There are countless small businesses, large corporations, and top-end brands operating in New York City. If you run a business that’s relatively new or has limited funds compared to the big-name brands, it takes time, hard work, and strategy to get noticed. However, it’s not impossible.
The key to keeping your business thriving in a metropolis like New York City is understanding your audience and your business’s place within the competitive market. From there, you can develop a digital marketing strategy that makes the most of free platforms so you can spend advertising dollars where it matters most.
Hiring a professional digital marketing company in New York that can guide you every step of the way may be the most cost-effective option for your business. But whether you work with professionals or go it alone, you need to understand the fundamentals of marketing in a big city. First and foremost, you want to know what doesn’t work and what pitfalls you need to avoid. When developing your digital strategy, take heed of these common mistakes that New York City businesses make.
1. Not Understanding Goals or Target Audience
Before crafting your message or choosing a communication channel, you need to gather information about your customers or target audience. This information will help you realize their motivations and preferences. Speaking to their needs and in their language will get your message heard. New York City has a lot of free data on demographics, location data, and analytics of boroughs and the city at large—use this data to your advantage.
2. Poor Content Marketing Strategy and a Lack of Quality Content
Producing quality content is critical for effective digital marketing. Content marketing uses text, images, video, and audio-based media to draw an audience. Once you have the audience’s attention, you can teach, inform, recruit, monetize, or engage in any other activity that can capture and hold their attention.
Quality content fulfills a promise to the audience, such as entertaining, teaching, or solving a problem. It can be in any single format or combination, but be sure to include imagery in your marketing strategy, as humans are visual creatures.
3. Not Generating Enough/Quality Leads
Sales conversion is only as good as the leads you generate. To generate quality leads, start with defining your target market or buyer persona. The characteristics, demographics, interests, behaviors, and aspirations you list will help you craft the right message through the most effective communication channels and allow you to achieve your desired outcome. For example:
- If you find that your target market is price-sensitive, then you can offer coupons and other promotions.
- If the target market needs regular, quality content, then you can provide gated-content.
- If they require access to informational resources to improve their lifestyle, you can offer them a newsletter.
4. Lacking a Strong Social Media Presence
Having a social media presence is non-negotiable for most businesses these days. If you lack a strong social media presence, you inevitably miss out on substantial marketing gains. Social media is similar to word of mouth advertising; it is a free and effective referral source.
Just having a social media profile is not enough—you need to create a dynamic, engaged community around your brand. To do that, you can:
- Create and share quality content
- Actively engage with followers
- Hold contests and giveaways
- Post regularly and at strategic times
5. Neglecting SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves a host of strategies and tactics to maximize your search engine ranking. SEO is important because potential customers will find your company, products, or content through internet searches. Neglecting SEO is a common and costly mistake that many businesses, especially small businesses, make.
SEO can be time-consuming and complicated; many businesses turn to professional agencies instead of doing the work in-house. But even a small business owner can attract more traffic if they understand the basics. At its core, SEO is about providing a simple, comfortable, and effective solution to the internet user. To achieve a higher search ranking, you can:
- Register your local business on location services like Google My Business or FourSquare. If a user searches for pizza, search engines use location data to show the nearest businesses’ results.
- Create an easy-to-use, mobile-friendly website. A website can have multiple functions like online transactions, content curation, or customer services. If your business has the functions or resources that searchers need, your website will rank higher.
- Collaborating with other businesses will help you build online links that affirm your business and elevate your ranking.
Embracing the Big Apple
New York City has many international brands and successful American companies, most of which aren’t local. But New Yorkers love to support their own, so use that to your advantage and connect with your community. To maximize impact, tailor your content, products, and marketing campaigns to your target audience, but always remain flexible enough to adapt. Change won’t happen overnight, but with hard work and patience, your efforts will pay off.