Digital marketing is quickly surpassing traditional offline marketing as the tool of choice for businesses. If large corporations have embraced digital marketing as a means of growing their audiences and engaging with their followers, then local service businesses stand an even greater chance to benefit from this marketing medium. Understanding how digital marketing can grow your local service business is key to helping boost your sales and ROI.
One of the biggest perks of digital marketing is the ability to personalize content on the fly, making it relevant to your customer. According to Aberdeen, personalized email messages– such as simply as adding someone’s first name at the top of an email– improve click-through rates by an average of 14%. Even more, some brands have recorded 8X improvement on click-through rates with a personalized video according to Marketing Land. Personalization that is used in an email or video should keep flowing to the next stage in the customer’s journey, like a landing page. Keep the conversation consistent and relevant by building out personalized landing pages with tailored content. Whichever ways you choose to connect with your leads and customers, find ways to personalize the content, and reap the rewards.
In the past, companies had to use a mass marketing strategy, unable to drill down marketing efforts to meet the needs of every part of their audience. In other words, marketing had to be a “one size fits all” approach. Now, companies can target based on the most narrow demographics and psychographics—people who live in a certain zip code, who have two or more children, with average household income of $80k or more, own a dog and watch “Stranger Things,” for example.
Because customer segmentation gives marketers a specific, highly targeted group, segmenting allows companies to better focus their marketing dollars where it counts. It also helps companies to develop tailored products, services and distribution channels to match the needs of each targeted segment. According to Campaign Monitor, marketers have noted a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns. Speaking your customers’ language based on their demographics and psychographics creates trust, shows empathy, gives solutions to their problems and guides them in the journey towards customer success.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are perfect tools to engage with your audience and introduce them to your products or services. You can also use these tools to keep your current fans informed. A quick perusal of Facebook will reveal active comment threads where companies personally ask questions and interact with their customers.
Your interaction with your customers via social media doesn’t have to be simply answering their customer service questions or feeding them information. You can take a lighthearted approach and entertain them as well. Take the Twitter “beef” between Wendy’s and McDonald’s. Their respective accounts post “digs” at each other, engaging in friendly (and funny) banter about why their food is best. Fans love this content and share it widely, essentially acting as the company’s own unpaid marketing team.
Geotargeted marketing has exploded in popularity in the past few years, and platforms have sprung up to meet demand. These platforms combine GPS technology with marketing data to bring offers directly to customers. If your customer walks into a local hardware store, for example, he will get a notification on his phone that your Fall sprinkler blow-out services are on sale for only $59.99. You can create ads on Facebook that are directed only at people who live in New Haven, Connecticut, or consumers who live within 10 miles of your business. Geotargeted marketing is another way to maximize your marketing budget by targeting only the people who will use your product or service.
People trust their friends’ opinions. The social nature of the Web brings with it a broader definition of the term “friend,” and this works well in your favor. Influencer marketing is a way of getting your products in front of your audience by appealing to the people who influence them. A blogger with a huge subscription base, an Instagram user with thousands of followers or the Facebook poster who can always get his friends to “like, share and comment,” are your biggest allies. If you have a plumbing company, for example, find a local Facebook friend who matches your ideal customer and has a huge following and offer to repair something for free. Have her rave about how much she loved the service—of course, with a link back to your site. If you’re selling sprinkler installs, find the moderator of the local “new move ins” group on Facebook.
If you have ever searched for the term “Apple,” and got both results for apple pie and iPhones, then you will understand the importance of schema markups. This form of search engine optimization uses artificial intelligence to create better search. It identifies the factors that are present before your customer does a search to ensure that he is only presented with the most relevant listings for his needs. If the user was searching for “iPad pricing,” before he searched for “Apple,” the algorithm will understand that it needs to deliver the Apple website, not a pie recipe.
Schema markups can help companies make the most of their marketing budgets because you can be assured that your customer is seeing exactly what you want him to see. More search engines are adopting this strategy, and it will soon be the standard across the board.
The future of marketing will depend heavily on giving people exactly what they want. Consumers are no longer content to feel like one of the crowd. They want to know that your product or service is tailor made for them, and that you can anticipate their needs. Not only does this build loyalty and increase your sales, it makes it less expensive to get the most from your marketing.