There are thousands of businesses around the world that still operate offline. Some of them have the same revenue numbers, but the other half needs to go online and get back their customers that went shopping at eCommerce stores. Working online opens up new opportunities, some entrepreneurs even prefer to close their offline offices. Since they operate online now, they don’t have to worry about choosing the right city for the office and employees hunting.
The process of business digitalization is not that hard if you approach it seriously and prepare all the fundamental components for the transition. First of all, this article will be useful for those who recognize themselves in our first paragraph and understands how crucial it is to take their business online these days.
We prepared a list of useful tips that should guide you through the whole process and give you a perfect understanding of what your first steps should be. Our list will become your roadmap to online success, take your first step, and the road will be made by walking.
Mark your social media presence
Nowadays you can find literally any business in social media. Some of them find Instagram the most useful tool for landing sales and some of them believe that Facebook makes the best conversions. No matter what kind of business you run, you should keep in mind the importance of the social media platforms in our lives.
Millennials love Instagram, so as of today this is one of the best tools to advertise your product to the younger audience. Some stores don’t even bother themselves with the website development, they create an Instagram profile, utilize the Facebook advertising tool smartly and sell their products on the go by chatting with their Instagram subscribers in DM.
Facebook will help you target the ‘older’ audience and create a bridge to avoid the gap between those two generations and sell your products to both of them online. The latest studies show that 75% of users tend to look for the Facebook page of the business they’ve just heard. They want to get in touch, use their services or just review their products.
Creating your social media pages will be your first step towards marking the internet presence of your small offline brand.
Utilize the GMB (Google My Business) Tool
When you read about marketing your brand on the first page of Google, it’s not always about paid advertising through Adwords platform. There is a legal way to put your brand on the first page without paying a cent, can you believe it?
Google My Business Tool allows people to put a spotlight on their business in the local search inquiries. For example, if you have your own t-shirt store in Vegas, you can claim your GMB listing, and you will be featured on the search page among the local business. Google will even mark your location with the red call-out sign and give the exact address of your offline store.
You can find the detailed instructions on how you can claim your GMB listing in the Google Blog; they will guide you through the whole process. Please note that you will have to create your brand’s Google Plus page. It’s up to you whether you’ll want to work with this social media later, but the latest studies show that this is one of the most useless networks to market your brand.
Run Google Adwords campaigns
You must have noticed those small ads on the Google search page when you look through the search results? These are shown higher than the first organic results and are paid ads. For example, if you run a real estate agency in Bayonne, you can put out an ad featuring keyword “apartments for rent in Bayonne, NJ” and those who look for a new place in this location will visit your website first.
To get the link to your website on one of that spots you’ll have to find out what keywords will suit your brand the most. Work with SEO or PPC specialist to find the list of the relevant keyword combinations and find which ones will be more effective and will fit your budget.
Run Adwords ads to drive more traffic to your website. Once you get more visitors, you can work on your conversions.
Get a website and a blog
In case you’ve already created the social media pages for your brand, you’re good to go and start working with your customers online. This setup is enough for landing your first sales and starting your online brand’s journey.
To develop your further success, we recommend you getting yourself a decent website and a blog for your content marketing campaign.
First of all, order a simple website from a team of freelancers or create it yourself on a website builder like Wix. However, we want to note that customized websites still work better with SEO. They look more firm and secure for potential users when they enter your site.
All the small SEO things like keywords, meta descriptions and sitemaps should be crafted by professionals. If you want your website to rank higher in Google, you should work with a skilled SEO specialist to optimize your website.
To gain more authority for your website in the search engine’s, you’ll need to get mentions in big and authoritative resources. You can order guest posts from freelance writers, put a keyword with a link to your website on it and contact other websites for the guest post exchange.
Make sure you have something to offer them; you can create your own blog and offer them to publish an article on your side as well. Exchanging links is good practice for online business development.
Work on content marketing and collaborate with other brands
To market your brand successfully on all the platforms, you’ll need to work on your content marketing strategy. Make sure you create the content plan for your social media profiles and stick to it.
You can also contact other brands that you like and offer them to collaborate on different conditions. Some of them will want you to pay them, and some of them may find it interesting to create something together and make some noise on social media.
Get in touch with influencers
When bloggers started to disrupt the social media platforms, they’ve created the phenomenon of ‘influencers.’ These are the local celebrities that have a big number of subscribers and can influence the choices of their subscribers and fans.
As a young brand, you should review the best influencers in your niche and find those who bring the best conversions for your brand. There are lots of things that affect this:
- What are the interests of his/her subscribers
- What is their median age
- How active do they interact with the blogger’s posts/stories
- What is the overall image of the blogger’s personality
Make sure you pick the right ones and get the top quality conversions out of this collaboration.
Summing things up
When you decide to bring your business online, you’ve got to know your first steps and get some guidance. We believe that our list of tips should become the treasure map that will bring you to the online success.
Of course, you’re a great specialist if you already have a successful offline business running. However, you should understand that you’re entering an unknown battleground. To ensure your online success, you’ll need a good team of skilled professionals and a good budget to work on ads.