Here at Step Out Buffalo, we want to see businesses succeed.
From helping local businesses pivot their marketing strategies on a dime to creating the city guides that keep our audience updated on the best things happening in Western New York, all of our efforts over the past few years have been focused on one overall goal: to provide value to both our followers and our partners.
Most of the businesses that advertise with Step Out Buffalo see an immediate growth in engagement, followers, and overall traffic to their social media channels and/or websites. That’s because when you advertise with us, you’re tapping into our amazing audience of Buffalovers who love to support local businesses and have always believed in our city’s renaissance— even if the road to get here was long, and filled with tons of potholes along the way. Our followers come to us in search of things to do, places to eat and drink, and local businesses to connect with, so getting your business in front of people actively seeking these things out is, to put it simply, a no-brainer.
Don’t just take it from us, though. You can read case studies on our blog about how businesses like RuthAnn Boutique, Hartrich Château, and Becker Farms leveraged Step Out Buffalo to take their marketing to the next level, what the actual results of their campaigns were, and if the owners thought their investment was worth it overall. (Spoiler alert: they did.)
But once you’ve run a successful campaign with our Step Out Buffalo team, what’s next? How do you capitalize on this new traffic to your website, foster a community with your new followers on Instagram, successfully engage your new email subscribers, and overall just keep up the growth momentum?
We’re glad you asked.
Here are our top 5 tips on how to make the most of your Step Out Buffalo campaign results:
1) Introduce yourself
Regardless of what industry you’re in, what products or services you sell, or how often you typically post on social media, if you’ve just received an influx of new followers from your Step Out Buffalo campaign (or anywhere else, really), you want to make sure you engage your new audience members right away by introducing yourself.
Research shows that consumers are way more likely to show preference towards a business that they’re familiar with, so making sure your followers know who you are not only helps them put a face and name to the person that runs your business (aka you!), but it also really helps drive that sense of familiarity, especially for small local businesses.
Your introduction doesn’t have to be anything crazy— a quick photo of you with a caption of a few fun facts about yourself and your business works great, or you can keep it casual by simply hopping on Instagram Stories and chatting up your followers there. However you decide to do it, just keep it short, simple, and fun.
2) Get to know your audience through analytics
Once your new followers have learned a little more about who you are as a business owner, the next step is taking the time to get to know who they are.
We touched on this a little bit in our article on how to make your marketing more inclusive, but whether you have a traditional website, an eCommerce shop, a lofty email list full of subscribers, or operate solely on Instagram for now, it’s so important to get to know who exactly your audience is through your analytics. A few key points to look at include:
- Is your audience predominantly male, female, or nonbinary?
- Are the majority of your followers local, or are they spread out across the country?
- Are your followers mostly single or married? Do they have kids?
- What are the most successful posts on your feed? What about them do you think your followers specifically liked? (Was it humorous, did it have a nice aesthetic, was it helpful educational content, etc.)
- What are the most engaged with pages on your website? Why do your followers engage with these pages, and is there anything that could be improved about them?
Answering these questions and more can help you focus in on what exactly your followers are looking for from a consumer standpoint. Once you figure that out, you can better tailor your content and marketing messages accordingly.
How do you find this information? Diving into your website’s Google Analytics and/or your Instagram’s built-in analytics (if you have a business account) is a great place to start.
If you’ve never used Google Analytics, we recommend reading our article 5 Reasons Your Business Should Absolutely Be Using Google Analytics for step-by-step guides on how to pull audience location reports and more. For Instagram analytics, check out this Ultimate Guide to Instagram Analytics by Later, or their article on Instagram Stories Analytics.
3) Engage with your audience on a regular basis
Aside from looking at your business’s analytics, another great way to get to know your new followers is simply by engaging with them— whether that’s on social media, email, or wherever else you might interact with your audience.
Instagram Stories is a great place to get to know your followers if you know they’ll be hanging out there. Try making question boxes, polls, and quiz stickers with questions about who they are, why they enjoy following you, and what they might like to see from you in the future. They’re super fun for your followers to answer, and you get some insightful information and ideas to help you run your business more strategically— a win-win for sure.
You could also simply invite your email subscribers to reply to your newsletter with their thoughts, feedback or questions regarding your business or any deals you’re currently running.
4) Educate your audience
Creating educational content is probably the last thing on local business owners’ minds when it comes to their social media, but hear us out: it’s actually a super valuable strategy to engage with (and eventually sell to) your new audience.
When you share your expertise regularly with your audience— whether that’s through informational videos on Instagram, blog posts, or a different format completely— not only are you building your audience’s trust and proving that you know your stuff, but you’re also positioning yourself as an industry expert so that when people do want to buy, they’ll think of your business first.
We do this here at Step Out Buffalo in a number of different ways, the biggest ones being our Marketing Tip Tuesday Instagram series and our Step Out Buffalo Business Blog with tons of articles just like this one. Both of these resources aim to provide Western New York business owners with valuable business tips, answers to any questions they might have about marketing, and even just some general inspiration on the regular, but they also serve the purpose of branding our team as the local marketing experts here in Western New York.
Because we regularly showcase all of our business/marketing knowledge and the sheer value we bring to all of the campaigns we run, when local business owners want to invest in taking their marketing to the next level and reach wider audiences in the area, Step Out Buffalo is already top of mind.
A few other great ways local businesses could incorporate educational content in their marketing strategies include:
- Sharing research/statistics that are relevant to your industry
- Answering common questions from customers
- Creating video content: how-to videos, Instagram Reels/stories of your processes, etc.
- Sharing your own story – how you started your business, what obstacles/challenges you personally faced while getting started, etc.
- & so much more!
5) Be consistent
Whether you’ve seen a recent influx in followers or not, consistency is key in marketing, especially when it comes to social media.
The last thing you want is for your new followers to drop off or lose interest right after they follow you, so developing a somewhat regular posting schedule and showing up consistently in your audience’s feeds helps teach your new followers what they can expect from you right off the bat. (Not to mention it also provides you with more opportunities for audience engagement, which always helps give you a nice boost in the eyes of the algorithm.)
Think about it: let’s say you spontaneously found an awesome new TV show one week, but when you tuned in at the same time the following week to watch the next episode, it never came on. You’d probably be bummed about it in the moment, but since you weren’t really hooked on it yet, you’d soon lose interest, forget about it, and go back to binge-watching The Office or Friends for the millionth time.
Okay, so live TV might completely be a thing of the past— but the same general idea applies with new Instagram followers and your business. Remember, consumers are way more likely to show preference towards a business that they’re familiar with, and consistency breeds familiarity. Your new followers hit that follow button for a reason, and even if that reason was a fun giveaway at the time, posting great content on a consistent basis gives them a reason to stick around even when there’s not an exciting giveaway happening.
Ready to learn more about advertising with Step Out Buffalo?
Reach out to us to learn more about how Step Out Buffalo can help grow your following and get your unique products and services in front of a larger, more engaged audience.