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      Pinterest Marketing Guide: How to Promote Your Business in 2021


       

      If you run an online business, chances are you spend a lot of time on your social media marketing. If you’re not including Pinterest in your marketing plan, you could be missing out.

      Pinterest is a highly visual platform that functions more like a search engine than a social network. As a result, you can reach new audiences, drive more traffic to your site, and access detailed analytics to help you achieve your goals. Even better, Pinterest is a fairly easy platform to get started with.

      In this guide, we’ll discuss why you might want to get your business on Pinterest. Then we’ll share six steps to help you set up an account, create shareable Pins, and build your presence on this platform. Let’s get started on your Pinterest marketing strategy!

      Why You Might Want to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Business

      Pinterest is so much more than a social media platform. It’s actually a visual search engine, which comes with a unique set of advantages for businesses. For one, content lasts much longer than on other platforms, meaning your Pins can continue to yield results for you months after you post them.

      Something else that makes Pinterest attractive is its user base. The platform boasts approximately 459 million monthly users, most of whom are adults. If this is a demographic you’d like to target, it’s smart to put your business on this platform.

      Finally, 80% of Pinners discover new brands or products on Pinterest. This makes it an excellent tool for putting yourself on the radar of new audiences.

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      Pinterest Marketing Guide: How to Promote Your Business in 2021 (In 6 Steps)

      Now that you’ve seen that Pinterest can be a valuable addition to your marketing strategy, let’s have a look at six steps for getting started.

      Step 1: Set Up a Pinterest Business Account

      Your first step will be to set up a Pinterest business account. This account type differs from a personal account in a few key ways. First, you’ll be able to claim your website and other social platforms, so your profile information will show up on every Pinterest Pin that includes your content.

      You’ll also be able to build ads and use them alongside your organic Pins to help drive traffic and conversions. If you’d like some additional guidance, you can sign up for a free ads consultation.

      Finally, a business account will grant you access to detailed analytics. You can pull valuable insights from this data to improve your Pinterest strategy.

      To set up your business account, head to Pinterest Business and click on the Sign Up button. First, you’ll be asked to create an account or log in to an existing one. Next, you’ll be brought to this screen where you can begin building your profile.

      Adding basic profile information to Pinterest Business.

      You can include as much or as little information as you like. You’ll probably want to include a profile picture, as well as a few ways for customers to reach you. If you have a physical location, you can add that information as well. Remember to click on the Save button at the bottom of the screen if you make updates.

      Step 2: Create Popular Pins

      Once you have your Pinterest business account ready to go, it’s time to create some Pins. Before you get started, you’ll want to identify some of the popular trends in your niche. Fortunately, Pinterest provides you with a few tools to accomplish this.

      First, you might want to have a look at Pinterest Predicts. This highly visual report is full of advice for what topics will soon be trending in several niches.

      The Pinterest Predicts tool.

      You can also narrow your search by category or audience. Alternatively, you can download the report in PDF format.

      You might also want to check out Pinterest Trends. This tool is a bit more focused on the present, so you can use it to discover what’s currently trending on Pinterest in different categories.

      Current trends on Pinterest.

      Click on any keyword to see a graph of searches over time. You’ll also see the most popular Pins for the search term, as well as a selection of related trends.

      A graph showing searches over time.

      These tools provide powerful insights that can help you plan the content of your Pins. However, there is also a strong visual component that you’ll want to keep in mind.

      As we said, Pinterest is a highly visual platform, so you’ll want to be sure the images you’re using for your Pins are top-notch. Of course, you’ll want to choose high-quality images, but you’ll also need to pay attention to the size.

      The best Pins are longer than they are wide. While the ideal image size is 735 by 1102 pixels, it’s more important to be mindful of the aspect ratio, which is 2:3. This will prevent the images in your Pins from being truncated in users’ feeds. You’ll also want to add alt text to your Pins, just as you would on your website, to make them accessible.

      Like with your other social media channels, it’s best to keep your Pins aligned with your brand aesthetic. For example, you may want to include a branded logo on your images or just adhere to a specific style when you’re creating content.

      You can make it a bit easier to follow these guidelines by using a tool like Canva.

      Canva, an online photo editing tool.

