8 Great Absolutely Free Marketing Tools Every Local Business Owner Needs
When you own a small business, it can be extremely challenging to find money in your budget for marketing. The good news is that there are plenty of free tools out there that you can use to boost your marketing efforts without spending any money. If you use these you can free up money in your budget to place targeted ads on social media, or even compete for some choice keywords on Google.
With that in mind, here are the top eight free marketing tools available, along with some tips about how to use them.
Open Site Explorer is a free tool that can help you build a killer link profile to boost your SEO. When Google ranks websites, off-site SEO – meaning the sites that link back to you – are even more important than your use of keywords.
Here’s what you can do with Open Site Explorer:
- Do an analysis of your existing backlinks to make sure they all work.
- Analyze your competitors’ backlinks to see where you might be missing out on opportunities.
- Contact sites that are linking to your competitors but not to you to see if you can build new links with them.
Link building can be a painstaking and slow process, but this simple tool can help you build links quickly – but in a way that is still organic and unlikely to subject you to any penalties from Google.
Coming up with fresh and compelling titles for your blog posts, articles, and other content can be a real challenge. There’s plenty of research to support the idea that having a great title is half the battle when it comes to generating clicks, so why not have a little fun with it. Portent’s Title Generator lets you:
- Enter a topic
- Play around with suggested titles based on what you enter
- Choose the title that’s the most likely to get you the traffic you want
If you want to increase your clicks and conversions, having compelling and irresistible titles is a key step in the process. This tool can help you take your titles from drab to dazzling.
Did you know that when it comes to local SEO, one of the most important things you can to is to standardize the listings of your name, address, and phone number (also known as NAP listings)? The reason is that inconsistent listings can dilute your online presence. Keeping track of all those listings can be a pain, but the Moz Local: Check Listing tools makes it easy for you to:
- Generate a comprehensive list of your NAP listings
- Compare your listings to make sure they are consistent
- Use what you find to correct any mistakes and consolidate your online presence
It might seem like a simple thing, but standardizing your NAP listings can have an immediate impact on your local search rank – and that can make a huge difference in your sales.
While backlinks are a very important part of any company’s SEO strategy, it would be a mistake to ignore your choice of keywords as a component of your search ranking. If you want to get an idea of the best keywords to use on a variety of websites, consider using Keyword.io, which lets you:
- Enter keywords and topics
- Get a list of popular keywords on popular sites including YouTube and Fiverr
- Pay for more comprehensive suggestions, including high-value, long-tail keywords
There are other keywords tools out there, but the real benefit of this one is that it gives you keywords targeted by site – something that can be extremely valuable when it comes to fine-tuning your marketing.
Performing a full audit of your website can be an enormous hassle, but Screaming Frog makes it easy. You can use this free tool to:
- Identify and fix broken links on up to 500 pages
- Audit redirects
- Find duplicate content so you can rewrite it as needed
- Check your page titles and meta data to make sure they are optimized
A site audit might take days, but Screaming Frog can help you shortcut the process and hone in on the areas that need to be fixed.
Going through your website to look for duplicate content can be time-consuming. However, it is extremely important if you want to avoid getting penalized by Google. Double-checking is especially important if you think someone responsible for the content on your site has been spinning content found elsewhere. Siteliner allows you to check for all of the following:
- Duplicate content, common content, and unique content
- Average page size, load time, and the number of words per page
- Internal and external links
- Text to HTML ratio
Because it is so versatile, this tool is a huge boon for business owners with limited marketing resources. There is a limit on the number of pages you can crawl, but most small businesses will be able to get everything they need with the free version of this tool.
Do you know which topics your customers (and potential customers) are most interested in reading about? If not, the Answer the Public free tool is a good one for you to try. It provides small businesses with a quick and easy way to dial into what’s got people talking in their industry or niche. It tells you:
- Which topics are generating the most interest online
- Which questions people are asking the most frequently
You can use this information to figure out which topics to write about on your blog or address in your social media posts.
