Google is such an omnipresent entity nowadays that they have a foot in every service door in the world. Be it maps, mails or meetings; Google offers services for a plethora of digital needs. Even in digital marketing institutes, Google plays a pivotal role, as Google Ads are one of the core skills to learn. It’s safe to say that if you’re in the field of digital marketing, you’re going to use Google one way or the other. Exploring the entire range of what Google has to offer can result in fruitful results for any agency. For example, Gmail is pretty much universally used at this point. However, there are specific other offerings from the relatively lesser-known company. Not many people use Google Trips or even Google Keep.
One such service in Google’s roster is Google My Business. The name is fairly self-explanatory. The core concept of Google My Business is to provide a consolidated platform for businesses to chart their services and establish a solid online presence. In addition to this, it’s also meant to boost the credibility of a business through verification parameters. It sounds promising, but does it help startups, local digital marketing agencies and other small-scale businesses? Before we delve into that, let’s first explore the basis and basics of Google My Business.
Google My Business 101
In layman’s terms, Google My Business provides you with an online interface that can shape how your commercial agency is displayed on Google. Its reach extends beyond just its application. What you do in Google My Business will also be reflected in other Google services, primarily Google Maps. On a broad spectrum, Google My Business’ benefits can be classified into three types:
Verification. This is vital for any business nowadays. Before visiting any shop, restaurant or outlet, people often run a digital check on it, especially on Google Maps. Google My Business facilitates the process of confirming your business details, such as your physical address and phone number.
Customer interaction. This is the natural next step from the verification aspect. People will post questions regarding your business and its operation regularly. If you leave them unchecked, other patrons will answer them. If you answer them yourself, however, it lends a lot of credibility to your brand and business.
Advertising. This is one of the significant draws of Google My Business. It gives you a medium to run and manage Google Ads targeted toward your business, in a streamlined manner. You also have some degree of control towards which region and area your ads are focused on. There is so much one can do through just this one offers. You can create and compete for your share of audience attention through sponsored search results on Google’s search engine. If done right, it’s a steady source of lead generation.
If you’ve undergone digital marketing training, you can see why Google My Business is an excellent asset to a company. It offers seamless integration and inclusion of your establishment to Google’s network of services and opens up new horizons for expanding your business. To top it off, the service itself is free, and you can access it from any system when you sign in to the associated account.
So now that we’ve established Google My Business’ relevance and basics let’s look over the burning question. What does Google My Business bring to the table for small-scale businesses? Does it benefit them? To answer this question, we’ll need more than statements. We’ll need examples. That way, we can get a short idea of exactly how beneficial Google My Business is for all the small digital marketing agencies and businesses out there.
Let’s get straight into it!
A Case Of Time
Let’s take the example of the owner of a small shop for watches and clocks. The owner isn’t particularly acquainted with how social media or digital marketing works. What he has done, however, is that he has invested a sizable amount of capital into this venture, and therefore, he expects profitable returns.
After a few weeks of setting up shop, he notices that his customer base is mostly those near the shop, along with a few family members and friends. After all, his only form of marketing has been to send out messages and calls to his personal network, and a small ad in the local tabloid. He needs to step up sales to meet his expenses. His primary problem is that he can’t afford more expensive marketing methods while also running the shop.
Along comes his friend who works in a digital marketing agency. He hears out the owner’s plight and advises him to set up a Google My Business account. He also offers to run ads on Google My Business dedicated to his shop, for a specific time.
Within a week of setting up Google My Business and verifying the business’ particulars on the platform, the owner observed that new faces were coming into his shop, in increasing numbers. He also noticed that many people were coming to his shop to watch repairs, a service that he had not advertised before. Within a month, he had expanded his customer base significantly and gained confidence in his services. When he posed the question to his digital marketer friend as to what it was that he had done, the friend told him that he had run a few ads that targeted in-demand services that he offered. This included watch repair work and clock designing. He also said that he took efforts to respond to customer inquiries and reviews, building a more significant presence online.
From this turn of events, the edge that Google My Business brought to the watchmaker is evident. Through his inherent digital marketing training, the friend had ensured that:
– The reach was higher, through local advertising.