      With Canva, you’ll have access to various templates for Pins, so you’ll always have the ideal dimensions. Canva also provides some powerful collaboration tools in case you’ll be working with a team. Finally, the Brand Kit feature will make it easy for you to keep your logo, colors, and fonts consistent across all of your social media platforms.

      Pinterest also lets you create video Pins. These play automatically as users scroll through their feeds, so they are more engaging than other Pins.

      When creating a video Pin, keep in mind that users won’t necessarily have their volume on as they scroll through the page. So don’t be afraid to include plenty of text, both to grab attention and to get your message across.

      Once you’ve created some brilliant Pins, the next step is to make sure they’re found. Similar to how you would handle Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website, you’ll rely heavily on keywords to rank high in search results. Therefore, you may want to include them in your Pinterest board names and descriptions. You can also add keywords to your image filenames.

      Step 3: Optimize Your Pins for Maximum Traffic

      So far, we’ve discussed how you can use SEO to be sure your Pins show up in search results. However, there are some other tactics you can try to help drive visitors to your website.

      First, some days and times are better than others for getting eyes on your Pins. While you’ll want to do some experimentation to discover when is best for your content, CoSchedule found that 8-11 p.m., 2-4 a.m., 2-4 p.m., and 1-3 p.m. are the best times to post. Additionally, you may want to publish your content on Fridays and Saturdays.

      You’ll also want other people to Pin your content to their own boards to help widen your reach. You can start by adding a Pinterest button to your website. The Easy Social Share Buttons plugin enables you to do this quickly.

      The Easy Social Share Buttons plugin.

      Of course, you’ll want to be sure you’re including Pin-worthy images with your content and placing them strategically throughout your website. While you’ll likely include a Pin It button with your social share icons, there are a few other places you may want to have one.

      If you have a blog, you can try optimizing your featured image for Pinterest to be sure it looks great when pinned. You might also want the button to appear when a user hovers over your photos or other shareable elements on your site.

      If you have an email newsletter, try including some of your Pins in it. Use this opportunity to show off some of your best content and urge readers to visit your Pinterest page.

      You might also try using a Pin’s Call To Action (CTA) to encourage people to pin your content to their own boards. The more popular a Pin is, the more likely it is to appear in search results and help solidify your reputation as an expert, which can also increase traffic to your site.

      Finally, you might want to connect your Pinterest profile with other social platforms and your website. You can do this by claiming your other accounts.

      From your Pinterest account settings, click on Claim in the menu at the left of the screen. You’ll have the opportunity to claim your website, Instagram, YouTube, Etsy, and Shopify stores. Simply click on the Claim button, log in to your account, and grant Pinterest the required permissions.

      Claiming a social media account on Pinterest.

      Now, any Pins created from your connected platforms will be attributed to you. You’ll also get credit for any Pins you made before you connected other accounts, but this may take a few days.

      Step 4: Build Relationships and Gain Followers

      Like other social media platforms, Pinterest is all about building relationships with your followers. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by posting frequently and consistently.

      Unlike some other social media platforms, overposting isn’t much of a concern with Pinterest. However, you don’t want to publish an entire day’s worth of Pins at one time. So instead, spread them out, keeping the optimal posting times in mind.

      You’ll also want to include a mix of content in your Pinterest strategy. Don’t be afraid to have plenty of content from other accounts if you think your followers will find it interesting. Providing value is essential to creating loyalty among your customers.

      Additionally, remember to respond to any comments left on your Pins. You can also leave friendly, helpful comments on your followers’ Pins to help build connections.

      While communicating with your audience is crucial, you might also want to engage with popular boards outside your immediate network. This tactic can be especially effective if you want to build relationships with influencers. If you decide to reach out this way, you can do some research to ensure that the creators and their content align with your brand values.

      To find popular boards in your niche, start by typing a relevant keyword into the search bar. To narrow your search to boards, use the drop-down menu on the right.

      How to search for boards on Pinterest.

      Once you click on a board, you’ll be able to see the follower count. If you’d like to follow the board, click on the three dots next to the name and select Follow.

      How to follow a board on Pinterest.

      You might also want to try inviting others to Pin on your boards. This can add some diversity to your content. To create a group board, click on the plus sign under the board’s name.

      How to create a group board on Pinterest.

      You’ll be able to set permissions for your collaborators. Choose whether they can change existing Pins or just add their own.

