During these uncertain times, where many people are still on lockdown and businesses have seen significant drops in revenue, it’s more important than ever to take your company online. Regardless of whether you offer a product or service, online is where you need to be. Where do you start? It’s simple, let’s take a look at a few things you need to consider.
Branding is very important, it tells the story of your company. It’s also something that customers or clients will recognize first when they see your logo or hear your catchphrase. Branding is more than just a logo or catchphrase, though. It can be a color scheme that sets you apart from others in the market; it can be the packaging. You decide what your branding is and make sure to tie all of your communication and marketing materials into it for a cohesive presentation.
Create that website
What’s that — you don’t know anything about designing websites? The good thing is you don’t need to have a fancy site. A basic one outlining your products or services will do, but steer clear of frames, flashing and scrolling text, and other 1990s formatting that’ll drive customers away instead of drawing them in — that went out with Y2K. Make sure you incorporate your branding as it will tie the entire package together.
Wix, Weebly and WordPress are just a few platforms that can get you started. They’re easy to use, and they offer WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) design tools. That means you can skip the code and see the layout, in real-time, as you’re creating it. Best of all, there are free templates and free sites you can use to help with the design, getting your site up and running without spending a dime out of pocket.
Of course, if you need more features, you’ll want to splurge on a more efficient website with tools — such as encryption — that help protect your visitor’s privacy if you offer sign-up or online sales.
Following eCommerce trends
If you’re opening an online shop, whether on Etsy — if you’re an artist — or on your standalone website, you’ll need to observe eCommerce trends. You already — presumably — know what you’re selling. Now, you have to know how to reach people who want to buy what you’re offering.
First, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical. This means prepping your website with the appropriate terms in order to show up on searches. Additionally, you’ll want to learn how to use social media, if you don’t already know.
Using social media to your advantage
Today’s eCommerce relies on social media to achieve higher levels of success. Advertising, for example, is prominent. Just think about any time you’ve been on Facebook or Instagram and noticed a promoted post. Those are specific ads created and sent out based on a demographic. Your demographic would be the parameters you assign your target audience.
If you have a product that’s tailored to a specific audience, using a social media influencer is a good idea. Find one who fits your demographic, and has a decent following. Just keep in mind, the more followers one has, the higher their rates will be. On the other hand, you’ll get a good number of views and potential sales from the exposure.
It works for any industry
It’s not just eCommerce businesses taking to the web, either. The pandemic has made people in many industries creative. They now have to find new ways to reach their clients or patients. The health industry, for one, has taken to telehealth appointments for anything from diagnosing minor colds and ailments to providing therapy sessions.
Even music lessons, for example, if you give piano or voice lessons, you can take this online. How? By using Zoom or Skype to give virtual instruction instead of in-person. Is it the same? No, but it has been a successful venture for many. Best of all, by taking it online, you now have an enormous reach. In-person lessons are restricted to those who can travel to your home or studio. Virtual lessons, on the other hand, can be given to anyone around the world. Talk about creating new revenue streams.
Getting started is pretty simple, though there are basic steps you need to take to ensure success. Don’t jump in blindly, do your research beforehand, and take the time to craft your niche. With unemployment at a serious high, there’s never been a better time to take your business online — or even start one.