Small businesses often struggle with building a great presence online. Choosing the most efficient ways and tools can be hard, especially when there’s such a big supply. This is a short introduction to what you should consider when taking first steps online.
The power of blogging
Many small businesses forget that their overall nature is intimate. Relationships with customers are built and maintained through a more personal approach, whether it be conversations, real life experiences or even little gifts. When it comes to the web, a blog is the perfect tool to keep that level of intimacy.
While websites are generally static and say “hey, this is me, look at me!”, blogs invite you to interact and express opinion. Although it’s not a must to constantly blog (you can create static pages), if you do and do it wisely, your business can go beyond brand-consumer behavior and establish a well rounded community.
Browse my store
While blogs can be a great use for people offering services, some entrepreneurs might need to showcase and sell their products. Running your own eCommerce website can be a bit of a struggle, even with services like Shopify or BigCartel. Although it kind of eliminates the need of technical knowledge and comes with a pretty easy management system, there are still flaws like the transaction fees or endless list of options.
If you are just starting/testing out your business, one of the smartest ways to go would be enlisting to an eCommerce platform like Etsy.
The advantages include its super fast to establish your online shop, you get to use pre-made layouts and don’t have to worry about design and the payment system is well organised. Etsy has a renowned visitor’s base so it’s really easier than driving traffic to your personal website.
However, you need to consider Etsy’s payment system as there are listing costs and revenue fees. Etsy is a good starting point for online business with an inspiration platform on top of it.
The website takes it all
If you do need a website, the first and foremost reason is that a personal website makes your business look more serious. If you company has grown and you feel like taking the next step in building online presence, then a website is the right thing to do.
The beauty of a website is that you can integrate all of the latter, a blog and an online shop, into one. Not only do you get more control over the design and SEO, you don’t have to share customer’s attention with other brands.
The most important thing when having a website is content management. As a small business owner who probably doesn’t know how to code, you are very likely to pay some extra money and have a developer/web designer do a website for you.
Studies show that email remains among the most powerful marketing tools for small business. With a high ROI, bigger conversion and new customer acquisition rate, it is also more measurable than social media advertising while retaining a personal side to it.
There are several leaders in the email marketing market. Some of the great options include MailChimp, Aweber, Cakemail, and Mailerlite.
With more social interaction than ever, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram are your business’ new best friends. Just like a newsletter, these social network allow you to engage with your customers on a personal level. All networks have their advantages and if harnessed right, can dramatically improve your online presence. While Twitter can be used for quick updates to followers, Instagram has been seen to showcase products on a highly creative level.
The web is a huge place and it can be really overwhelming for a small business. With careful planning and selection, you can be on the road to success. The tools mentioned here are by no means claimed to be the best. Yet, they come off as handy particularly for small business needs. Share your ideas and experiences of boosting small business’ presence online!