Small businesses offer the sort of personalized care and customer service that corporate giants can never match. While they have stayed alive for centuries by catering to the needs of their clientele, those businesses are struggling to remain relevant to modern buyers.
When you’re running a legacy business — or any company, for that matter — it’s incredibly important to keep pace with consumer trends. A failure to stay on top of these demands could cause you to lose market share to large corporations or disruptive startups. Even if your company has been highly esteemed for generations, you could quickly lose customers by falling behind on trends.
How do you stay true to your core identity while seeming relevant to new audiences? First, you must understand modern shoppers. Second, you must reshape your marketing strategy to meet customers at numerous points of interaction. This sort of multifaceted approach can help you present a fresh image and sales funnel that are consistent with consumer expectations.
Keeping Up With Modern Buyers.
Recently, I was looking for a company to handle some paver repair. Some of the sites I visited had broken hyperlinks. Many looked horrible on my smartphone. While the search was frustrating, the experience provided me with perfect “what not to do” examples.
Today’s shoppers expect all businesses to have a modern web presence — especially on mobile. Today’s modern buyers do almost everything web-based on their smartphones, with 89% connecting to the internet via their mobile devices. If you can give your targets a cohesively branded look across your channels, you’ll be on your way to living up to their scrutiny and standards.
Worried that this will take too much time and money? I understand how tough it can be to contemplate a corporate refresh. For more than two decades, I’ve worked to keep up with the perpetually changing marketing sector. Through constant education, our business has been able to stay in tune with unfolding expectations. We’ve consistently revised our sales tactics to dovetail with a higher degree of customer experience. By adapting holistically, we’ve managed to remain relevant every step of the way.
If you’re eager to reach new buyers or connect with a different audience for the first time, take a critical look at how you’re presenting your business online. Begin by tackling these five tasks:
1. Claim your Google My Business page.
Most people begin an online shopping excursion by tapping a few keywords into Google. According to HubSpot, about half of all online shoppers go to a store the same day they conduct an online search for a local product or offering (e.g., “tire shops near me”). Creating a Google My Business page that’s updated and optimized for search engines can help those potential clients find your business on the web — and in the real world.
2. Keep up with online reviews.
Before they open their wallets, 40% of Millennials browse web-based reviews. Most shoppers look for reviews and other information about your brand on the go, which makes it extremely important to have plenty of positive reviews. Too many negative reviews will lose your company business. Strive for three or four stellar reviews for each subpar one. Are you having a hard time getting customers to leave reviews? Start asking valued clients to leave them to boost your online credibility and reputation.
3. Maintain thriving social accounts.
Even grandma is on social these days, which should tell you how valuable a strong online presence has become. Expect shoppers to check out your social media pages to gauge your relevancy — 54% of people research brands on social. Be active on any channels your target audience frequents, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Engage with your customers, posting plenty of valuable and helpful content.
4. Achieve brand uniformity across all marketing channels.
Ensure your brand appears coherent and consistent across all channels, from billboards and newspaper ads to Google Ads and emails. Ideally, you want your shoppers to have the same experience with your brand online that they would have in your store. This is particularly critical given that 95% of consumers connect with businesses via three different channels during a single service interaction. Consistency will save your future customers from frustration and help them remember your message.
5. Freshen up your logo.
Be honest: Has your logo lost its luster? If you’re not sure, you may want to consider a redesign. This isn’t a bad thing — it means your business is evolving. There are no fixed rules for how often you should redesign a logo, but a refresh can be a core element of your marketing strategy. Even an established international name like McDonald’s finds value in refreshing its logo from time to time. It’s easy to outgrow your logo, and that’s especially true if it no longer reflects your products or services.
When you’re at the helm of a family-owned brand, you’ve undoubtedly spent years building a strong foundation for your business. All it needs now is some thoughtful updating to solidify its appeal with young consumers who are poised to become your next generation of brand advocates.
Kelly Bosetti is the CEO and founder of CEA Marketing and a digital media influencer. CEA Marketing helps brands embrace digital technology and not be afraid to try new things. Kelly shows businesses how a digital transformation can ultimately improve their overall customer experience and engagement, driving higher revenue through thoughtful digital strategies