Why small business needs to build presence online?

9 February, 2017

Every organisation and startups are excited to go digital to keep up with the crowd. Businesses need to understand what being digital means and the importance it holds, so they can leverage the online world to their advantage. For a small business, it’s important to go beyond the scope it has in terms of reach and finance, too.

How to make use of its potential to the fullest? Depending on your specific industry and offerings, this could open up a much wider customer base than relying on face-to-face interactions would.

Even as a small business, you can effectively make use of tactics, tools, and strategies so as to fulfil the need for better processes and technology that allow to constantly check-in with the consumer. Google says 97% of consumers look up the internet for local businesses, so if getting online gets you the opportunity to be easily accessible to your local targeted audience, then why not!

Don’t Start Small

Being a small business, you don’t need to start small or limit your marketing strategy. Online, you could align your brand with the targeted consumers through appropriate messaging. Also, you’ll need to understand which channels will work well with your customers and don’t go as per the industry.

Let the Audience Spice Up Your Secret Sauce

The consumer will dictate what to change, what to retain, what may work and which is the gold mine you may want to invest in. Online media and tools provide an idea to the business owner right at the start of their journey through surveys and analysis. Once you own a website and are establishing your presence, it’s vital that you make your way on the search engine optimisation radar. After all, 89 percent of consumers use search engines to research a product, service or business before making a decision.

Receiving requests and dispatching products or rolling out services becomes much faster, too. It’s also good to keep in mind how the most obvious benefit of building presence online is cost effectiveness. Quite a few functions can be automated online, such as the bookkeepers.

The 5 Ws with an H

Remember that Five W’s (and H) are the key pillars of online content and here’s how:

  • What’s the purpose of the project or campaign?
  • What is the message?
  • Who is the audience?
  • Where will the message be read (platform, channel and context)?
  • How do we present or structure the content?
  • When to create and best time to publish the content.

Engagement is Key

This applies not to only make your brand more appealing to existing customers, but also create higher chances of exposing their connections to your it, thus widening your potential customer base. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube allow users to add their own content and even respond to other’s content, making them feel involved and “special”. Ensure that your digital platforms allow users to engage and share freely.

Social Listening

Online, you could use data to make smart decisions faster and marry technology with creativity. Social listening is something you could leverage to keep evolving your strategy, widen your audience and even modify your products or services!

At the end of the day, value is what sells online. Delivering constant value is the simplest yet most taken-for-granted ways to build trust with the audience. Being consistent and powerful in your efforts will take research, time and patience, and of course social listening!

Take Feedback Constructively

If you are good and sincere at what you do, you do not need to worry about negative or constructive feedback. Ensure there’s a link on your social channels where the audience can submit feedback. Also, be quick in responding and apologize, if needed.

In a Nutshell

Here’s what you would need to do:

  • Set achievable goals
  • Find the right medium or platform
  • Learn to write for the web
  • Be consistent
  • Show up
  • Listen to the audience and have a real conversation

The Core of Your Strategy

  • celebrating a milestone
  • coming together for a cause
  • sharing differentiators of your brand versus your competitors
  • capitalising on word of mouth

As per the data statistics announced by SBA (small business administration) in 2016, almost 80% organisations survived the first year, 50% of the businesses survive at least 5 years and 255 of them survive more than 10 years as compared to the old statistics of 95% businesses failing in the first five years of the launch and out of which 50% never got past a year. The numbers say it all!