It’s tough to describe all of Queens as if it were one unit. However, it is fair to say that Queens tends to get the short stick. Manhattan looks at Queens as a bit of backwater. Brooklyn thinks it's cooler.
Although I have never lived in Queens, after 20 plus years in New York, I’ve been in the borough enough to know that Queens can surprise you. It’s actually closer to Midtown Manhattan than Brooklyn, and you can still find great places to live at reasonable prices.
Queens is the largest borough in New York City. It covers over 100 square miles and is a patchwork quilt of 91 neighborhoods, like Astoria, Long Island City, and 89 more.
The challenges businesses face when trying to market to the whole borough is its diversity. It’s hard to find a message that will resonate with all of them. In the end, you may have to choose just a few.
Great web design is important no matter where you are located. However, in densely populated areas like Queens, where mobile usage is high. These best practices are highly important especially
Strategy is a term that is misused often. A strategy is making a clear choice of between options. As a metaphor, I like to use a vacation as the example. The strategy is choosing where to go. The tactic is the means of transportation. Here, you need to evaluate if the agency you choose has a clear understand of where you are going and how it can deploy its tactics to help you win.
Sometimes marketing is an investment. Sometimes programs work. Sometimes, they fail. Regardless, you need a measurement plan in place to know which to kill and which to grow.
Learning is part of any marketing campaign. It is how you improve and grow. The market is constantly changing. You will be best suited to meet that change if you constantly testing.
Digital marketing is a diverse field. One group specializes on web design and another on social. If you need a specialized agency for each, the costs add up quickly. Each have overheads they need to cover. This is where a full service agency can help. Those overheads are shared the different disciplines. Now, one caveat, it is important to know that the full service agency can provide the same if not better quality as the specialized.
Large company solutions or carbon copies of other campaigns rarely work for small businesses. If you are seeking marketing help, make sure that the firm you chose has the experience in small business.
If a marketing firm will not share some of the risk with you, then they are not as vested in the outcome as you are.
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 Queens 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 Queens. 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 Queens has two or more places to visit while out in the neighborhood.
All that diversity creates a unique targeting challenge. Who is the right target to pick? Should I segment by neighborhood, income, ethnicity? It can be a very difficult choice. Luckily, there are digital marketing tools that can help. Social listening tools can help find out who is talking about what and give us some insight into who is most interested in what we do. Plus, once you define that target, digital marketing provides a level of specificity that no other media can match.
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 Queens 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 Queens 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 you service, for example “seo services Flushing”, or “seo service Astoria”.
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 Queens 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 NYC.gov or Queens Chamber of Commerce 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.
Finding the right SEO for your small business in a neighborhood like Queens can be a crucial way to get your company noticed online.
These same tools could be applied to local SEO in NYC.