The Omnichannel Approach to Local Business

local business

Omnichannel marketing may seem like the purview of large national and multinational corporations with their own fully-staffed in-house marketing divisions, but smaller, local businesses can also benefit from an omnichannel strategy. In fact, small and midsize companies throughout the United States have embraced omnichannel marketing to better serve their existing clients, target new clients, and compete with those larger businesses in their local markets.

How Omnichannel Marketing Works

Omnichannel marketing is a way to not only reach customers through multiple marketing channels — PPC, organic search, email, social media, etc. — but to collect data, anticipate the needs and wants of the client, and improve the overall user experience. Any time a client or potential client peruses an email you’ve sent or clicks on an ad in their social media feed, they are potentially providing your company with information about their interests and shopping habits. As you collect data on masses of customers, you can make determinations about shopping habits, what type of shopper is most likely to buy your product or use your service, and how best to cater to those consumers. The information can also help you develop strategies to maximize your marketing return on investment.

Omnichannel for Local Businesses

Locally-based businesses often have an advantage when competing with large chains and online retailers. They are generally more familiar with the regional preferences of their customer base. That sort of “on the ground” intel can take years for a larger company that’s based in another state or country to develop. It can also be a huge benefit when it comes to responsiveness.

Being a local business means that you’re experiencing the same changes and events that your customers are. When a local trend begins to shift, you don’t have to wait for an internal report or news article to find out about it. You and your employees have eyes on the scene, and you can tailor your marketing strategy to what you’re seeing.

Local Business Omnichannel Marketing Tools

Fortunately, the size of your business or geographic reach is not a limiting factor when it comes to using professional marketing tools to engage with your base. Here are some of the effective channels that any business can use to develop an omnichannel strategy:

Social Media and Community Engagement

Social media is a fantastic way to connect with the local community. You can promote local events or giveaways and garner social credit in your geographic market through social media apps. Some examples of community engagement include tastings at restaurants, pop-up booths at events, sales at brick and mortar establishments, etc. Social media offers a new spin on these traditional, battle-tested marketing tactics.

Utilize Map Listings

Online maps play an enormous role in gaining local business. Whether it’s Apple or Google Maps, search engines include map listings in desktop and mobile results, making it crucial that your business is properly set up in each platform. From a search engine optimization standpoint, various local search phrases include “near me,” which almost always triggers a map listing. Having your business appear in that map listing is essential to developing brand awareness, loyalty, and leads. In the last few years, Google Maps began permitting pay-per-click campaigns within the map listings, allowing another avenue to your local customers.

Create a Website

Depending on your requirements, sites can cost anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. You should expect to pay a few thousand dollars for a professional, custom website, but it’s an essential element of omnichannel marketing.

Develop an Email and Phone List

Many companies use email to confirm purchases, send receipts, and pass along offers, updates, and reminders about the company. Anytime you engage with a new client, there should at least be an opportunity for them to provide their email address for current or future transactions.

In 2020, over 39% of businesses used SMS text messaging to engage with their customers. Like email, this is an excellent way to keep your client base in the loop.

Rewards Programs

Creating discount or repeat customer programs can be a great way to get customers to provide you with the email address, phone number, and other information. Some common reward programs include discounts for signing up, points for a free purchase, etc.

Video and YouTube Marketing

As of 2020, YouTube had 126 million unique monthly visitors, and approximately 70% of the overall population watches videos through the service. Engaging your local portion of this audience has become increasingly important. Investing in locally targeted YouTube and Direct TV ads ensures that you reach potential clients in your market as they engage in the most popular media outlets.

Professional Omnichannel Marketing

Creating multiple channels is a fundamental premise for any omnichannel marketing strategy. But a successful OCM strategy involves integrating the various channels, monitoring the success of the endeavor, and tweaking some or all of the techniques to improve success.

A marketing firm like Lamark Media can develop an ironclad omnichannel marketing strategy for your business to help you outmaneuver your local and non-local competitors. Contact us today to take your business marketing to the next level.