netstripes posted a topic in Website Design & SEO HelpThere’s no denying that when it comes to running a small business, a strong web presence is necessary to continuously grow and stand apart from your competitors. A digital marketing plan is necessary for any business – small or large – as it’s the most effective way to reach potential customers and drive conversations. That’s why it’s more crucial than ever to cultivate your digital engagement to engage with today’s consumers. Of course, if you’re new to digital marketing and online advertising, it can appear to be more than a little confusing. So, here are our top 5 essential steps for digital marketing success for any small businesses. 1. Learn as Much as You Can While we all have some knowledge of what ‘digital marketing’ is, that knowledge rarely touches on even 50% of what actually takes place. Before any small business can embark on a new marketing plan, they need to understand the basics of creating a digital marketing strategy such as knowing who your target market is, value proposition, the various platforms used, etc. There are several ways you can get to know more about digital marketing methods such as attending digital bootcamps or webinars that teach you things like how to set goals, segmenting your consumers, understanding social media algorithms, and strategic planning. There’s no shame in asking for help, in fact we encourage it so that you get a good understanding of how digital technology will affect and change your business for the better… 2. Creating a Digital Strategy Every business has its own set of objectives or targets to meet when it comes to sales and that’s important for creating a successful digital marketing strategy. This could be anything from how many sales you need per month, to your financial goals for the next 12 months. These goals are what you will be developing your digital strategy around. To start with, first think about your business and what makes it stand apart from your online competitors, and then consider who you want to sell your services/products to? By defining your business goals, your position among competitors and potential customers, you have a solid foundation to build a strategy upon. If you need a little help with creating a solid strategy, consulting a professional for guidance can help you to decide on where to start and how to build a strategy that is built around your long-term goals and includes your existing customer base. Netstripes, the authorised digital specialist for small businesses in NSW, offers free one-on-one digital advisory sessions for small business owners, as well as website solutions like the digital accelerator program which covers everything from learning to a performance review after the website is up and running, to help transform an online business. Once you have a strategy, you can start the development of a website that is designed in line with your goals and strategy; optimising it with first-rate graphics and software. 3. Building your Website and Online Branding Your website is the face of your brand online. It will inform any visitor to the site about your services and brand personality. Building your online brand presence should be one of your top priorities to help you stand out from similar services online. Always work with experienced designers and developers who can world class designs and landing pages for your website that will drive traffic and convert leads. A visitor’s first reaction to seeing your landing page is an immediate sense of trust with your services you are trying to sell them. The ideal website should contain all the necessary information about your business in an easy to read the language (as little copy as possible), eye catching imagery, and a call-to-action. The best tip for a great website is honestly to just keep the layout as simple as possible while still providing the necessary information; it provides better user experience and website management. 4. Promotions Through Digital Marketing Channels The marketing landscape has changed drastically over the years. Traditional methods that were once effective and straightforward, are no longer the only option for putting your brand out there, especially for online businesses. That’s why it is crucial that your brand establishes and maintains a strong online presence to be competitive enough to reach out to your intended audience. But before you can advertise, you need to identify the marketing channels that will work best for you. All marketing channels have their strengths and weaknesses. SEO, for example, can provide you with steady, high-quality organic traffic, but takes time to see results. Whereas Facebook advertising lets you specify exactly who sees your ads, their age, gender, location even their profession. To identify the right marketing channel, you first want to make sure you can actually reach your customers through it. Do some market research, find out which channels are more popular with your customers, what kind of content they engage with and what your online competitors are doing. Social media grows more powerful every day, with the click of a button, you can now reach thousands of potential customers. A lot of small businesses have managed to grow their customer base solely through social media content and advertising. Engaging with customers online also builds a sense of trust and creates advocates for your brand. You’ll need to learn how to perform a carefully planned set of actions that will enable you to learn, test and measure the results and performance of the social marketing tools you’ll be using. Again, advertising online takes time and a fair amount of knowledge to get it right. If you’re not familiar with the methods. Used for identifying and creating a marketing plan for your online business, don’t worry about it! There are plenty of ways you get can learn from attending seminars to online learning courses. 5. Review the Results The best thing about digital marketing it that unlike traditional marketing, you can see how your website is performing and whether your ads are working. This means that if you don’t think your website is driving conversations or your social media ads aren’t bringing in the right numbers, you can immediately take action and amend things.Monitoring your digital marketing performance allows you to gain a better insight into what your customers want, thereby giving you the means to oblige and thus, increase customer satisfaction. Which of course will then lead toward growth in sales and a stronger brand presence. Which in the end, is what we all want. Again, if you work with a professional, they’ll probably do this part for you so you won’t have to start crunching numbers immediately, but it’s definitely something to learn if you want your business to grow online. Conclusion Effective digital marketing is the key to any online business. Fulfilling the above strategies in the right sequence will help you achieve your business goals. Remember, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on digital marketing for your business to look like a million dollars. It’s more important to find out what works best for you and then market it in a way that drives traffic to your website which will bring in sales. If you already have a website, but don’t think it’s bringing in the investments you hoped for, do consult a digital advisor to see what can be done to improve your business online.