      Collaborator settings for group boards on Pinterest.

      You can also allow them to invite others to the board.

      Collaborator settings for group boards on Pinterest.

      Now, you can search for collaborators by name and invite them to your board. Alternatively, you can copy a link to the board and share it directly with them.

      How to invite collaborators to a shared board.

      You can find people on Pinterest the same way you find boards. After typing the user’s name into the search box, select People from the drop-down menu.

      How to search for people on Pinterest.

      You might want to connect with people you already know, such as friends and family, as well as bloggers or brands that you follow on other platforms. This can help you build a decent following more quickly.

      Step 5: Promote Your Brand

      When it comes to promoting your brand on Pinterest, Rich Pins are one of the most valuable tools you have at your disposal. Rich Pins include additional, real-time information and more ways to direct people to your website.

      Product Rich Pins display the price and availability of your products in real-time. When shoppers click on your Pin, they’ll be brought directly to your website, where they can complete their purchase.

      Meanwhile, Recipe Rich Pins can include ratings, cooking time, a list of ingredients, and whatever other information you might want to include. If you make changes to the recipe on your website, the corresponding Rich Pin will update automatically.

      A Recipe Rich Pin featuring ingredients and cooking time.

      If you’re a blogger, you may want to consider using Article Rich Pins, which display the title, pin description, and author of the piece. Like Recipe Rich Pins, this type of Pin will automatically update when you edit the article.

      Remember to include a relevant link to your website in every one of your Pins. As your content travels across Pinterest, you’ll want to ensure that users can quickly get to the source.

      While you do want to promote your products and services, your followers may get bored if that’s all they see from you. You can mix up your content by regularly pinning from other sources in your niche. While searching for other brands to follow, you can also save interesting Pins to a secret board to share later.

      If you have a blog on your website, you may want to create a board exclusively for your blog posts. This will be especially helpful for those who find you through Pinterest rather than your website, as they’ll quickly see the kind of content you publish.

      Additionally, you might want to put some thought into how you arrange your boards on your profile page. Keeping your most active and popular boards at the top can give a Pinterest user a sense of what your brand is all about. However, save some of this space for your blog posts and product boards as well.

      Pinterest boards on a user’s profile.

      Finally, you can take advantage of holidays, just as you would with blogs and other social media content. Try to have event-based Pins ready at least a month in advance, so you won’t feel rushed to publish content at the last minute. This way, when users are searching for Christmas gift ideas or Thanksgiving recipes on Pinterest, your content is more likely to appear in their feeds.

      Step 6: Track Your Success With Pinterest Analytics

      When you set up a business account, you’ll have access to Pinterest Analytics. You’ll want to get this feature set up as soon as possible so you can begin gathering valuable data, including your audience demographics and click-through rates.

      While you’ll have access to some information right away, to take full advantage, you’ll need to claim your domain. From your Business Hub, you can navigate to Analytics > Conversion Insights. Then click on the Claim domain button, followed by the Claim button next to Websites.

      Claiming a domain on Pinterest.

      You’ll have the option to claim via HTML tag, HTML file, or text record. Finally, enter your website’s URL and click on the Verify button.

      Verifying a website on Pinterest.

      Once you’ve claimed your website, you may also want to join the Verified Merchant Program. You’ll have badging on your profile that can help you generate trust, as well as a Shop tab where Pinterest users can make purchases without going to your website.

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      Get Some Pinterest Followers

      While the thought of getting involved with another social media platform may not be appealing, the potential benefits of using Pinterest will likely make your effort worthwhile. Long-lasting, highly visual content can do a lot to help spread the word about your business.

      Let’s recap the steps we shared for getting your business on Pinterest:

      1. Set up a Pinterest Business account.
      2. Create popular Pins.
      3. Optimize your Pins for maximum traffic.
      4. Build relationships and gain followers.
      5. Promote your brand.
      6. Track your success with Pinterest Analytics.

      Do you need some help with your Pinterest strategy? We can handle social marketing for you! Learn more about our social media marketing services and how we can help you grow your business.



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      30 Inexpensive Ways to Promote Your Website


      These days, anyone can build a stellar website. Fun fact: There are more than 1 billion websites around the world, with new ones created every second.

