How to truly partner with a local business and franchise? That’s a question you need to ask yourself as a digital marketing agency.

You can provide the tools, great proactive tools. A great dashboard that is easy to understand and that illustrates relevant data about their local business. You should highlight what local competitors are doing and where there is an advantage to be had.

Visibility into listings, social media, reports…all these things are necessary and the local businesses and franchises derive benefit from them. But, to answer the question of how to best support a local business, from the lens of a digital marketing partner, the answer is, to be a real partner and get involved.

The most successful local business owners maximize their returns wherever they can. Almost all of them have the offline basics covered. They figure out the selling balance between cost and volume. They offer products that are in demand and provide service that keeps customers returning.

Online marketing is generally a challenge to them. Getting new customers and having existing customers return, more often than not, now falls to the internet. This is where a real digital partner gets involved, to maximize returns.

As a real partner to these small and medium businesses, the first priority is to get their online basics covered. The next is to partner with them so their business excels and takes advantage of digital marketing opportunities. Finally, showing proof of value and stimulating the local business to engage more and more with internet marketing.

In previous articles, we have detailed the basics that are needed for digital marketing success to begin. These same things will be the foundation of what we expect will work in the future, regardless if machine learning, deeper mobile search, and other non-conventional marketing enters the picture.

A brief look at the basics:

1. A modern, friendly business website taking advantage of the code architecture on the site.

2. Having relevant content onsite, and ideally adding to it, leading to a conversion.

3. Getting the business’ online listings posted accurately in the relevant places.

4. Getting local reviews and citations, and managing existing ones with care.

5. Engaging in social media sites to have conversations with potential customers.

To dominate the local competition and prove value, the real digital marketing partner should be ensuring the following are done for their clients:

6. Doing deeper search engine marketing on the website so the client ranks high on search engines, even when their competitors have done the basics above.

7. Proactively looking for potential patrons on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, and engaging them to convert browsers to customers.

8. Managing reviews, alerting clients, and helping to respond to them when necessary. Also, getting the business new positive reviews listed on the right websites.

9. Talking with the SMB or franchise about social media, and helping them post simple, relevant, fun information that is conversational and not a sales pitch.

10. Staying on top of new internet trends, explaining them and adjusting strategy.

Bonus: Communicating and reporting. Explain the successes and failures.

Real partners of SMBs and franchises need to get involved in helping the client do all the things they need, but may not know how or have time to do themselves. By covering the 10 points above, the chances of success for you and your client significantly improve.

Localbiz360 is an SaaS platform where you can manage all of the basics as technology moves ahead.

Speak to us about our excellent digital marketing services. We’ve worked with thousands of business owners on services such as: getting you listed, getting reviews and responding to them, running social media campaigns, conversion optimization, tackling Voice search with thorough SEO and PPC so your business gets the calls.

When we synchronize all the components properly, your business will thrive.

Stuart Sherman