netstripes posted a topic in Article SubmissionsAustralia has a booming small business industry with over 2 million businesses located across the country. Sadly less than a fifth are digitally engaged (using digital mediums to drive sales and growth), and the rest are only just touching on digital technology. As the digital paradigm continues to evolve and influence the way we conduct business online, it’s crucial that small businesses keep up with digital growth to reach larger audiences and boost sales. Once a business owner is empowered with the right knowledge, the strategies and the tools, it’s like a switch that turns on and the magic happens! There are hundreds of examples of small businesses from regional towns and metropolitan areas who achieve transformational growth in their businesses in just a short time. Further to this experience with business owners, our research has shown that by increasing digital engagement by 16% more businesses in the next 5 years, small businesses can create more than 700,000 jobs in Australia. So, how do we go about doing this?Digital knowledge is as crucial as digital tech to increase engagement One of the most common issues among small businesses for the absence of digital engagement is the lack of knowledge or know-how to make their website more than just an online brochure. A website that doesn’t load immediately, is difficult to navigate through, or is poorly designed can seriously affect your business’s credibility. Creating a cohesive website layout with a design that seamlessly flows to provide a pleasurable customer experience is key to keeping visitors on the page. Using automation software that replaces slow, manual processes can boost performance, while providing testimonials and reviews create a sense of trust and credibility to your site. We need to invest in innovative digital tech to ensure that we have world-class websites that keep drawing leads. Don’t sacrifice on the quality of your website It might seem easier to get a freelancer or friend to help you with creating a website, but the quality will be subpar in comparison, plus you won’t get the type of personalised service, innovation and tech support that would naturally come with a professional service. In addition, if you are worried about the cost of a website overhaul, you can also use the instant asset write off to claim tax relief on any services to your website, so do take advantage of it. Seek professional guidance for a personalise business plan If you think your website is not bringing in the kind of business you hoped for, it could be failing you in several ways and costing you several hundred in the process. But, before you start thinking about any expensive and potentially disruptive changes to your website, you need to have a digital strategy in place to keep any changes focused on your business goals. Of course, if you’re not familiar with these approaches, then it really does help to call in the professionals to offer assistance. Here at Netstripes, we strive to support small businesses by providing instructive information through digital bootcamp events, seminars and online learning courses where we discuss the latest digital and social media marketing trends, their impact online and how they can help to boost digital engagement and revenue. We also offer a free one-on-one Digital Advisory sessions, fully funded by the NWS government, for small business owners who are interested in learning more about creating tailor-made digital strategies that can help them grow their respective businesses and boost revenue. To learn more about our Digital Advisory Session, click here. Conclusion Although we are seeing positive moves by the government towards supporting SMEs through investment and tax reliefs; the current investments are minute in comparison to the billions of dollars of economic value and benefits that could be derived from the digital engagement of small businesses. It’s up to us small businesses to make the most of the latest digital trends and technology to drive our businesses online and grow in today’s digital landscape. SB- Netstripes