Owning a small business means many different things to you. On one hand, your life’s work has come to fruition in the brick-and-mortar building that houses your company and you are a proud
“parent.” On the other hand, you are forced to think about aspects that you probably had never considered before, digital marketing among those things. You’re already well aware that the digital age is here and has no plans to go anywhere, so take advantage. Check out these five digital marketing tips that can help your business.
1. Easily Find the Best Employees
Hiring people can seem a little scary, especially if you’ve never had to do it before and have no idea where to start. Never fear, thanks to specialty software that implements an applicant tracking system, it’s easier than ever to find the right employees to help your small business thrive. Tailoring the settings to find your dream applicant makes finding them a breeze.
Unsurprisingly, job-seekers are most likely to hit the internet for employment opportunities first — 79% of people, according to a 2015 study. This means that posting jobs online is essential when you’re trying to reach as wide an audience as possible. There are several big-name sites such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn that are geared towards matching applicants and companies, but don’t discount local postings like Craigslist and Facebook groups. Even though you want as many applicants as you can get, sometimes the right one is hiding in your own community.
2. Make Your Website Shine
You know even as a consumer that a fantastic website is something that can make or break a transaction or business opportunity. A website that is easy to navigate through, clear and concise as well as informative is vital to someone who is considering doing business with you. Interestingly, 92% of consumers are found to visit a website for the first time simply for research purposes, not to make a real purchase at all. When you stop and take that into consideration, it really is important to make a great first impression on prospective clients when they visit your website.
So what do consumers want to see when they arrive? Well, think about a website that you visit often. What do you enjoy most about it, what makes it so easy to follow? Take cues from websites you frequent and pay attention to what they all have in common. Simple tactics really do make a huge difference, even if you don’t notice them:
- The menu is placed toward the top of the page and is easily navigated through.
- It is clean, with complementary colors and backgrounds and graphics that don’t hurt your eyes.
- There are regular updates and information (including contact information) is current and up-to-date.
3. Use Social Media for Your Business
Even if you’re not big on updating your personal Facebook status and profile pics every day, that rule should not apply to your company. Social media makes for a fantastic advertising platform, and the best part is that it’s free to sign up for accounts. Social media can help you to get in touch with your local audience as well as with other nearby businesses and help generate excitement about upcoming events, promotions and products.
The best advice for using social media for business is to keep it updated as regularly as possible. Consumers like to see an active social profile; it signals to them that you are eager and want to keep excitement and activity going on in your pages. Tease pictures of new products that you know the public will be excited about, or make the grand opening of your new location an open-door party and have special promotions. However you choose to use it, social media can be your best digital friend.
4. Encourage Online Reviews — And Respond to All of Them
When you’ve poured your heart and soul into your company, seeing satisfied customers is the greatest reward you can imagine. If they’re happy you’re happy, so encourage them to take a moment to write a positive review online and give you five stars. It’s always a great feeling to read what positive things people have to say about your company — which is why it can seem like a slap in the face when someone leaves a negative review.
There is a right way and there is a wrong way to deal with scorchingly negative reviews. Remember that, even though you feel like you did the best you could do and that the review was unjustified, that responding when you’re emotional about it is a bad idea. The internet is called the world wide web for a reason: Everyone on the planet has access to what you have to say. Take a moment to calm down and think about how you can respond to this person politely and ways you can make it better. Follow the rules of etiquette and remember to always be professional.
5. Keep Your Online Content Interesting
Would you believe that the blog section of your website is one of its most important parts? It gives insight into your company’s values and thought processes to potential customers, but it is also is a clever way to make use of SEO (“search engine optimization,” or the likelihood of people finding you on a Google search) and get traffic moving through your website. Without SEO, a website cannot garner any traffic and without traffic, it’s unlikely that your business will drum up any new clientele. When making use of SEO in your blog, though, remember to keep your content interesting. It can seem easy to want to stuff it with keywords that help boost your Google ratings, but real people don’t want to read boring content. Create blog posts and articles that people actually want to read.
Use online marketing to help sell your small business to the world and drive in new customers. You’re already defying your own expectations by being a business owner at all, keep on pushing yourself to defy the odds.