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05 Aug 2011

The Door-to-Door Salesman’s Guide to Local Online Marketing

August 05, 2011Local Search

Salesman Guide Local Online Marketing

If you work in a small office, one thing you will see from time to time (depending on the size of your office complex) is the friendly door-to-door salesman. They offer everything from paper to salon services. But the question is, are they making the best use of their time?

The next time he or she comes walking through your front office door, maybe you should give them a few alternative online marketing strategies they could be pursuing instead of the straight cold-call but in person tactics they are doing now. Some great local online marketing ideas include the following – since several of our latest solicitors were for printer ink, I will target the examples to them.

Optimize Your Website for Local Search

First of all, if your business doesn’t have a website, it should. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your business does, you should have an online presence beyond just your social media accounts. Development doesn’t have to be a crazy expense either – just get a hosting package, domain, install WordPress, then find a nice corporate theme to pop your information into. It’s really about that simple.

Once you have your website, take a morning off of your door-to-door activities to optimize it for local search. This includes:

  • Adding a local indicator to your site’s title such as “Phoenix Ink Cartridges – Your Source for Discount Printer Ink.”
  • Extend your title into your site’s meta description to include local indicators such as “Get discount ink cartridges for Brother, Canon, HP, and other printers from your Phoenix ink cartridge dealer!”
  • Add your local phone number and street address to every page of your site (easy if you have a site with a header / footer template to modify.
  • Add a specific contact us page that has your local phone number, address, and a Google Map to your location to make it easier for visitors and search engines to see where you are in one place.

There’s lots of additional things you can do, but these are the bare minimum basics!

Setup Local Directory Profiles

Next are local directory profiles. Take your next morning off of visiting local businesses to claim or create your profile on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Fill it out as much as possible, including photos and videos as these make your profile more robust and more likely to rank better in local search.

If you have more time on your hands, check out additional local directories like Yelp and Merchant Circle and add your business profile on those.

Find Local Clients on Social Media

This (personally) is my favorite part of local online marketing. You know all of those potential customers you visit? Why not visit them on social media instead, in the comfort of your office (or home office), and visit twice as many at a time.

First of all, if you haven’t already, you’ll want to setup a Twitter, Facebook fan page, and LinkedIn profile. This might take you an extra few hours to create if you don’t have them yet.

Also you will want to make sure each profile is customized for your business, including a succinct description of your business including the local and primary keywords you used (think your meta description) and a link to your website. Once you have your profiles set, you’re ready to find local customers on social media.

Twitter

I generally start with Twitter. It’s a great platform in the fact that you can start replying to locals on Twitter without them having to follow you!

  • You can use Advanced Twitter Search and simply look up keywords that your customer would be tweeting about and narrow the results down to a particular location with the “Near this place” box.
  • You can use FollowerWonk and its extra search options to find particular keywords in bios and limit them down to a particular location.
  • You can use Twitter Grader’s Top Cities list to find the top Twitter users in your region.

Facebook

Next is Facebook. Your strategy here is to find fan pages of other businesses where you might find customers, like those pages while using Facebook as your page, and start interacting on their wall. If you provide valuable interaction, you’ll get noticed by your target audience and start getting new fans and leads from Facebook.

LinkedIn

This one is a bit tricky as people are more inclined to be picky about who they add as connections. You’ll want to use the people search and find profiles with particular keywords, then narrow it down by location using the filters on the left side of search results.

The best way to connect with someone you don’t personally know is through groups. You can set your filter to show you people you are connected with through groups and add them to your network using that affiliation.

You can also visit the profiles of 2nd connections (meaning you both have a connection in common) and see what the groups they are in (or choose to share publicly). Simply join that group and then connect with them. Be sure to include a personalized message saying that you are connecting with them since you have a common interest in [insert group topic here].

Maintaining Online Relationships

Once you have built your following, fan base, and connections on each of these networks, your on-going duty (for an hour or two a day, more if you can) will be to continue engagement with these people. The more you engage with them, the more likely they are to become leads.

Although there is a lot of contradicting information out there, you can track some monetary return on investment when it comes to social media using Google Analytics 5. So don’t worry – you’ll be able to see some results!

Create Content to Build Mailing List

Last, but not least, you will want to create some great content on your site that will get you leads to your mailing list. For this, you’ll want to think about what your target audience would be most interested in.

People who buy printer ink, for example, will probably be in the market for a new printer every year or two when their printers crash or go out of warranty. So a regularly updated guide to a comparison of the top printers of the year would make a great downloadable eBook / report in exchange for an email address.

You can also lead more people to your site by creating videos like how to change the printer cartridge in a specific model printer and put the video on a blog post and YouTube, linking back to your main site. Simply creating free content can drive traffic to your site, and that traffic may signup for your mailing list to keep up with your great content!

What Results Should You See?

Once you’ve performed these tasks, what results should you see? Instead of only getting leads when you’re out hustling from one office to the next, you should start seeing leads trickle in 24 / 7 through your website. Imagine – you could get leads in your sleep, or while you’re sitting inside your air conditioned office instead of

What is the estimated time to complete these tasks? Four mornings of door-to-door sales (or maybe a few extra if you didn’t already have a website and social profiles). I think it would be well worth it! So the next time you see a door-to-door salesperson, get their card and email them this article. They’ll thank you for it!

4 Comments

  • Nick Stamoulis Aug 05, 2011

    Inbound marketing techniques, like the ones that you’ve mentioned, have proven to be more effective than traditional techniques, like selling door to door. People don’t want to be interrupted. It’s important to create a strategy that keeps you top of mind without being annoying. When people are then looking for the services that you provide, they can easily seek you out.

  • Susan Walsh Aug 05, 2011

    Thanks for the great post – your tips are helpful to all of us marketing our services and helping local businesses with theirs.

  • IRC Direct Aug 10, 2011

    I work very much with a wide variety of local businesses, helping them rank well on google and to get good quality and sufficient traffic. These tips give me ideas and also constructive tips to help make sure I do this properly. Many thanks for this post.

  • Danny Whitehouse Aug 12, 2011

    Yeah I’ve been looking into a lot to do with local lately. It seems as though over the last couple of years a lot of SERPs are being dominated by local listings. Will look into further thanks.