If you’re using Facebook and not making use of Facebook Audience Insights, you’re losing out on a fantastic free tool that can help you maximize the time (and money) you spend on Facebook. This tool lets you take a deep dive into your audience’s demographics. You can learn:
- Who your audience is, including their average age, gender distribution and more
- Which posts they read the most frequently
- Which topics are the most likely to interest them
Reviewing the traffic on your Facebook posts can help you figure out which content to post in the future for maximum engagement and conversion.
These eight tools can help you make the most of your marketing without increasing your budget.
The 10 Best Ways to Generate Leads on Facebook
Social media site Facebook started off as a way for college students to connect with one another. Since its fairly humble beginnings in a Harvard dorm room, it has grown into a global phenomenon. With over 1.13 billion daily users, it is the world’s largest and most highly-trafficked social media sites.
And while it was originally intended only for personal use, it has also become a marketing powerhouse for the businesses who use it. In fact, there are very few businesses that can afford to ignore Facebook as a way of reaching potential customers.
One of the most effective ways to put Facebook to work for your business is to use it to generate leads. Lead generation – attracting new customers – is an expensive and time-consuming thing. The benefit of using social media for lead generation is that it is relatively inexpensive. If you do a good job of creating valuable and shareable content, it can be an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to growing your business.
With that in mind, here are ten ideas you can use to turn your Facebook posts into lead generation tools.
- Share your blog posts on Facebook. You don’t have to share every post, but it is a very good idea to share those posts that have done the best job of generating leads for you. Check your blog stats and then schedule the posts that are performing for posting on Facebook. Research shows that blog posts that lead off with an anchor text call to action tend to generate as much as 93% more leads than blog posts without one, so keep that in mind.
- Post a direct link to your landing page. There’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple. If you’ve got a great looking landing page, use a graphic from it and post it with a lead-in that touts what you have to offer. You’ll be surprised by how many leads you can generate with this simple strategy.
- Facebook’s algorithms are changing all the time. One of the things that has changed is that videos are given preferred status and can generate 135% greater organic reach than photos or other content. Instead of simply posting a link, try embedding a video instead. If you’ve already got a video on your landing page you can use that, or you might consider creating a unique video just for Facebook users.
- If you haven’t tried Facebook Live, the social media site’s new live video option, now is the time to start. Live videos tend to get a great deal of engagement. Facebook’s initial trial run revealed that live videos got approximately 10 times more comments that regular videos. Another benefit of live video is that it is meant to be spontaneous. You can shoot a live video on a shoestring budget, and you don’t have to worry about scripting it. You can even solicit comments and questions from viewers, which makes it a great way to keep people engaged and interested.
- Take advantage of the new Facebook Call to Action button. Did you know that you can now include a call to action right at the top of your Facebook page, just underneath your cover photo? Many companies are using the new CTA and finding that it helps with lead generation by making it very easy for new followers to respond to your CTA.
- Pin your lead generation posts to the top of your Timeline. This is an extremely simple, free strategy that you can use to make sure your lead gen posts don’t get lost when you post new content. Obviously every post you put up can’t be a direct marketing appeal, but you can simply choose the “Pin this Post” option to keep your lead gen visible at all time. It’s a good idea to update it regularly so that people don’t get sick of seeing it there.
- Give away a free product. Everybody loves a freebie and your Facebook followers are no exception. The people who follow you aren’t necessarily on your list, but you can get them to sign up by offering them an incentive. All you need to do is post a notice about your contest, promote it for a few dollars a day if you want to, and watch the leads flow in.
- Speaking of your product, you should consider asking people for opinions of your product. One way to do that is to offer a free trial or sample. Post the offer on Facebook, link to your landing page, and ask people to comment with questions or opinions about what they experience.
- Offer a webinar and create a new Facebook event page to go with it. An event page requires your followers to specify whether they will attend your webinar or not. You can require subscription to your list as a prerequisite for signing up for the webinar.
