Pitching a more holistic “omnichannel” approach to your clients who are small local businesses can be difficult. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can explain the value of a holistic strategy. We’ll list common objections, how to address them, and outline solutions for common problems that small local businesses face.

Here are some Common Objections:

1. “Digital Channels aren’t Small Business-friendly”

Tell your client that Digital Channels are increasingly favoring Small Businesses, and that each one has tools or features specifically for them.

In search for example, most of Google’s algorithm updates in recent years have focused on making results more personalized and immediately relevant for users—2014’s Pigeon update in particular gave a higher priority to local businesses. Local SEO is more important than ever, and ensuring their entries in online business listings are accurate and consistent is a crucial first step for any Local Business looking to promote itself online.

For clients who want immediate visibility in search results, there’s Geo-targeted Pay-Per-Click Ads. Budget-conscious small businesses can focus their PPC ad spending to target audiences in a certain vicinity and even of a particular language.

Moreover, the rise of smart phones and consequently Mobile Search has led to an increase in proximity-based searches. Oftentimes these users are on-the-go and searching for nearby establishments (e.g. restaurants), and rely on their smart phones for information like store hours, directions, and telephone numbers they can act on immediately. Naturally this benefits Local Businesses the most.

Similarly Social Media Channels such as Facebook have services like Local Awareness Ads, Location-Targeted Ads, and Search for Small Business. These in addition to the ability to target specific demographics and interests, is ideal for Small Businesses who have very specific audiences.

As Digital Channels become more adept at serving their user’s immediate needs, their services will also be more beneficial and convenient for Small Local Businesses.

2. “Investing in these channels doesn’t get more customers”

Some of your clients may have difficulty seeing how Website Traffic, Social Media Engagement, and Keyword Rankings directly affect their business. These clients are usually more comfortable with metrics like foot traffic, inquiries, and purchases, and want to see returns in these terms.

One way to deal with these clients is to show how digital metrics relate to, and augment, traditional brick-and-mortar KPI’s. Here are some statistics that you can show them:

  • “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same.”— Google
  • 67% of smartphone users want ads customized via city and ZIP code, and 61% want ads customized to their immediate surroundings.
  • 61% use the address or phone number in the ad.
  • 68% use the “Get Directions” or “Call” buttons.
  • 18% Of Local Mobile Searches Lead To A Sale Within One Day
  • Facebook Local Awareness Ads in particular have been effective at driving in-store sales.

3. “I only need X channel”

This objection usually comes from clients who think that most of their leads will come from one channel. Oftentimes these clients presume that their website is enough for their needs, and that they just need to focus on SEO to drive traffic to it.

While it is true most of the leads of certain businesses do come from one channel, it doesn’t mean their customers aren’t on others. People go online to search, but they also check their email and social media, so it’s important for local businesses to reach them in every touch point.

If local businesses don’t, they lose valuable insight and opportunities to manage their brand. With the advent of the internet, consumers have become more vocal about their brand experiences. It’s important that brands listen in and manage these conversations, capitalizing when the feedback is positive and taking damage control measures when it isn’t.

But it’s also important not to be too reliant on any one channel. An algorithm update from Google and suddenly your rankings drop; A Newsfeed update from Facebook and your posts are reaching fewer people Being present on other channels strengthens brand awareness, but always bring them back to your website where you have more control over the brand experience.

4. “Using more than one channel is too expensive”

While it’s true that Larger Businesses have the resources to make the best of an “omnichannel” approach, there are several tactics available to small local business owners as well.

Based on their budget, you can design an effective marketing mix tailor-made for their business. Guide your clients away from a mindset of choosing between channels to a one of choosing various tactics that add up to a holistic strategy.

As their Digital Marketing Consultant or Agency, you can help Local Businesses adopt a comprehensive  strategy. Because being around the corner is not enough. They have to be online, where more and more of their customers are learning about products and making decisions.

Ask us how you can make omnilocal marketing work for your clients. Call our toll-free number at 1-800-250-6106 and schedule a walkthrough.

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Itamar has been on the net since the days it was still in black and white. Born and raised in Israel and now living in the Philippines, founder of SEOReseller.com and recently launched Siteoscope.com.