It probably goes without saying that the past 18 months have been an unprecedented time for local businesses to have to endure. Both 2020 and 2021 have presented real challenges to most business owners. Sadly, many small businesses have had to go out of business, and many others are struggling to keep their doors open. And in many cases, the brick-and-mortar locations which depend upon local foot traffic have been hit the hardest.
You’ve probably seen some of the numbers. One report said that 92% of small businesses have been negatively impacted by COVID, but even that estimate may be conservative. However, that same report also shared another interesting statistic worth noting – 3% of small businesses have actually grown through the pandemic!
So, how have some businesses managed to grow in the midst of such trying circumstances? Some experienced growth merely as a result of the industry they happened to be in. As you’ll recall, demand for certain products (like toilet paper!) spiked exponentially with the onset of the pandemic. E-commerce in general also experienced a significant boost while so many people were quarantining themselves at home. Many of the small businesses which experienced growth were able to do so thanks to already having an established online sales platform in place.
If yours is a business that’s capable of tapping into e-commerce avenues, then you should absolutely do so. The popularity of e-commerce will only continue to rise over time, pandemic or no pandemic. But what if the services you provide really don’t translate well to an e-commerce platform?
While these may be uncertain times for businesses of all sizes and stripes, there are still some things you can do to help put your business in the best position for experiencing growth. Having the right digital marketing strategy – and being able to implement it effectively – is truly one of the smartest moves you can make in 2021. And whether you’re an online business or not, Google Ads is one of the most potent tools for taking advantage of new opportunities and capturing more customers.
When it comes to advertising online and acquiring new customers, Google is an undisputable leader with over 3.5 billion searches a day. Google continues to dominate the search engine space, commanding over 92% of market share. And because that’s true, Google Ads is a great digital platform for scaling up your business and creating greater reach for your brand.
Let’s take a specific industry example of how to use Google Ads for your business. Are you familiar with outdoor metal buildings? It started out as a demand for carports and garages, but the popularity of light-gauge steel structures has steadily grown, along with the many potential applications they offer for residential, commercial, and agricultural settings. To begin with, metal building providers relied heavily upon foot traffic at their physical locations, but the nature of the business has changed dramatically over the past decade.
By following the progress of this industry and how leading metal building providers do business with their customers, you can also take some cues on how to develop your own digital advertising strategy, which incorporates Google Ads.
Nobody knows your customers better than you do. You’ve been interacting with your customers for years; you understand their sentiments, purchasing habits, and which particular products & services they’re looking for. Regardless of what’s going on with the pandemic, your customers still need what you have to offer. How will you help them to find you and be able to do business with you?
Start by providing them a digital platform (i.e. a website) where they can find you and interact with you. Whether it’s the metal building industry or any other industry, you need to create a dynamic, well-optimized, & responsive website that’s designed to work as effectively with mobile browsers as it is with computer browsers. Don’t know how to go about building the right website to meet our needs? Cibirix can help with that.
Start by setting the goals you want to achieve. Whether you’d like to generate more incoming calls, get more lead form submissions, boost purchases on your e-commerce platform, get more folks to sign up for your email newsletter, or something else – write it all down. Google Ads are a great way to help you achieve these goals, and more.
And another great benefit of leveraging Google Ads is your ability to pinpoint your exact target audience. You can dial down to demographics like age, gender, locations, and even target according to users’ browsing habits.
In the case of the metal building industry, most customers are over the age of 26, so it only makes sense to target folks in that age bracket and above.
The pandemic hasn’t just changed how we go about our daily lives; it’s changed how we shop and do business, too. It’s high time for you to reinvent and redefine what the purchasing process looks like for your own customers, too.
Again looking at the metal building industry, the way shoppers gather information and make purchasing decisions has changed. The more options that metal building providers give shoppers for customizing their building upfront online, the easier it is to help move them through the buying funnel. In the past, buyers could only customize things like metal building size, metal framing design, metal paneling gauge, roof style, colors, etc., through direct human interaction. Companies like Sensei have come along to help small businesses bridge the gap by offering web-based 3D design and pricing tools. Now customers can custom design every aspect of their perfect building from the comfort of their couch.
Google Ads is another technology which can help to make your business more profitable. And in addition to taking advantage of paid marketing, there are some things you can do to reinvent and optimize the experience your customers have in finding your website, and then navigating around once they actually click on your site. Following these strategies can help you funnel in more traffic and engage more customers without necessarily adding to your ad spend:
Consistently provide your customers with more than what they’re looking for or expect, and they’ll be loyal to you for a lifetime. In addition, you want to also be intentional about keeping yourself on your customers’ radar; don’t let them forget about you! In addition to drawing new visitors to your site, this also entails retargeting your existing customer base.
Start by isolating any weak points which may be causing your website performance to stagnate. You don’t just want web users to stop by and look around; what you’re really after is getting them to take action. For example, reintroduce yourself to those who have visited your page but didn’t complete any of your intended goals by showing them an upgraded & improved & landing page.
Google Ads can help with your remarketing efforts, too. With Google Ads remarketing, you can bring attention to the web pages that your customers haven’t yet seen, or that you want them to see again. Google’s behavioral retargeting enables you to pinpoint customers who have purchased before, spent a certain amount of time on your site (or on a specific landing page), filled out a contact form, downloaded one of your resources, and much more. You can also easily conduct a loyalty & referral program for your existing customers through the use of Google Ad tools, too.
Readjusting your marketing strategies based on A/B test results is a smart move, too. This can help you to stop the campaigns that aren’t producing the kinds of fruit you need, and to place your focus on other strategies. Google Ads can help provide A/B testing insights you need to help you make the best advertising decisions for your small business. For example, these insights can help you to keeping only your highest-performing & most profitable ads in front of your target audience. By learning to unleash the full power of Google Ads, you can generate more business for your small business!
When handled correctly, Google Ads can prove to be a very cost-effective way to generate leads, acquire new customers, and produce more sales for your small business. You also have the ability to measure the ROI of every single ad you run – something that can’t be said for many other less-effective marketing methods.
Ready to give Google Ads a go, but not sure about what your next steps should be? Put a digital marketing pro in your corner – the team at Cibirix Digital Marketing Agency is here to help small businesses just like yours. Let’s partner to get your business GROWING again, pandemic or no pandemic! Connect with us today, and let’s get the conversation started!
Bhim Singh serves as a PPC Analyst for the Cibirix digital marketing team. One of his specialties is helping clients to make the best data-driven decisions in choosing the right PPC strategies for delivering maximum benefit, while also staying within your set advertising budget. In his spare time, Bhim loves to study, cook, and play with his niece – not necessarily in that order.