- Finally, consider boosting any (or all) of the above posts to make sure that they are seen. Facebook’s algorithms are problematic for many marketers because they mean that all of your followers will not see your posts. However, if you boost your post and choose the “Followers and friends of followers” option, you can be sure that your post will be seen by every one of your Facebook fans – and by all of their social media connections as well. It’s a great way to grow your list for a relatively small amount of money. (You can boost a post for as little as one dollar per day.)
The bottom line is that Facebook can be an extremely easy and powerful way to generate leads if you make proper use of it. These ten ideas can get your started – and get the leads rolling in.
Brand Ambassadors: How to Get People Talking about Your Business
Attracting new customers is not an easy thing to do. In fact, for many entrepreneurs, it’s one of the most time-consuming and expensive parts of trying to grow their businesses. Research shows that it costs approximately eight times as much to attract a new customer as it does to retain an existing one.
That said, no business ever grew simply by holding on to the customers they have. Over time, some customers are bound to leave. It’s a normal part of life and not something you can avoid. That means that you need to dedicate some of your time and resources to finding affordable ways to attract new customers to your business. One of the best ways to do that is to get your existing customers talking about what you have to offer. In other words, you need brand ambassadors.
What Is a Brand Ambassador?
In the world of diplomatic relations, an ambassador is someone who adheres to protocol and helps to pave the way for the treaties, deals, and negotiations that are an essential part of politics. An ambassador lives and works among the locals, learning about them and helping the two countries – his home country and the place he lives – to come to a meeting of the minds.
A brand ambassador plays a similar but not identical role. You probably already know that online reviews play a big part in a majority of buying decisions. In fact, 88% of all consumers say that they look at online reviews before purchasing, and most of those say that the reviews they read have a direct impact on whether they buy.
A brand ambassador is like a reviewer, only better. An ambassador is a person who openly advocates for your brand. They talk about it, and when other people ask for a recommendation they’re quick to jump in with a push for people to buy from you. In other words, a single brand ambassador is like a free ad – one that’s aimed directly at people who are in the market for your product and looking for advice.
How to Create Brand Ambassadors
It would be wonderful if you could simply sell a product and be sure that everybody who buys it will turn into an ambassador for your brand. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The mistake some brands make is thinking that if they deliver the basics – meaning high value and a low price – their customers will become ambassadors.
What you need to remember as a business owner is that delivering high value and a low price is the bare minimum you can do. It’s expected. Your customers, like it or not, are going to take those things for granted. That means you have to take things a step further.
Where do you put your focus, then, if you want to turn your customers into brand ambassadors? The answer is simple:
If you provide your customers with a high level of customer service – and particularly if you make the effort to go above and beyond what they expect – they will not only be happy with their additional purchase, they’ll buy from you again and again, and they’ll go out of their way to recommend you to people they know.
If you need proof, look at a company that’s famous for excellent customer service. Online shoe retailer Zappos has earned its reputation as a stellar example of how to treat customers. A simple Google search reveals hundreds of stories of how Zappos’ team has delivered exceptional customer service, and they have the profits to show for it.
Your customer’s experience has to be a good one from beginning to end if you want them to advocate for your brand. A typical customer experience has seven steps. If you can shepherd your customers through these steps, then you can create a string of brand ambassadors who will help you grow your business. Here are the steps.
- The first phase is the assessment phase, when the customer shops around and tries to decide which product to buy.
- The second phase is the admitting phase, when the customer makes a commitment to your company by buying your product or signing up for your service.
- The third phase is the anxiety phase. The customer has made a commitment but has not yet received the product or availed themselves of your service. This might also be known as buyer’s remorse.
- The fourth phase is the activation phase, which occurs when your customer receives their product or meets with you to kick off their services. It is usually at this point that the customer is feeling excited and optimistic.
- The fifth phase is acclimation, during which the customer learns how to use your product or begins using your services. It might also be called adjustment, as the customer is still not fully committed to you and your company.
- The sixth phase is adoption, which is when the customer takes ownership of the relationship. That might mean that they’re fully comfortable with the product or service, and it certainly means that the benefits you promised have started to take effect.
