Did you know that only a third of small businesses will make it past ten years? What’s more, just half of them will reach the five-year mark.
Sounds pretty scary, right?
But that doesn’t mean your business is set up for failure. Sure, as the owner, you likely wear many hats: the manager’s, the regular employee’s, and so on.
The last thing you can get your hands on is figuring out how to grow your business. That’s where digital marketing comes in.
Over 60% of shopping occasions begin online. In other words, whether shoppers visit your brick-and-mortar store or website, they likely got word of you online.
What’s more, 47% of small businesses spend $10,000 or less on digital marketing per year. Although the budget may seem quite limited, 62% of them still go through with it, so the investment is probably worthwhile.
That said, let’s look at a few strategies to grow your business online.
1. Have a Website
Think of your website as the hub of your marketing efforts. If you’re running an email or PPC ad campaign, you’ll need a landing page.
If you post on social media, linking to your site might be a good idea to let potential customers learn more about you.
Not to mention that a website can attract new visitors by itself via Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
In other words, no matter where they find you, potential customers will look for your site so they can get to know you.
But, don’t build a website just for the sake of it.
First off, you’ve to choose the right platform. If you’d like to set yourself up quickly, you can opt for website builders like Wix or Squarespace.
They are easy to configure. You can build a great-looking website with just a few drag-and-drops. But note that these website builders typically lack customizability.
Consequently, you’ll have a more challenging time setting yourself apart from other websites. They also do not offer that many options for scaling up your website.
If you have some spare time and technical knowledge, you can go with WordPress. The customization options are endless, but they do not offer technical support, unlike the other website builders.
That said, whenever you encounter any issues, you might need to spend some time browsing through forums and fixing the problems yourself.
Second, since mobiles generate 54.4% of all web traffic, having a mobile-friendly website is a must. Otherwise, you may lose on a lot of potential customers.
To do this, you’ve got three options: responsive, adaptive, or mobile-first design. It’s recommended to go for a responsive approach so make sure to check this site out if you want to find some help.
It’s cost-effective and offers a consistent user experience across all devices.
2. Focus on Search Engine Optimization
As mentioned earlier, your website can attract traffic by itself. That’s why you need to establish an SEO strategy. In short, this is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP).
The higher your website ranks, the more visible it will be in the SERP, and the more traffic you will receive. Although SEO is a pretty broad field, Google places a high priority on user experience. Using an SEO agency for startups is therefore recommended for small businesses.
That said, if your website is easy to use and people don’t leave shortly after entering it, it’s already a significant first step in rising through the ranks. That’s another reason why you should focus on mobile-friendliness.
Another way to get people to stick around your website is to post content.
Consider creating a blog that tackles various topics within your niche. This allows you to show off your knowledge regarding your field and helps you get established as an industry expert.
Consequently, Google will notice that you know what you’re talking about and rank your website higher.
But, keep in mind to create content based around helping your audience. Identify their problems and provide them with solutions via how-to guides, tips and tricks articles, etc.
This will boost your rankings and earn your audience’s trust, thus assuring a steady flow of recurring visitors and potentially generating new customers.
Also, take keywords into account. These are the terms users type into the search bar whenever they’re looking for something related to your niche.
That said, you’ve got to find out what keywords your audience use and place them throughout your website’s content. Ahrefs provides a free tool that will help you do just that.
3. Be Active on Social Media
Social media offers excellent opportunities for growing your business. That’s because social media platforms allow you to spark an active conversation with your audience, thus keeping your audience engaged and helping you increase brand awareness.
But first, you’ve got to pick the right platform. More specifically, where most of your audience is active. If you’re targeting a younger follower base, there’s no reason for you to be active on platforms like LinkedIn, for example. You should focus on TikTok or Instagram, instead.
Second, avoid going overboard with promotional content, as that makes you appear pushy in the eyes of your audience. That said, try to engage with your followers and make them a part of the conversation as much as you can.
You can do this by hosting social media polls, encouraging user-generated content, and maybe running a few contests here and there.
This will ensure that your audience will always keep an eye on you and establish a stronger connection with your brand.
What’s more, asking people for their opinion through social media polls is a great way to gather information that you could use further down the road.
Lastly, you can use social media to drive traffic to your website. For instance, you can share exciting snippets from your blogs and encourage followers to visit your website and read them entirely.
This also goes the other way around. Be sure to add social sharing buttons on your web page to let visitors easily share your content with their friends.
4. Build an Email List
For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can get $36 back. In other words, there’s no reason not to give email marketing a shot.
In contrast to other marketing channels, emails feel more personal. You can use this to your advantage by creating a stronger relationship with your audience.
Besides, once a user leaves your website, he may not return. But if you’ve got his contact details, who knows? Maybe a few newsletters down the line, he might come back and make a purchase.
And if you’re blogging, you’ve already got content you can turn into newsletters, so there’s no need to come up with new ideas.
Again, just like with blogging, you’ve got to emphasize providing value to your audience. Sure, a few promotional emails here and there won’t do any harm, but too many of them may not bring any noticeable benefits in the long run.
But how do you get visitors to type in their contact details?
That’s where forms come in. Tools like OptinMonster can help you create forms that will turn visitors into leads effectively. Keep in mind to offer something in return in exchange for your visitors’ email address.
This will incentivize the user, making him more likely to enter his contact details.
To summarize, having a website plays a crucial role in growing your business. With a good SEO strategy in place, you can turn it into a traffic magnet, as well as a place where you can round up your target audience from other marketing channels and get them to convert.
Although growing your business is all good news, remember to adapt. As you start gaining traction, you might have trouble keeping track of your finances, managing your social media accounts, your leads, and your content.
That said, consider working with the best accounting companies you can find and investing in digital marketing software.