As a new business, you might be worried about competing with your already well-established industry rivals. After all, the big names can sometimes appear to have a monopoly on customers and price wars. However, to compete as a new business you need to look at the online realm. With the Internet being the number one source of information, news, communication, and e-commerce for millennials, you need to get in on the action. It doesn’t matter whether you are an artisan baker, a jewelry designer or a specialist auditor for fellow small businesses, you need to be known. Having a strong online presence is the easiest way to achieve this.
Your online presence consists of a website, social media feeds, an online marketing campaign and guest posts on blogs, vlogs and other platforms that can get your brand out there. Take a look at why you should never underestimate the power of your online presence.
Your website is the window to your company ethos. Here, you own a little patch of the Internet to use as you see fit. You need to exude your corporate attitude, hone your voice and create something that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. At the very least, your website should be easy to navigate, have plenty of menus and you should have a simple way (within three clicks) to get to your shop or purchase page.
Websites are no longer the Geocities pages of old. Gone are the static, boring pages with basic fonts and clunky graphics. Nowadays, websites can embed videos, show off wares, exploit services and engage readers with incredible content. You need to make sure that your little bit of the Internet can compete with those websites that are created by the brightest minds and most expert programmers. You could choose to create your website with a drag and drop builder. These are so much more intuitive and advanced than they used to be. However, you still run the risk of creating something that looks generic rather than bespoke if you don’t know what you are doing.
The website you can create should be a feast for the eyes. Choosing to outsource could be a wise choice as alongside your website design, a company can look after your hosting as well. They may even take control of your search engine optimization requirements as well as your cybersecurity needs. Having this all in one approach can take the burden off of your shoulders in the early days of your journey into entrepreneurship.
The way you approach your online marketing strategy may vary depending on your business model. If you are very much an online-based venture, you need to take a look at PPC management services so you can target your niche effectively. AdWords is effective to a certain extent but your hit rate may be low. Instead, a pay per click approach means that your popups or ads will only be targeted towards those individuals who are most likely to want to purchase something from you.
You can also utilize your social media feeds to market your brand and wares. It doesn’t matter whether you sell products or services, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook can be the perfect platforms to explore your marketing options. Facebook allows you to create a business-specific page and can help you to generate a bank of online reviews. Customers can recommend your services on Facebook and leave a detailed review. This can show to new potential customers that you have a sound reputation for quality, customer experience, and value. Your online reputation needs to be built up if you are to compete with your rivals.
Twitter is a medium that is effective when communicating directly with your customers. Everything on Twitter is in the public domain so you need to be wary with your responses. Consider your tone, your company voice and the promptness of your responses. Consider a more chatty and informal tone to set you apart from your larger household name rivals who may be more formal and stuffy. Think about posting links to your other social media pages and your website. By posting links you can direct customers to where you want them to go and you can create a more complex web of online connections giving your online presence the boost that it may need.
Instagram is a visual platform, perfect for those businesses that are more creative. Graphic designers, advertising bods and crafters enjoy using Instagram to show off their wares. Generating a following on Instagram through the intuitive use of hashtags can extend your global reach and create a sense of exponential growth.
If you want to be an expert in your field, you need to create an online blog. While you might be too busy to contribute to this blog that often, you cannot allow it to stagnate. There’s nothing worse than a swanky blog that has not been posted to for over a year. Instead, outsource your blog to a social media style manager. These individuals can work with you to help you to achieve online goals whether this is to increase your following on social media or increase hits on your website. They will use their knowledge of SEO and keywords to help your blog, social media feeds and website appear higher up the Google rankings. You could even turn your blog into a moneymaker. Achieve a high enough readership and other individuals and companies will be keen to have their adverts appear on your blog. Consider how to monetize your blog but don’t lose sight of your larger money-making venture.
Your online presence needs to be focused rather than simply paying lip service to something you know you should do. Develop a marketing and online strategy for your business and try to tap the millennial market. Ensure that you hone your ideas within your business plan and implement it over a set timescale with outsourced help if needed. Follow this guide and your business can thrive.