Running a brick and mortar business poses a unique set of challenges. Traditional brick and mortar business owners might feel skeptical about siphoning portions of their budget to the Web, but it’s necessary to remain competitive. Not only do you have to juggle the modern responsibilities of having a digital presence, but you’ve also got to market your business in a unique way to attract locals. Ideally, you’ll invest in a distributed marketing platform to create, manage, and measure your marketing efforts. However, even with the right platform, you’ve got to take the right steps. Here are a few tips for marketing your brick and mortar business:

Google My Business

According to Google, one out of three searches on the platform has a local intent. “Google My Business” is a free service offered by Google that makes your business more easily discovered by locals seeking a business in the immediate vicinity. You can sign up to register your brick and mortar business for inclusion in Google’s directory. This way, your business will appear in card-based results alongside relevant maps. It will also display all your business’s most important information in an indexed, user-friendly way. Prospective customers will be able to see your address, phone number, website, and other relevant details via a pull-out card. This makes business communication a synch.

Content Marketing

It’s important for your business to leverage storytelling with your digital content to help build a relationship with your audience. Many business owners falsely assume that content marketing revolves around promoting products and services. On the contrary, you don’t want your content marketing efforts to come across as salesy. The ultimate goal is to engage your prospects, not force feed them.

By default, when you create useful content that’s relevant to your business, you’re selling and making money. A great example of this is pool company River Pools, who created a blog post titled “How much does a fibreglass pool cost?” In it, they discussed some of the most common questions people have regarding pool installation. To date, the post has generated $2 million in sales.

As you can see, when you publish consistent content that serves a specific purpose, it can help you build your email list, build your trust, and grow your bottom line. Fortunately, even if you aren’t a savvy writer, there are plenty of freelance writers that can pinpoint your brand voice and create compelling copy. Remember, what’s most important is that you give your readers a reason to stick around. With each topic, ask yourself:

  • Would I read this as a consumer?
  • Does this answer an important question or address an important subject?
  • If my brand had a voice, does this content capture it?

From here, you can start to round out your content efforts. At the same time, you’re also building strong SEO, which helps your business become more easily discovered across search engine pages. This way, when locals are searching for services and products like yours, you’ll be the first result they see—which increases your chances of a sale tenfold. Today’s consumers are less likely to scan to the bottom of the first page results, and highly unlikely to move on to the second page.

Build a Customer Email List

Your customer database is crucial for retention and relationship building. Yet many businesses struggle with this. Unlike a website, there are no tracking pixels that make retargeting visitors easier than ever. When a customer walks in, it’s much more difficult to leverage their contact information. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can handle this.

Discounts and special offers are one of the easiest ways to capture those coveted email addresses; everyone loves to save money and score a deal. You might consider offering special prices to first-time customers, for example. Loyalty programs are also a great way to build a steady relationship with your visitors, especially if your business caters to repeat customers—like a coffee shop. And lastly, you can host giveaways and contests to get customers engaged and excited.

Michael Zhou is a Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development and has assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. He is also contributor on Esprittoday.

Brick and mortar stock photo by Navin Penrat/Shutterstock