The opportunity costs of businesses are exponentially significant when their potential is untapped and their digital presence is not optimized. Here are 3 simple rules for 2019 on how your small business can stand out and create a prominent online presence.
Businesses can no longer be confined solely to brick and mortar. However, many business owners continue to do business the old and traditional way, operating on conventional business models and neglecting their online brand reputation and assets.
Over the years, the dynamic nature of consumer behavior and evolving technology has opened endless doors for businesses, but the reality is that many businesses are still not making the shift to tap on this window of opportunity. Hence, many have either fallen behind or ceased operations altogether.
In order for small businesses to be sustainable and grow profitably while also maximizing customer satisfaction, it is crucial and critical for these businesses to connect their touchpoints both online and offline for a seamless customer journey.
Here are 3 rules to optimize your digital presence, build your online brand reputation, and engage better with your customers.
Rule 1: Build a Website That Appeals to Your Customers
Just because your website looked outstanding 10 years ago doesn't mean it’s the same today. Regrettably, what was unquestionably an attractive website then is likely outdated, dull, and losing its appeal now.
If your site falls in the above-said category, better your website strategy by improving it constantly. Small businesses have the advantage of creating more fun and flexibility on their sites compared to large corporations by creating a site that reflects the creativity and personality of their brand, one that truly represents the business, its brand, its products, and its purpose.
Focus the website on your customers, put yourself in their shoes, and understand their needs and concerns. Put in as much time and effort as possible into building the perfect website for your brand because it is an anchor of everything you do online, so make it as impactful and memorable as you can.
Do you care to understand what customers want from a website? Gathered from users’ perspectives, we have the answers right below.
The 10 Most Important Factors of a Website
A website that successfully appeals to customers must have the following 10 features:
- Great appearance
- Ease of use and navigation
- Speed and performance
- A clear message
- Clear calls-to-action
- Sharp text and images
- No broken links or error pages
- No flash or a lot of videos
Whether your site needs some touching up, refurbishment, or a complete overhaul, you have absolute control. In order to capture and attract businesses and customers, you need to first provide a great user experience.
Rule 2: Keep to a Maximum of 3 Social Media Platforms
Understandably, many small businesses lack time, resources, and expertise in managing their social media marketing strategy. As such, many of them fall prey to the belief that a mere presence and existence of “being on” these social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.) sufficed and that their job is over.
If your social media is not updated, lacks content, or is simply not interactive, it might be turning users off. Such neglect results in disgruntlement, which in turn hurts businesses in terms of sales, revenue, and brand reputation and ends up doing more harm than good.
You don’t need to leave social media footprints on all channels possible. Imagine if a customer who’s interested in your brand and products visits your social media pages and finds there hasn’t been an update for more than a year on some of your inactive social media channels.
That customer would probably be uncomfortable buying from you. It gives customers an instant sense that you don’t care about your brand or your products at all, and if you don’t care, why should customers care? They would simply walk away.
Now, whether you have zero, three, or more social media platforms, we recommend you work with at least 1 and a maximum of 3 platforms and do them all with excellence. Have a presence on the number of platforms that you’re able to dedicate enough resources to.
Keep each social media page updated with great and interesting content and grow your fans and followers.
Social media has undeniably become an essential part of every successful business and is a cost-effective way to target and engage with your audience. Through social media, many brands have experienced a positive increase in sales as well as brand awareness.
It is therefore imperative for businesses to integrate social media as part of their sales and marketing strategies without overextending themselves on too many platforms.
Rule 3: Drive Traffic From Social Media Back to Your Website
It may be important to build brand awareness on social media, but if you’re not driving your audience back to your website or your point-of-sale (physical store, online store, or mobile app), then it results in a complete waste of your time and resources.
Did you know that 81% of social media users visit a company’s website from social media? Your business needs to be able to successfully drive this traffic.
When you don’t encourage users to buy from you, then what’s the point? We’re not suggesting you be upfront and “sales-y,” but there must always be a purpose, a subtle reminder, to engage with your audience and get them to trust you and direct them to buy from you. That’s the magic.
Whatever social media platforms you’re on, we encourage you to have calls-to-action to direct your audience to click through to your website.
Examples of Driving Traffic From Social Media to Your Website/Point-of-Sale
There are many different ways to drive traffic to your website from social media:
- Social media advertising (paid)
- Blog content promotion
- Visible website link
- Promo codes
- Sharing positive reviews
- Sharing features and benefits
- Sharing valuable and relevant content
- Emphasis on a unique selling point
- Telling users how and where to buy your products
Unfortunately, many small businesses simply do not have the time, resources, and expertise to manage and maintain their digital assets and presence and end up not doing anything about it. This is where a marketing agency comes in.
Here are the top 5 important reasons why you should be working with a marketing agency (such as Etereo) to manage your online assets:
- Cost-effectiveness: Instead of finding a new hire for the job, which is far more expensive (in the long run), it is cheaper to outsource to an agency specializing in the creation of brand identities through social media marketing, digital marketing, and content marketing.
- Consistency: An agency understands your brand and communicates consistency to your target audience, be it design, content, or ad campaigns. An agency is focused on your brand identity and is equipped to produce the same consistency throughout your online assets.
- Regularity: As a business owner, you may lack the idea knowing how to create content or what type of content you can generate for your brand, whereas an agency takes care of your postings and campaigns on a regular basis.
- Accountability: You may be unaware of what exactly is happening on the backend of your website and your social media, but an agency helps you track, monitor, and evaluate the effectiveness on the actions taken, from start to finish.
- Expertise: You can entrust your agency to target the right audience, know how, where, and when to target your audience, and encourage them to buy from you.
Successfully Optimize Your Digital Presence
In 2019, we urge businesses to embrace the digital revolution in order to move forward and stay sustainable and competitive.
True digital transformation isn’t just mere quick fixes but requires a shift and acknowledgment of the brand owner’s mindset and ethos.
Etereo is a holistic marketing agency which bridge and integrate all your digital gaps. Be wary of IT vendors and/or even marketing agencies which pay lip service to achieve fictitious results or worse –no promise to results. Etereo is a 100% transparent marketing agency that manages and presents clients with real-time research findings, reports and constantly leading clients by hand and taking care of their accounts at every step of the way.
As always, we are happy to hear from you – [email protected].
About the Author
Lizzy Tan, editor-in-chief, helms the writing wand at Etereo, a creative digital marketing agency. At Etereo, we provide professional assistance to brands in building their digital capabilities and presence through research and value-driven strategies. Lizzy possesses a natural flair at sketching facts and brand stories through creative writing, especially on areas of branding and marketing.