– The business had higher credibility, thanks to verification
– The brand could be trusted, thanks to prompt interaction.
– The shop was prominently on display on the search engine results.
All these contributed to the growth and development of the shop in terms of sales. The icing on the cake is, it all came at a very nominal cost. The takeaway from this tale is that Google My Business can work wonders for your business irrespective of financial constraints if you make the right moves and market smartly. This makes it an excellent fit for small businesses!
A Case of Reach
Let’s take another similar case. An individual who has recently graduated from a digital marketing institute has decided to try his luck in the world of small business. His idea is to start up a small snacks kiosk, serving tea, coffee and other small eatables.
Now he knows there’s plenty of competition in that sector. He also knows that conventional marketing isn’t going to cut it. There are bigger fish out there that rule that segment. What he needs is a unique approach that captures the local audience.
He heads over to Google My Business and sets up his profile. After verification of all the necessary parameters, he calibrates his business profile to fit the requirements to reach the “local listings” on Google’s search engine. This, in turn, guarantees that those browsing through Google and Maps on mobile will have a higher chance of stumbling upon their tea kiosk.
He also promotes the lower rates that his kiosk offers through specific ads and makes it a point to reply to queries on his store. He also promptly responds to reviews, thanking the customers.
The benefit this brings to his kiosk is intangible. By targeting people digitally through Google My Business, he captures the right audience for his kiosk: young adults and 9-to-5 workers, who are always scouting online for the latest hangout spots for a break from work. By responding to the reviews, he is establishing a friendly, approachable image online. No other conventional marketing technique can offer him this degree of flexibility and integration in a single platform for free. In other words, he is true to his digital marketing training course! He knows who to target and how to make the sale.
As you can see, in this case as well, Google My Business provides an excellent bridge for the kiosk owner to grow his customer base, at virtually no cost. Once he sets his Google My Business profile up, it becomes almost self-sustaining after a point, if he plays his cards right.
Not So Small
If you take a closer look at the above case studies, you’ll notice a familiar pattern. Aside from the similarities in the stories, the common aspect here is simple: how Google My Business overcomes the barrier of online logistics and funding for small businesses. Before, the barrier was very pronounced, with many small-scale establishments struggling to get the required exposure for their businesses to take off. There wasn’t any reliable way for businesses to put themselves out there and grab eyeballs in the long run. They mostly relied on word-of-mouth and local advertising to keep their businesses running.
With the advent of digital marketing institutes, people are now educated about the potential solutions that are present in the digital world. Google My Business can be a trump card for many businesses to catapult their business prospects to the next level. Let’s sum up the direct benefits of Google My Business, that we can infer from these two case studies.
Lessons From Business
– Google My Business can expand your presence online, even if you can’t afford to expand it physically.
– It offers an inexpensive way to run ads that can contribute to lead generation for your business.
– It is seamlessly integrated into Google Maps, improving your discoverability by a huge factor.
– It offers an excellent way to target both local as well as region-wide audiences.
– Most importantly, it makes advertising and marketing much more accessible to small businesses across many niches and specializations.
This bridging of the gap is the primary edge that Google My Business brings to small-scale businesses the world over. Digital marketing institutes stress the importance of learning the ropes of Google My Business. It might not be as glamorous or as prominent as Facebook Ads or Instagram, but it contributes to the overall goals of a business establishment. If you take the time and effort to familiarize yourself with how the platform works, you can reap the long-term benefits of marketing online.
In recent years, Google My Business has been growing as a platform for brand promotion. Using the platform requires a good knowledge of how keywords work, how social media marketing works, and how to target an audience. In short, you’ll need some basic initiation in digital marketing training. Alternatively, there are plenty of tutorial videos and online mini-courses that teach the basics of Google My Business in different languages. If you’re in the small business sector, you shouldn’t hesitate to dive in and become a master of Google My Business!
Google My Business is a great platform for small-scale businesses to expand and build a solid customer base across different regions. No matter what field you specialize in, Google My Business has plenty on offer to further the reach of your business. Get a larger audience to throng to your business and build a solid online presence through loyal netizens! After all, it is all about your business with My Business!