According to Statista, e-transaction sales worldwide are expected to proliferate to 4.88 trillion US dollars in 2021. Small businesses like yours would, therefore, logically desire to corner a fair share of that pie and form a part of the global Internet success story. The Internet has turned into a great leveller, as in, it allows small businesses to easily compete with larger businesses by completely eliminating a lot of the expenses that would be incurred by the brick and mortar type.
Business owners will need to have a very clear-cut vision in order to adapt to the challenges of the digital domain and effect a paradigm shift in their marketing strategy to capitalize on the advantages that are afforded in this Internet era.
In this article, we will look at 5 different ways for you to enable your small business to be competitive.
If you are having second thoughts about creating a website for your business then I have some news for you. In this booming information age, not having a website, sadly, is synonymous with your business lacking credibility!. The enormous advantage of having a website is that you can be where your customers are, you are providing them with an easy way to evaluate, CONTACT AND TRANSACT with you.
Having a website with decent search engine optimization is a necessary investment for you today. Even as you are reading this article, there are millions of queries being made on Google and perhaps at this very instant your competitors are directly benefiting from their ways in ways that you can't comprehend as yet, so you are definitely at a very big disadvantage here. A traditional brick and mortar business that doesn't have its own website suffers a huge disadvantage because they are missing a secure channel to establish trust with their prospective customers.
A website is a spot where your customers can easily learn about products and services your small business offers, even if your customer base is local, it would make a lot of sense for you to put all that information out there.
ps: Make sure that your site is mobile friendly else you are going to end up losing traffic
If you are startup business that's limited by their funds or a small company with constrained financials then you need to able to seek out to your target demographic and engage with them in a positive manner. The best way for you to achieve this is to for you to start writing blogs and articles about your products/services and your industry in general.
Have you ever wondered how websites go from having a few hundred visitors in a day to tens of thousands in a few months?. The recipe for that is, writing consistent and interesting consumer-centric articles with you can engage with your customer base.
This sounds a lot harder than it actually is, but well-researched articles are ranked pretty high in Google since it determines the relevance of your page wrt to the domain that you are serving.
There are plenty of small business success stories all over the world, where people have turned around their sales purely through successful consumer marketing and brand building via their blogs, all it takes is consistent dedication and effort. Needless to say, if you become successful at writing popular and informative blogs then it also means that you have become SAVVY AT MARKETING your own business.
Social media marketing
Many traditional small business owners are somehow averse to using free social media tools and instead using believe in using relatively expensive instruments like paid Instagram ads or Facebook ads or Google ads, they do this because they aren't entirely convinced about the efficacy of the entire process, this is an unfortunate thing because they are missing on goldmine of opportunities.
Since small businesses like yours tend to be typically focussed more on individuals and communities, it is essential for you to connect with your customers on a regular basis for getting repeat business and this is why you need to focus on Social media marketing as means to reach out to the CORRECT INDIVIDUALS.
Having a Facebook Company Page and Instagram account will help you immensely in connecting to the right crowd, this should be something you would undertake immediately after building your website and blog, also given that you as a small business owner can be MORE RESPONSIVE to your customer than most big businesses, it makes absolute sense for you to invest your time in indulging in Social Media Marketing.
What is Email marketing exactly?
It is just an easy means for you to be in touch your customers through email ( consent is king here, so we are talking about those who have explicitly given your consent to email them). This is an effective way for you to connect with your customers on a regular basis without incurring a lot of expense.
Given that there are plenty of Email Marketing service providers who offer you free as well as cheap plans, there simply is no excuse for you to not undertake this easy exercise. It is also equally important to note that you shouldn’t abuse this, don’t keep bombarding them with frequent emails when you don’t really have anything interesting to offer, as in all other things the content of your email is rather important, you need to think of yourself as customer, what would you actually like to read or more precisely what would would interest you.
Email marketing provides you with way to communicate with your clients in a PERSONALIZED MANNER, you could, for example, segment your contact lists and send out a blast to your local customers providing them with tailor-made offers, truthfully speaking, everybody loves a bit of discount :) and this is an easy way to reward them.
In 2018 cashless payments have overtaken cash payments for the first time In India ( thanks to demonetization, maybe?) and Digital payments in India are going to triple to 7% of GDP in just 3 years, says Morgan Stanley. There are now millions of users who prefer digital payments globally and this number is going to grow by leaps and bounds in India as well.
If you are anything like a typical small business owner then there is a very high likelihood that you see using digital payments to be a something akin to taming a dragon, you know that it is powerful and that it will help you increase your sales revenues but are worried about the feasibility of the whole operation and the liabilities that you might incur in the process.
Accepting Credit Cards and other online payment modes such as Netbanking might be both frustrating and intimidating at first because it involves a lot of technical knowledge and patience to keep abreast of it all. Integrating digital payments into your site will definitely require hard work and perseverance but if there was ever a good time to do it, it would be now as this would provide you VALUABLE INSIGHTS into your business model and help nurture it.
So, here we are at the end of it all and I have tried to cover the some of the most significant means of promoting your small business on the Internet. Now, some of you might think that this is too little and yet others might think this insufficient, whatever be the case you need to a make a beginning somewhere and this should provide you with a decent spot to start planning and execution of your online marketing strategies.