaching and targeting their market. The biggest hitch? It requires a lot of time to be successful, time the local small business owner simply does not have to devote to Internet marketing efforts.
A comprehensive local small business Internet marketing strategy may include developing brand awareness through ongoing and consistent blogging that provides relevant information to create a sense of thought leadership, a press release campaign that generates buzz and excitement over the newsworthy events happening at your company, establishing and maintaining a social media presence that engenders a sense of trust and confidence, targeted local and global marketing efforts that increase visibility, and a strategic plan forward to keep you ahead of the rapidly changing momentum. More than that, it involves analyzing the results of your efforts and the flexibility to make changes to take advantage of new developments that offer opportunity.
In the end, what it comes down to is attracting long-term, loyal – not just customers but brand ambassadors. A static website alone cannot help you grow your business. The Internet is a living and changing entity, and to remain a visible and viable competitor within it, comprehensive local small business Internet marketing efforts must be employed.