Marketing Your Business Locally In Bromley and Beckenham

Do you need to market your Bromley based business? Check out our local marketing guide!

How to market your business for free (or inexpensively) in the Bromley Borough!

If your business is based within the Bromley Borough / BR postcode area (covering BR1 to BR8) then our guide to marketing your business locally will help you, but even if you have a business based outside of the Bromley borough, you can still use parts of our guide to help you market your business within your local area too!

Many business owners worry about the cost of marketing their business and others don’t really know where to start, so we have come up with this guide, written in simple, easy to understand terms to help you cost effectively market your business, products or services to the local Bromley Borough based community.

Make Sure You Have A Good Website For Your Bromley Based Business

Your website

The basis to any business is a decent website, without a website your customers won’t know you exist locally and even if you have a shop front you will only capture passing trade and perhaps generate business via word-of-mouth, so the need to have a website to promote yourself online to a much wider local audience is a must.

It goes without saying that a website can considerably increase the exposure and visibility of your company and bump up your all important bottom line – being able to reach out to a local audience via your website 24/7/365 means you will never miss out on a potential customer enquiry or sale!

As a rule of thumb, a simple website should contain the following key pages/information:

Homepage – your homepage should contain your unique selling points and key product/service information; for example, you may be a unique business that offers a service that no-one else does within the Bromley borough, so make sure you prioritise this information and let your customers know that you are the business to use if they are looking for that service or product that no-one else offers.

If you are running a promotion or special offer, include this on your homepage too – people love to read about offers and promotions, and having this information prominently displayed on the homepage can (in most cases) convert someone visiting your website out of curiosity to find out more about a discounted haircut and colour (if you are a hair salon for example) into a customer that wants to book an appointment, so make sure your promotional offers are clear for everyone to see.

It’s also wise to include a little introduction about your business – a high-level 3-4 line intro that gives people the gist of who you are, where you are in the Bromley borough and what you are all about and can offer to them.

Social media feeds, contact information and links to handy information or key pages within your website should also feature towards the bottom of the website as well, ideally in the footer area, and keep all important information above what’s known as the ‘fold’ (the ‘fold’ section on a website is the portion of a web page that is visible in a browser window when the website first loads, before scrolling down the web page to view the rest of the content – this section is known as ‘below the fold’ content).

About Us – This page is dedicated to all the details about your company including your background/history, provenance, all about you and your experience / qualifications, details on why customers should choose your company and any accreditations, awards or any other information you feel would be relevant on this page. Basically, the more information you can give to your customers explaining who you are, what you do, why they should use your company and anything else that sets you apart the better.

Services – Your services can either be broken down into individual pages (one page per service) or you can feature all services on one page, depending on how much information you have on each service. Remember to keep the information on-point but detail the important information that your customers would want to read or need to know. When you write the text for each of your services, put yourself in the shoes of your customers and think about the sort of information you would want to read – information that is informative, to the point and answers questions – not waffley text or technical jargon that means absolutely nothing to them.

Blog – blogging is great for providing your customers with how-to guides, hints, tips and much more, and it’s also good for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) purposes too. It is important to create blogs that are meaningful and serve a purpose to your website visitors, not blogs that don’t really address any specific topic and are written for the sake of having to keep your blog section updated. Simply put, if you don’t feel you are going to keep your blog section regularly updated (with at LEAST 1 blog per month) then don’t bother starting one. Not only can an outdated blog send out the wrong/negative messages to your customers, but Google will also slap your wrists due to outdated website content.

Gallery – Having a gallery on your website is important if your business sells products or services. Potential customers like to see what they are buying into before taking the plunge, so if you are a cake maker show off some of your best work – perhaps a cake for a wedding, engagement, 60th or perhaps a tray of nicely decorated cupcakes, or if you are a painter and decorator, showing before and after gallery images can really help your customers to see the transformation! You get the idea, however show only your very best images, don’t bother including photos that are poor in quality, pixelated or generally don’t show off your product or service that well.