- The seventh and final phase is advocacy. This is when your customer is thrilled with your product or service to the point that they want to tell everyone they know about it. You might also call it, appropriately enough, the ambassador phase.
What’s interesting is that research shows that most companies never get to the advocacy stage. They think their role ends once the product is shipped or the service is started, and they never bother to follow up. But the follow up is key because it’s what helps people acclimate to your product and get the full benefits of it.
If you follow up with customers after they buy, either directly or indirectly, you can ease them through the acclimation phase and into adoption and advocacy. For example, you might place a follow-up phone call, reach out with an email sharing some information about how to make the most of their purchase, or schedule an in-person meeting to make sure they’re getting the most out of your services.
The bottom line is that you have a great deal of control over whether your customers become brand ambassadors. If all you do is ship your product and then turn your attention to your next customers, very few of your customers will become ambassadors. If, on the other hand, you continue to shepherd them through the process and provide them with excellent service, the probability is high that they will be eager to talk about you and your company to anybody who will listen.
How to Create a Better Online Customer Experience
It doesn’t matter what niche or industry you are in. Competition is part of the game, and if you’re dealing with customers online you might have to deal with competition that’s local as well as competitors from around the world. What that means is that providing a fantastic online customer experience is more important than ever before.
Here are some suggestions to help you ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for your online customers.
Go Mobile Friendly
As of 2015, more online searches were conducted on mobile devices than on computers, a trend that is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. To give your customers a great mobile experience, you should pick a mobile responsive design for your website, and make sure that any emails you send out are optimized for mobile users. Some things to keep in mind for email include keeping your text in a single column and including alt tags for your images in case they don’t load properly.
Streamline the Navigation of Your Site
Bad or confusing site navigation is one of the most common reasons that web users hit the dreaded “back” button on their browser. The navigation for your website needs to be extremely user-friendly and intuitive. That means that your menu should appear either at the top of your home page or on right margin. Everything should be clearly labeled.
Other things to keep in mind are making it easy to return to your home page from anywhere on your site by making your logo a hyperlink back to your home page. You should also have a search option at the upper right-hand corner of your site, and contact information on the footer of every page.
Minimize Data Collection
When people sign up for your mailing list, how much information do you request? Research shows that every field you add to your opt-in form reduces your conversions by approximately 11%. If all you’re doing is collecting names for your mailing list, consider limiting your form to just an email address – or at most, an email address and a first name so you can personalize your emails.
Payment screens require additional information, but again, keep it to a minimum. If you don’t need a company name or an age, don’t ask for it. Stick to the basics and you’ll increase your conversions and sales.
Highlight Reviews and Testimonials
Research shows that an overwhelming majority of online consumers look at reviews before making a buying decision. Furthermore, even one negative review can be enough to change someone’s mind about buying a product or signing up for a service.
You can do a lot to ease customer doubts and overcome fears by linking to your review pages on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google My Business. Linking to off-site reviews is especially helpful because they are perceived as objective where customer testimonials on your website are not.
That said, it is also a good idea to include some testimonials or case studies on your site. People want to know that your company has helped people like them, and testimonials are a good way to demonstrate that to them.
Do A/B Testing
One mistake that a lot of companies make is not testing their websites and emails. The truth is that conversion is a science. There are many psychological factors that go into the buying decisions we make, including things like:
- Color choices
- Font choices
- Page layout
A/B testing, which is also sometimes referred to as multivariate testing, can help you test out multiple options of every aspect of your website and marketing materials. Sometimes even a small change, such as switching a call to action button from red to green, can make a big difference in your conversions – and in how customers feel about your company.
Maintain an Active Social Media Presence
The days when companies can afford to ignore social media as a marketing tool have long since passed. With more than two billion social media users worldwide, you need to maintain some kind of social media presence to keep up with your competitors. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Choose the social media sites you use wisely based on your customer avatars or personas.
- Don’t set up accounts that aren’t active. Any active account you have must feature regularly updated content.
- Don’t post identical content across multiple platforms. Modify your content to fit the medium. For example, on Pinterest you might share an infographic with a link back to your blog. On Twitter, a link to your blog with a few well-chosen hashtags is the way to go.
