To make your business competitive in the online marketplace, it means making use of all the tools available to you. It’s now easier than ever to create an aesthetically pleasing website and online presence—but it’s also more necessary than ever before.
Rates of e-commerce sales substantiate the concept that online shopping is here to stay. Hence, in much the same way that you would put time and effort into your company’s physical presentation on signage and storefront, there is a clear need for companies to maintain their online presence.
Below, we will go over ways that you can touch up your business’ virtual operations to ensure you stay competitive:
Employ automation where possible
One of the most effective ways you can streamline your business practice is by utilizing automation wherever it makes sense. Businesses today enjoy the luxury of benefitting from automated email and social marketing software. This saves countless amounts of man-hours and ensures a favorable cost-benefit ratio.
Establish image cohesion
Inconsistency with brand image has been shown to negatively affect companies. Be sure to settle upon a common format, color scheme, name, and logo to get your business to stick in the minds of potential consumers. Online printing services offer many different customization options, allowing you to create business cards or other marketing materials in accordance with your brand’s image.
Some of the most iconic brands in the world owe at least part of their success to the consistency of their image that they maintained. For example, the Coca-Cola writing and logo has remained essentially unchanged for its entire existence. The unchanging nature of the company’s aesthetic allows it to be instantly identifiable across lifetimes and generations.
Increase exposure to boost brand awareness
Especially in the world of e-commerce, brand awareness is everything. Visitors to your site or social media platforms will remain low if nobody knows a company’s name to search. In other words, the mere exposure of your brand will in and of itself facilitate increased traffic and customer bases.
If you haven’t yet embraced social media in full effect, it’s time to start. Increasingly businesses are understanding the real-world importance of having a full-fledged social media presence, often taking advantage of several or all platforms available.
Depending on the nature and scale of your business, certain platforms will work better than others. For example, a business that specializes in baked goods or photography will likely find an affinity for Instagram’s image-based format.
Likewise, a company that prides itself on dialogue or exemplary customer service might find Twitter to be a better fit. Ideally, your company will have more than one platform; however, there are cases in which less is more (particularly if funds or time are in short supply).
Never underestimate the importance of customer satisfaction
Satisfaction and trust within a customer base improve retention, plain and simple. This has always been a cornerstone of successful businesses and is unlikely to change at any point in the future. In fact, the importance of a positive experience for the customer might be greater than ever before since social media provides a soapbox for just about anyone.
It’s bad enough for an unsatisfied customer to tell their friends in person about how unhappy you made them. But now, a poor review can potentially be thrust in front of thousands or even millions of people thanks to the power of social media. In one peer-reviewed study, 95 percent of customers were shown to share their negative experience. You never know who might just have hundreds of thousands of followers, so you need to be on your toes at all times.
The upside to the ubiquity of online celebrity is that praises and good reviews can bolster your company’s standing immensely. You can also partner up with social media influencers to give your company a meaningful bump in the market. Companies are also able to cross-pollinate with one another, allowing each to benefit mutually of each other’s respective following.
The value that meta-data and analytics offer is insurmountable. In fact, research has revealed the use of analytics to be a differentiator between top versus bottom performers. In other words, utilizing analytics can make the difference between leading the pack or being dragged behind it.
The ways that analytics can be used are limited only by your own cunning. Since this information provides you with hard numbers and metrics on things like time spend on your web page or how long a video was watched, you can fine-tune your approach to maximize customer engagement.
The simple yet formidable act of building relationships will serve to organically raise your company’s relevance and standing on the internet. Things like guest posting on blogs or having another industry expert make a cameo appearance on your website are good ways of doing this. This gets more people talking about you, generating a buzz in a way that is more effective and natural than tinkering with SEO abstractions.
You also want to stay current, and maintain the integrity of relationships over a longer term rather than assuming an isolated instance of cross-pollination is enough. This helps build a strong network and guarantees the buzz to continue indefinitely.