      Among all that internet noise, your website and ideas deserve to stand out. And that means you’ve got to advertise! Fight to get your name and brand out there and then draw visitors to your site.

      But what if you’re on a budget?

      You’re in luck! Effectively promoting your new website can be done on the cheap. Experiment with these free and inexpensive website promotion ideas and watch the traffic roll in!

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      1. SEO Keywords

      When you are looking for the answer to a question or solution to a problem, your first resource is probably Google. Google searches can be a powerful source of website traffic – if you play your cards right. When your potential customers search for something on Google, they aren’t likely to look down past the top two or three results. So your goal is to get keyword searches related to your website to show up near the top. That’s where search engine optimization ( or SEO strategy) comes in.

      SEO is the science/art of increasing your website’s visibility in organic search engine results. You can do this by filling your pages with key phrases that people are likely to search for. SEO is a basic but essential method of bringing traffic to your website; without it, your website can get lost among the thousands of voices clamoring for your visitors’ attention.

      You can improve your website’s search result rankings by doing things like creating and editing quality content to include key search phrases and increasing your linkbacks – the number of links your website gets from other sites. Backlinks are especially important to your Google rankings, as they demonstrate the popularity of your website.

      Use Google AdWords keyword planner to find keywords related to your website and get stats on how often they are searched in your target market. Use this insider info to plan your content to draw in organic search engine traffic. Learn how to utilize this tool, and you may discover a few new keywords to power up your content.

      While SEO can be cost-effective — if you do the work yourself, you won’t have to pay anything for it — optimizing your website for search engines is definitely not a quick fix. It can take time to master SEO methods and to optimize your website, and it can take some time to build links, optimize pages, and determine which keywords bring in new visitors. You might consider hiring or contracting with an SEO marketing expert if your budget permits or invest your time in learning the tricks yourself.

      2. Pay Per Click

      Pay-per-click (PCC) advertising is another method to make Google work for you — albeit one that takes a bit of cash. Basically, instead of leaving your website’s search engine rankings to chance, you’ll create an ad and pay a fixed price for every click your ad gets when it shows up on a Google search or website. Your goal is to convert clicks into customers, hopefully seeing a strong return on investment. Google AdWords has no specific spending requirement, so you can easily keep within your budget and focus on your ROI.

      3. Email Marketing

      Email marketing is a tried-and-true tool for communicating with your customers and finding and retaining new ones. It essentially involves collecting the email addresses of any and every potential customer and then sharing content — newsletters, promotions, discounts, and information — as a way of building relationships. Email marketing can draw past visitors back to your website by sharing new content or promotions. The best part about this tool? An amazing average ROI of $44 to every dollar spent.

      4. Blogging

      Integrate original, relevant blog content into your website. It’s a prime place to include SEO-optimized keywords and build a following of loyal readers who will come back for more. Include videos, photos, and graphics , and encourage readers to share posts they love.

      Once you’ve mastered your own blog , look to others in your niche market. Search out blogs that accept guest blogging pitches. Peruse their posts, take a look at their submission guidelines, and polish up a pitch to send over. If your pitch is accepted, make sure to include a link to your website in your bio to send traffic your way.

      Last but not least, leaving thoughtful and insightful comments on the blogs you follow, especially influential ones in your field, is a great way to get noticed by blog writers and their readers. Make sure you include a link to your website or share specific content related to the post you are commenting on.

      5. Create Your Own Infographics

      Infographics are clickable and shareable. They are great sources of backlinks to your site, and they are can be simple to make on websites like infogr.am and Canva. When designing infographics and incorporating them into your site, keep your entire audience in mind; make sure the graphics are accessible to all users.

      6. Reciprocal Linking

      The more sites that link to yours, the more important search engines will assume you to be — and the higher your website will rank in search results. Including a link to another site in exchange for them including a link to yours can build traffic and post search engine juice, particularly when done with reputable sites relevant to your business and content.

      7. Retargeting

      One of the greatest frustrations for small online businesses is seeing the majority of their traffic leave without making a purchase. Retargeting advertising uses cookies to create ads on other sites that will lure your website visitor back to your website. After you’ve put so much into getting people to your business website, it might be worth the extra buck to get them back.