- Monitor your comments and reply to them as needed. The people who follow your company on social media want to feel valued.
Manage Your Online Reputation
What are you doing to manage your online reputation? Your reputation is the sum total of everything that is said about you online, including what’s on your website as well as:
- What you post on social media
- Social mentions, including mentions that are made on sites where you don’t maintain an active presence
- Online reviews
- Online listings
Everything you say and do online is part of your online reputation. To manage it effectively, you need to:
- Maintain a consistent tone and brand image across all online media
- Respond quickly and professionally to customer service requests
- Deal with negative reviews in a calm way that mitigates bad experiences and turns them into positives
- Makes customers feel engaged and valued
If you do all of these things, the image you project will be consistent and an accurate reflection of your brand.
Provide Great Customer Service
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to provide excellent customer service everywhere your customers find you online. That means having clear help links on your website, a well-thought-out FAQ page, and contact information that’s easy to find. It also means integrating your customer service with your social media presence so that customers who ask questions receive quick and accurate responses that help them resolve issues.
Providing a great user experience online doesn’t have to be complicated, but you do need to make a real effort to coordinate everything you do so that wherever customers encounter you or your brand, the leave satisfied.
Facebook’s New Ad Tool: Lead Ads for Local Businesses
Advertising on social media has become fairly commonplace. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest offer multiple advertising options that allow business owners to boost their pages, drive traffic to their websites, and feature specified posts to increase their social media following. Social media advertising is easy and affordable.
Facebook’s latest tool offers a way for local businesses to generate leads. It’s called Lead Ads for Local Businesses, and it’s changing the way small businesses use social media to advertise.
What is Lead Ads for Local Businesses?
Traditional Facebook ads offer users the chance to click and be redirected to a business’s Facebook page or website. Lead Ads is a little different, because it allows customers to click the ad and then request additional information from the business in question. For example, they might request:
- A price estimate or quote
- A product demo
- A free menu item
- A newsletter
- General information
You might think of Lead Ads as being a bit like a portable landing page. You can use these ads to collect prequalified leads and get them into your sales funnel.
The Benefits of Using Lead Ads
Internet statistics for 2015 show that more users access the internet using mobile devices than computers. However, reading information about a company on a mobile device can be challenging, even if they’re on the mobile version of Facebook.
Lead Ads offers users an easy way to request additional information about your company wherever they are. The ads are mobile-friendly and easy to use. When a user clicks a Lead Ad, they will see a form with pre-filled information from their Facebook profile. That means they don’t have to struggle to fill in the form using their phone because Facebook does it for them. By streamlining the process, Facebook has eliminated one of the biggest roadblocks to gathering leads online. It also reduces the likelihood of you getting inaccurate information due to the customer making a mistake. It’s quick and easy to use.
The ease of completing the contact form is a plus for users, but Lead Ads offers benefits for business owners, too:
- You can customize the form so it gathers only the information that is relevant to you. For example, you might want to gather just a name and email address, or include additional information such as a mobile number.
- You run a smaller risk of bouncing (or losing) customers due to a complicated lead form. As a rule, customer sign-ups decrease when additional fields are added to opt-in forms. Usually that means you can gather only an email address, but Facebook’s automatic forms make it easy to ask for additional information without worrying that users will refuse to complete the form.
- You have access to the same psychographics and targeting tools you can use for all Facebook advertising. That means you can target ads based on age, gender, marital status, and geographical location, as well as using things like hobbies and interests.
- Lead Ads offer a quick way for you to grow your email list, but that’s not their only use. You can also use them to gather applications, registrations, or pre-orders. Their flexibility means you can use them in a variety of ways.
- You can create Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences to hone in on the people who are most likely to be in the market for your product or service.
- In addition to targeting specific demographics, you can use the information you gather to remarket to existing customers as well as reaching out to prospects.
Lead Ads offers many of the same advantages of regular Facebook advertising. You can set a daily budget and monitor your ad’s performance using Facebook Insights.
