Setting up shop is only the first step toward running a successful business. Making it more visible to customers is critical. In the digital era it takes creativity to get the word out. Here are some proven strategies that are helping small businesses build their brands.
Customers love mobile apps. A 2018 survey by the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom showed that smartphones are ubiquitous in the country. 78% of all British adults own smartphones. The average smartphone user in the UK checks their phone every 12 minutes.
Apps are the lifeblood of smartphones, and do several things for businesses. They help get orders, process orders, track status, receive payments, extend discounts, get user feedback, send promotions, build loyalty, and generally help stay close to the customers. For users there is a world of difference between accessing a site on a web browser and using an app. The app saves the necessary info that customers hate to type in every time. Apps can be greatly personalized. One case in point is the Ria Money Transfer App which is used by millions of migrants worldwide to send international money transfers and remittances. It is convenient, reliable, gives all the needed info quickly, and has unique built-in security features. Businesses collect meta statistics on app usage to get a wealth of info on customer behavior and preferences.
Apps are relatively inexpensive to build and maintain. Online freelancers can build simple apps quickly at less than the cost of a print advertisement. For small businesses the cost-benefit outcome of commissioning an app is usually positive.
Having an online presence is no longer an option. KPMG reported in 2017 that 55% of all customers search online for reviews and recommendations before making a purchase. Google offers a number of free tools that small business can use to promote their offerings. Having profiles on Google Business and Google Places makes it easier to prospective buyers to find you. Positive interactions and happy customers would see your profile stacking-up positive reviews, which would encourage more buyers to consider you.
Businesses can create and manage their online information instantly. This includes the company’s description, pictures, product information, location, and so on. Google says that businesses that add photos to their profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps than profiles without pictures. Also be sure to include the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of your business in your profile. These details help businesses show up in geo-targeted searches on Google.
Affiliate marketing is big business, and growing rapidly. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) noted that affiliate marketing contributes almost 1% to the UK’s GDP. On average affiliate marketing generates a 16 fold return on investment. As a concept affiliate marketing is relatively simple. It involves the use of online platforms with large existing audiences (site traffic). These affiliates advertise products and earn commissions. The earnings can be based on sales or redirected traffic. It is important to choose affiliate marketers that match your target audience groups. There are thousands of professional affiliate marketing firms to choose from.
Social media sites have become effective platforms for a new kind of affiliate marketer – the social media influencer. These are people with a broad following, and get paid to endorse a product or service. Influencers are highly effective. Products don’t just reach a large audience; they also get a positive reception. The trusted opinions and social media personality of the influencer account for a lot.
Business blogs must look and feel professional. Businesses can start their own blogs or piggyback on other relevant blogs that have a large following. A blog can generate significant levels of customer engagement. It is a vehicle to reach out to existing and prospective customers. Blogs can be used to share product info, updates, opinions, and other communication. Many blogs are interactive, and allow businesses to collect feedback.
Blog content can be optimized with keywords and key phrases. These are terms that users search for via search engines such as Google. Content is vital for blogs. It must be relevant to the target audience. The content must be accurate, authoritative, and verifiable, while being easy to assimilate. An effective strategy for a business blog is to host content from industry experts. Invite trusted and well-known experts from industry to post as guest writers.
About the author:- Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.