Contact Us – Your customers need to be able to contact you, so include all your contact information on this page. You should also include a customer contact form so customers can quickly and easily contact you – see our example here.

Typically, businesses will include the following contact information:

  • Main contact number (and any other numbers)
  • Address
  • Opening times
  • Google map showing location
  • Email address
  • Social Media links

Of course websites can be far more complex and contain many more pages than the examples I have given here and e-commerce websites even more so, but the above run-down gives you an idea as to the sort of core information you should be thinking about when setting up a new website.

SEO For Bromley Businesses

Local Bromley SEO

Local Search Engine Optimisation (also known as SEO) is imperative to the local visibility of your business in Google search results pages. To market your business to a local Bromley audience means you should consider a Bromley based SEO campaign. SEO is an ongoing monthly service and is defined as ‘online marketing’ and to be seen high up on Google your website gets fully optimised progressively each month to ensure that all the content within each page (this is known as ‘on-page’ optimisation) conforms to SEO requirements.

The sort of SEO activities undertaken each month include keyword planning and implementation, page titles and descriptions, header tags, new content and landing pages along with lots of other tasks), as well as ‘off-page’ tasks like link building, Google My Business setup and management, Google reviews, citation building and more.

We have written other blogs that explains the basics of SEO and how it will help your business as well as another blog that provides an easy to follow infographic, giving you 20 SEO tips to consider when building your website Finally, we offer a free SEO website check, to point you in the right direction on SEO tasks you can do to improve the visibility of your website on Google.

Google My Business

In our opinion, one of the cornerstones of good local visibility on Google is to set your business profile up on Google My Business.

If you have searched for a local business in the past you might have noticed a business listing located on the right-hand side of Google search results pages. As an example, if you click here, a separate window will open and show you our Google My Business listing. Your profile will include photos, opening times, address details along with your Google reviews and more.

In summary, never underestimate the power of an effective, successful local SEO campaign to increase your business visibility online across the Bromley borough and beyond.

#BeckBromFL Hashtag Group On Twitter

Using the #BeckBromFL hashtag on Social Media posts

Hashtag groups (also known as online networking groups) is a great (and free) way to engage with other local business owners and the community through Social Media. Twitter and Facebook are especially good, however other Social Media platforms that use hashtags, such as Instagram are also just as good too.

We have written a blog that explains what a hashtag networking group is, and shows you how to hashtag like a pro!

A well-established local networking group, #BeckBromFL (stands for Beckenham Bromley Follower Ladder) is focused across the Bromley and Beckenham areas (and can cover the whole of the BR postcode area), and is based on hashtag networking using the follower ladder principle, meaning multiple people follow this hashtag; this basically means for anyone that includes the #BeckBromFL hashtag on their tweet,

for example:

“Morning everyone, how are we all on this lovely day? #BeckBromFL”

Everyone else would see this tweet if they follow the Twitter group (handle: @BeckBromFL) or the hashtag (#BeckBromFL).

Since 2011, BeckBromFL has already helped many business owners across Bromley and Beckenham get noticed by local community and is well known and respected by business owners and customers alike. Remember to include the hashtag in your tweets and posts – doing so will ensure your business gets seen by the local communities of Bromley, Beckenham and the BR postcode area, and best of all – its free!

WoWBromley

WoWBromley (Word on (the) Web Bromley)

WoWBromley is the next step beyond #BeckBromFL (and is also owned and run by Lynda who runs the #BeckBromFL hashtag) and is a great way to be able to promote your business across the entire WoWBromley network.

WoWBromley is an online business directory/portal that showcases businesses, services, events, jobs and more in and around the Bromley area to the local community.

WoWBromley has built an excellent following on both Twitter and Facebook meaning that thousands of potential customers will see your business services each time WowBromley posts about your services on Facebook or Twitter.

Businesses are also reviewed by their customers on WoWBromley too so you can have a read of credible, unbiased customer reviews when looking for local business services.

It is free to sign up, and there are also inexpensive paid-for advertising options offered too. We use and highly recommend WoWBromley.

