Local Business Marketing Opportunity: Help Your Customers Stick to Their New Year’s Resolutions

As 2018 drew to a close, 26 percent of Americans made New Year's resolutions, says Jaime Ballard, data journalist with YouGov. Unfortunately, Ballard says, only 31 percent of people that make a resolution stick to it. We all know what we should do to be healthy and happy, and our resolutions reflect that knowledge. But despite our best intentions, life gets messy, and we let our promises slide. Every broken promise is an opportunity. As a small business owner, you can turn the tide and help your customers stick to their New Year's resolutions. Your help could ensure that they stay with you as loyal customers, year in and year out. Here are some of the most common New Year's resolutions, along with a few ideas about how you can put them to work for your local business. Your Customers Want to Exercise More When people are asked how they'll change their lives in the new year, exercise almost always comes to mind. A resolution like this is good news to local businesses that offer gym memberships, exercise clothing and fitness training. Unfortunately, everyone knows this. As CityLab staff writer Linda Poon puts it: "This time of year is also when the fitness industry ramps up its advertising—playing up a sense of inadequacy—and reaps the benefits." Still, research suggests that increased advertising at the beginning of the year does boost business. Data journalist Kathryn Gessner reports that Planet Fitness, for example, saw a 79 percent jump in new memberships in January 2017, when compared to a typical month.  But exercise burnout is real, and many customers that start gym memberships in January walk away from that commitment by March. To help your customers really stick to a fitness plan, your marketing strategy should do more than just enroll them; it should persist. Encourage long-term commitment with the following tactics: A year-round price with perks. If you set your own pricing structure, look for ways to reward loyal customers. A discount at the six-month mark could help them keep coming back.Use social media to inspire. Share workout tips, fitness playlists and other inspirational content to keep your customers engaged.Remember to share. Encourage members to spread the word about your business: Working out with a friend or family member can help them stick to their resolution. Your Customers Want to Eat Better Customers who resolved to improve their diet and eat right could be music to your ears if you run a local restaurant, catering business or meal-planning service. You could even use this resolution to spark sales in kitchen supplies. Food powers everything we do, and in theory, almost every decision we make can be traced back to a desire to eat right. Pair your services with an ancillary business, and you could inspire your customers to change their entire lives. “Once consumers start thinking more carefully about their dietary decisions, they naturally start thinking about other ways they can enhance their health. One obvious way? Figuring out how to get [...]

By | 2019-12-03T14:06:00+00:00 December 3rd, 2019|Digital Advertising, Digital Marketing, Local Business|

10 Ways to Grow Your Local Business for (Almost) Nothing

Most local businesses don’t have big budgets. But that doesn’t mean that their marketing efforts have to stay small. There are plenty of strategies that local businesses can use to drive customers to their stores while getting the most out of their marketing dollars.  We launched our first list of free and cheap marketing tactics back in 2017. Now, we’re updating that list with the most powerful and cost-effective ways to grow your local business today and beyond. Be Active in Online Communities Being helpful was a tactic we talked about back in 2017, and it’s still relevant today. Online communities like Nextdoor are now even more popular and filled with thousands of people who could be looking for your expert advice.  Online communities that are specifically related to your industry are a great way to establish your authority, as the editorial team at WPBeginner notes. Some of these communities are obvious. If you run a hospitality business, Tripadvisor is a must.  Don’t join just any community, however. It’s important that you only invest your time in places where potential customers are active. Bean Ninjas’ Meryl Johnston recommends trying out several communities to get a feel for which ones suit you and your business. When you’ve found one or two communities that work, focus your attention on being as helpful as possible to other members of that community.   When it comes to posting, our advice hasn’t changed since 2017: Be as helpful as possible without expecting anything in return. Just make sure you link back to your company’s website in your profile.  Create a Business Profile on Facebook Facebook remains a pivotal platform for local businesses today. In fact, it's possibly even more important now than in 2017, given Facebook's increased emphasis on local communities. Facebook visibility can also improve your business’ rankings in Google, writes entrepreneur Alyssa Gregory. All of the content that you post to Facebook, including your page itself, can be indexed by Google and show up in results pages.  It’s essential that you create a separate page for your business, says social media strategist Saige Driver. You won’t be taken seriously as a local business if you’re posting from your personal account.  Filling out your business profile as much as possible is also important. This includes photos of your business, contact information, a link to your website and your operating hours.  Then, Post Interesting Content to That Account As we said back in 2017, it’s not enough to create a Facebook account. You need to keep posting high-quality, engaging content that your audience loves.  Writer Christina Newberry recommends that business owners take a quality-over-quantity approach to content creation. Focus on helping customers and building a relationship rather than trying to hammer home a sales message. Your audience will be much more likely to engage and share your content if it offers value.  You don’t have to create all of the content yourself, however. Curating content from other interesting voices in your space can be a great [...]