Note: This article was filed by a paid contributor to Xerox Corporation.
Of the 3.5 billion search queries Google receives daily, 46 percent are local and 72 percent of those local searches result in a visit to a brick-and-mortar location. It’s safe to say the relationship between digital and traditional marketing is blurred especially for Xerox channel partners where local digital search often results in a call or visit to your location.
Websites and digital properties such as social media work together with signage, word-of-mouth and other traditional marketing tactics to drive demand for your products and services locally. Aligning your digital and analog assets with current trends helps build trust and creates cohesive and consistent experiences for prospects and customers. Here are a few tips to get started:
- Easy navigation.
Your physical location is easy to find thanks to eye-catching signage. The entrance is located where expected and once inside, customers navigate intuitively. That’s because you took the time to make your store inviting and easy to maneuver. The same principal applies online. When visitors arrive, online navigation needs to be equally intuitive. These elements make a big difference for users:
- Simple and intuitive navigation to the homepage. Include a home button or linked logo in the upper left quadrant of your website navigation.
- Easy to find contact information. Place this information in the footer and on a separate contact page.
- Product pages with current information. Most prospects want prices or price ranges and specs without having to contact you.
- A fully functioning search box that can quickly lead your visitor to the best page based on the keywords they entered
- Mobile responsive.
A mobile friendly website is imperative to search rankings. In a recent article, Carlo Longhi, Director and General Manager Xerox European Resellers and Suppliers Group, explained why. 42 percent of prospects use a mobile device during their B2B purchasing process and 48 percent of consumers begin their mobile research with a search engine.  As a result, search engines downgrade mobile unfriendly websites making them more difficult to find online.
- Social media visibility and engagement.
There is no doubt that prospects are more likely to do what their friends and colleagues are doing, and to be influenced by the opinions they gather from their social feeds. This is called “social proof” and it is the new word-of-mouth marketing for the digital age.
Fortunately, Xerox’s “Social on Demand” platform provides channel partners with relevant social posts ready to use. It’s not a replacement for original, local posts and social engagement, but it helps maintain consistent posting when you run short on time. Here’s how social media can drive demand for your products and services locally:
- Connect, engage and build rapport with existing and new customers
- Be easily found by linking to your social media profiles on your website.
- Provide exclusive offers or discounts.
- Run social media ads targeting a smaller geographical area.
Your social media accounts are also a great place to show your business’ personality, just be sure to post regularly, and include a clear call-to-action in your posts.
- Compelling content.
Website content, and blogs in particular, serve several purposes. First, search engines index content, which makes it key for good search engine optimization (SEO). Secondly, content speaks for you when prospects do self-directed research before they introduce themselves. In this article, we provide actionable tips for developing blog topics that improve local SEO for channel partners.
- A little more on content…
Whether it’s blogging, social media or website copy, content influences search rankings, builds trust with prospects and drives demand. When developing your website, keep these additional content cornerstones in mind:
- Create content from the buyer’s perspective. Address their pain points and how you solve them. Highlight your capabilities, but don’t dwell on your greatness.
- Publish videos and other visuals such as images and infographics. These elements are important for influencing perceptions and encourage visitors to spend more time on the page, which improves SEO.
- Highlight your team and company culture. “About” pages are typically well visited making them the perfect place to showcase your business.
- Be consistent visually and with content and messaging. Websites should mirror signage and brand colors and images found at your business location.
Today’s customers expect seamless, consistent experiences across your digital and business locations. By taking the time to extend the local journey online, you’re delivering on those expectations to prospects, before you meet.
For more marketing tips and tricks and to find out what’s working for other Xerox Channel Partners, join and participate in our exclusive partner-only LinkedIn group. There’s never been a better time to become a Xerox Channel Partner! Learn more about growing your business with Xerox at http://www.xerox.com/channelpartners
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