How to use digital marketing to find new local customers

SPONSORED: Ellen Mikals, Commercial Manager at eBay explains how any business can become expert in using online advertising to find new customers in their local area.

Whether you’re an online or physical retailer, or service provider, digital advertising is now critical to growing your customer base and your business. But many small businesses struggle to effectively reach real customers in a virtual world when they don’t know where to start.

That’s why, at eBay we have put together our top three tips for businesses in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom trades to help them use online advertising to their advantage and find new, local customers. And, with eBay Local Service Ads, we give businesses the tools they need to grow their business, with access to the 24 million shoppers on ebay.co.uk.

Identify your audience and platform

With digital advertising, not only is the world is at your fingertips… but your local area too. All thanks to data.

The right data can lead you to the right customer, so before you launch into online advertising, you need to work out who exactly your customers are, pinpoint the information that will help you find them – whether that’s age, purchase and search history or location, for example – and identify the websites that offer that wealth of data and insights you need to reach those customers.

For instance, by advertising your business on ebay.co.uk with eBay Local Service Ads, you could choose to show your ad to a specific group of people who might be interested in your goods or services, such as people over the age of 35 who live in or close to York and are searching for bedroom furnishings or bathroom fittings. You’ll be able to get your business in front of people that might be interested now, and in front of people that could be in the near future.

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Have your objectives front of mind

You need to have a clear goal for your marketing campaign – whether that’s more sales or in-bound enquiries – but you also need to nudge potential customers in the right direction. Do you want to direct people to your physical store? To your website? Or perhaps to your eBay store?

Make sure you have this front of mind as you create your advertising message. And as you consider how exactly to engage with your audience to help achieve your objectives, think about how to build your advertising message so that you demonstrate how you’ll meet your customers’ needs by emphasising key benefits such as convenience, a local service, or free returns.

Put your ad to the test

Whoever you’re trying to reach with your advertisements, whether that’s someone in their 30s who’s just bought a fixer upper for their first home, or a landlord in their 50s who’s refurbishing a property, you need to bear in mind that advertisements don’t always affect people the way you intend them to and different people will respond to the same message in different ways.

Even experienced marketers won’t always get an ad right the first time they try. That’s why it’s always worth testing the waters with a couple of ideas first.

By choosing to show various advertisements to key audiences, being systematic in your approach, and measuring the results – click through rate or number of inbound enquiries for example – you will be able to work out which ad is the most effective in engaging new customers, so you can confidently place more budget behind it and launch a longer campaign.

If you want to find out more about how your business can reach people who are already in a buying mood, go to ebaylocalservices.com

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