- Word of mouth has moved online
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Local marketing starts with online reputation management, not advertising
For decades, local businesses have relied on word of mouth and traditional advertising to attract new customers. After all, personal recommendations have a powerful impact on consumer behavior, and for a long time, advertising was the only way to generate awareness and urgency.
For local businesses, reputation management, CRM, and marketing automation are the keys to marketing success. Get a free demo of Womply today.
Over the past few years, however, local marketing has completely changed. Online review sites and social media platforms have become the front lines for attracting new customers. It’s far more likely that a customer discovers your business on Yelp or Google than through a local TV or radio ad.
The good news: local marketing doesn’t have to be expensive
In the digital age, word-of-mouth recommendations are still among the most valuable way to attract new customers and grow revenue. Every local marketing plan should factor in word of mouth.
The great news: local marketing has moved online
Word of mouth has moved online, with 88% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family. As a result, local marketing has moved online, as well.
The bad news: most local businesses aren’t paying attention
Less than half of business owners have claimed their listings on the two biggest sites: Google and Yelp. By ignoring their online presence, these businesses miss out on valuable word-of-mouth recommendations and their most-likely-to-buy shoppers.
Most businesses make advertising the first step in their local marketing efforts. These days, that’s the wrong order of operations. Even if customers see your advertisement, they’ll still research your business online before making a visit. So, the first step in attracting new customers is to take control of your online presence.
When consumers need to find a local business, they reach for their smartphone.
You might also like: Here’s how (and how much) small businesses should spend on marketing (Medium).
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