Going up against massive retail chains can feel difficult, even impossible, as a small business. Learning how to attract customers away from these chains to your small business is essential to your growth. So how should you compete against them? In this article brought to you by Stiddle, we will teach you how you can use advertisements and digital marketing to succeed against retail chains.
Invest in Your Online Presence
Running advertisements is only part of the equation. Before you start running ads on Google or social media, you have to invest in your online presence first.
Register Your Business
The first step towards investing in your online presence is to register as a business on Google and Bing places. Oftentimes, users will look up “restaurants or boutiques near me” on Google Maps, and businesses that register on these sites will appear higher on the search results. Since 97% of customers find local businesses online, registering in the right places for customers to discover you is essential.
Registering your business also gives customers the power to rate your business, products, and services, meaning that if you focus on customer success management and the customer experience, you will rank higher on these lists. Make sure to listen to your customers and their concerns so that you can address their problems and potentially even improve your business model. Supporting customers will score you higher in customer success management and encourage users to post positive reviews if you were especially helpful.
Create Social Media Profiles
Before you can begin advertising on social media, you should create social media profiles. This way you can begin posting content under your profiles and developing an audience for free before you take the next step. Once you start advertising on social media, users who are intrigued by your ads will want to explore your profile. If your profile does not have much content under it, then they might perceive your business as less legitimate.
One of the main issues that small businesses face when competing against retail chains is the question of legitimacy. Consumers worry about buying products and services from businesses they are not familiar with. Since they are already familiar with large retail chains, they feel comfortable because they know what to expect. It is the onus of a small business to prove to their customers that they are legitimate and that their products and services are not just a good value but of better value than a retail chain. Creating an online persona that solidifies your image as a legitimate business is a must for any small business competing against a chain.
How to Advertise Your Business
Now that you’ve invested in your online presence, you have to start advertising your business. That means deciding who to advertise to, what content to post, and where to post that content; to help you know how to approach advertising for your small business, we compiled these tips for you below.
1. Geo-targeting: As a small business, you should focus on increasing the efficiency of your marketing budget. The best way to do that is to target your ads specifically to the right audience. In the case of a local business, that means targeting your ads locally. Investing in local campaigns will help users become more familiar with your brand and image, and eventually, with enough quality exposure to your brand, their interest is more likely to be converted into increased sales. Big retail chains often do not focus as heavily on social media advertising, which is where you can get an edge on them.
2. Know Your Audience: Although your audience will be those who live near your small business, you should break down your audience further than that. Are they old? Young? Working in a certain industry? Not working at all? Knowing the answer to these questions will help you refine your content for the right audiences, and it can even help you decide which platforms to market on. If your target audience is seniors, then advertising on Snapchat would not be a good use of your budget. Instead, you might focus on Facebook.
3. Make Your Content Local-Friendly: Not only should you target your ads locally, but you should also make the content in your ads specific to your locale. You can do that by appealing to the general market trends of your local audience, marketing a local event that you’re hosting, or partnering with other local businesses.
4. Emphasize What Makes You Different: Since you are competing against established retail chains, your consumers will want to know what makes you different and why they should buy from you instead of a brand that they know well. In your advertisements, you have to remind them why your business is special. Whether it’s because you use better components, have a commitment to sustainability, or prioritize the customer experience, you need to prove to customers that you are the more valuable choice.
5. Promote Deals and Savings: Trying a new product can feel like taking a big leap. People are worried about spending money on a brand that will not be worth the extra money. Why switch products when you already have one that you like? To help consumers overcome these concerns, you have to incentivize them to give your brand a try. That means advertising promotions and sales, especially to new customers, which can help turn them into loyal customers. Since a loyal customer is worth up to 10x as much as their first purchase, offering promotions to first-time customers will pay off.
While it may seem difficult to compete against a retail chain, small businesses have lots of tricks up their sleeves to draw in more customers and thrive. By using these tips, you can make your small business succeed against more established brands and become a worthy competitor.
Stiddle - aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected marketing experts.