Before the internet it was hard for smaller businesses to compete with large ones because they lacked the resources to exploit traditional marketing routes to reach out to customers. In the modern era, access to the web means it’s possible to compete on a much more equal basis.
There are lots of different options, however, so what’s the best route for smaller businesses to take in order to ensure they get their fair share of online business?
Exploit social media
The growth of social media use has been phenomenal, with sites like Facebook and Twitter having millions of users worldwide. This offers great opportunities for business as rather than just sending out a message to customers it allows the ability to connect and interact.
By building up a fan base on social media you can target your marketing message at people you already know are interested in your business and your products, making it more effective. Yes, you will get the odd complaint but even these can help your profile if dealt with in a professional manner. For example an Essex Electrician can target those customers in their given area as well as showcase work that they have completed. It is also a great place to share the positive reviews that you receive from satisfied customers.
Build the right website
Of course every business needs a website. Companies that offers professional web design can create a site for you but it’s important to think about what you want it to achieve.
Whether you’re selling directly online or persuading buyers to visit a physical location, the site needs to be designed to achieve that. It needs to get across your message clearly, be easy to navigate and load quickly.
If you need to maintain the site yourself – to add new products for example – make sure that the process is easy to use and doesn’t need too much technical expertise.
The power of the blog
You might think that in the age social media the humble blog is rather old hat. However, research has shown that companies with blogs get more visitors to their sites and have pages that are more likely to be linked to.
The key is to provide interesting, useful information that people are interested in reading. It needs to have some connection to your business but doesn’t necessarily need to be ‘about’ it. Blogging is also a good way of ensuring that your site gets regular updates and doesn’t become static. You do therefore need to commit to a regular flow of new entries, though this needn’t be too arduous.
It pays to advertise
The web opens up new opportunities for advertisers to reach a new audience without breaking the bank. Google, as well as sites like Facebook and Twitter, allow you to accurately target particular demographic groups by age, location and more. Because they work on a pay-per-click basis you only pay when someone responds to your ad and you can set a budget so that you won’t end up paying more than you anticipated.
By exploiting the opportunities offered by the internet businesses of any size really can compete in a global market and it’s more affordable than you think.