The internet has made it easier than ever before to find information. Hours, if not days, of going through newspapers, books and asking experts has been whittled down to a quick search on your favourite search engine.
With this increased level of trust in the internet, people are now becoming more accustomed to purchasing products online although there is still a significant proportion who prefer human interaction, as 45% of calls convert into sales at some point.
If you’re thinking of selling or marketing your business online, you should know it’s very competitive. But if done properly, the rewards can be great as well. Here are four quick tips to get you started
Become an expert in your field
As a new business with an online presence, gaining trust and customer loyalty can be difficult. The vast number of fraudulent websites means that users prefer to purchase products from sites they know of and/or feel they can trust. One way to gain this trust is to become known as an expert in your industry sector by creating a blog on your site and updating it regularly. Let your professionalism shine through by replying to comments on your blog and guest posting on other blogs relevant to your niche.
Use social media to promote your business
Social media promotion is easy and it’s free, which makes it a marketing portal that should not be overlooked. Sign up to a social media site that you think would best suit your interests and post information such as news about your business, developments within your industry, new products as well as any special promotions you’re offering.
Analyse your site’s performance
Use tools such as Google Analytics and visitor level call tracking software to determine which parts of your site are converting the best. Once a cookie has been placed on your site, Google Analytics can show you which pages were viewed by your customers. This information can be used to determine which pages on your site and which marketing activity is converting and which are not.
Create specific landing pages
Unlike your homepage, which is designed to be the central page allowing access to other areas of your site, a landing page is designed to achieve a certain goal. This could be signing up to a mailing list, purchasing a product or even downloading an information pack. Use a landing page to help you increase sales of your products or services. Linking marketing activity for a particular product, for example, to the product landing page has been shown to significantly increase sales or enquiries for that product.
Rashed Khan has written this article on behalf of call tracking experts ResponseTap
I love the internet; in the last 50 years has there been a more important development in the history of business? People compare the net to other important media developments, such as the printing press, the TV or radio. Wrong. The internet is bigger than all of those put together.
For business the internet is the ultimate leveller. For the first time we have a platform that allows the small guys, the spare room businesses and entrepreneurial spirits to compete with the big goliaths. And competition generally has intensified. As a software and services provider I can tell you it has forced the entire industry to up our game radically.
The internet makes it much easier to find all of the products and services you need to start a business. Much of your business can be run online and you can even access cheap but talented resources from across the world. When your product or service is ready, you can let the world know too.
Ten years ago I recall working for a mammoth international TV and media company that invested millions of both time and money into its billing and subscription platform. All it wanted to do was ensure no matter how or where you subscribed, it all came into a single system. This wasn’t rocket science, but at the time it was complex to stitch disparate software and web systems together, and it came with a suitably horrible price tag.
The internet has turned this problem on its head; you don’t need a million bucks any more. There are hundreds of free or low cost solutions available to help you run a startup professionally.
My own company, SellerDeck provides functionality out of the box for controlling multiple retail channels (e.g. web, shop, phone, mail). Ten years ago this concept wasn’t even around. Today you can buy standard applications and services at a commodity price.
So, this is a very exciting time to be starting a business. The tools are out there for you to create both great products and services. For once you don’t need an IPO to afford them.
What are you waiting for?
In a recent FT article, there was a discussion about how some business owners have taken a holiday this summer for the first time in years.
Are they mad?
I understand the compulsive nature of many entrepreneurs, but I do not understand why they don’t take breaks – like I’ve said in previous posts, yes business owners are super-busy but breaks are essential to recharge the batteries and to keep the mind fresh.
That said, I am not suggesting that you shut up shop and head off to a remote beach for two weeks. That would be too much for the average business owner to bear (even though the business will probably survive better without you that you would like to admit to).
So, here are a few ideas for making the concept of a holiday work:
In overview, use the internet/ mobile phone technology available to you. In the last 5-10 years, it has become immeasurably easier to get away and keep in touch with your business at the same time...to me it is a marvellous opportunity to enjoy life that little bit more!