#BromleyCupper

‘Networking Cupper’ (#BromleyCupper)

Another up and coming networking group – Networking Cupper – also aims to connect businesses and will be holding regular business events and exhibitions locally to help build exposure for local businesses. BromleyCupper is a great network, helping businesses and members to create friendships, contacts and help each other grow and develop in business.

BromleyCupper also runs a weekly Twitter networking hour every Wednesday evening, starting at 8pm and finishing at 9pm – why not get involved in the conversations each week and introduce your business, your services or products, special offers, help, advice and more to others and have a general natter with everyone else too. Always remember to include the #BromleyCupper hashtag each time you tweet so others can see your posts!

Beckenham Forum

Beckenham Forum

Beckenham Forum has been setup by Alice Marsh and is a bulletin-board style forum that allows local businesses to engage with Beckenham residents and offers the perfect platform to discuss a whole range of topics including local business services, properties for sale in the area, family life discussion, events and more.

It’s free to join, and there are inexpensive banner advertising options available on the website. At the time of writing this blog (April 2017) Alice has reported that the forum now has over 600 members and over 9,000 Beckenham residents have used the forum! Fantastic!

Use Social Media Locally To Help Others And Build Your Engagement

Using Social Media locally

Nowadays it seems strange to think that there was once a time when Social Media wasn’t an integral part of a business marketing strategy, in fact, Social Media wasn’t even really a thing! However, whilst many small businesses still struggle with the task of successful promotion using Social Media, there are indications that business owners are gradually gaining more and more Social Media skills and confidence when using different platforms.

In addition to including the local hashtag networking groups in your posts as discussed above, supporting other local businesses by commenting and engaging with their posts and tweets and sharing their content to help them reach a wider audience is a great way to not only build new friendships, but also means that others sharing your content will help you to spread the word about your products or services far and wide. In essence, it’s all about supporting one-another.

Those that understand Social Media will know that it’s all about 2 things predominately; promotion and engagement. The online community at large has little tolerance for prolific self-promoters who view Social Media solely as a means for free constant self-promotion, with a cavalier disregard to others and lack of engagement. That said, business owners still face the challenge when it comes to finding the right balance between promotion of their business, product(s) and/or service(s) and engagement with others.

In essence, promotion and engagement really are two sides of the same coin. Engagement is more focused in sharing insight, knowledge and providing value every time you connect with a customer/follower, but also supporting other businesses through re-tweeting and adding value to other businesses you follow/like. Promotion of your business can be incorporated within engagement efforts by presenting a valuable offer that’s based on your audiences’ interests and needs.

As an easy way to understand all this, below is a run-down of the best practices to follow to successfully engage and promote on Social Media!

Follow the “one-in-seven” rule

This rule represents a balance between promoting and engaging. This means only one post in every seven should directly promote your business. The other six posts should be focused on sharing valuable content from others, such as re-tweeting or including posts from the local community, however this isn’t to say you can’t promote your business in other posts or tweets, just make sure you create great content to go with it and use relevant images!

Ask questions that start conversation / debate

Many people like to share opinions or take part in polls, so why not ask Facebook followers to give their opinion on local topics or ask questions that are relevant to your business and interesting to your followers. You can further incentivise your audience to participate by offering a prize or giveaway. Remember your questions should be engaging, on-trend, interesting and relevant.

Share your expertise

People buy into people first and foremost, so give away some of your expertise and insightful knowledge through Social Media to build trust between you and your customers. Offer to help others and answer questions for free. You can also post little-known fun facts and write helpful blog guides and articles that you can post on Social Media that contains a link, directing followers to your website and the relevant page, so they can read the blog/article.

Provide value to your audience

Whilst posting fun, light-hearted posts that reflect your personality is important to include as part of your overall strategy, it is equally as important to create content that benefits your followers. Posts that contain tips, best practices, providing links to helpful blogs, articles and guides and offering special deals or discounts on your products and services are all just as valuable to your audience.

