If you have a business that works primarily in the local sector then you need to use marketing – especially online marketing – in a very different way than if you were trading nationally or globally.
Let’s stop thinking about online for a moment and consider what you would do locally if you didn’t have the Internet to rely on – pre 1990!
An example we will use here is a local garage.
The local garage needs customers and most of these will come from the local area. People who need an MOT, a service, emergency repair and so on.
The garage would place an advert in the local newspaper, an advert in Yellow Pages and probably Thomson Local plus have some flyers or brochures printed with special introductory offers on to attract new customers.
The initial cost of this would be approximately £2200:
- £600 local advert for a week
- £700 Yellow pages ad for the year
- £400 Thomson local ad for the year
- £500 for flyers
The ongoing marketing cost would be £2400 per month for the local newspaper advert.
So total marketing spend would be around £30k per year.
If the garage works at a 30% profit margin then this activity would need to generate around £100k of business for the year. Let’s imagine each customer is worth £500 a year to the garage then they need 200 customers.
OK let’s fast forward through the 90’s back to present day.
- Local newspaper advertising is no longer as effective
- Yellow pages have shrunk to an A5 very thin book – sign that less people are using/advertising
- Thomson local has fared even worse
- Flyers can still work
To generate the same amount of business using online methods example:
Set up a business website – fully responsive and mobile ready – most people use their phone or tablet to search the web nowadays – £2,000 build cost
Set up a Google places account – approximately £300
Set up a local reviews application so that people can leave a review on a tablet in the reception when they collect their car – £250 per month
Set up a Facebook account, Facebook Page and Facebook group – post special offers, reviews and photos of ongoing work – £200 per month fully managed
Set up a Twitter account – for customer service and enquiries for emergencies – £100 per month fully managed
Use Search Engine Optimisation to rank on page one of Google for all of the local terms – garage services [town], [town] emergency repairs, MOT services [town] etc. – £500 per month fully managed including keyword research
Total set up cost – £3350
Monthly running costs – £1050
Annual cost = £15,950
Working at the 30% margin the garage needs to generate £53,000 revenue for the same profit. So they need half the number of customers – 100 to generate the same profit at half the marketing cost!
Now this is where it gets interesting…
If you use Yellow Pages you can’t change the advert throughout the 12 months – same goes for Thomson local.
With a website changes can be made almost straight away – price increases, phone number changes, special offers etc.
The social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus – can all have regular updates for specials, booking in jobs and providing emergency support (Twitter) to future and current customers.
The search engine terms can generate a lot more enquiries than any Yellow Pages,Thomson Local or local newspaper ever could. When I had a service business we used to get around 3 calls a month from the above!
Having real reviews on your website and social media accounts generates trust for future customers. What is the first thing you do nowadays if you want to go on holiday, go to a restaurant or even buy a book – you check the reviews!
Now lets look at the real conversions from using an online marketing strategy. Remember the garage wanted to make a 30% profit using offline marketing. They needed 200 customers to achieve this.
Online marketing can generate the same £100,000 revenue for a £15,950 marketing spend. This means that the gross profit increases exponentially.
However…when you look at how much traffic (visitors) page one rankings bring in then you will agree I am sure that you can convert much more into sales and start making real profits rather than just surviving.
Look at the traffic from these local terms:
car body repairs – 4,400 searches a month
car repairs – 1,300 a month
MOT test centres – 1,300 a month
book MOT – 1,000 a month
car servicing – 2,400 a month
Total search for 5 terms = 10,400 a month
If you are in the top 3 locally for these terms then you will get approximately 30% of this search traffic to your website – 10,400/30% = 3,120 searches.
If you convert just 1% of these searches you will have 31 new customers – in one month!
So after 12 months you will generate 372 new customers.
Each customer is worth £500 a year to you, so 372 x 500 = £186,000 of new revenue for a spend of £15,950.
If you find this of interest and want to get started quickly we can help you.
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Fill out our Discovery Form and then we will contact you via email so we can set up a call to discuss what you need for your business to break out of survival mode and into profit and local domination mode.