Lately, a concerted focus has been on the online aspects of running a business. The aim is always to equip any small or big business with current information. Operating online is no longer a luxury or option; it is imperative. That is why you need to always be abreast with online business growth strategies. Let us discuss online growth strategies for small businesses. These simple strategies are easy and cost-effective for anyone to apply them. Using WhatsApp, social media platforms, and or having a business website constitutes operating online.
Establish A Digital Or Online Presence
This, of course, is the foundation you must put in place. You cannot dream of online business growth without being online. There are several options when it comes to online platforms you can be on. You have websites and you have social media platforms. You also have instant messaging platforms. There are email platforms as well – email marketing is considered a big deal.
I always underscore the importance of having a website, which is a must! When getting the website developed, ensure it is responsive. This means its structural integrity and operational efficiency must be maintained whether it is being accessed on desktop or mobile. From roughly US$200, you can have a basic website set up for your business.
Given how numerous social media and instant messaging platforms are it means you must do some homework. With concrete data, you have to figure out the best online platforms for your business. These are platforms where the likelihood of finding prospects is high. Those are the kind of platforms where you must establish a presence. It must not just be a presence but an active presence.
Establish A Unique Value Proposition
Being online comes with lots of benefits but there is stiff competition. It is relatively easy for anyone to establish an online presence. As such, many brands are online, and more continue to join in. You have to differentiate yourself from the rest in order to grow. It might not be easy to stand out if you follow the crowd. The key is in figuring out unique ways to give your customers wholesome customer experiences. Consider their pain points or needs and see how everyone else is addressing them.
Then you come up with unique strategies to address them so as to distinguish yourself. There is an infinite number of ways you can use to build your unique value proposition online. You just have to think creatively. One of the ways I see some brands using to differentiate themselves is by going regular giveaways. No idea is bad, just as long as it is ethical and can constitute a unique offering from your brand.
Figure Out Ways To Build Viral Loops
Online growth can be achieved through coming up with viral content. The basic idea is to come up with content that leads to widespread buzz or chatter about your brand online. I have always been fascinated by some of Volvo’s ads that it puts out on YouTube. There are 4 of their ads that I actually downloaded and have on my laptop. I only do that when something is remarkable. Those ads have millions of online views; they went viral when uploaded. One of the elements that led to that was the ads being premised on dangerous stunts to demonstrate some Volvo truck’s features. Look up the following Volvo truck ads: The Ballerina Stunt, The Epic Split (featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme), and The Flying Passenger. Remarkable or jaw-dropping content easily goes viral and they use that in doing their ads.
That principle you can figure out and apply to your business. Virality can also be achieved by encouraging and rewarding word-of-mouth marketing. One of the easiest ways to do this is by conducting online contests. For example, you can stipulate that there will be prizes up for grabs. The entry requirements will be to like your social media pages, share the post, and tagging, say, 3 friends. Then the winners will be randomly picked. Such a simple online contest can lead to significant online growth, especially if you do it regularly. These were just examples to give you an idea of how you can build viral loops.
It is normal for any business to think solely or more about competition than collaboration. Yet there can be bigger benefits from collaborating than competing. In endeavouring to have online growth, you might want to consider collaborating. You can collaborate with other brands or certain key figures. For instance, you can collaborate with social media influencers in order to tap into larger audiences. You might for as far as hiring brand ambassadors. You can also find ways to collaborate with brands that have significant online audiences. Such collaborations can lead to easy and rapid online growth.
Ensure Your Staff Is Skilled Accordingly
Navigating the online plane is not so obvious to everyone. Running a business offline is not necessarily the same as operating online. There are lots of complaints about poor service delivery online. Some brands even exhibit a lack of considerable appreciation of technology. Remember being online entails new-age technology such as social media, cloud technology, customer relationship management systems, data analytics, and more. If your staff is not skilled, you need to see that they are trained. In hiring, it might be wiser to consider those with the relevant tech skills. This greatly affects your staff’s performance and, in turn, your online growth.
With these 5 strategies, you are sure to experience perpetual online business growth. You can learn a lot from studying other actively successful brands online. Most people share their success stories online, so there is much to learn from that. It is important, though, to tailor these strategies to your context, do not be generic.