In the recent SCORE Small Business Success Podcast, "Attract New Customers with Online Marketing," Tyler Donahue, a Business Development Analyst at Yext, answered all of our burning questions about how to make the most of your online presence by attracting new customers and building sales. “From what I understand if you’re a small business owner and you’re doing it right, you don’t have a lot of downtime - it’s your whole life,” says Donahue. “But if you can find a way that in that little downtime you have you get as much out of it as you can, that is key.” His advice for doing just that: “Find a service that you can really just put all your efforts into one place and it will distribute it from there.”
Donahue addressed one of the biggest misconceptions about online advertising and the role it plays when it comes to in-store purchases; Research shows that online advertising still has a bigger effect on in-store purchases than e-commerce/online purchases. Online advertising drives 10 times more offline spending than online spending. Even if you're only selling offline, your brick-and-mortar business stands to greatly benefit from online marketing efforts.
He also shared tips on how to take advantage of this misconception by creating a strong, consistent social media presence tailored to your customers.
Provide Accurate, Up-to-Date Information
Provide accurate information such as: your business hours, location, phone number etc. across all of your social media platforms for consistency and accuracy which allows your customers to find you more easily. Take time to update your information regularly to make sure it is recent and accurate.
Add Rich Content
With an online presence, you are not limited to advertising space or the pages of a phone book so take advantage of that space allowance. Add content that engages your customer and answers the question, “what is your business?” Provide as much information as you can about what your business does. Be specific, details matter. If it is a restaurant, what kind of restaurant do you own and what are your specialties?
Answer the Question ‘Why’
The most enticing businesses tell you: who they are, where they are, what they do, and why you should go there. Let your customers know why they should visit your business and the benefits you have to offer them.
Having an online presence not only makes it easier for your customers to find you online, it also makes it easier for them to engage with you offline.