Regardless of how much of your business comes from the internet most small businesses can help themselves gain new customers and regain old customers by using some simple online tools. In this article we will explore 10 simple tools you can use to help grow your business.
How is your web presence? Even with the internet being very mature in 2012 many businesses haven’t worked on building their website to its greatest potential. In some cases there may be nothing there at all. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to get your company online with all the tools out there many great looking websites almost come prepackaged.
Blogging for business growth can attract new customers, inform them about the business, and engage them online though conversations about what you post. The more articles you publish the better your brand can become recognizable and people will begin to be more familiar with your business. Familiarity leads to trust and trust leads to customers. Blogging should be a long term strategy so stick with it over the long haul and be authentic in your posts to create some real value for people.
3. Social Media
Using social media is still paramount in growing your businesses via online methods regardless of Facebook’s share price. Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow you to be, well, you! Yes the point of social media is lead generation and showing the human side of your business is a powerful way to gain trusting customers. Gaining people who follow your activity by providing genuinely helpful info and tips about your industry and business will lead people back to your website and then to the contact page. That can mean new clients.
4. Email Marketing
Use your website to allow people to opt-in to a newsletter that you provide directly to their inbox on a regular basis. Email addresses change over time so constantly gaining new contacts is important. Generating leads with a free eBook by letting them download it in exchange for an email address is a good way to get started. Once you have the list and its growing then you can offer valuable and genuine help, advice and sales promotions to your loyal email subscribers.
Search engine optimization is a way for businesses to increase their ranking on search engines to gain more web visitors. If you have a website the chances that you will see automatic rankings and visitors is not likely. It actually takes work to rank for keywords people might find you by using a search engine. You will need the services of an SEO firm to get you to where you want to be. These professionals will create a strategy with you to target the best possible places and relevant keywords to grow your business.
6. Paid Advertising
Part of your SEO strategy may or may not include paid search engine advertising. Even if you are not using SEO services it’s still a good idea to choose some keywords you want people to find your business with and pay the search engines for traffic. The advertising cost is based on how many times you get a visitor to the site. The more people that click on your ad the more you pay, hence the phrase pay per click.
7. Online surveys
Getting customer feedback is not easy to do but we all know how important it is for growth. Try using online surveys to measure customer satisfaction. You can send them to past customers who have already given contact information. The surveys should be just long enough to get your desired info. The shorter and simpler the better so customers will be more likely to participate in the future.
8. Video Marketing
Creating video as a marketing piece is highly valuable because people like to see the faces of those they might do business with. Highlighting company employees, customer testimonials, products demonstrations, company overview, or even traditional commercials are just a few great ways to make video content that creates customers.
Online appointment scheduling is another area like website building that is very easy because the tools are built very well and ready to use out of the box. Consultants, lawyers, spas, photographers, and doctors are some of the few businesses that will definitely benefit from online booking. Most appointment software can easily be configured in just a few minutes.
Analytics is a tool that allows for complete understanding of the traffic to the website. Understanding who visits the site, what they look at, how long they stick around and if they turn into a customer are just some of the few benefits you get from using analytics. If you do start using video, email or social media to generate new business meads then your analytics software will provide the numbers to back up what is actually working There you go, 10 really simple pieces of the online puzzle to help grow your business through new online channels. If you already have these strategies running then make them better and if you don’t then give some thought to trying something new.
- License: Creative Commons image source
This article was written by Jared Jaureguy. Follow him on Twitter @JaredJaureguy.