Every business owner knows how much work and time it takes to build and grow business and client portfolio. However not all of them realise how significant part of this process is controlled and influenced by e-commerce. Before we get into details of the importance of building and maintaining your online presence, let me ask you how much time do you spend researching products/services online? Have you ever thought about what percentage of your shopping is done online? Even if your answers to both of this questions is not much, the recent Australian and New Zealand Online Shopping survey should convince you that the online channel is already a big part of consumers life and it will grow fast in the coming years. The statistics show that online shopping expenditure has grown by 19% in the last year and is expected to grow by more than 14% per annum over the next few years. Furthermore, the research shows that average online spend for 1.9 million kiwis aged over 15 is expected to be NZ$1.659 this year. All businesses who are interested in taking a share of this spend and want to keep up with customers who are getting more and more online savvy should take a very serious look at their online marketing plan. To build and execute a successful online strategy you need to start working on the main digital channels, which are: Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Online Advertising and your Corporate Website. Here are our top 3 tricks on how to grow your business online that will help you increase and strengthen your digital presence.
Tip #1 - Don't let your business exist online, make sure that your company lives the digital life
Many companies, regardless of their size and sector they operate in, don't pay enough attention to their online presence. After a poor attempt, they end up having an empty social media profile, outdated and aged website and inefficiently managed online advertising. This happens when companies establish their online presence “just for the sake of it”. No matter how tempting it is to start using a business profile on Facebook or get your business online as soon as possible, take our advice and hold fire until you have defined your objectives, resources and measuring methods. As an example let’s take a company that rushes through their website development project and focuses on the visual aspect of the website rather than functionality and SEO. The short-term goal of extending their business online is achieved, however the new website won't be visible in the customers searches and won’t generate any business. Design and development of a website is a time consuming process and might use a significant percentage of your marketing budget. If not enough thought is put into the project the outcome can be very pricy and disappointing.
Tip #2 - Keep your communications interesting and relevant
The secret of reaching your customers is to provide them with relevant and concise information. This rule applies to the content on your website, emails, ad copy etc. Make sure that messages are written in a way that reflects your company profile but in the same time is easy to absorb by your target audience. Customers will be more likely to interact with your communications if you make them bespoke. A great way to reach a high level of personalisation is to create triggered email campaigns. As an example, let’s take a car dealer who sends out a post-purchase email with a discount offer on maintenance services. This type of message is not only relevant but also cross-sells and shows the client that he is a valuable customer. Other, more advanced methods could be sending them birthday greetings or information on availability of a new complimentary service. The secret of successful online communications is to make sure that your customers aren't bombarded with irrelevant information but instead they feel taken care of.
Tip #3 - Listen, analyse and adapt quickly
A very important part of a successful online business is keeping abreast with the target audience and constantly changing trends. One the most recent happenings is the usage of mobile devices to browse the internet. No matter how functional and optimised your website or online advertising campaign is it won't generate any ROI from the mobile market unless it's visible to customers who are browsing the Internet on their smartphones. Responsive design automatically adapts to the mobile display without the need for a dedicated mobile site. Analysing your online data will help you understand your customer needs and desires. Internet marketing has a great advantage – it gives you access to a lot of detailed information, make sure that you use it fully to get the most out of it.
96black specialises in website design and development along with online communication. We offer a broad range of services that suits all types of business. Our cross sector expertise and innovative approach sets us apart. Feel free to get in touch to discuss your needs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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