Are Nextdoor Ads the Best New Way to Gain Local Customers?

Are Nextdoor Ads the Best New Way to Gain Local Customers?

September 21, 2020 5 min read
Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.
With Congress failing to reach a new pandemic relief package, things are looking tougher for many businesses. When Goldman Sachs surveyed their small-business clients in July, more than 84 percent were on track to run out of PPP money the first week of August—and about 2/3 were doing less than 75 percent of their pre-COVID revenue.
Just when advertising and marketing are needed most, many businesses simply can’t spare the budget or manpower.
Enter easy-to-run, inexpensive local ads from Nextdoor. One of the best additions to small business advertising we’ve seen lately. 
Let’s start with the basics.
Nextdoor is a local social network for neighbors, organized by neighborhood. Users join based on zip code and do neighborly things like share posts and hobbies with each other, find places to live, volunteer, buy and trade things, spread important news, and more. There’s even a lost and found section, which really sums up just how local the platform is.
The true genius of Nextdoor is its focus on authenticity and trust though. Everyone uses their real names and has to get verified. Also, political discussions are kept out of most areas. For these reasons, things feel more civil and communal than almost any other social network. 
And as it turns out, when people talk to their fellow neighbors in a friendly online space, they love to discuss where to eat, where to shop, where to get their taxes done, where to groom their dogs, and just about any other local product or service you can think of. This is where Nextdoor starts to get especially interesting for SMBs and entrepreneurs.
From free business profiles and posts…
Just like the people in a neighborhood, local businesses can have their own profile pages on Nextdoor as well. Businesses can post twice a month at no charge, and build up followings through recommendations and reviews. And because the platform creates so much trust between users, these recommendations and reviews have real weight. (On a side note, there’s also far fewer spam profiles—and fake reviews from competitors—than other platforms like Google My Business.)
…to inexpensive ads with strong calls to action.
But for businesses that are new to the platform or just want to be more active in acquiring new local traffic, Nextdoor offers a unique form of hyperlocal advertising in the form of promotional offers. These low-cost ads— referred to as “Local Deals”—are placed throughout the website and app as well as in email bulletins. The specifics of the deal are up to you, and because they’re usually tied to discount codes or other redeemable offers, success can easily be measured and optimized. 
Nextdoor provides simple analytics, but to be clear, this is nothing like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or anything else requiring a lot of time and expertise. Local deals can be put up in minutes, not hours, and there’s relatively little to tweak except for your offer and where you want to show it. 
And that’s the real beauty here. Nextdoor wants you to spend your time running your business and engaging with your community. Building trust. Earning great reviews. Not constantly trying to adjust campaign targeting and A/B test new creative.
Small-business advertising for as little as $1.
That’s not a typo. Local deals are sold by neighborhood, and depending on the demographics and the length of your campaign, you might really pay as little as $1 per neighborhood.
Another big difference between these and other paid social ads is that you don’t pay based on clicks or performance. So while there’s no guarantee you’ll get any clicks, visits, or purchases, there’s the potential to wildly outperform the ROI of Google and Facebook Ads. All without a marketing team.
Affordable local sponsorship opportunities.
It should be mentioned that local deals are sorted by business type, and there are a handful of categories like real estate agents and homebuilders that Nextdoor offers paid sponsorships to instead of local deals.
Each zipcode has a limited number of sponsorships for each category, so please be aware you might not be able to be a sponsor in the neighborhood you want. The good news though is that sponsorships are a great value. There are a lot of placements within the offering, and in our quick test we saw zip codes with several neighborhoods inside them for rates like $32/month. One prime zip code we saw was just under $150/month, but even that’s modest compared to most other advertising options out there.
If you’d like to see a great case study of Nextdoor ads in action, here’s how it all worked for San Francisco-based Z&Y Restaurant who turned to the platform for help during lockdown.
And if you think Nextdoor’s advertising options might be a good fit with your business, you can learn more or sign up here. They cover 90 percent of neighborhoods in the U.S., so chances are they’re already in your desired area.

This Simple Editor Helps Make Video Marketing Easy

This Simple Editor Helps Make Video Marketing Easy

Create videos for any purpose without any prior expertise.
Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing
This book takes readers through a 360-degree perspective of social media marketing in businesses.

