Small business owners know how important it is to have a strong online presence to get in front of both current and potential customers. While having a small business website is a great start, there are a variety of other important tactics – beyond maintaining your website – that can help you reach new customers, improve relationships with current customers and even teach you and your employees valuable skills to grow your business.
In this post, we will dive into four valuable online tactics that will help your small business achieve long-term success.
1. Engage with Customers on Social Media
Social media offers low-cost, powerful channels that small businesses can use as part of their marketing mix. It can help grow your business by delivering valuable content to new and existing customers. Social media can increase brand recognition, improve customer loyalty and ultimately boost sales.
A recent Social Media Marketing Industry Report revealed that "92% of marketers working with small businesses view social media as critical to their marketing efforts. Over 70% of small businesses see a return on investment (ROI) from a social media presence."
By engaging with customers on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, you can gain useful insights into what your customers think, feel and need. With these insights, you can better focus your business strategy around your customer. Social media also allows you to show customers a more personal side of your business, which will help you develop meaningful relationships with your customers.
There are a variety of social media platforms available, and each caters to different audiences and serves different purposes. To learn more about the different social platforms, check out our post, Which Social Media Platform Is Best For Your Small Business.
2. Focus on SEO to Help New Customers Find Your Small Business
In today’s digital age, the first thing that many shoppers do when they need to find a business or service is look online. According to a recent survey published by eMarketer, more than one third of US Internet users said that they first find out about a small business while researching online.
Because the majority of consumers search online to find local businesses, your website’s Google Page Rank is critical. Fortunately, there are a variety of online tools and best practices that can help get your small business’s website to the top of the list.
One great way to get your website to the top of the search engine’s list is to improve your users’ online experience. Search engines prioritize professional, user-friendly sites. On top of making your site look professional, user experience and the ability for a user to navigate the page easily are very important.
You can also improve your website’s Google Search Rank by integrating keywords into your content. You can research which keywords your customers are using when searching for your product and/or service using a tool such as Moz, and then integrate these keywords into your website's URLs, page titles and page content.
To learn more about how to optimize your site, check out our Small Business Owner’s 5-Minute Guide to Unlocking SEO.
3. Conduct Email Campaigns to Keep Your Customers Up to Date
While there is lots of buzz around new marketing trends, such as social media platforms, traditional email marketing is still a highly effective tool for reaching customers and ultimately growing your business. According to Econsultancy, “email has ranked highest in terms of ROI compared to other marketing strategies, and 78% of consumers rank email as the most preferred communication platform.”
Email is the most common channel to entice customers to visit a store. If you are planning to have an in-store promotion, consider planning an email campaign to share the news with customers. This would be a great way to educate customers on the event and encourage them to come into your store. There are a variety of easy and effective email marketing tools, such as MailChimp, to conduct email marketing campaigns.
4. New Skills Through Online Training
Another great online resource to help improve your business is online training. There are a wide variety of online training courses available for both small business owners and employees. Picking up a few business courses can not only keep you up to date on changes in your industry, but it can also help you to learn new marketing strategies, management tactics and business operations best practices.
Thanks to today’s technology, you can take courses from some of the best business programs in the country, whenever you want, at little to no cost at all.
Whether you’re hoping to reach new customers, develop deeper relationships with current customers or learn new skills, there is an online tactic available to help you reach your goals. By taking advantage of any of these four online tactics, you will be well on your way to business improvement and growth.