Montclair is one of the many unique suburbs in Essex county New Jersey. Others like it, Maplewood, Millburn, for example. They all have their own character and quirks. All are predominately bedroom communities for people who want a more suburban life, but still want to be close to New York City.
All are roughly 30 minutes commute from New York City. Montclair is a bit unique in that way. If you do a little digging into the local history, Montclair "came about because residents wanted a second railroad that officials refused to finance. So it is fitting that the township is home to six NJ Transit rail stations, considered the most in one municipality in New Jersey" (Source)
I bring this bit of trivia up for a reason. Many of the small businesses in these areas rely on the ebb and flow of commuter traffic in and out of New York City. Most of their quaint downtown district surround the train station, so that daily ebb and flow is important to know.
One of the major challenges for new businesses in the suburbs, like Montclair, is being found if you are off the beaten path. A great website, when used effectively, can help you get noticed.
If you are on the beaten path, then it’s all about timing. How to maximize the daily rush coming in and out of town as Manhattan and Montclair State come back to life.
In other words, the small business has a clear understanding of their market segment, and they have a clear picture of how they can win. Strategic marketing is how you make this happen.
If there isn't a expected outcome and clear indication of your expected return, then find other help marketing your small business.
If the small business marketing agency you found to help raise your visibility in your market doesn't have a testing and learning plan, find someone else
Any small business digital marketing agency should have digital knowhow. But, you would be surprised that many don't. Before you accept marketing help for your small business, check their technical credentials. Do they offer email marketing? What does their own online marketing look like? How about social media marketing? What do their post look like?
This probably goes without saying, but you'll want to make sure that any marketing help you hire has significant small business experience. Large company solutions won't work.
Marketing is inherently risky. When seeking marketing help, see whether they will share the risk with your small business.
According to Best Designs, original graphics are the most successful.
“Original graphics make up 40% of all successful visual content that accomplishes marketing goals, but 43% of marketers struggle with the consistent production of captivating visuals.”
Since we are communicating one message, the artwork that supports it must work very hard to support the message. This is where local market know-how can really help. Original photos and images of your business in Kipps Bay interacting with your neighborhood can add value.
It also helps with when your calls to action focus on local events in and around Montclair or at your business location.
Every email, no matter how trivial, should have a call to action. This is where all the hard work above pays off. If we omit one, we just wasted resources that could have been spent more cost effectively.
We cover email list building in great detail in our post on small business email marketing. Again, we will just hit the highlights here as it pertains to Montclair. Every neighborhood has summer fairs. While these were severely impacted by COVID, in our post COVID world they should roar back with a vengeance. It would be smart to see if you could piggy-back off one or more of them.
Incentives, deals, free trials, and samples are all great options when developing your calls to action. See if you can partner with your neighbors to create a shared promotion. This way one shopper in Montclair has two or more places to visit while out in the neighborhood.
One of the major challenges for new businesses in the suburbs, like Montclair, is being found if you are off the beaten path. Local digital marketing, when used effectively, can help you get noticed.
If you are on the beaten path, then it’s all about timing. How to maximize the daily rush coming in and out of town.
Look, you want any small business marketing partner vesting in your outcome. Marketing is risking. So, you shouldn't have to bear all the risk. Look for small business marketing help that is confident enough in their skills to own some of the risks. If they are, then you know they genuinely want to help your small business succeed.
Size and local knowledge matter. That's been proven, consistently. Therefore, the quality of the help you receive depends on the knowledge of the area, plus the experience level of the team assigned to your business.
In truth, there are many different benefits that marketing firms of different sizes provides. As Liz O'Neill points out on the Precision Marketing Group blog, the help any small business marketing firm provides needs to match the scale you require.
If you're thinking about finding help in Montclair or Essex County for your small business, here are the things to keep in mind.
Aside from all the general tips above, here are some specific actions you can take based on the three key elements of local search algorithms:
All of this assumes that you have completed your keyword research and developed your keyword list. If you have not, this section will be more effective once you do. Please see our previous post on digital marketing in Montclair and then come back.
Go through your keywords list and select those which are good descriptors of your business. If it were me, I would use something like “digital marketing agency”, “seo services”, for example. Then make a list of the neighborhoods or towns you service, for example “seo services montclair university”.
Now comes the harder part, that is frankly a bit tedious. For each combination, see if you can create a somewhat unique post that’s 500-1000 words for that keyword. For us, it is a post like this. I try to write a post that helps my potential clients learn something or do something they didn’t know they could.
Now, this is the good part. If you do write quality posts for these keywords, you will be raising your prominence. Google knows that all these neighborhoods are in Montclair. So, for each good post you write, you help raise your prominence on a given topic in a given location.
Prominence is also helped by the basic techniques I mentioned earlier, such as being a part of local business groups. Please see the Montclair Chamber of Commerce or New Jersey Small Business for listings that might pertain to you. Any local listing helps.
This is why I like the blog technique because it hits all three key areas. If your keyword is a descriptor of what you do and the neighborhood is one you serve, it is highly that you will score points on relevance.
The same tips would apply if you were wanted to go more broadly, for example, the state level with Local SEO New Jersey