Ways to use Facebook Lead Ads
While the most obvious way to use Facebook Lead Ads may be to grow your email list, there are many other things you can do with this exciting new advertising option. For example, you could:
- Get people to sign up for your newsletter or for information about your product or service.
- Send out deals and coupons for your local or online business.
- Announce new promotions and sales.
- Gather interest forms or applications for things like financial services, education, or other professional services.
The versatility of Facebook Lead Ads means that you can adapt the form and targeting to almost any purpose you can imagine. The information you gather can then be used to nurture leads with follow-up emails and social media posts, retarget existing customers, or even to gather valuable demographic information about potential customers.
How to use Facebook Lead Ads
The basic requirements for using Facebook Lead Ads for your business are the same as using any kind of Facebook advertising. You must have an active Facebook page for your business, and you can set up the ad from your home page. Be prepared with information about whom you will target with the ad and how much you want to spend. You should also think about what information you need to get from potential customers so you can request it when you customize your information form.
All in all, Facebook Lead Ads provide a quick and easy way for you to gather customer leads and use the information you collect to grow your business. These ads benefit consumers and businesses equally by making the process of gathering leads easier from both ends. Consumers have the convenience of one-click sign-ups, and businesses can gather accurate information that they can then use in a number of ways.
What You Didn’t Know About Facebook Ads
Facebook may have started out as a way for teenagers and college students to easily connect, but it’s become much more than that. Much More. Today, the social network’s 1 billion user base is a goldmine for businesses looking to grow their brand. People continue to connect with other individuals on Facebook but they have also connected with brands and businesses.
While traditional marketing in newspapers, television, and other forms of media can be focused onto desired target audiences, their focus is quite limited. A law firm that markets their business in a business newspaper or TV channel will be limited to just one certain audience: business people. Other than knowing that the ads are going out to a business audience this example law firm wouldn’t be able to target their audience in any other way. Not to mention that determining exactly how many people viewed newspaper or local TV advertisements is difficult and not accurate.
With Facebook Ads, this same law firm would be able to laser focus their target audience. They would be able to choose the location of people to advertise their services to, their age, their gender, education level, interests, behaviors, language, income, and even relationship status.
One behavior that a law firm might want to include in their Facebook target audience is “small business owner” or “highly likely investors.” The law firm might also want to advertise only to people that are interested in “company mergers” or “corporate defense lawyer.” If this law firm decided to start handling divorce cases, they could also target “married” or “divorced” users.
Laser focusing a business’s target audience is instrumental in lowering marketing costs, as well as boosting conversion rates. Separate ad creative on Facebook that target certain audiences are also going to convert much better than general creatives that might be seen in newspaper or TV advertisements.
In a newspaper advertisement a law firm might have to stick to a generic headline like “Are you getting a divorce? Make sure you’re legally protected!” This headline would have to apply to women and men.
On Facebook Ads, a law firm could create an advertisement that goes out to men between the ages of 25 and 55 that are married or divorced, and the headline could say “Do you need legal help divorcing your wife?” It’s obvious how such a targeted approach would result in lower marketing costs and increased conversion rates. However, not all local businesses are aware of Facebook ads and how beneficial it can be to their marketing campaigns.
Versatility of Facebook Marketing
With Facebook Ads, businesses can market their brand, products, or services in four distinct placements that can have their own efficiency and lead quality benefits.
1.Desktop News Feed
Advertisements that show up on target audience news feeds will look like the content they see from friends and pages they like. The only difference between their friends’ content and your business’s ads is that the word “Sponsored” will show up underneath the ads.
Advertising on news feeds is effective because business ads ads are integrated into the content the user is browsing.
2. Mobile News Feed
These type of advertisements are displaced in the same way desktop news feed ads are, but they are only seen on the mobile version of Facebook. The mobile version of Facebook refers either to the native app used on iPhone or Android, or the browser mobile version.
3. Right Column
Right column advertisements will show up under a “Sponsored” section on the right column of Facebook. This ad placement isn’t as integrated as the ad that shows up in the news feed, but it is much less expensive because of that. Testing both desktop news feed ad placements and right column ads is paramount in finding the most profitable ad placement for your business.
