Recently I got talking to a successful business owner. While chatting, he told me he’d spent the last 30 years growing his company which now boasts an annual turnover into the millions of dollars.
There was one fly in the ointment though. Their reliance on supermarkets to sell the products meant they were losing almost half of their annual profits.
So, they are commencing with a 10 year plan which if successful, will increase their profits into the hundreds of millions. Their strategy is simple. They intend to reach their target audience directly through digital marketing, i.e. growing their business online.
As small business owners ourselves, we can only dream of all those zeros! What we do have in common is that we too have a strategy to grow our business online.
So what are the main areas to consider when growing a business online?
1. Review your website
What’s there that doesn’t need to be? Things like old news & photos, old stock info and so on can make your business look dated.
What should be on the site that isn’t? Awards, testimonials, news articles, new products, new team members and so on will reflect a growing business.
Is the website layout looking a bit old fashioned? Are there lots of white spaces?
Make notes of what needs updating and get it fixed. Your website is your online business premises. Make sure it’s looking its very best.
2. Be selective with social media channels
There is a common trend among businesses to have a presence on lots of social media channels in a bid to reach target audiences.
It requires lots of man hours per week to keep all of the channels updated. This is fine if your business can afford to hire permanent marketing personnel to carry out this work.
A social media site that is not updated regularly can give the wrong impression to potential customers.
Our advice? Pick one social media channel and dedicate a few hours each week to updating it. Facebook is great for B2C, Twitter & LinkedIn are ideal for networking and B2B.
3. Have your say!
Mention the term ‘blog’ and a lot of business owners begin to sweat. We prefer to call it a news update ourselves. It is a vital step in growing a business online and, if we strip back a blog, we can see why it’s important:
Firstly it puts fresh content onto your website – providing a good dose of keywords. This is great for SEO, Google ranking, etc.
Secondly, it helps you to stand out from your competitors, i.e. brand awareness. You could write about your latest offers, new product development, USP’s, recent jobs, case studies and so on. Potential customers will get a real feel for your company.
Ultimately, it will help to increase sales.
4. Online tools can be a great help
Fundera Ledger have kindly put together a list of 50 online tools and resources for businesses. There’s bound to be at least one in the list that will be of help to your online business growth. See what suits and sign up!
5. E-commerce is king!
According to Smart Insights, the “total global digital marketing spend is set to reach 306 billion by 2020” with Irish consumers alone spending up to 14bn.
Investing in an e-commerce site will be a very smart move. If your products are not available to purchase online, you are missing out to your competitors.
The initial outlay may be costly but in terms of ROI, it won’t be long before costs are recouped.
6. What’s your strategy?
Whatever stage you are at in your online growth, you must have a plan. Like my friend who is in business for 30 years, create a long term strategy. Make it a 2, 5 or 10 year goal.
Map out where you are and where you would like your business to be. Fill in the gaps with how you intend to get there.
Regular analysis will be required to ensure your business is going in the right direction.
We can help!
As a new business we try to keep up with as many trends as possible. We want to give our customers the most up-to-date service that we can. As a business owner, you will be doing the same thing within your industry.
Contact us today for a chat and we’ll be happy to discuss how your business growth ideas can be put into action.[Cover image source : terrywilson3.com]