How to Grow A Business Online
There’s a question that you may well have asked yourself on more than one occasion, and it’s a question that has many answers, but let’s try and give you a few guidelines to consider.
Make Them Like You
It’s very rare that people buy anything from people that they don’t like so make sure that you give your future customers every opportunity to ‘buy’ both you and/or your team. Most of all present you and your company in an empathetic friendly professional way, and if you’re a smaller business play to that strength, in that you’ll probably be more personable and customer focussed than larger or more centralised businesses. Show the real ‘You’ online, get across your passion, energy, specialist expertise and knowledgeable service, all the things that they can access by using you ahead. Be honest and open in all of your website content, and every marketing communication, and be consistent in doing so.
Answer Their Questions
There’s a great book They Ask, You Answer – Summarised here that tells of how to gain authority online, and at its heart is the way to answer all of the questions that your target audience want to know about your area of business, all the practical questions they really want to know, the information that they often find hard to find elsewhere, and the detail that really allows them to make informed decisions, and will ultimately remember where they got that from, it’s an ongoing philosophy, not a short term fad it need be recognised I would add.
Build Trust & Show Your Customers Benefit from it
Use testimonials whenever you can, and in this day and age also use online reviews, just think of the success of TripAdvisor for example as it’s likely you’ve sough verification of your intended hotel, destination or holiday in just that way. People feel reassured by evidence of their prospective supplier being a proven trustworthy source to others like them.
Make your Website A Great Customer Experience, Functional & a place to return again.
Your website is very much your ‘Shop Window to the World’ so make sure that first and foremost it is functional, and easy to navigate for your customer of the future, and clearly identify that they are the right people for you, and more importantly that you are the best solution for their needs. Good websites are not those that set out to win creative awards, they are ones that act as sources of lead generation, and confirmation of you being the best people to phone, call or visit in the very near future.
Make all of your Online Activity Consistent & Memorable
If you saw an advertisement for Tesco without the brand name you’d probably know it was them and not Sainsburys. Similarly, if you saw a press advertisement for McDonalds you would know it wasn’t Burger King-Why? Well the brand presentation of each of these companies has been put before you in a consistent fashion, so the typeface, colours, and layout style follows brand guidelines that reinforces your recognition and identity of each business. These same principles should be followed by any SME Business as they ensure a consistent impression and will form a brand identity for your business.
Similarly your online content should be engaging, and inform, educate and entertain your target audience, and perhaps consider using a professional copywriter if you don’t feel confident enough to undertake the writing yourself. Write your content or have it prepared thinking of your target audience, and have it easy to understand and of value to your audience.
There are many other things that we will cover ahead for eCommerce sites, and if you have any questions to answer feel free to drop me a note to [email protected]