[This article was written by Marie Erhart.]
Technology today has become an inseparable part of business for obvious reasons – it cuts down on the manual labour, processing times, repeated errors, ultimately maximizing productivity. A common misconception is that digitalization is reserved for big businesses that deal with a huge number of customers. In reality, it is for everyone.
Going digital for a local business means everything that it does for the big businesses but on a smaller scale. Technology is your friend so you need to use it.
Build an Online Presence
Traditional marketing techniques might or might not work. The reason for that is that they are impossible to measure – you have no way of knowing how many new customers did a TV or a radio ad bring you. The only way to measure this is if you use one technique in isolation, yet the results might still come back as inconclusive.
Instead of putting your money towards something that you can’t really monitor, use your investment to build your presence online. Even for a local business, a website, to start with, can mean a lot. Since we live in a digital era, your potential customers will be looking for you online so allow them to find you.
Your website is your storefront in the world of the Internet. Your website does not need to be state of the art, yet it needs to be modern. Outdated websites can do more harm than good to a business since they can make customers question the validity of your business.
Use Social Media
Social media is another place where you want to build your presence. Dropping a business a message on Facebook is a very convenient way for customers. Additionally, you can use your social pages to showcase your products or services and build better relationships with customers.
Due to the way social media works it is often the best way to proactively and reactively reach out to customers. And on top of that it can serve as a gateway to your website – you can use entertaining posts to redirect customers to your website where they can learn more about your product or service.
Last but not least, make sure you list your business on listing websites to additionally increase your exposure. Registering a Google My Business page is also advisable.
Go for Local SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) has been a highly discussed topic in the world of marketing for years. Search engine algorithms are evolving the entire time to mimic how customers search for things online in order to provide them with the most accurate information.
SEO can be tailored to increase your exposure in your local area by targeting local keywords. the best way to do that is through content – useful information that your customers might be after, case studies, DIYs and similar. Nowadays the majority of businesses run their own blogs and get involved in guest blogging and you can clearly see the reasons why.
Use The Cloud
Cloud services are brilliant even for personal use but when it comes to professional use, they are real life-savers. Syncing all of your devices and storing data on the cloud can spare you a lot of trouble. You can access the information from anywhere in the world.
Build an Email List
Email marketing is much more than just spam. When done properly, email marketing can be very efficient. That’s why building an email list should be working hand in hand with your other digital marketing efforts.
If you are a service provider, an email list can be very useful for you and you don’t have to put a lot of effort into building it. Customers ask for quotes which is a way to obtain their email address with consent. If you send a quote to someone and you never hear back, you now have a way to follow the lead and contact them and negotiate.
Stay Connected With Your Employees
Service providers are always on the move. Using your phone to keep in touch and update them with status on tasks and new jobs coming in might be difficult. Such working principle is outdated nowadays since it is very limited and demanding, even if you have a good job planning software you would need to update the tasks manually based on what the employee told you over the phone.
Instead, opt-in for a scheduling service that will cut down on processing time and increase efficiency. Modern sophisticated software can do much more than just job scheduling – you can get live updates, store customer information, send quotes and invoices and see the location of your employees in real-time.
Using one such sophisticated software will facilitate your life as a business owner because you will be able to kill quite a few birds with one stone.
Trends usually start on social media and you can use that to your own advantage. Regardless if you are selling products or if you are a service provider, you can get involved in trends such as the 10 years challenge that completely took over social media. You can show how your products evolved throughout the years or how a good service job made a big difference. Follow trending hashtags and think outside of the box – if you are creative enough you will find a way to fit your business in easily.
Ask for Reviews
If you look online, you will find many more negative than positive reviews. It is simply human nature – we tend to show frustration more than gratitude. If you have happy customers you have dealt with, simply ask them to write you a good review. There is no way they will say no if they are happy with your product or your service. In that way, new potential customers can see results and satisfaction, making you a more credible provider in their eyes.
Technology is clearly shaping the way we live our lives and businesses are not immune to the change. Instead of falling in the shadows, use the latest trends and technologies to grow your business and gain loyal customers.
Marie Erhart is a Success Manager at FieldPulse, creators of field service software that lets you run your entire contracting business from a single app. She works with contractors to help them grow their business using best practices.