Leveraging Social Media and Search Marketing to Skyrocket Your Local Business’s Sales

local biz saleMost entrepreneurs look at the Internet as a mean to reach the global customers. While it is true that a lucrative market awaits you out there, let’s not overlook the local business opportunities you already have. And social media and search marketing, used properly, helps you skyrocket your local sales.

Studies indicate that there has been a tremendous growth in the local, mobile search volumes over the past few years. Google too confirms that more than 50 percent of mobile queries are local. They further claim that 4 out of 10 online users prefer to “Research Online Purchase Offline.”

Therefore, it makes sense to use your social profiles to connect with your local buyers and provide detailed information and your products and services through these platforms.

Social Media Platforms to Leverage

When it comes to social media marketing, you basically have three major content types in your arsenal, including

  1.    Written
  2.    Video
  3.    Visual

The following are 6 types of social platforms that can help you improve your local sales:

1. Twitter & Facebook

These two social media sites remain at the top in the social landscape. Using customer-focused and value-rich updates help you connect with users and establish a broader conversation with them. Content, timing, and engagement are crucial to access to a tremendous scale in these platforms. In fact, it is content and engagement you need to focus on:

  • Post photos, questions, insightful stats and facts, links to thought-provoking articles
  • Show off your products with large images
  • Run a timeline contest
  • Utilize “Boost Post” feature on Facebook
  • Put your phone number in the “About” section as well as in your posts
  • Run a “Facebook Offers” and use “Twitter Coupons”

2. LinkedIn

This is a great platform for B2B marketers, provided they know how to leverage its innovative features, such as:

  • Use LinkedIn advertising to reach the decision makers
  • Publish your content to your network directly
  • Improve your LinkedIn newsfeed
  • Create LinkedIn persona strategy. For example, ask questions on this platform instead of pitching as it invokes curiosity. The best strategy is to “Ask, listen, engage and find common ground” to resolve pain points.

3. Google+

Twitter and Facebook have no contribution to your SEO efforts, at least directly, confirms Matt Cutts. But Google+ has and therefore you need to be active on this social platform by:

  • Sharing photos, videos and content on Google+
  • Interacting with target audience via hangouts and chat tools in order to foster robust discussions
  • Filling up your basic information such as phone numbers, operation hours, map and website URL in G+ Local page

4. Pinterest & Other Photo-Sharing Networks

This is a great tool for B2C businesses, especially those from fashion, lifestyle, travel, and hotel and food domain. However, B2B businesses are also leveraging this tool to connect with consumers. To use photo-sharing sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Visual.ly etc. you need to follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Images posted must add a visual angle to your brand
  • B2B business need to focus more on marketing infographics via these platforms
  • Encourage your followers to share their wish lists
  • Tell your stories with Pinterest boards

5. YouTube & Vine

If you have video content in your arsenal, start using them to connect with your local customers via video networks like YouTube, Vine, Instagram Video, or Vimeo. Using these platforms you can:

  • Showcase your product or unveil a new product
  • Cross-promote video content via video oriented tools such as LinkedIn featured videos and Twitter Cards
  • Use both scripted and unscripted videos to create sales copy, video testimonials, introduce your staff/workplace, share industry expertise, user manuals, and how-to’s

6. FourSquare & Location-Based Platforms

Location-based social networking tools like FourSquare provide great opportunities to promote your business to local customers. To tap onto this network you can use tools like special offers with check-in, loyalty points and rewards, and giveaways, etc. to attract your local customers.

The most crucial point that you need to understand from this is post is that “one size fits all” kind of an approach does not work for social marketing. Each social platform caters to a different category of users. Using audience insights and real data is the key to select the right network to boost your local sales. For example, a B2C business is in a better position to attract quality leads using tools like Facebook Offers. A B2B business, on the other hand, needs to focus more on LinkedIn and niche networks dominating a space to reach its target audience.

 

PatelVivek Patel is a Local Search Specialist at E2M, one of the fastest growing digital marketing agencies based in India committed to meeting the highest ethical standards of digital marketing services to encourage and drive strategic and sustainable business growth. He covers local search optimization, organic search tactics, and social media marketing strategies. You can find him on twitter: @vivekrpatel, LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook.

