The results are in: The most effective method for landing a local customer is…(drumroll, please…) word of mouth referrals! In a recent survey conducted by Alignable, 7,500 North American small business owners were asked, “What’s the best way to acquire local customers?” An overwhelming 85% replied “word of mouth marketing.” Google and Facebook advertising came in a distant second at 9%. In other words, it’s no contest.
This suggests the next logical question, posed by entrepreneur.com: “How do you get them?” Here is a quick shout out to the top methods for attracting these precious referrals.
Focus on local listings
Entrepreneur asks, “When someone refers your business to another person, what’s the first thing that’s going to happen?” You know the answer: They Google your business name and look for a five-star rating. And yet, more than half of all businesses have not locked down their Google local listing!
So make sure you claim your name. Then work on attracting a minimum of 10 reviews. Also remember that Google is not the only game in town. Bing accounts for more than 20% of search engine inquiries. Set up your local listing there as well.
And don’t forget about Yelp. Why should you like Yelp? Online marketers should like Yelp because Google likes Yelp. Most Google search results on a particular business, return at least half a page of Yelp reviews. You’re missing out if your business isn’t listed on Yelp.
Be memorable — not a memory
Yes, you interact with customers every day. But how do they remember you at the end of the day? Again from Entrepreneur: “Every business owner says they prioritize treating their customers well, and you have to, but what else can you do to not only make them remember you but talk about you with others?” In other words, how can you go the extra mile?
Last modified: March 21, 2018