Without a doubt, it’s important now more than ever to grow your business online. Even before COVID-19 changed the economic landscape, a wide variety of industries began leaning toward digital storefronts. And if they were looking to make the jump, the pandemic full-on clicked them over the ledge. However, despite the increased need for online businesses, it’s crucial to venture into an online space with the right guidance and expertise.
You may be asking yourself, “How do I grow my businesses online?” Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a small business or a global conglomerate, everyone can benefit from essential online business-building tips. From audience exploration to content marketing to actually building your website, a lot goes into a business’s online presence. Keep reading to get the most out of your digital marketing efforts!
Understand Your Audience
Before you start building a stellar webspace or creating engaging content on social media, you need to understand who your audience is. By understanding your demographic and where to reach them, you’re able to discern what marketing and advertising efforts to pursue. This can be accomplished with a great deal of research and discovery. Take note of who is buying your products and/or services, as well as the audience you wish to reach. Who are your existing customers? Who are your potential customers? How old are they? Where do they live? What are their buying patterns? These questions and more can be discovered with in-depth industry research as well as developing buyer personas, which are fictional representations of your audience based on key target market information.
Learn About Your Competition
While it’s important for your business to be unique—it’s equally important to understand your competition, as they will most likely have the same target audience. Look at their online communications; see what works and what could be better. Allow your strategies to grow by seeing how you can set yourself apart while also adopting what’s been successful. While national brands certainly may be easier to find, it’s equally vital to learn about similar businesses in your immediate area. This is also a good time to take note of their promotional offers, which are often what will pique your audience’s interest and get them in your digital door.
Build Your Website
If you’re starting from scratch, try to initially keep it simple. Think about what are the essential things your audience needs to know about your business and how you can easily funnel them toward a conversion. There are a number of great website-building tools, but you should start by writing out a sitemap. Concentrate on your most important pages and take a look at competitors for inspiration! It’s also important to have a place for your audience to submit their information, whether it’s to inquire about your services, talk to a representative, or sign up for a newsletter. This allows you to acquire an email list and grow your online community.
All the tools you need to grow your business: A Guide to Building Your Marketing Toolkit
Mobilize Your Efforts
According to statista.com, mobile devices made up 50.81% of all website traffic in 2020. Needless to say, your website needs to be mobile-friendly. Nothing is more frustrating or unsightly than a website that is not optimized for mobile. They are harder to navigate, not aesthetically pleasing, and will likely increase your website bounce rate.
The last thing you want is a potential customer scrambling for your contact information or scouring your website looking for a contact form. These things should be readily available on your website. It’s considered best practice to have a “Contact Us” button on your top navigation bar, as well as your contact information and form on the footer of each page. With the support of engaging copy and designs, having your information in key areas will allow you to be accessible when it matters most.
Another way to be accessible is through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the method of generating quality organic traffic for websites through search engine results. SEO not only gives you the ability to rank higher in search results; it can also increase your website traffic and brand awareness, all while being cost-effective.
Engage on Social Media
One of the many great things about the digital age is that there are nearly limitless communities of your target audience on social media platforms. These communities are most likely already interested in your products or services—you simply need to engage them. Make sure you have business profiles on all the platforms that make sense for your industry. In addition to producing consistent and quality content, run targeted social media ads. There are a wide range of social ads that accomplish different strategies, each allowing you to hone in on specific demographics and/or geographic areas.
Test & Analyze
As you develop your marketing strategy, don’t be afraid to try new things. Utilize different avenues of digital advertising and see what sticks. This allows you to test the waters, but it’s crucial to thoroughly analyze the results of each effort. Great tools like Google Analytics allow you to track and report on your website traffic. Even sales data provides important information about your target audience.
Don’t underestimate the power of people, especially when it comes to business reviews. Once you gain a greater online presence, it’s key to manage your reputation and generate reviews that reflect your ideal customer experience. This can be accomplished by regularly monitoring your reviews and encouraging customers to leave reviews at optimal times. Whether they are prompted after a successful service completion or just received your product, there are peak timing opportunities to take advantage of.
Educate Your Audience
Great marketing efforts blur the lines between advertising and entertainment. Your content should not be bogged down with excessive sales copy and promotions. It’s best to position yourself as industry leaders by providing content that naturally draws your audience’s attention. Whether it’s through informative blogs, videos, email marketing, or other communications, educational content has the power to establish you as a knowledgeable brand and reach your target audience with content they’re already searching for.
Take Advantage of Your Marketing Tools
If you’re still asking yourself “How do I grow my business online,” there’s no better way to start than by building your marketing toolkit, which consists of all the marketing and advertising services at your disposal. By building your marketing toolkit, you’re able to leverage all of these services to establish a multi-faceted approach to your advertising efforts.
A tool is only as good as the hand that holds it, and it’s equally important to understand what a tool is intended for. Much like tools, marketing and advertising services work in tandem to accomplish your goals and deliver results. Whether you’re looking to expand advertising outlets or learn how marketing services work together, Versa Creative can assist you in Building Your Marketing Toolkit.