 

Must-Use Lead Conversion Tactics for Video Marketing

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On SnapChat the other day, one of the live feeds featured was “Farm Life.” Because I have a friend who is building a business in the ag arena, I thought this would be a great opportunity to get the word out about his video production company. It’s free to upload a photo or video to the stream and gets viewed by countless SnapChat users; approximately 16.5 million people look at SnapChat every day. As we discussed options for creating awareness via SnapChat, there was one question that surfaced to the top, “How can we convert leads using SnapChat video?” 

videoVideo isn’t “the next big thing” in marketing. Video is now! If it’s not in your marketing strategy, it needs to be. One article projects that by 2017, videos will account for 67% of all consumer internet traffic. That’s huge, considering the many other ways consumers can consume information on the internet.

Videos make consuming information easy, which is why they are such a hit with consumers. You can get a ton of information into a shorter amount of time, no one has to read anything and the imagination needed is truly minimal. It’s the laziest way to soak in information. Let’s take advantage of the fact that our consumers want their information in the easiest way possible!

There are tons of good articles about how to make videos appealing. Video marketing is another form of content marketing; similar to writing good content, the better and more valuable your video is the more people will watch it.

So back to the question. What is the best way to convert leads using video on SnapChat, Instagram, Vine, or any platform that allows video? How can we take advantage of the fact that customers want to consume our message via video?

So I did some research and came up with six ways that you can steer prospects into leads by using video, to send them to your website or a landing page, or even your social media sites. (Note: Not all of these tactics will work with every medium.) Ready?

Here they are:

1. Create a custom end card

You’ve watched videos where at the end it says, “If you liked this video, subscribe to my YouTube channel.” Now take that idea and instead, have them like your brand on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, or better yet, send them to a landing page to download a free eBook or checklist – where you directly capture their contact information.

2. Include a verbal call to action

You’re making the video, your customers are watching the video, you have their attention, why not use this time to tell them where they can connect with you further? Video is a great way to gain your audience’s trust for you and your brand, so use this trust to further your relationship and engagements. Chances are, if they find you hilarious, intriguing or valuable, they’ll want to follow you for more hilarious, intriguing or valuable updates.

3. Insert the link in the video description

On most platforms where you’re uploading a video, you’re going to have the option to enter a description. Use this space to tell the story of your video and why they should click your link to further connect with your brand. Just posting the link probably isn’t enough to get prospects to click through, but if you add descriptive copy and your video is valuable, this is as good a spot as any to capture your leads.

4. Use an email gate

Capture names and email addresses directly from your video with an email gate. This is the most direct way to capture leads from video marketing. Rather than leading a customer to a page or form, you actually require their contact information before they can watch the video – or before they can see a certain portion of the video.

5. Place the video directly on a landing page

This lead capture tactic doesn’t use a third party to publish your video but instead relies on the fact that your viewer is already on your landing page. Now, the video is simply used to make the push to fill out the lead capture form. This, paired with the verbal call to action, can be a very effective way to use video for lead capture!

6. Use annotations within your videos

For YouTube users, you may notice that some videos you watch have pop-ups throughout the video. They may make comments about the video, add facts or valuable information, or even provide updates to an old version of the video. Use these annotations to push leads to your social media sites, website or landing page! You can add a link with a caption, directions to check out the link in the description or even a phone number to call. This tactic requires no extra effort by the viewer to see how to connect more, much like the verbal call to action, and can be a very effective way to connect with viewers!

Video marketing isn’t new; you’ve been watching commercials on television for decades. Videos on the web aren’t even new, but they are becoming easier to make and more accessible and shareable than ever before. The possibilities with video are endless and sometimes overwhelming. If you use one or many of the above lead capture and call to action tactics above, you can use video to drive in hot leads and quickly grow your business pipeline!

Do you use video currently? Are there any other lead capture tactics you’d recommend using?

IMG_2750Kala Linck is the Community and Content Manager at Duct Tape Marketing. You can find her blogging her travels and tweeting about marketing, coffee, and cats @tadasunshine.

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