September 21, 2020 2 min read
Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.
Video marketing is growing. Most consumers want to see more video from the brands they love, which means it’s on businesses to reach audiences in the mediums they want to be reached. Overwhelmingly, that means video. A good video can influence people to buy products, increase traffic on your pages, improve customer engagement, and much more. You just need to know how to make them.
FlexClip makes it easy to create awesome videos without any technical expertise. In just minutes, FlexClip allows you to craft marketing videos and family stories. FlexClip gives you rich animated elements, letting you improve your videos with dynamic text, overlays, widgets, logos, and many more animated elements. It also provides hundreds of video templates and a vast media library of high-resolution stock photos, royalty-free photos, and music for your production so you won’t have to worry about capturing all of the imagery yourself. Plus, FlexClip’s intuitive interface makes it extremely easy to create and customize videos to your liking without any previous video production expertise.
Whether you’re creating marketing videos, explainers for your products, promotions for events, or practically anything else, FlexClip will simplify your process. With comprehensive features for adjusting images, changing aspect ratio, adding effects and voiceover, and much more, it gives you all the tools you need to make videos truly your own. That’s why it’s earned an excellent 4.6/5 stars on Trustpilot.
Video marketing is growing. It’s time you and your business caught up. FlexClip makes it easy to do so. Right now, you can get a one-year subscription to FlexClip’s Plus Plan for 68% off $95 at just $29.99. Or you can upgrade to the Business Plan for just $20 more at $49.99.

How to Know if an Online Marketing Expert is Actually Credible

How to Know if an Online Marketing Expert is Actually Credible

September 21, 2020 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
The Internet is filled with information — but only some of it is accurate. The rest of it ranges from unsupported opinions masquerading as fact to outright “fake news” from fraudsters who claim to have expert advice with credible data. In some cases, these sources are obvious in their lack of credibility, but others are more challenging to identify, thanks to slick websites and “deepfake” visual technology. That’s just the issues consumers face trying to discern what they should and shouldn’t believe. 
When entrepreneurs and business people seek advice about aspects of their business, such as online marketing, they might not know where to turn. With so many blogs, articles, ebooks and webinars from those claiming to be the most experienced digital marketers out there, how can you distinguish valuable information from worthless advice? 
It can be confusing to know who to listen to and who to ignore. Here are some ways to tell if an online marketing “expert” deserves your attention or not. 
Related: 7 Ways to Know You’re Sending Marketing Emails to People Who Might Read Them
Quality, not quantity
It’s important to let go of credibility factors such as the number of years in business and company size that don’t really convey skill. Many agencies have been able to stay in business by selling low-quality marketing services and recycled advice. 
You will need to do a deeper dive into a company’s history to assess online marketing expertise. 
Reviews, references and client testimonials
Don’t just look at their recommendations on LinkedIn. Look for reviews that span the digital marketing expert’s history. You can also ask directly for references and contact companies that are listed on the marketing firm’s website to learn more about their capabilities and results. Checking these real-world examples of expertise will yield a better picture of whether or not the marketing firm’s advice resulted in positive change for its clients. 
Try to contact a few clients to see a pattern in the results, whether it be content marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing, email marketing, Facebook marketing or any other strategy. There might be one or two dissatisfied clients who do not accurately reflect the online marketing expert’s expertise. The more companies you can check with, the better sense you can gain of the provider’s expertise and credibility. 
Related: Netflix Shows Are Entertaining Enough, But It’s the Digital Marketing That’s Masterful
Thought leadership delivery
If you have the opportunity to see the online marketing expert present at a conference, event or webinar, take the time to listen to their delivery and the meat of their message. Note whether they’ve been a keynote speaker, especially at a reputable summit or conference. 
Additionally, look for their online content published in the form of blog posts, presentations, ebooks, podcasts or YouTube videos. Once you’ve read through or watched this content, evaluate it with the following questions:

Did you learn something new that you can put into action? Or did it sound recycled?

Was it full of research and data indicating a comprehensive study, or did it contain merely unsubstantiated information and generic opinions?

Did the strategist provide real-world examples and case studies or just vague, unproven concepts?

