Philadelphia is an amazing city that often gets overshadowed by its noisy neighbors to the north (New York City) and the south (Washington DC). With New York City and Washington taking up the oxygen, Philly can get overlooked. That's a shame because Philadelphia has so much to offer.
Philadelphia is the sixth largest city in the US, and the second largest city on the East Coast. This is right. It is bigger than DC and Boston. Maybe it is part of its Quaker history, but Philly does blare its own horn as much as its sister cities on the coast.
There are 3 million jobs in Philadelphia. Many of which are highly skilled in industries such as medicine, technology, financial services, renewables, and many others. In fact, it's the 6th largest workforce in the nation.
With all this diversity, the marketing challenge most small businesses face is one of awareness.
With so much choice packed into such a small area, the key to success in Philadelphia is standing out and being noticed. A great mobile site can do just that.
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.
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 Philadelphia. 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 Philadelphia has two or more places to visit while out in the neighborhood.
With so much choice packed into such a small area, the key to success in Philadelphia is standing out and being noticed. Local digital marketing can help you do just that.
I wish it were otherwise, but it is like a law of nature. The size of your account is directly proportional to the time the agency will spend on it. It is also proportional to the quality and experience of the talent that we are assigned to your business. Luckily, you can solve this problem by finding an agency where your business and budget matters to their bottom line. This is why smaller firms are preferable for smaller businesses.
Location is equally important. Most small businesses are local businesses, where the target audience is within a few blocks to mile radius from your location. Each place is unique. It has its own quirks. It takes someone who knows the area to understand those nuances. This is important because you want your ads to be perceived as authentic. Customers are easily turned off by cookie-cutter responses or creative.
Marketing is not an exact science, where you say X and your target always does Y. This doesn't mean that marketing does not work or that it is a waste of time. It simply acknowledges the fact upfront that marketing contains some risk. It is true that there are best practices that can reduce this risk to optimize your return.
However, you never have complete information so sometimes even the best plans take time or need tweaking. This is why you should seek a partner who is upfront about the risk and is willing to share it with you. You also have to be willing to invest the time in following best practices. If you are dictating all the terms, then it is only reasonable that you accept that risk.
If you're thinking about finding help in Philadelphia for your small business, here are some 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 Philadelphia 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 Center City”, or “seo service Chester County”.
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 the Philadelphia region. 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 Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce or JobStars 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 likely that you will score points on relevance.
Finding the right SEO for your small business in a neighborhood like Philadelphia can be a crucial way to get your company noticed online.