I just purchased a small water store and I'm not very online savvy. How do I get started with online advertising?
I just purchased a small, low tech retail water and I'm not very online savvy when it comes to social media or advertising. How and where do I get started with digital marketing?
You have two options depending on your overall resources. You may have time, or you may have money.
If you have time post valuable or entertaining content in places that are relevant to your audience. LinkedIn and Tik Tok are giving away lots of great attention right now.
Alternatively, if you have money, buy ads, starting with Google and Facebook. Run ads to your trade area, maybe 1-3 miles around your address. Change the creative often and optimize the ads that work the best.
Ideally do both, and iterate on the creative, the content formats, the messaging, the platforms, and the way you optimize campaigns.
First, you need to be sure you have an internet presence. I would make sure to get access to any online pages, social media or listings that the previous owners already had up and running. There is a good chance that you can edit those listings in order to optimize them. It is important that your contact info match perfectly everywhere that your business is listed (Name, Phone Number, Address, website). Have a list of keywords that you want to be found for if someone uses them in searches. Be creative and use those keywords as you are editing the content of each listing. Keep in mind that the more you put into your business descriptions and such, the better. If you only write a few sentences, Google will assume that you don't know what you are talking about. Use at least 300 words, but more than 600 is better. I like to make changes to directories fairly often, just to keep things fresh.
If you cant gain access to the previous owner's listings or they never existed, start creating them. If you have an office that people can visit, make sure you are on Google Maps, Bing Places, etc. If you don't have a website, get one. Hire a professional or if you must, build your own. A fairly inexpensive and easy to use builder can be found here: https://www.gillicole.domains/easy-website-builder. There are extra tools you can get like the SEO tool to help you optimize the site.
That is just the beginning but it is definitely where you should start. If your business is not listed on the internet, no one will be able to find you. After this, consider paying for ads on social media and google. There are so many ways to advertise online.
I would strongly recommend advertising locally. Send out mailers, hand out business cards, knock on doors, etc. There is so much you can do to be seen locally and without the internet.
Hope this was helpful,
R Patrick Twigg
I'd recommend investing in running paid ads on social media. To do this, you will need to think about the messaging of your advert and how it should be presented/seen by your target audience. I image your target audience will be people near you, so make sure to narrow these things down and be as precise as possible when running your ad.
There are a number of free tools available online, where you can craft flyers, social media posts, banners, and ads. Canva is a personal favorite and one that I've used for my own business.
Hope this helps!