      8. Signature Branding

      Create a fun, appealing, and recognizable signature for your email, blog posts, or even photos, videos, and shareable content. This is a great way to get people to recognize and understand your brand — and to draw their eyes to your URL.

      9. Facebook Ads

      The most effective advertising reaches people where they are most of the time. And for millions of Americans across all demographics, that place is their Facebook page. If you have a limited advertising budget for your website and are looking to generate a great ROI, a Facebook ad is a great bet. You can create a targeted ad that reaches users based on location, age, gender, interests, and even options like friends of current followers or people who like specific pages. Like Google AdWords, you can set a budget and either pay for clicks or pay when people see your ad.

      10. Facebook Pages and Groups

      It doesn’t cost a cent to create social media accounts for your website or small business . Facebook groups and business pages will help you interact with your followers, build a community, and share your content. Put a little bit of green behind your posts to push them to the top of your follower’s feeds so you can make sure your voice is heard, and encourage sharing by offering competitions, discounts, or giveaways to any Facebook fan who shares your posts or tags a friend.

      And don’t forget to look beyond Facebook: Other platforms will also help you connect and share. It isn’t necessary to have an account on every social media platform; stick with the ones popular with your audience, and don’t be afraid to experiment with newer forms of social media. Your social media presence should be something that’s always evolving.

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      11. Instagram Story

      Instagram stories appear continuously above users’ feeds. Create Instagram stories to engage your followers — make sure your branding is clear and your message succinct and memorable, as these posts are short and disappear after 24 hours — or use paid ads, which will appear alongside posts.

      12. Pinterest

      Pinterest is the social network of things and ideas. If your website’s focus is artistic, crafty, style, or anything visual or DIY, you should have been on Pinterest yesterday. Create boards and fill them with pins to share your style, establish your expertise, and find your people – and promote your website’s content . If your audience gravitates to this platform, consider budgeting a little extra to promote your pins and build brand awareness.

      13. LinkedIn

      Depending on your website’s purpose and brand, LinkedIn might be the perfect social tool to drive traffic. Leverage it by completing an interesting profile and creating connections. Follow influential people in your field and read what they share. Join (or create) relevant groups, and post content from your website’s blog (with links) often. Comment smartly on other posts regularly (any exposure for your name helps direct traffic to your website), and don’t be afraid to send your content to people individually.

      14. Connect with Micro-Influencers

      Maybe your business isn’t quite big enough for a celebrity endorsement. But how about a “mini-celebrity” in your field? Connect with micro-influencers — people on social media with a small circle of influence and high levels of engagement from their niche followers. Micro-influencers generally charge affordable fees for sponsored posts and may even choose to promote you for free if you send product samples.

      15. Google My Business

      List your business for free with Google My Business, so when potential customers search local businesses or look on Google Maps, your business will show up, complete with hours, location, reviews, etc. Make sure your listing includes a link to your website. Bonus: registering with Google’s business directory can improve your search-result visibility.

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      16. Bing Places

      Google may be the big kid on the block, but, believe it or not, other search engines and directories exist, and people — maybe your potential customers — use them too. Don’t forget to list your business with Bing Places, another freebie website promotion tool.

      17. Yellow Pages

      The phone book has moved online — and it offers free business listings. Listing with the Yellow Pages can be particularly helpful for location-focused small businesses, such as contractors, doctors, and restaurants.

      18. Other Online Directories

      Every link helps, right? The internet is filled with free online business directories. Once you’ve checked off the ones we’ve already mentioned, go to town with any others. But make sure to never pay for a basic listing — even Google, where you will likely get more exposure, offers directory space for free. These sites will get you started: Local.com, Simply Worthy, eLocal, Manta, Insider Pages, and Moo-Directory.

      19. Submit to Search Engines

      When you create your website or add new content, within a week or so, it will be found and indexed by major search engines and show up in search results. If you are anxious to be indexed sooner (or want to check and double-check that your site is found), you can manually submit URLs for free to Google, Bing, and Yahoo (Yahoo uses the same Search Engine as Bing. Great news, submission to Bing means submission to Yahoo).

      If you want to submit to multiple search engines at the same time, including some of the lesser-used sites, a website like Submit Express will submit your website to dozens of search engines for free — and yes, Google is one of them. Here are a few more submission sites to check out: Entire Web, SubmitX, and So Much.

