Organic vs. Paid promotion How to best drive business success via digital channels Attracting leads and driving them to secure your locksmithing services is a tall order in the digital era. Millions of websites compete for maximum visibility, reach, engagement and conversions - you’ll need to know how to promote your business online if you wish to succeed. Two main methods of promotion exist - organic and paid. What are they? How do they compare to one another and how do you decide which to use? Today, we’re answering these questions and more. What is organic promotion? Organic promotion is the modern-day equivalent to word-of-mouth advertising. To drum up business for your locksmithing company, you’d create SEO-optimized (keyword-embedded) posts, landing pages and other content types for social media (like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and online search engines (Google, Bing, etc.). The content would provide your customers with information about your products and services - on social media in the form of engaging posts and on search engines as compelling headlines and descriptions that let customer know enough to click-through. The main advantage - organic promotion is extremely economical or free to engage in. Another plus, these posts tend to be less salesy, instead providing real value your customers can understand. What is paid promotion? Paid promotion is exactly what is sounds like - you pay to have your content promoted, i.e. maximally visible and its power amplified on social media and on search engines. With the high volume of businesses competing for attention online and the complexity of search trends and algorithms burying many an organic post far away from your target audience’s eyes, paying for the clicks you receive can be a well-made investment. Paid promotion allows you to control what content is promoted and who it reaches, solidifying your locksmithing business as a successful brand they’ll want to do business with. How to most effectively promote your brand via search and social media? Ideally, you should combine organic and paid promotion efforts to maximize your reach and engage with more target audience members, without breaking the bank. The two support each other wonderfully. For example, you might want to create an organic Facebook campaign, but have one or two paid Facebook posts, and pay for your LP to appear in Google’s top search results for your hometown’s best locksmithing business. When promoting organically on social media: Tip #1 - Promote your brand image, not sales If social media users don’t know who you are, they won’t want to buy your locks. Tell them about yourself, your business, your products, but don’t push sales. Instead, offer them the opportunity to learn more by clicking through to your website, where you’ll offer them sales and other promotions. And hide/delete unwanted comments, to keep your brand’s image squeaky clean. Tip #2 - Align your content to each platform Make sure you remain within each platform’s character limits and style. Save the longer, more informational posts for LinkedIn and Facebook, post snappy, engaging posts that start a conversation on Twitter and dare to go visual on Snapchat and Instagram. Tip #3 - Use hashtags to create a dialogue Hashtags connect like content and enable the creation of a dialogue between you and your followers. Come up with nifty ones that pique followers’ attention. When promoting organically on search: Tip #1 - Identify your target keywords Determine which keywords are likely to be used by searchers and use them in your headlines and descriptions. Be sure to avoid overly general keywords - like locks for sale, instead opting for keywords such as: best smart locks, access control solution, or padlocks for commercial fleets. Tip #2 - Optimize your website and landings pages for SEO Your keywords should appear throughout your website and LPs, so that any search pings them. They should be included in page titles, headlines and within paragraphs. You should also write a blog that discusses your keywords in depth. Tip #3 - Monitor your SEO performance and improve accordingly Basic analytics tools, like Google Analytics, can help you understand if your organic SEO efforts are paying off, so you can tweak to drive more clicks and conversions. The data can also help you identify new and better keywords you may not have thought to use. When paying to promote on social media: Tip #1 - Offer them something exclusive Paid social media promotion guarantees your posts will be seen by your target audience. Obtain the best returns on this investment by using these ads to target followers with exclusive content and other offers they can’t get anywhere else. Create a sense of urgency with a time-limited offer, a sense of scarcity with a limited-amount offer, or a sense of added-value with gated content, available only by clicking on your paid ads. This will help you grow your following and funnel them towards conversion. Tip #2 - Segment your audience and personalize targeting Divvy up your audience according to interests, location, or other factors and create personalized posts that target each segment and its needs. Applying Lookalike Audiences in Facebook is a great tool that will help you achieve this goal. Tip #3 - Remarket to existing and customers & abandoners Use social media remarketing to remind existing customers and site abandoners just how great your locksmithing business is. Here, it is recommended to drive hard offers, such as sign-ups, consultations, and downloads. When paying to promote on search: Tip #1 - Create clean messages that extend beyond the offer Sure, you want to highlight any promotions, but at the end of the day, you don’t want your locksmithing business to be associated with rock-bottom prices. Your messages should highlight value AND mention the offer. Clean and simple. Tip #2 - Bid on keywords strategically The more popular the keyword, the more expensive the bid. Consider long-tail keywords that contain the popular terms, to cut costs while still enabling visibility. Tip #3 - Optimize for mobile search Assess the volume of mobile traffic coming to your website from paid search and allocate your spend accordingly, so your mobile-using customers can reach you from any device. Bottom line Organic and paid promotion work hand-in-hand to enable the best possible results for your locksmithing business’ marketing campaigns. Follow the above tips and start engaging with customers online like never before.