You May Not Even Know What You Need
As a medium-sized business, we know the struggles that come as a part of running a small business. One of the constant challenges we face is adapting to the ever-changing marketing landscape of today. While the needs of every industry are unique, this is a struggle we all face. As a trusted ally of SMBs nationwide, we recommend modernization and long-term growth strategies to all of our clients. To give you a checklist so to speak, this article outlines 5 must-haves for the modern SMb that you should be implementing to keep up with your competition.
1. A mobile-friendly online presence
Statistic: Up to 70% of web traffic happens on a mobile device (CIODive, 2018)
The modern consumer refers to his or her mobile phone for information. Therefore, online listings that link to your website are a definite must-have for your SMB. Best practice requires that your website be mobile-friendly and have click-to-call buttons so that your website’s visitors can call you. In addition, having a website increases your online visibility. Therefore, the likelihood of your website showing up on a search increases. By not having online listings or a website, you eliminate digital channels as a source of leads and potential customers.
2. Up-to-date listings
Statistic: 69% of smartphone users also say that they are more likely to buy from companies with mobile sites that easily address their questions or concerns (BrightEdge, 2017)
Therefore, the second must-have for your SMB is to ensure that all your listings are up-to-date and provide potential customers with accurate information or potential customers will move on to the next listing. Your information is a source of credibility in the eyes of the consumer. If your information is inconsistent between platforms, you will lose the trust of consumers and they will move onto the next listing. Posting your business online is a good start, but actively managing your listings from thereon is what separates successful businesses from the unsuccessful ones.
3. SMS loyalty program
Statistic: 90% vs 20% – Open rate of SMS compared to email open rates (Source)
Establishing a connection between your brand and customers will promote repeat business, word of mouth marketing, and a customer-centered culture. By doing so, you will effectively differentiate yourself from your competitors, which is the end goal of all the SMB must-haves we have outlined so far. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing them to your competitors. One way to do so is by implementing an SMS loyalty program that will maintain a connection between your brand and customers post-sale. The best part is that an SMS marketing program is both cheap and effective.
4. Reputation management
Statistic: 97% of people read reviews for local businesses. (BIA/Kelsey)
Another must-have for your SMB is reputation management. You must stay on top of customer reviews to protect your company’s image. In addition, you must promote positive reviews from customers. After all, Google and potential customers alike use your existing customers’ reviews as indicators of your business’ credibility. Therefore, they are of paramount importance to your SMB. The funny thing is that all you have to do is ask when it comes to customer reviews. If you ask your customers to write a review through an SMS program, for example, they will usually write one. In addition, the positivity of reviews statistically rises when the business asks for one.
5. Gift cards
Statistic: Each year more than $1 billion in gift cards go unspent (EJ Gift Cards)
It is worth your while to turn your customers into ambassadors of your brand. By doing so, you are tapping into one of the cheapest and most sustainable forms of marketing. Get your customers to talk about your business and your sales will grow exponentially. Do so by offering gift cards. Not only are the free in most cases, but also they provide your business with upfront cash flow and promote repeat visits. In addition, customers often end up spending more than the card’s value.
As you can see, your path to modernization is not difficult. The marketing methods outlined throughout this article, which should now serve as your SMB’s guide to modernization, are cheap and effective. Nevertheless, they are programs you require in order to stay relevant. There is no reason to say no to the must-haves outlined for your SMB.
We are your one-stop-shop for all things small business marketing
At TAPLocal, we provide all of your SMB’s must-haves, including web design services, online listings management, reputation management, text message marketing program, and payment processing solutions that include free personalized gift cards.