Creating an Effective Online Presence For Your Business (On the Cheap!)
The digital age we now live in presents many great marketing opportunities for businesses. However, if you’re a tradie, in hospitality, or running a professional services firm, we don’t blame you if you have no idea where to start! Having an impactful and professional online presence is extremely important to success in business. Thankfully (despite popular belief), this doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.
So where do you start and how can you get a leg up on the competition?
How many of us often find ourselves blatantly judging a book by it’s cover? I know I do. I also know that when I’m walking around town looking for a coffee, I often go to the place whose brand I either instantly identify with or one I like the look of.
Building a strong brand is so important to seeing new clients walk through the door. A strong brand starts with a great logo. If you’re going to spend any money at all, I would hugely recommend spending it here. If done right, this isn’t a cost that will have to be repeated. Your logo will allow for brand recognition and will give your business instant personality. It will be memorable, impactful and allow your clients and prospects to easily distinguish you from your competition. In business, looks do matter!
The typical way of getting a logo made would be to go see a local design agency. However if the budget is tight you can also look at using an online design marketplace (such as 99designs.com or fiverr.com), or reaching out to a talented friend or design student - You’ll be surprised who you’ll find in your network!
There is a saying amongst marketers that goes along the lines of “if you’re not online, you may as well not exist”. As cut-throat as it may sound, there is a lot of truth in that statement. When looking for anything these days, whether it be a local eatery, or a good pair of jeans, we all turn to the internet.
If you want to succeed in the digital world, you must have a website. Your website acts as the hub for all of your online activity. Just five years ago, the prospect of creating a website meant shelling out thousands of dollars, whereas these days (if you’re open to a bit of learning and playing around) you can create your own at very little cost. Online website builders such as Squarespace and Wix give you plenty of awesome templates which are very easily customisable. Creating a great website will give clients and prospects a place to go to find more information about your business and see what you can do for them.
Just about everybody is on Facebook or Instagram these days, so why not get your business on there too?
Using social media is a fantastic way to show clients and prospects what is happening in the life of your business. Create a business page on one or both of the platforms, invite a bunch of your current clients to like/follow the page, then get posting. It’s important that you upload engaging content, not just ads for your products and services. People don’t browse social media platforms in pursuit of ads, so make sure your content is interesting and compelling. It’s also important that you link your social media pages to your website, as they will be great drivers of online traffic.
A great way to grow your business is to increase your customer retention rate. An effective way of doing this is to compile an email list of clients and send them interesting content. If you have clients and prospects that are willing to give you their email addresses you’d be silly not to occasionally get in touch.
Emails that you send out can include promotional content, blog posts, current business news, and whatever other engaging content you can think of. Be strategic on your timing, and be careful not to send too many emails - nobody likes being spammed!
If you’re already doing all of the above (congrats!), you may be ready to up your marketing efforts and put in a little more budget.
With some budget (it really doesn’t have to be a lot) you will open yourself up to many different options. One of which is to venture into the world of paid digital marketing. I won’t go into too much detail, but essentially this will allow you to create customised online ads that are targeted to your specified target market across different websites and platforms. This is a highly effective way to generate leads for your business. Another option is to consider hiring a part time marketing co-ordinator, or engaging with a small digital marketing agency. This will ensure the marketing of your business is always ticking over (and you can focus on the things you love doing!).
If you need help with any of the above, feel free to get in touch for a catch-up anytime. We love seeing our clients embrace change in their businesses and we’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you’re well supported.
Good luck and see you online!