We get asked this waaaaaay too often.

What can we do to drive more traffic to our location? And a lot of people are jumping to techniques that we’d call “Build” tactics. Before you build, you’ve gotta have Foundational stuff in place.

First, you build the Foundation.

Only, then do you Build on it.

Finally, you can grow.

So, let’s take you through the … (wait for it) …

7 FOUNDATIONAL ELEMENTS IN DIGITAL MARKETING FOR A LOCAL BUSINESS:

  1. Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. Blog Strategy and Content Plan
  3. Review Gathering System
  4. Facebook (& Instagram) Management
  5. Regular Photography and Video
  6. Email Automation for Customers
  7. Facebook + Instagram Ads

Here we go.

1) LOCAL SEO

How do you show up in the maps? I probably reference this image too often.

But the more consistently you Name, Address, Phone Number and Website are listed in directories across the internet, the more prominently your maps listings will show up; therefore, the more traffic, calls and requests for directions that you’ll receive.

This is local SEO:

This is the kind of stuff you’ll be reading about. Continue? Ok good.

2) BLOG STRATEGY AND CONTENT PLAN

You should probably hire a writer to consistently write for your business.

Have a voice.

Share your story.

Share about your system.

People buy from people.

Be human.

3) REVIEW GATHERING SYSTEM

Do you have a scalable and automated system to request and gather reviews from customers?

The most important ones that we’ve seen are: Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, Yelp, Yellow Pages, BBB, and then there’s a whole bunch of niche sites for each type of business.

Reviews can seriously dominate the search results.

You’d better have something in place for this.

For example, if your business is in healthcare, you should definitely be actively managing reviews in Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews and Yelp (Yelp mostly because of its tie-ins with iOS, at the time of this writing). But in addition to that there’s all sorts of niche healthcare websites that you need to be managing:

 

4) FACEBOOK (& INSTAGRAM) MANAGEMENT

Do you have a Facebook page setup?

Is someone posting content on it? (Same with Instagram if you have a business that is even in the slightest bit visual.)

I hear this way too often, “I’m not even on Facebook. [or insert social media platform here] I don’t think my customers are either.”

News flash: they are.

So are your potential customers.

(1) Start or

(2) get better

There’s no door #3.

5) REGULAR PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO

Hire a photographer to take pictures at least once a month.

Find someone you like and pay them well.

Schedule a monthly appointment with them and discuss a shot list with them a few weeks in advance of the visit.

Make this a habit.

Because you’ll get busy and you won’t take pictures with your iPhone like you want to do. You haven’t done this well yet. Why would that change?

6) EMAIL AUTOMATION FOR CUSTOMERS

Do you have email automation setup? If you don’t know what this is, then no, you probably don’t.

You should. If you want a recommendation on what you might use, email matt (at) handbuiltbrands (dot) com.

7) FACEBOOK + INSTAGRAM ADS

For local businesses, there’s really no excuse to not use Facebook and Instagram ads.

They generate new customers and have an excellent return on ad spend.

You’ll need to setup a business account and probably have a pro start doing these for you because there’s a ton of awesome nooks and crannies in the Facebook ads system. It’s really outstanding.

 

“OMG, I’M READY,” YOU SAY.

Well, there’s several things that a prospective marketing partner will need to start. For example, before our company will start any of these, we’ll need to take you through a few audits of your current presence, and these are the types of things we’ll be asking for:

BUSINESS VALUE AUDIT

  • What do you sell?
  • Who buys your products/services?
  • Do you know who your ideal customer is?
  • How many customers have you sold to in the past 12 months?
  • Revenue over the past 12 months?
  • Projected revenue over the next 12 months?
  • Average sales price?
  • Gross margin by product?
  • Net margin for the business?
  • Have you ever used mystery shoppers at your business?
  • What’s the first purchase (and price point) that a new customer buys from you?

MARKETING “STUFF” AUDIT

  • Google Analytics access
  • Google Search Console access
  • CRM – do you track your prospects/leads and sales in a CRM (by person and by $)?
  • If not, start with this one.
  • Bing Webmaster Tools
  • Bing Places for Business
  • Can you send us your logo as an EPS (also known as a vector file)?
  • Do you have brand guidelines/standards?
  • What are the fonts and colors you use?
  • Sales collateral – do you have a consistent visual system in place?
  • Website – we’ll need access to the website (the CMS, like WordPress for example), the FTP server (if you use one, or wherever the site is hosted), and the domain registrar (like GoDaddy)
  • Technical audit
  • When was the last time your website was designed?
  • We’ll take you through our content/story audit. What kind of story is your website telling? Are there clear call-to-actions?

Nonetheless, all of this stuff is important. And the frustrating thing for most businesses is that it takes a special group of people to do it the right way.

There’s a lot of different skill sets needed to bundle these together and do it right.

Do right it, though, and you’ll grow.