In case you haven’t heard, the month of March is kind of a big deal.

In March, some of us may celebrate events such as Saint Patrick’s Day and even participate in the festivities surrounding college basketball tournaments. March is also the time when we get a chance to celebrate and support the diligent efforts of local mom-and-pop shops across the country.

Whether located in busy metropolitan cities or quiet suburbs, mom-and-pop shops play a very vital role in our economy; however, they often struggle to compete in the market with larger competitors. Unlike most franchises and small corporations, local mom-and-pop shops often have a limited marketing budget and do not have access to multiple locations, which limits their opportunities for traditional exposure.

The good news is that with the use of digital marketing tools and a solid marketing strategy, mom-and-pop shops are able now able to compete in the market place while gaining access to a bigger audience resulting in more visibility for their brand.

What makes a good digital marketing strategy for mom-and-pop shops?

Traditional marketing methods often focus on putting the right product in the right place at the right time. A good digital marketing strategy adds to this, using tools that help to ensure that a business considers:

  • People
  • Process
  • Evidence

This is often accomplished through a good mix of social engagement and outreach.

How important is social engagement?

Social engagement is crucial to a mom-and-pop store’s digital marketing success. One of the most popular methods is through social media.

As a method of social engagement, social media has the longest shelf life when compared to other forms of marketing. It’s remarkably flexible and offers exciting potential for raising brand awareness. By opening new ways to connect with potential customers, social media offers a low-cost, low-risk way to market small businesses.

What about online reviews?

While social media is undeniably valuable to social engagement, mom-and-pop shops should also encourage customers to leave reviews on popular social media outlets, directories, and popular search engines. Reviews often help to establish a sense of legitimacy for small businesses while allowing the chance for reputation management.

Mom-and-pop shops should be strategic in requesting certain customers to leave reviews since low ratings can hinder a business’s reputation.

Are local directory listings important?

Today, it is crucial for mom-and-pop shops to have an optimized local listing. Local listings allow small businesses to be placed in niche and general categories when it comes to internet searches.

When consumers need a product or service, most head straight to an internet search engine to find what they need, and this is where mom-and-pop stores need to remain diligent about updating important information regarding their business. This information most often includes:

  • Business name
  • Address
  • Hours of operation
  • Phone number
  • Website

A well-optimized listing will allow a business to dominate and rank higher in local search results related to the shop’s respective industry. If a mom-and-pop store is not dominating local search results, they’re leaving money on the table.

How important is email marketing?

Email marketing can be a very valuable tool for mom-and-pop shops and other small businesses. It will help them to not only communicate with customers but also help the business establish credibility.

While the goal may be to promote and sell a product or service, mom-and-pop shops need to make sure that emails are relevant and on-topic. Ultimately, email marketing needs to create value for the customer.

Do I need a blog?

Blogs are another great tool for mom-and-pop shops, as they assist businesses particularly when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) and ranking.

A quality blog will communicate information as it pertains to the business. It will also communicate topics that are relevant to a targeted audience.

In order to have an effective blog, mom-and-pop shops should:

  • Post frequent and original content
  • Use planned keywords in the body of the post
  • Optimize all images associated with the blog
  • Utilize backlinks to assist with indexing the site
  • Integrate with social media accounts

While it may seem daunting to run a small business and post frequently, blogs are one of the most cost-effective ways mom-and-pop shops can build brand awareness while planning for larger marketing investments.

Do you run or work for a mom-and-pop shop in need of marketing expertise? If so, call Compulse Integrated Marketing today at 844-821-2154 to learn more about how we can help!