How Local Businesses Can Survive Without a Website
It is hard to imagine operating a business without a website. However, it can be done. In fact, it is already being done by the over 40% of American small businesses that still don’t own a website of any kind. It should be noted that the lack of a website by some businesses isn’t usually due to choice, but rather due to cost.
Even so, local businesses that lack the wherewithal to launch and maintain a website need not despair because there are a host of other viable marketing and communication methods at their disposal to bring awareness to their goods and services.
Most small businesses still do things the old-school way by relying on word of mouth to spread awareness about their business. In fact Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is the most important social media marketing strategy of all.
WOMM is specifically an important strategy because it depends on a highly critical credibility factor: the stamp of approval from a satisfied customer. Referrals through word of mouth often carry more weight because they are more genuine and less orchestrated than other media advertising that might come off as slick and packaged. This could be particularly effective as budgets tighten amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Video and Social
Another channel to consider is video. One of the biggest advantages to video marketing for businesses is it affords them the opportunity to showcase their products in action, so customers can actually see how the product works. In the event that you don’t have a website, videos can still be showcased in social media pages.
A social media presence is inexpensive, easy to set up, and often only demands time and consistent effort. What’s more, social media is an ideal place to reach new customers while keeping in touch with existing ones.
Social media has assumed an increasingly essential role in business strategy, especially due to the pandmeic. Because the health crisis has forced people to stay indoors, people are spending more time on social than ever before.
Even if a small business doesn’t own a website, they can leverage opportunities provided by social media to communicate and connect with customers. Paid social media advertising is also among the cheapest and most effective outreach options.
Facebook Business Pages
There are also places to provide basic info about your business online other than a website. Even if a business lacks a website, they can co-opt their Facebook page by treating it as if it were a website. In fact, Facebook offers a Facebook business page profile that is distinct from the ordinary user profile for the purpose of promoting a business.
Facebook business pages are free, professionally designed, and are backed by Facebook’s analytics, which a small business can leverage to boost and drive engagement.
Google My Business Account
Google’s free and affordable business tools provide a treasure trove of apps and features that a local business can use to enhance their visibility, marketing, and sales.
Google My Business is a prime example. It is available through signing up for an account and is an excellent platform that a local business can use to put themselves on the map — both literally and figuratively.
NFC and QR Codes
E Commerce is here to stay, and local businesses need to embrace it (along with its associated technologies) — even if they don’t have a website.
NFC and QR codes are driven by smartphones and tablets. They present local businesses with an app-less solution that is cost-effective and ideal to run the kind of proximity campaign on which local businesses thrive. These codes provide the means for local businesses to direct customers to places online where they can find more information about their products, such as social media pages.
Email marketing is capable of generating $38 for every $1 spent, corresponding to an astonishing 3,800% ROI.
Through the distribution of regular email newsletters, local businesses can promote their upcoming products and specials while offering discounts to customers who choose to sign up for the newsletter.
A lot of small businesses have been hurt by the Covid-19 pandemic and are struggling because of reduced foot traffic to their local store premises.
Although websites are a vital part of any business, they also are not the only way for a local business to get noticed. Local businesses in particular can look beyond owning a website and explore the strategies listed in this article to retain old customers and attract new ones.
Gary Stevens is a front-end developer and copywriter who specializes in writing about cybersecurity, blockchain, and tech trends.