Offer rewards for check-ins

For a time-limited period, or even monthly for something more regular, reward your customers that check-in to your venue on Facebook or mention you on Twitter when visiting you. This obviously works best for restaurants, bars and other similar business types. Doing this not only keeps your customers happy as you are rewarding them for their efforts, but also means their friends / followers on social networks will see when they have checked-in at your business and this helps increase your reach.

Avoid posting the same message across all platforms

With so many Social Media management applications available to use nowadays that allow you to manage all your platforms from one dashboard, there can often be the temptation to write one message and post across all your Social Media platforms, but doing this can lose the sincerity and significance behind your posts and end up losing you followers as it may give off the impression of laziness or that you just can’t be bothered. Try changing the wording, using different images to reflect the tone and style of each Social Media network, better still, write individual posts for each network.

Measure your results

Generating insightful analytics from your posts is one thing, but actually analysing those stats and implementing the data to improve your business’s Social Media strategy is altogether another. The most successful Social Media strategies are those that use and implement the analytics to improve; changing and adapting the strategy to make sure the content and approach is always current and ahead of the curve.

In addition to including the local hashtag networking groups in your posts as discussed above, supporting other local businesses by commenting and engaging with their posts and tweets and sharing their content to help them reach a wider audience is a great way to not only build new friendships, but also means that others sharing your content will help you to spread the word about your products or services far and wide. In essence, it’s all about supporting one-another.

But I don’t have any Social Media accounts!

All of the above is irrelevant to you if you don’t use Social Media within your business. Ignoring the benefits of what Social Media can bring really is commercial suicide and you will end up missing out on so many (free) benefits that Social Media has to offer you and your business. We have written another blog – Social Media marketing guide – our top 14 mistakes to avoid! that will help you to use Social Media with confidence, avoid the pitfalls and achieve Social Media greatness!

Write Blogs And Articles

Blogs and guides

Spending some time, perhaps an odd hour here and there to research ways to cost effectively market your business online locally through reading blogs and articles published by others can prove to be invaluable and also help to build your knowledge and understanding of online marketing and all the different techniques used.

You can read our blogs by clicking here and there are literally thousands and thousands of excellent resources online that will help you to enhance and improve your marketing efforts.

Equally, why not contribute towards the vast pool of knowledge and write blogs that are specific to what you do so you can help others in your industry?

Here are some ideas to help you come up with blog subjects:

  • Answer some of the frequently asked questions your customers may ask you.
  • Offer a how-to guide on how to do something, for instance, if you are a plumber, maybe a guide on how to bleed a radiator, or if you are a cleaner, tips on how to get rid of tea stains in cups and on spoons.
  • Discuss a topic that is relevant to your industry – if you are a builder, talk about the most sustainable, eco-friendly ways to build.

Create helpful downloads, such as checklists (if you are moving house for example, an Estate Agent could create the ultimate moving house guide and checklist of all the things you need to do), special recipes for those that suffer with food allergies or intolerances, or even downloadable templates, such as a CV or business plan template.

Final thoughts and summary

We hope that this blog has given you some inspiration and food-for-thought to help you market your business locally across the Bromley borough (and beyond). With just a little bit of time and effort each day, you can reach a valuable local market through the many active networking groups across Bromley and Beckenham and also build your local awareness through a great website, engaging Social Media channels, hash-tagging and some localised SEO to ensure you are seen on Google!

Send us your ideas!

If you have any other great ideas to market businesses locally that we haven’t mentioned in this blog and would like us to add it in, or if you run a local networking event that you would like included, please send over your ideas or event details by clicking here, along with a link to your website, event or Social Media and we will add your ideas/event details to this blog!

Acknowledgements

Main picture of Glades courtesy of Retail Week.

Summary
Do you need to market your Bromley based business? Check out our local marketing guide!
Article Name
Do you need to market your Bromley based business? Check out our local marketing guide!
Description
Are you a Bromley or Beckenham based business? If so check out our really handy guide to help you market your business locally!
Author
Publisher Name
Vaccoda
Publisher Logo
Social Media marketing guide – our top 14 mistakes to avoid!
Search Engine Optimisation trends to watch out for in 2017
Menu