We know more than anyone, as a search engine optimization agency, that we are in the midst of a crisis that it’s certainly hitting small businesses the hardest, but if you as a small business owner are still working in any capacity, then you need to let your customers know!
Enter Facebook Ads and Google My Business with their extraordinary capabilities to achieve this.
But what do you need right now for your business to survive and thrive amongst this challenge? The answer is quite simple: You need to increase both your brand awareness and your social proof, in order to attract local customers that are already looking for you. And that’s were GMB and Facebook can help you the most, especially if you follow our advice on this.
Increasing Brand Awareness
Brand awareness lets consumers know that you exist. Since they have to know that your shop is accessible to them, the next time they need what you sell, they’ll already be familiar with your business and everything you have to offer. Putting it simply, if people don’t know who you are, how are they going to buy from you?
Having your GMB in tip-top shape helps Google Maps to recommend your business to the people that live or work the closest to it and bumps you up the search engine results. That’s why you need to review your business description, images, and other details and update them to improve your listing, especially when we are in uncertain times, such as these. Make sure to share all your relevant links, especially if you have delivery or pick-up services to make your clients’ lives easier.
Also, Facebook ads for local businesses have a handy goal called Brand Awareness that can help you spread the word to get people to trust you. You can’t run an ad with a magic link that places people at your front door when they click it, but you can certainly make them get to you, especially if you put out a well-thought piece of advertising that leaves your audience reeling. As a small business owner, you can use the Brand Awareness ads to permeate the minds of potential customers so they’ll be able to recall your company name when they’re primed to shop.
These ads can run on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger app and even on Whatsapp to get people talking about you and your products by using video, streaming, or with instant experiences, allowing you to attract an audience who is more likely to remember your ad, thus helping improve your brand recall.
This Ad Recall Enhancement Optimization delivers your ads to the people who are most likely to remember your ads in the future, according to selected parameters. After your campaign runs its course, you will see a report of the estimated number of people who remember seeing your ad if asked within two days. Considering the fast-paced times we’re living in, that’s a wonderful promise to keep tabs on.
Increasing Social Proof
When your business has social proof, such as positive testimonials or reviews, other locals will trust you. They’ll see that people in their area have great experiences with your store, and they’ll assume they will, too. 91% of people surveyed by Brightlocal trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 86% of them read online reviews for local businesses. People trust other people, not what brands tell them.
You can enhance your social proof in two ways: you can ask past customers to write a simple review on your Google My Business location (which is free) and look into, yet again, running a Facebook Ads campaign. Although you can just run a brand awareness ad on Facebook, there’s another type of campaign that will increase both brand awareness and social proof which is the engagement campaign, Facebook’s Holy Grail in the Great Crusade of getting people to convert and purchase from a given brand.
Facebook can help you target people closest to your location who are most likely to engage with your ad, whether that’s commenting, liking, or sharing and when people engage more with a post, their contacts have a better likelihood of seeing it, too, especially if and when the post is shared. Plus, anybody who sees the post will also see that it’s getting a lot of attention which in turn can get you a ton of engagements and inquiries you wouldn’t get otherwise.
We have seen as a search engine optimization agency that the number of engagements your brand has affects how websites like yours rank in Google’s local search, so be sure to log into your GMB account and post on it periodically (weekly would be the best). Take into consideration that replying to reviews takes time, but it’s highly encouraged by the pros because showing that you care increases the engagement from your customers. What’s not to like about a brand that answers and engages in genuine conversation with its past and potential customers?
Given our experience as a Michigan-based search engine optimization agency, we have seen many of our local business clients thrive and being more visible than ever when we have combined GMB optimization with laser-focused targeted Facebook Ads campaigns that hit the spot, thanks to a carefully crafted copy based on the proper keywords your brand should use to make people find you. This double-punch strategy guarantees that the inquiries coming in will go further into the conversion funnel because we are leaning on both brand awareness and social proof. Basically, it all means that people remember your business and it has a good customer-centered experience.
Google My Business and Facebook Ads can help you reach beyond your current population within your location faster than any other strategy, and it’s way more affordable than any other alternative that’s out there. No matter what’s your line of business, make sure to engage with your audience and let them know they can count on you to make their lives easier. Ultimately that’s what this is all about.