      20. Webmaster Accounts

      Set up webmaster accounts with both Google and Bing, ideally as soon as you set up your website. Doing so makes sure your site is indexed with them and will be included in their search results, and it will allow them to communicate with you about any problems or recommendations for your website. Also, there’s something satisfyingly ego-stroking about calling yourself a “webmaster.”

      21. Yelp

      If you own a local restaurant, your website should be the cornerstone of your online presence — and Yelp will help your customers get there. While the site can be useful to any number of local businesses, it is the first choice of foodies on the go looking for good eats. Respond to reviews, post photos and menu options, offer discounts, and link to your website and blog.

      22. Backlinks

      Whenever another site, especially an established site, publishes a link to your website, it’s more likely that your site will be found by search engines. Links back to your site are called, appropriately, backlinks. Just one link back should be enough to ensure your site is found, but the more backlinks, the more prestigious search engines assume it to be — and the better your rankings. An easy way to get a backlink is to make a comment on a popular blog, ideally a respected one in your field. Most blogs will let you include a link to your own site with your comment.

      23. Quora

      Like Yahoo Answers, Quora is a searchable online place for people with questions and people with answers to mingle. Follow, ask, and answer questions in your area of interest, and include the address of your blog in your profile and answer credentials. You can include links to your blog in answers you write, but do so with caution: Quora will block answers filled with links as spam, and blatant self-promotion will garner no respect (or upvotes).

      24. Help a Reporter Out

      Press coverage of your business will help get your name out there and establish you as an expert in your field. Get media attention by registering with Help a Reporter Out, a free database that connects reporters from legitimate outlets to sources they can interview for their articles. It’s a win-win: The journalists get the scoop and you get press coverage — plus a chance to link to your site if the story is published online. After you register, you’ll receive source requests relevant to your industry three times per day and can then pitch your expertise to the reporter.

      25. YouTube

      Creating videos and uploading them to YouTube can spread your content (and links to your website) around YouTube itself — and from there, Google will index and make searchable your content. You can embed it in your blog and share on your social media accounts, and so can other users. Don’t stress about the pressure to go viral; while an admirable goal, a video doesn’t need two million views to be effective.

      Make sure the description links to your website, and include a call to action in the video — ideally one that takes viewers to your website. YouTube videos can also help you generate a bit of cash. Additionally, if you’re already making videos, consider creating ads to run with others’ videos for a potentially satisfying ROI.

      26. Reddit

      Reddit is probably the king of social bookmarking. The self-styled “front page of the internet,” Reddit allows users to submit stories, images, videos, etc., from across the internet, and other users can either upvote or downvote these submissions.

      While the site is a great driver of internet traffic, the Reddit community generally frowns upon users who only share their own content. Become an active user and regularly share and interact with other posts, along with posting your own content. Be warned: Redditors are a tough crowd so don’t be discouraged if your posts flop or garner a negative comment to two.

      27. Digg

      Another social bookmarking site, Digg helps users find blog posts and other content, as well as share and promote stories they like. Similar to Reddit, users submit web pages by entering the URL and a short description; each submission can be discovered by other viewers who will upvote or “digg” interesting content.

      Digg can be a little bit tricky as it is dominated by a handful of influential users who control which stories make it to the homepage and which get lost in the crowd. If your story makes it, it can drive a huge amount of traffic. As with Reddit, it’s essential to become active on the network and avoid digging and submitting only your own stuff.

      28. Product Hunt

      Product Hunt is the Skymall of new apps, websites, games, and devices — a haven for techies in search of the next big thing. Being discovered on Product Hunt can be a huge win for your business. Before submitting your product, make sure it qualifies.

      29. Medium

      While platforms like Instagram are great for photographers and fashion stylists, Medium is the platform for readers. Anyone can write and publish a story or blog post on Medium, and other users find, comment, applaud, and interact with articles and authors. Even if you have your own blog, networking and publishing on Medium (post unique content, not rehashes of posts from your blog) to increase visibility for your business and attract more traffic to your site.

      30. Use Expert Sources

      To give your content an authoritative boost, contact and interview experts in your field. Your own list of five ways to bug-proof your garden may draw clicks, but up that to ten tips from a long-time organic farmer, and you’ve got a shareable post that lends credibility to your entire site. If your sources include well-known names that boast a sizable following of their own, you may draw their fans to your site. Let your sources know when you publish, and you may get a digital shoutout.



