We are in the midst of a digital information revolution. Currently, no kind of business can succeed without an established online presence. Whether you are a large, multinational corporation or a small firm, if your product or service is not accessible online, the chances of financial prosperity are virtually none.
It is especially true for first-time entrepreneurs, and small business owners venturing into the corporate world. Unlike famous brands like Nike, Toyota, or Amazon, they are not well-known. As such, the promotional effort required to “get out there” is enormous.
But what is the best way to do it? How can you establish yourself on the net within the confines of a limited budget? The answer is not clear-cut. Yet, it starts with a good website, social media engagement, and making use of adequate online promotional channels.
A Quality Website
What makes up a good website? Is it good visuals or ease of navigation? Is it about simplicity and having an eye-catching domain? Answers may vary depending on whom you ask. However, one key factor never to be ignored is optimization. Optimization deals with accessibility, namely how easy or difficult your site is to find. For those not familiar with this, the best solution is to get the services of a trustworthy SEO company. An experienced provider will certainly guide you along the right path.
Another important factor is page loading speeds. As a rule of thumb, your site should load up in less than three seconds. Anything slower than that, and visitors and prospective clients will go somewhere else. So make your site visually appealing, but also make it fast. If there’s a lot of information you need to include, don’t put all of it on your home page. Instead, divide it into menus and submenus. It will not only make the site faster but also easier to navigate through.
Social Media Engagement
Social Media Engagement is not just about having a Facebook business page or a Twitter feed. Engagement is about constant, useful back-and-forth communication between you and your customers. Posting pictures on Instagram but not responding to customer inquiries is both time-consuming and meaningless. Ways in which you could engage with customers through social media include:
- Asking for information. If you want to know what your customers want or how they feel about a product or service, ask them. Most social media platforms will allow you to create surveys and post results in real-time. Not only that, but they will also help you in gathering and analyzing responses.
- Providing incentives. Don’t expect your clientele to do something for you and get nothing in return. Customer incentives show you care about your customers and are willing to reward them for their loyalty.
- Organizing Events. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook provide you with the opportunity to host live events. Among other things, event marketing strengthens business-customer relationships and provides a lasting image to consumers.
Using the Right Promotional Channels
American author and entrepreneur Seth Godin once said, “not everyone is your customer.” Whether you’re promoting online or using traditional advertising such as print media or TV, reaching as many people as possible is not critical. The key is getting to the right people, the right market. If you’re selling educational tools or textbooks, it is better to promote them on university forums and e-learning sites. On the other hand, a restaurateur will make use of food apps like Yelp or Open Table to advertise. The important thing is that you do your research and find the promotional channels that best work for you.
Building a strong online presence is no easy task. It requires time, commitment, and diligence. Technology is always evolving, and the internet is in constant change. Furthermore, competition is fiercer than ever before, no matter the industry.
There are some tried and tested principles, though. These include having a quality website, building engagement in social media platforms, and using the right promotional channels. By doing so, your business will have a valuable leg up on its competitors.