2020 has proven that businesses without an online presence have no chances to survive and operate in the world of continuously developing technologies, global pandemics, and numerous restrictions placed upon brick-and-mortar selling methods. It is time to move your business online and make sure you get the most out of it.
The internet made it possible to open a business with minimal costs. There is no need to spend money on renting premises, consultants’ salaries, expensive signs, and so on. You can process applications yourself and invest only in digital advertising.
Besides, there are no restrictions on reaching your audience: there is an opportunity to talk about your business everywhere online. Below, you can find some of the steps that need to be implemented in order for your business to not only appear online but also to improve customer experience and loyalty.
Build a Website
The landing page will help you show your customers that you are working despite the quarantine restrictions. You can make a website yourself for free and without wasting a lot of time on it – with the help of a website builder like Tilda or Wix. It can be assembled in half an hour from ready-made blocks, like Legos — no need to spend money on design and development. You can also not pay for the domain and hosting if you choose not to do so.
Having a website will allow you to expand your business. If you are going to enable an option of international delivery, it is essential to make sure your customers will have the opportunity to understand your offer. You may consider finding marketing translation services to provide you with quality marketing content in each target language. Trying to use Google Translate will surely lower your foreign customers’ experience.
Online payment systems need to be convenient and secure to encourage your customers to make quick and easy purchases. To do so, you will need to accept online credit card payments, as well as acquiring and sending invoices via email or in a paper (if requested) alongside product delivery.
Many banks provide support in installing payment processing pages. Thus, your customers will be able to pay as they like – on the website, in the app, on social media, in emails, etc.
Determine Your Target Audience
The target audience‘s portrait impacts the choice of channels and methods of online sales of products and services, as well as determines the content strategy and communication style with the client. You can identify your business’ target audience by several criteria: location, gender, age, education, income, and professional field. Create a checklist based on these criteria.
You can explore this topic by analyzing the customer base that has developed while running your business offline. If this information is not available, consider surveying current customers. When you receive the results, use the 5W formula to get a clear picture of who your prospective customer is.
In the future, you will be able to find your target audience more accurately by using services like Google Analytics for analyzing a website and social media visitors. It may be necessary to adjust or completely change your marketing campaign or content plan.
Lean on SMM
Social media marketing (SMM) cannot harm an online business. Conversely, it is one of the most effective and affordable tools for promoting your brand. Choose one or more social media platforms, depending on your target audience. Then, you will need to implement a set of measures to get started:
- Plan your content. Prepare the topics and establish the publication dates for the month ahead. You can rely on the social media accounts of competitors, but do not copy them completely. Quite the contrary — ensure you are filling the content gaps they have left behind.
- Create content. The advantage of SMM is that this method gives space for a variety of mediums: videos, texts, photos, pictures, podcasts. The main thing is that it has to correspond to your business line. You can hire a copywriter, designer, and video maker or do everything yourself. Texts in social networks should be concise and relevant for your target audience, and the tone of the story, graphics, and videos are kept in a single key.
- Attract customers. Your content should be entertaining and informative to the target audience. It should contain tips on choosing niche products, industry news, and useful life hacks. Do not forget to pick thematic hashtags and geolocation.
Using SMM is an excellent choice if you do not have a big budget for promotion and if your prospective customers pay attention to the brand’s personality when choosing a product or service.
Moving your business online allows you not only to continue operating when the whole world has been shut down but also to develop and expand your business. Many business owners would have lost their life’s work had they not switched to online business models.
It does not matter whether you have a big online shop or a tiny handcrafting studio. In both cases, there is a chance to be successfully represented online – you only need to rely on your target audience’s needs and ensure that you are providing them with reliable customer service.