Biz Tips: How Mom-and-Pop Businesses Can Market Effectively in a Digital World

Biz Tips: How Mom-and-Pop Businesses Can Market Effectively in a Digital World

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How Mom-and-Pop Businesses Can Market Effectively in a Digital World

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We live in an interesting era, where technology has completely revolutionized the business landscape. Apps, social media, and the internet in general have reshaped the conversation, forcing businesses big and small to adapt or fall by the wayside.

While giant companies like Amazon have the resources to survive and make appropriate changes, it’s much harder for small mom-and-pop shops to do the same.

All hope isn’t lost, though. On the contrary, small shops will always have a place in local communities, even when the bigger chains have sucked an area dry and moved on. The trick is surviving the ups and downs in the market on a day-to-day, week-to-week, and even year-to-year basis.

Here are some tips and tricks that smaller businesses should have in mind heading into 2019 as they continue to fight for their lives against the likes of Walmart, Google, and the rest of the bigwigs that dominate the modern markets.

E-Commerce Is Key

In 2017 alone a whopping 7,000 stores closed their doors. The staggering number wasn’t because people weren’t buying things, though — it was because of where they were buying their goods.

Online shopping isn’t a trend; it’s the future. The most successful companies boast a robust and professional online presence that helps them market, interact with their customer base, and facilitate sales.

The good news is that creating an online presence is very accessible, even for small companies, thanks to tools like Shopify and BigCommerce. These have made the process as easy as pie. Whether you can sell your products directly online or at least use an online presence as a hub to market your wares (more on the hub idea further down), having a website these days is critical.

Not only that, but website trends have continued streamlining site development, including an increased push towards minimalism. This has allowed smaller operations to easily build clean, concise sites that are able to look shockingly similar to those of giant retailers to the eyes of the average visitor.

Marketing Online

Of course, one of the greatest challenges to small business is struggling to have a voice in the larger market. While bigger companies have massive promotional budgets to draw from, mom-and-pop shops are often left with a small budget and very little time to market their business.

Fortunately, many affordable ways have become available market online. Some of these are quick and easy, while others are a bit more involved. Let’s take a look into these strategies:

Online Billboards

Banner ads are the internet equivalent of an old-school billboard and can be an excellent way to promote your company. Using Google Ads allows you to target banners to specific geographic regions and demographics so that you know your hard-earned money isn’t promoting your special on pastries to someone 5,000 miles away who could never come in and buy one.

Another option is to purchase banner space directly on blogs and websites that offer ad space. However, this one can get tricky if you’re geographically limited, as you’ll need to find blogs and websites that cater to the specific area you operate out of.

Email

E-blasts are also popular. Whether you purchase an e-blast from another company, use an influencer’s email list, or you create your own (which is always a good idea), emailing both repeat customers and prospective customers directly is one of the most effective ways to spread the word about a sale, special event, or any other message.

Google Business Listings

Many customers find local stores via searches on their smartphones, which makes your Google Business Listing a critical piece of your online marketing strategy. Luckily, setting up your listing is free. Simply claim your listing and then fill out all of the information correctly. This ensures that every time your store shows up in a Google search, it will have the correct contact info and descriptions.

Social Media

Finally, it’s absolutely worth the trouble to set up and run social media profiles for your business. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, are all worthwhile platforms to create a following on and interact with customers, answer questions, and show a relatable side to your online marketing efforts. It can also prove a valuable way to direct traffic from social media platforms back onto your website.

Proudly Wear That Local Business Badge

Of course, having a good website, a fully completed Google Business Listing, and a thriving social media presence aren’t the only ways to fight back against the bigger corporations. One way that smaller mom-and-pop shops can take a jab at their Goliath competition is by capitalizing on exactly what makes them so unique in the first place: their geographic location.

If you’re a local business, shout it from the rooftops — or, in this case, blast it across the internet! Letting your customers know that you are intimately acquainted with the local area can help foster a sense of loyalty and trust that larger companies simply cannot compete with. Further, by focusing on social entrepreneurship — including volunteering and advocating for positive change in your local community — you can build a reputation for your brand as a responsible steward.

While promoting a “buy local” message can always be beneficial, a great time of year to make this particular marketing push is on National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. Every year on March 29, take advantage of the occasion to proudly wear your local business badge. Have a sale, promote the day on your social media profiles, and take the occasion to share your own story with prospective and repeat customers alike.

Don’t Throw in the Towel

While there are many different ways to go about marketing a small business in the modern era, the important thing is that you understand that there really are options that allow smaller businesses to compete with larger corporations in a local setting. From a good e-commerce store to social media, email marketing, and proudly sporting that local business badge, there are many ways for small businesses to survive and even thrive in the modern market.

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How Mom-and-Pop Businesses Can Market Effectively in a Digital World was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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