This is one of the most common doubts of local companies about Digital Marketing. These days, one of the big questions is: do local businesses need to have a digital presence?
After all, why invest in digital marketing if the company is exclusively offline? If you don’t serve other locations and don’t sell on the internet. The question is pertinent, but the answer is simple: without an online presence, your company may be missing out on opportunities.
Where do you imagine people looking for local services and products in this digital world we live in? In addition to consulting relatives and friends, people always search on Google, Facebook, and several other digital media. Or do you believe that people still use telephone directories?
Who hasn’t heard statements like having a digital presence is fundamental or that if your company isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist. There is indeed a kernel of truth in these sentences. And no matter how small your business, how do you imagine new customers will get to know your products and services?
Many companies justify themselves by saying that they already work on the company’s ” marketing “. But what they do is distribute business cards, flyers, pamphlets, advertise on the radio and sometimes even invest in billboards. But is this the ideal branding to strengthen the brand and make it known?
I’m not saying that offline strategies aren’t essential or efficient. However, there are some disadvantages to investing only in this type of “guerrilla marketing”. One of them is that offline actions usually reach a very restricted audience, not always looking for services or products offered by your business.
But Why Invest In Digital Marketing If My Business Is Local?
If the company operates only offline and is small, what are the chances of people becoming aware that it exists? Because it is a small business, having a digital presence becomes essential. When small businesses do not have a consolidated branding strategy, they will hardly be remembered by people. Your company may even have the solution that many people are looking for, but do they know your company exists? Do they even know how to find your business?
The fact is, somehow, you need to be findable by your audience. It would help if you were accessible in some way so people can find your business when they search.
There is also a myth that investing in digital marketing is very expensive. You need to have an agency to take care of your website, social media or create ads. You don’t necessarily need to have a website to start a digital presence. There is no manual, one recipe that is perfect for all cases. What works for one business may not work for others.
Of course, for more robust digital marketing strategies, a website is essential. But if your company is that small, it is possible to start with a more straightforward and more accessible design and evolve as the business grows. But the most important thing right now is to take the first step. That is, placing your business in Google search results. And there are other ways to be on Google without necessarily having a website or a social network.
How To Be Found On Google
Many people don’t know, but today Google has prioritized local searches much more. That is, when a user located in a particular city searches, the robots tend to deliver results geographically close to this user. And this is invaluable information for small local businesses.
An extremely efficient and still little known tool is Google My Business. In addition to being free, it is pretty simple to use and of great value for local businesses. Google My Business is a business registration form on Google. When a company creates an account and a user searches for it on Google, a card similar to this one appears:
Other Ways To Appear On Google
Creating a social network for your business is also a cheap option; it’s usually free and doesn’t require excellent knowledge. However, it is necessary to know that there is a difference between accounts for people and companies. On Facebook, for example, you create Profiles for people and Fan Pages for companies. It may seem irrelevant, but this detail makes all the difference, as each one has different features.
When creating an account for your business, the most important thing is to keep the information always up to date and a specific frequency of postings. After all, the saying goes on social networks: Those who are not seen are not remembered. But remember, the fact that your company has a social network does not eliminate the importance of having a card in Google My Business, ok? They are two different things, and one does not cancel out the other; on the contrary, they complement each other.