4. Partner Mobile Apps
Apps that are partnered with Facebook will display your advertisements within their content or at the bottom of their user interface. Advertising on mobile apps isn’t really something most businesses test, but it’s an option that’s available for them when they are running profitable campaigns and are looking to expand.
The Advantages of Building a Facebook Fan Base
Facebook Ads can be used to reach Facebook users that are in your business’s target audience. The ad may incite Facebook users to redeem a coupon, visit your site, share your content, or even place a call.
However, Facebook Ads can also be used to grow your Facebook page’s fan base. This may not sound that important at first, but it’s essential to a marketing strategy of a business that needs to lower costs in the long-run.
A business with 5,000 fans for example can post something on their Facebook page and have it appear on their fanbase’s news feed. At regular times of the day most Facebook pages reach the 10-20% of their fan base: this is because not all fans are online at the same time of the day.
Unlike paid Facebook advertisements, having a large fanbase makes it possible to market to your fans for free after acquiring them. The best part about Facebook fans is that you can earn them just by asking existing customers to like your Facebook page. You don’t necessarily have to invest in Facebook Ads to drive likes and fans to your Facebook page.
After a fan likes your page you’ll be able to reach them with your posts again and again for free. Not to mention that having a fan base makes it extremely easy to share special offers and news with previous and future customers.
If you ever sell your local business, you’ll be able to sell it for much higher if it has a fan base and is loved by customers. Business owners invest based on value, and a fan base that can be tapped into regularly for future marketing holds a lot of value. Even if you’re not selling your business you’d want to take advantage of Facebook Ads to boost sales and lower marketing costs.
Facebook Success Stories
If you think that Facebook advertising is only for the big companies like Dell and Dominos, then think again. Facebook Ads success stories range from brick and mortar stores all the way to national Saas solutions.
One prominent local business which succeeded with Facebook ads is State Bicycle Co. By using Facebook ads for marketing coupons and offers, State Bicycle Co. was able to increase annual sales by $500,000.
State Bicycle Co. was also able to reduce their cost per click by 80% compared to the other advertising platforms they used for online marketing. A major part of this cost reduction was brought on by the laser focusing opportunity gave them. State Bicycle Co.’s target audience included people with interests in “big shot bikes,” “Missions bicycle,” and “track bikes,” which were exactly the sort of bikes the company sold.
In addition to boosting sales with Facebook Ads and decreasing marketing costs, State Bicycle Co. also increased awareness of their brand and grew their fan base.
The Power of Optimization
Traditional marketing across newspapers and televisions makes it hard to test various creative quickly. With Facebook Ads your business will be able to tweak creative as often as desired, to achieve the exact results required as soon as possible.
If you have an ad creative with a certain headline, but want to test which images boost click-through rates, then you can just add multiple images to that campaign and Facebook Ads will split test which performs the best.
Testing various headlines and ad text is also efficient with Facebook Ads: simply duplicate your business’s ads, and then add in the new headline or ad text tests. The creative version of the ad will be different, but you’ll be able to keep the same targeting and audience parameters.
Instead of having to spend thousands of dollars on testing campaigns before knowing if they are worth continuing or not, Facebook Ads lets you do that at a fraction of the cost at a click of a button. This is exactly why Facebook’s marketing platform is effective for local business.
The other advantage of Facebook is the cost. After setting up a dozen or two ads for testing and setting the budget of each add to a few dollars, you’ll be able to see how ads perform. The highest performing ads can then be scaled with higher budgets, and larger targeting locations, to grow at a pace that’s right for your business.
This insures that you’re never investing so much into marketing that if the marketing campaign fails, your business will be in hot water too. It also insures that campaigns aren’t so successful that they sound thousands of customers to your business and you fail to fulfil orders or services because you can’t handle the rapid growth. Facebook Ads lets your business grow a pace that’s right for your marketing budget, but also at a pace that’s right for your business’s growth goals.