Hearing and reading what the online marketing expert has to say can help classify their real level of knowledge and ability. 
Awards and accolades
Official recognition for expertise by one’s peers is often a good sign that you will be working with a credible resource. The problem is that so many of today’s awards are competitions with entry fees that are more PR vehicles and assessment of revenue growth than a legitimate sign of quality work and expertise. 
Look for recent awards that recognize excellence in marketing work or recent campaigns that made a difference. Even listicle articles that contain examples of digital marketing strategy best practices featuring your potential candidate can be better indicators than some “fastest-growing” accolades. 
Related: 8 DIY SEO Tips to Optimize Your Mobile Marketing
Active industry association
A true online marketing expert will likely be involved in advancing the industry. This might mean they are members of a local interactive marketing association or national chapter or they have become involved in the larger association activity. 
Look for active membership with the Digital Marketing Association, American Marketing Association and Search Marketing Association, just to name a few reputable professional groups. You should be able to look up a member or inquire with the association for confirmation of membership. 
Package deals 
Many companies positioning themselves as online marketing experts target small business owners who need marketing assistance on a limited budget. Some of these agencies might offer monthly packages that promise the moon but deliver significantly less. 
Having interviewed some of these small business owners, I learned that these internet marketing packages are supposed to help drive traffic and generate leads. In the end, however, these companies end up with telemarketing calls and junk emails selling them digital marketing services or discounted Google AdWords programs versus qualified leads. 
Related: How to Ride the Livestreaming Wave to Marketing Success
These faux digital marketing agencies often create a low-quality website and reuse blog content. They may also re-sell client data to third-party companies. The work doesn’t show any real awareness or understanding of your industry, audience or niche. The results never appear, but the automatic monthly charge shows up consistently on the small business owner’s credit card bill. 
Stay far away from marketing influencers that want to sell you a packaged program such as this. It’s like snake oil for the modern age. Although it’s often pitched to be the perfect solution for all, it’s really the solution for none. 
Due diligence 
We’ve all heard of “SEO experts,” “thought leaders” or “best-selling authors” who claim to have the perfect strategies to boost your bottom line. You should always conduct further research to ensure you are not working with a scam artist. Check intelligence conducted by companies that focus solely on uncovering scams. These include the Federal Trade Commission, the Attorney General’s office for both your state and the state in which the marketing firm is located, and the Better Business Bureau. 
Referrals
One of the best ways to check the credibility of a marketing professional is to ask a trusted colleague for a referral based on their own experiences. A company that is winning at online marketing may well be tapping the expertise of a powerhouse online marketing talent or agency.  
Related: Why You Should Speed Up Your Digital Transformation During the Crisis

A’ Design Awards & Competition – Call for Submissions

A’ Design Awards & Competition – Call for Submissions

If you are looking to show off your design work and get a chance to be rewarded for it, it’s time to register to A’ Design Awards. Deadline for regular submissions is September 30.
The competition, established for years as an industry-leading event for designers, innovators and companies that want to highlight themselves to attract the attention of media, publishers and buyers. It provides a fair, ethical and competitive platform for companies, designers and innovators from all design fields with different experience levels, diverse disciplines and market focus to compete on, while providing them a global audience to showcase their success and talents to.
Entries will be judged by an international jury panel of academics, design professionals and press members. Results will be announced to public on May 1st.
The Competition Categories
A’ Design Awards has plenty of categories to choose from, which means that you will be able to submit your work in a relevant field for sure. A clustered view of categories can be seen from these main sections: Good Industrial Design Award, Good Architecture Design Award, Good Product Design Award, Good Communication Design Award, Good Service Design Award, Good Fashion Design Award. You can also take a look at all categories on this page.
The Benefits of Entering the Competition
Entering the awards is an excellent way of expanding your reach as a designer. You will be included in the exhibition, in the world design rankings, and in the yearbook, among other advantages. Discover all advantages here.
Winners from Previous Editions
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Fluid Cube and Snake Smart Furniture by Hello WoodSource One Vodka Spirits and Alcohol by Aether NY, LLCQwerty Elemental Handbags by Patrizia DonàPhuket VIP Mercury Studio Office by Songhuan WuAlignment to Air 3D Animation by Jin JeonCatzz Cat Bed by Mirko Vujicic
Worked on Something Amazing this Year?
Don’t be shy, show off your work by registering to the awards. Some of the selected winners will be featured on Designer Daily on May 1st!

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