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      12 Marketing Strategies to Promote Your Local Business


      Capturing new customers in your local market can be a challenge. Not only can people be set in their ways and routines, but local marketing channels can also be expensive and scarce. This means that creativity is a must when developing a strategy to promote your local business.

      The good news is that there are lots of ways business owners can maximize both high-tech and low-tech options to promote their business.

      What’s more, local promotion doesn’t have to break the bank! Understanding where you’re most likely to find success with your customers will be the key to success in this area.

      In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive list of ways to promote your local business. We’ll also take a quick look at what the statistics say about marketing locally. Let’s get started!

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      Why Your Local Business Needs a Marketing Strategy

      Succeeding in the local business market can be tough, so having a solid marketing strategy is vital for building up your revenue and clientele. When small businesses succeed, it’s good for everyone.

      In fact, small and local businesses have a huge impact on the national economy and employment rates. In that regard, it’s important to understand the local business landscape when it comes to online search and customer habits.

      For example, it’s useful to know that online reviews definitely matter in this business category. In a recent survey, 82% of consumers said they read online reviews before visiting a local business.

      This means you’ll want to focus on tools that will help with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Additionally, it’s smart to encourage customers to leave positive reviews for others to see.

      Of course, this is just one digital marketing strategy. Throughout the rest of this post, we’ll look at others marketing ideas — such as leveraging tools like online listings, getting involved in your local community, improving customer care, leveraging social media platforms, creating blog content, and more.

      How to Promote Your Local Business With These 12 Marketing Tactics

      Promoting your local business effectively can require a multifaceted approach. This list of 12 marketing ideas will give you a place to start.

      1. Tidy Up Your Online Listings for Greater Visibility

      Creating a free online listing for your local business can be the most effective way to get its information out there. An online listing is essentially any place you can list your business and its relevant information for potential customers to see.

      With options such as Yelp and Google My Business, you can make sure the right information about your business is on the web.

      The Google My Business login page.

      Getting started with the latter platform simply requires you to search for and claim your business. Your account is free and enables you to manage all of your information on Google. Therefore, it’s vital to keep these details up to date.

      2. Revamp Your Website or Start a Blog to Engage Customers

      If you’re looking for new ways to engage with customers online, revamping your website and starting a blog are both worthwhile approaches. WordPress is an ideal platform for doing this, as it is both beginner-friendly and flexible. If you’re looking to make over your site or begin blogging about your business, we can’t recommend WordPress enough.

      To help you customize your site, you’ll find themes and plugins for all niches. Of course, to get started with a website for your business, you’ll also need a reliable web host and some interesting content to promote your shop!

      3. Work on Your Local SEO Tactics to Boost Search Visibility

      It’s been shown that local search has the highest conversion rates of all local advertising channels. This means that it’s important to fine-tune your site so it ranks well on every major search engine.

      We mentioned Google My Business previously, but it comes into play here as well. Some of your local SEO work can be done through that platform. You’ll want to aim for becoming a listing in the “3-pack.” This is the list of three businesses that appear under the Google map in a search with local intent.

      Three search results under a Google Map.

      Another way to boost your local SEO is to build up as many local citations as you can. A citation is anywhere online that your business’ name, address, phone number, and website URL appears.

      4. Launch a Mobile App to Boost User Engagement

      Mobile internet usage accounted for nearly half of all web traffic early in 2019, and researchers predict that it will continue to rise. With that being said, it makes sense to create a way to engage with your customers on their mobile devices.

      If you have the resources to hire a programmer, that’s the simplest solution. However, there are other ways to create an app that don’t require too much technical know-how. Apps can include handy features such as loyalty rewards, coupons, business news, and more.

      5. Run a Contest to Keep Users Engaged and Interested

      Everyone loves to win stuff. That’s why running a contest can help you draw in customers. Whether you run your contest online (via social media or your website) or directly in your store, it’s something your audience is highly likely to share.

      What’s more, online, users are 99% more likely to share a contest with others if it improves their chances of winning. You could invite your customers to help you design a new logo or a piece of branded gear.

      An example of a design contest.

