We know it’s impossible to keep up with all of the news in the local business space. That’s why we’ve cherry-picked the articles from this week that matter most for business owners like you.
[Marketing] The Rise of Marketing Automation in Local’s Next Act
Source: Street Fight
Marketing automation is usually a term you hear only if you’re a marketer at a fairly large company. But local SMBs are also starting to see the value of marketing automation. Customers are expecting a smarter, more relevant experience from businesses of all sizes—not just the Amazons and Targets of the world—and marketing automation makes that experience possible.
There are a number of tech companies, including Booker, who are making the latest marketing technology user-friendly and available to local business owners. These platforms work to integrate vital offline systems such as point-of-sale, payment processing, and inventory management with online marketing tools to provide business owners a more effective way to communicate with their customers.
Why It Matters: In days past, local business owners would install a couple of manual systems that didn’t talk to each other, let alone talk to online systems. With the advent of cloud-based business management platforms, local businesses can now store and track all of their data—from purchases, bookings, visits, and marketing interactions—in one system. Marketing automation then becomes a realistic goal for SMBs, who not only need the time savings afforded by automation, but also stand the benefit the most from its customer retention capabilities.
[Branding] Storytelling 101: Who Are You?
Source: Social Media Today
Let’s face it: 21st-century consumers are jaded. And that creates a big hurdle for local businesses trying to communicate about their products and services. So what’s the secret to overcoming your audience’s skepticism? Tell real stories that resonate.
How do you tell stories that answer the question “who are you” (or rather, "who is your company")? You can talk about how and why your business was founded, and share the story behind your services or products.
Why It Matters: Stories that illustrate your challenges, fears, and passions will help you connect with your audience in a real way. Consumers don’t want to hear marketing-speak about what you do—they want to know why you do it and how it can help them. It’s important to make sure that all copy, whether it appears on your website or on a brochure in your location, reflects this type of storytelling.
[SEO] Tactics to Humanize Your Website
Source: Small Biz Trends
Creating a human touch is essential when developing your website. Anything that seems too jargon-y, technical, or sales-y will automatically turn your readers off. If your website is hard to navigate, that will also turn users off. Here are a few things you can do to humanize your website and keep your readers engaged:
- Appeal to emotions with personal stories, anecdotes that focus on common interests, and visual content.
- Do something surprising that keeps the reader on their toes.
- Invest in a great About Us page.
- Have a consistent brand voice.
- Take action when your readers respond.
Why It Matters: Many business owners focus so much on optimizing their content for search engines or marketing best practices that they forget the fact that human beings are their end users. When creating any kind of website experience, be sure to know who you’re talking to and what they care about. Building on that foundation, you’ll be able to create content that readers are interested in. This in turn will motivate them to want to learn more about your business—or better yet, become a paying customer!
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