Small businesses have a lot of advantages over their large competitors. They can compete on price, offer better customer service, and have the flexibility to adapt quickly if the market changes. But the one area where small businesses often fall short is digital marketing.
With limited resources and sometimes not even a dedicated marketing person on staff, it can be difficult for small business owners in Chicago to compete with their bigger competitors online.
Even if you don’t have much experience with SEO or SEM, you can still dominate your local market by using these seven strategies:
1. Organic Google Search Results
When it comes to small business marketing, organic search results are the golden ticket. After all, an average person spends over four hours a day on smartphones alone. The number increases when we add tablet and desktop data to it. This means your potential customers are already spending a lot of time online looking for local businesses and services in Chicago.
But with big companies in the SEO race, how can the small businesses in Chicago outperform them? The answer is local SEO. Local SEO focuses on location-specific search terms like “best restaurant in Chicago” or “top retailers in Chicago.” This is where local businesses in Chicago can hold firm and leave multinational companies behind.
While local SEO can help you dominate local Chicago markets, it’s not easy to implement it in your marketing strategy. You need to define an SEO strategy, find the trending keywords, create SEO-optimized content, etc. If you don’t have the proper knowledge and guidance, your efforts can go in vain. Hence, it is best to seek help from reliable and professional consultants like Bruce Jones SEO for best results. The SEO experts will be able to help you with keyword research and define an SEO strategy that can help boost the organic ranking of your website. Thus, more people will know about your business and become your customers.
2. Converting Website Visitors Into Customers
Your website is the key to driving inbound leads and converting them into customers. Here are some ways to convert your website visitors into customers:
- Website design – A well-designed website is critical because it will help you establish trust with your potential customers, which is essential if you want to convert those potentials into actual customers.
- Website content – The more relevant content you have, the more likely people will visit your site and eventually become paying clients. Therefore, you must create as much relevant content as possible for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes and to attract new clients.
- Website usability – When visitors land on one of your pages, they should be able to easily navigate through all the information you provide without having any problems along the way. If there are too many hoops or hurdles for them when trying to navigate through your site, chances are good that they’ll leave instead of becoming actual paying clients! That’s why usability should always be considered when developing any digital product, including software programs or web pages!
3. Social Media Engagement
Social media is a great way to engage with customers and build a community. It’s also great to promote your business, share content, and get customer feedback. Here are some tips for using social media for these purposes:
- Respond promptly to customer comments or questions on your social media pages. If you don’t respond quickly enough, people will think you don’t care about them!
- Post engaging content regularly so that people will keep coming back to see what you have going on the next time they visit your page. This could include photos of new products in development or promotions/sales offered at the store location where they live.
- You can also use social media sites like Facebook to promote your local business by posting articles related to a location or event in Chicago. For instance, you can write about news or market trends in Chicago that relates to your business.
4. Participate in Local Events
Local events are a great way to boost your business’s presence in Chicago’s local markets. You can choose from many annual events in Chicago based on the relevance of your products or services.
Suppose you are a sports clothing retailer; you can market your business by placing holdings and flyers in the Chicago Marathon. The Chicago Marathon hosts runners from across the world. Hence, you can easily promote your company at such a huge event. Moreover, you can also get permission to have a small stall at the event site to sell your products to the runners.
Similarly, if you are a restaurant owner, you can have a small stall at the Taste of Chicago festival in lakefront Grant Park. This will give you exposure to food enthusiasts and an opportunity to make them your regular customers.
5. Community Outreach and Partnerships
Community outreach and partnerships are an excellent way for small businesses to strengthen their local presence. Here are some ideas:
- Work with other local businesses. You can collaborate on projects, advertise, and even swap staff members. If you have expertise in a specific field, offer to share it with others by hosting workshops or seminars at your store or office space.
- Partner with local non-profits and charities that share your values. Offer discounts or coupons for donations or volunteer opportunities, especially during fundraising events like 5k runs/walks or annual food drives/sales/flea markets. This will help both parties gain visibility in the community while also giving back to those who need it most!
- Partner with local government departments (e.g., fire department) if they’re interested in having employees attend training programs at your place of business instead of theirs; this could save them thousands of dollars per year while helping recruit new talent too!
You can use many strategies to dominate the local markets of Chicago. The key is ensuring you use a tailored strategy to promote your brand in Chicago. Also, the plan should fit your needs and budget. Follow the tips above for a standard layout, and then tailor the strategy according to your needs.