      Running a contest in your physical store can be as simple as collecting business cards for a monthly drawing or highlighting a customer of the month. Either way, this is a fun and popular option that’s great for any kind of local business.

      6. Form Local Partnerships With Influential People

      Collaboration can be the key to success in many business situations. If your community has a need that your business can help meet, why not partner up? Joining forces with organizations or even other businesses will show customers that you’re community-minded and trustworthy.

      Just as influencers make an impact on social media marketing, you can use your local influencers in the same way, whether they are online or in-person. This might include inviting them to host an event at your business, or asking them to endorse your product. Word-of-mouth marketing works!

      7. Host an Event to Benefit the Area

      Local company owners have the unique opportunity to use their businesses for the good of the community. Not only can you add to the local economy, but you can leverage your brand to help raise funds or otherwise benefit your area.

      When implementing this strategy, you’ll want to choose a cause that aligns with your brand practices and values. If you can partner with a local organization, that’s even better! In fact, hosting an event in your shop or organizing a volunteer day to help out in your community are all ways you can be philanthropic while also promoting your business.

      8. Get Involved in the Community by Joining Chamber Groups

      Almost every community has a local chamber of commerce. These groups are designed to help support the growth of local businesses and joining them is a highly-recommended practice to build brand awareness. Checking your local chamber benefits is a good first step.

      Local chamber of commerce benefits.

      As a member of your chamber of commerce, your community will see you as a trusted member of the local economy. Second, most local chambers offer a number of discounts to helpful resources for local businesses (such as printing and marketing services). Additionally, you can offer discounts to chamber members to encourage support of your business.

      9. Build Up a Newsletter and Subscriber List for Enhanced Communication

      An email list is a valuable tool for keeping your customers updated and engaged. You don’t want to overdo it, but regular communication with your customers can lead to valuable word-of-mouth recommendations.

      You can use both online and in-store techniques to attract subscribers. There are many tools available for building your newsletter and email lists. If you don’t have a branded, custom email for your business, that’s also a smart step to take before you start sending out messages.

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      10. Encourage Loyal Customers with a Rewards Program

      Loyalty programs are a common option for many small and local businesses. It builds good connections with customers when you’re able to offer rewards for their loyalty.

      There are plenty of examples out there to work from, such as Dunkin’s “DDPerks” program.

      Dunkin’ Donuts reward perks.

      Whether you create an app for loyalty rewards or simply print punch cards, your customers should appreciate the gesture.

      In fact, 69% of consumers report that their choice of retailer is impacted by where they can get the best rewards. Businesses also report that even a 5% increase in customer loyalty can have a big impact on their annual profits.

      11. Maintain Regulars With Improved Customer Service

      When you are a frequent patron of a business, it’s likely due in part to the way you’re treated. If you employ staff at your local business, it might be worthwhile to tackle your overall customer service as a group and establish some goals and norms.

      Holding a training session and providing professional development materials for your employees are two ways you can start building a culture of customer care. Additionally, you can involve your customers in the process by asking them for feedback or creating a recognition program for your employees.

      12. Offer Seasonal or Themed Discounts to Boost Sales

      Shoppers tend to be creatures of habit. So you can take advantage of many holiday-related and seasonal opportunities throughout the year. This might mean getting creative and hosting a Christmas in July sale or latching onto fun, quirky occasions such as “Pi Day.”

      Newegg’s Pi Day sale.

      This enables you to promote your business outside of run-of-the-mill shopping holidays. You can appeal to bargain shoppers, and keep sales up during the times of year when you might otherwise see a dip in profits.

      Small Business Marketing Made Simple

      Mastering the skills needed to effectively promote your local business can take effort. However, there are many ways small business owners can get creative and engage with regional customers. Mixing and matching the items on this list can help you build the perfect toolbox of local promotion techniques.

      Above all, remember to tidy up your online listings and create a Google My Business account, brush up on your customer service, and connect with your community through events and partnerships. All of these strategies can help boost those vital online customer reviews for your brand.

      If you’re looking for more ways to grow your business, we’ve got you covered! Check out these helpful posts for tips and tricks to get your local business on the map.

      Are you ready for a big rush on your local business? Implementing these promotional techniques and showcasing your hard work with a professionally-hosted website should have customers lining up down the street!



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