As a small business owner, you have the challenge of managing the day-to-day operations of your business, your employees, making sure your product/service delivers, the list goes on. Add to that the time and effort needed to attract customers. A simple ad in the local paper is no longer sufficient. Reaching new customers now requires a new approach, integrated with technology.
How do you take advantage of technology to help you connect with new customers?
Your efforts using technology to promote your business should ultimately focus on the customer experience. Research has proven that customers will spend wherever they get the best experience – even buying from a small business over a big business.
How to you do this? Get them involved, interact, make them a part of what you do. This first begins with you having a presence where your customers spend their time.
How up-to-date is your website? Is it mobile friendly? Is it easy to navigate – find information quickly and easily?
Approximately 50% of searches on the web are from mobile devices.1That statistic is only going to keep rising. For some industries, that number is already over 60% with their users spending more time on the company website. “Being mobile friendly is important in all industries–it’s the largest source of traffic in nearly all of them.”2
If your website is not mobile-friendly, then that is the first item on your list to update. Rework your content so that it is easy to read – keep in mind many are reading using their phones. Keep the lengthy descriptions to a minimum. Make it really easy for customers to find information. And optimize for locations to make it easy for customers to find your physical location.
How static is the content on your website? Do you update it regularly?
With all the distractions in the world, it is very hard to get the attention of a customer. Once you do, you don’t want it to evaporate due to old/expired content.
While there are pages on every website with content that does not need to be updated often – contact us, about your company, there are pages that require updates on a regular basis – new product/services, announcements, events. Come up with a plan to make sure the information on your website is updated so your customers can easily find what they are looking for. Also consider writing a blog, share industry information, product or service tips, all to further engage with your customers.
Are you using email to communicate?
It has never been easier to reach a customer than it is now with email. The hard part is making it worthwhile for them to read the email. There are inexpensive tools available to store your list and automate email delivery. And the best part is having data to know how many received and opened your email.
The content for your emails could include listing of events, new product enhancements, product/service tips, special promotions and so on. Be consistent with your delivery schedule. And continuously provide value will increase the likelihood of your emails being read.
How active are you on social? Do you know which social channels most of your customers use?
Whether your customers are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or some other social media site, pick one and do that really well before increasing your activity on others. As with email, there are low cost, easy to use tools to help you with scheduling and tracking your posts.
Include photos or videos with your posts to increase interest. Post announcements, information about your product or services, or use it to promote something new. Be prepared to check the activity regularly as these are often used as a way for customers to communicate with you – whether that is a simple comment, a Like, or needing help in a customer service manner. Pay attention and respond in a timely fashion.
If a customer were to look for you on Google, would you appear on the first page of search?
There are numerous blogs and videos to help you understand how to get a better listing on search. For Google, this will include having a website that is easily accessible with a mobile device.
Think about the words that are most often associated with your business, product and service. These are your keywords. Sometimes they consist of a single word, others may be a phrase. Include these in the content of your website – titles, descriptions, blogs, and see your SERP move up the ladder.
6. Data Analytics
If someone told you they could automate some of the effort necessary to reach customers, would you be interested?
There are many inexpensive tools that you can use to ease your customer-reaching efforts. The beauty of using such tools is automation. Scheduling emails or social posts ahead of time and having access to the data to show how well they performed help you make the most of your valuable time.
As with anything, there is so much more information related to each of these topics. This list is designed to help get you started to having a presence online and making the most of it, with the goal of reaching and engaging new customers.
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