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Choosing the best local business marketing services for you

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Joshua RizzoJoshua Rizzo
We provide a process for choosing a marketing agency that will work best for your business. It outlines the steps you should take to define your needs, research agencies, interrogate agencies, and establish precise dates and deadlines. It also provides a quick list of services that an agency could offer your business.

Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and you're at a disadvantage if you're not up to date on the latest trends. So, how do you know which one is right for your business? Whether you're a small business owner or a c-suite executive, you may be looking for someone to care for all your digital marketing needs to bring in new customers. In this post, I'll take you through the steps you need to take to ensure you're making the best choice. Then, stick around for a list of digital strategies you or your agency can use to get more customers.

1. Define your needs. What kind of marketing services will you need from your local business marketing agency?

A successful greenhouse owner standing in front of her plants, probably because she hired a good local business marketing agency
A successful greenhouse owner

Will you only be using digital marketing services, or will your audience respond to snail mail and billboards? Does your audience respond best to video posts or email marketing? Knowing what services your business needs is essential to choosing the right agency, and deciding what those needs are should be based on your marketing strategy. Your strategy will determine who your audience is and how you will be reaching them. If you already know what you need, move on to step 2; otherwise, here's how you can quickly define your needs:

Take stock of your current marketing efforts.

Analyze your current marketing strategy (or lack thereof) and ask yourself what is working and what isn't. Make a list. Be honest with yourself and try to pinpoint areas that could use improvement. Look at your target market and see if you are reaching them effectively. Are there any new platforms or channels you could be utilizing? If you don't have the time or resources to do a full audit of your marketing, consider hiring a professional marketing consultant to help you out.

Define your audience.

Creating an effective marketing plan requires a clear understanding of your target audience. You need to know whom you are trying to reach to determine the best way to get them. You also need to understand what appeals to your ideal client to create messages that resonate with them. Finally, it would be best if you had a clear sense of your target audience's needs and desires to develop a plan that meets their needs. Without a clear understanding of whom they are, creating an effective digital marketing strategy will be challenging.

Determine your goals.

What are you hoping to achieve? Do you want to increase your social media presence? Drive more traffic to your existing web pages? Generate more leads? Not all agencies are created equal, so it's crucial to find one with a proven track record in helping businesses like yours reach their desired objectives. Setting your objectives upfront will allow you to ensure that you work with a digital agency that can help you be successful.

Consider your budget.

Like any other marketing initiative, digital marketing comes with a cost. You'll need to consider how much you're willing to spend on each service to create a realistic plan. The best digital marketing strategies have this expense as part of their overall operational cost.

Benchmark.

Check out your local competition. See what digital marketing services they use and how successful they've been; this will give you a good idea of what's working in your industry and what you'll need to do to stand out from the crowd.

2. Research. Who can provide the best services for your specific needs?

A woman doing research on the best local business marketing agency
Woman probably looking at a proposal from her favorite local business marketing agency

If you've made it this far, congratulations. You've done the most challenging part of this journey; defining your needs. You can now take this information, put it on a sheet of paper, and wave it around until something sticks.

Seriously though, some agencies specialize in specific areas of digital marketing, such as search engine optimization, paid search management, or social media advertising, while others offer a more comprehensive range of services. So, deciding what's necessary for your business is essential when finding an agency that suits you. Here are a few options:

  • Advertising Services (includes Google AdWords, social media ads, and PPC advertising)
  • Organic SEO services (search engine optimization)
  • Social Media Services (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn)
  • Web Design/ Web Development
  • Email Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Digital PR

Most importantly, you'll want to find an agency that aligns its marketing plan with your business goals. It requires a deep understanding of the market, the competition, and the target audience. They will work with you to understand your business goals and develop a customized plan to help you achieve them. They will also have the resources and expertise to implement the program effectively. If you want your business to succeed, work with a firm that understands how to develop an effective marketing plan.

3. Interrogate. What can they offer (e.g., social media marketing, digital marketing strategy), what is their process, and how much will it cost?

People gathering, probably talking about the best local business marketing agency
People gathering

Any good marketing agency will want to get to know its clients and their business before starting to offer any suggestions. This process helps to ensure that the agency understands the client's goals, brand identity, and target audience. It also allows the agency to offer more customized and practical solutions tailored to the client's specific needs. The cost of digital marketing strategies can vary greatly depending on the scope and size of the project, so it is crucial to get an accurate estimate from the agency before work begins and see how it aligns with your budget. By taking the time to get to know a marketing agency, you can be confident that you are working with a dedicated team to help you achieve your goals.

4. When can we get started?

People gathering at a table, probably also talking about the best local business marketing agency
People looking intently at a color spectrum; likely the very beginning stages of a branding meeting

At this point, you've established your needs, determined your budget, and found the best agency for your business; it's time to execute. When working with a marketing agency, it's crucial to establish exact dates and deadlines; this ensures that you and the agency are on the same page and that the work is getting done promptly. It also helps to prevent scope creep, which can happen when an agency doesn’t have clear boundaries. Without dates and deadlines, an agency may continue working on a project indefinitely, which can quickly become expensive. So if you want to get the most out of your partnership with a marketing agency, establish precise dates and deadlines from the start.

Choosing a marketing agency can be difficult, but with the correct information, it can be easy to find the perfect fit for your business. Start by defining your needs and then research agencies that offer the services you need. Once you've found an agency, interrogate them to ensure they are a good fit for your business. Establish precise dates and deadlines to ensure the work is done efficiently and within budget.

Simple marketing techniques specifically for entrepreneurs

Here's a quick list of things the right digital marketing agency will do for you.

Increase visibility on Google Maps and other local directories

search engine marketing (SEM) and local search engine optimization (SEO) are fundamental ways to increase visibility for businesses on Google Maps and other local guides. SEM involves paying for ads that appear in search results, while SEO focuses on optimizing a website and its content to rank highly in organic search results. Both strategies can effectively drive traffic to a business's website and profile page on Google Maps. In addition to SEM and SEO, companies can also list their products and services on online directories and review sites. By taking advantage of these various platforms, businesses can ensure that they are getting maximum exposure to potential customers in their local area. You can also increase your visibility by creating a Google My Business account and adding photos, videos, and reviews.

Create custom landing pages for each geographical target market

By tailoring the content and design of your landing pages to the specific needs and preferences of your target market, you can create a more user-friendly and effective online experience. In addition, customizing your landing pages can help you better target your advertising efforts and ensure that your marketing budget is adequate.

Generate positive online reviews from customers

Online reviews are essential for local businesses because they help to build trust and credibility with potential customers. When people see that a company has positive reviews, they are more likely to trust that business and be more likely to purchase from them. Online reviews can also help businesses to rank higher on search engine results pages, which can help to bring in more traffic and leads.

Optimize your website for mobile devices

As more and more people use mobile devices to access the internet, it is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses to have a mobile-optimized website. A mobile-friendly website helps to improve the user experience by making it easier to navigate and providing relevant information in a format that is easy to read on a small screen. In addition, mobile-optimized websites load faster, which is essential given the limited attention span of most users. According to a recent study by Google, 67% of digital marketers say that optimizing their website for mobile devices was their highest priority in 2017.

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