Sponsored Post: How a Digital Agency is Key to SMB Marketing Success

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Google-my-businessThis is the second in a series on tips, tools and strategies for SMBs, sponsored by LocalVox.

The Beatles had it right: I get by with a little help from my friends.

It’s not easy being a small or medium-sized business, where it’s all about juggling—trying to drive sales, understand and implement new technologies, refine operations, hire the right people, manage a growing budget, figure out the best way to scale, and the list goes on.

Sometimes local marketing moves to the back burner. The marketing industry moves quickly, and it’s often difficult to keep up with the shifts in consumer behavior, spending, technology, and effectiveness. Fifty-three percent of marketers admit that their primary challenge is the lack of resources and bandwidth needed to stay on top of localization strategies. 

But reaching and acquiring customers in the local space is not just important, it’s essential to a business’s success. To wit:

  • The local marketing industry is $44 billion (and growing 20% year-over-year).
  • Seven out of 10 consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information available on a social media site.
  • Email subscribers spend 83% more than other customers.
  • Businesses return $40 for every $1 spent on email marketing.
  • By 2016, local mobile ad spend has grown from $800,000,000 to $18,000,000,000.

To help make sense of marketing trends and to capitalize on their implication, a third-party marketing agency can offer expertise to help meet the demands and deadlines of a company’s marketing to-do list.

A marketing partner, such as LocalVox, works directly with different types of businesses to offer local online marketing solutions specific to an industry. Marketing agencies specialize in helping local businesses draw customers by highlighting a business’ goods and services, positive customer experiences, expertise and reputation in your community.

Enlisting the professional services of a marketing partner or platform is effective in any combination of the following key areas of support:

Targeted Advertising

Advertising—whether print, digital, in-person, outdoor, TV, radio, sponsorships, etc.—can be a significant part of a local business’s marketing strategy. From pay-per-click ads on Google to display ads in a local newspaper, advertising is one way to achieve immediate ROI. Many businesses in the infant stages of marketing themselves choose to use advertising as a supplement to longer-term marketing tactics. The theory behind this strategy is that as long-term marketing efforts build over time, advertising fills in the short-term—ensuring there is never a gap in promotion.

Influential Content Marketing

The goal of content marketing is to attract and retain customers by providing them with highly-relevant and valuable content, with the intention of influencing or changing their behavior. Content marketing provides businesses with long-term ROI by boosting owned media assets (as opposed to “paid”). By incorporating content into the overall marketing strategy, there is often an increase in the effectiveness of owned, earned and paid media channels.

Optimized Directory Placement

Life used to be easy when all I had to do was buy a Yellow Pages ad. That’s what we hear from small businesses everywhere. Now, there are dozens of important online directories, and local search is booming and becoming a key part of any SMB’s marketing strategy.

Directed Email Campaigns

Email marketing is so 1998…and 2016. Despite the wealth of new technologies and marketing channels, email continues to be one of the most effective marketing channels for small businesses. Everyone has email and uses it daily from work accounts to checking their mobile phones. Email is pervasive and easy-to-use.

Increased Loyalty and Retention

The #1 marketing concern of local businesses is getting new clients. But loyalty marketing is cost-effective and drives long term profitability. Many small businesses find loyalty marketing daunting, but it can be simple.

Personalized Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing allows a business to send time-and location-specific messages to its audience via their mobile devices. Businesses that incorporate mobile marketing into their overall strategy drive growth and create stronger engagement with customers by connecting with them on a very personal device. It’s one of the most exciting and explosive areas of growth in the industry.

Positive Ratings and Reviews

We all know that online ratings and reviews are critical to the success of online sales. Multiple research studies have shown that online consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Many SMBs worry about what people are saying about their business online, but, instead of proactively addressing any negative reviews, they pretend they don’t exist. By simply responding to a negative review, companies actually have a 33% chance of turning it into a positive one.

Authentic Social Media Plans

Social media and reputation management are becoming more and more crucial to small businesses. It’s one of the key ways that you communicate with customers. In fact, social media advertising is forecasted to grow to $11 billion in 2017, according to BIA/Kelsey.

Comprehensive Website Design

A business’s website is its home base, featuring digital signage and offering an opportunity to connect all the pieces: search engine optimization, social media, review sites, video, etc. The goal is to create an asset that helps convert new visitors and gives existing clients a reason to come back. The website is the crucial linchpin of any online marketing strategy.

LocalVox would love to learn more about the marketing challenges your company is facing, and how we can tackle them—together. Learn more about the LocalVox Platform.

Laura_Cole_Berry-2Laura Cole serves as The Berry Company’s vice president of marketing and is responsible for all digital and print products, pricing and packaging, internal and external communication, research and advertising. Ms. Cole is a 15-year veteran with Berry, joining in 2001 as a sales representative. She has held numerous roles in sales and operations with the last 12 years in marketing. During her time in marketing she has managed field marketing, product, performance based programs, and pricing. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The University of Nebraska- Lincoln.