Most businesses today prioritize their online presence over the in-store one, and not without reason. With the digital world breaking barriers, online shopping has opened up many opportunities and revenue streams for most businesses.
Every business wants to expand its scope of operations, and taking your business online is a favorable option. Having an online presence of your business can help make your product go national or international, and make favorable partnerships.
In the world of digitalization, it is equally important to know that simply having an online presence alone doesn’t ensure the survival of your business.
There needs to be a long-term focused strategy that focuses on digitalization, eCommerce enablement, and establishing a robust digital presence.
Before that, there needs to be a digitally focused structuring of the internal affairs, starting from your employees. Create employee handbooks that promote digital mindsets, and promote employees to think virtually, and be updated with the market trends.
Here are some must-follow tips to move your business online:
Create a Digital Focused Employee Culture
Before you branch out your business digitally, you must first start by encouraging those same values into your workforce.
Recruit employees with a digital enablement mindset and give them an overview of what is required of them, give them an employee handbook to make sure they contribute to the company’s online value.
The handbook should guide employees regarding the direction of the company, and how their efforts matter in accelerating the company’s growth.
Become eCommerce Ready
If your product and services can be sold online, it is time you establish your presence on an eCommerce store.
Your store should represent your brand, and its visuals, content, and overall layout should be aligned with your branding guidelines.
Before you make any digital marketing efforts, focus on the accessibility, navigation, and availability of stock on your store page.
Make sure your virtual store is ready to be branded before you invest in marketing, get focus groups to test out your layout, and make amendments accordingly.
Use Search Engine Marketing and Optimization
Once you’ve moved your business online via any eCommerce or social platform – It is time to focus on brand awareness.
Your online business needs exposure, and the most effective way of achieving it is via search engine optimization (SEO), a technical setup that ensures your audience finds you easily.
Using SEO, you can land your traffic onto your site, store, or social handles by following best practices and using keywords to be relevant to your customers. For example, if you use Law Firm SEO strategies, use words like attorney, court cases, and legal advice to target customers. On the other hand, if you use Dental SEO strategies, use words like dental treatment, teeth whitening, and root canals to target customers. Most customers look up to search engines for answers, and SEO ensures that you are visible in the top results.
You can also consider investing a small budget into your digital presence to reap the benefits of organic and paid traffic.
Build Your Online Userbase
As you establish an online presence for your business, it is equally important to build your userbase. Start by focusing on user engagement on your social handles and then branch out to a community.
Post engaging content that your customers can interact with, if your business offers products, create informative graphs, or tutorials to help users understand it better.
Be responsive to the comments you receive, and strictly follow your branding communication guidelines to have a uniform way of interacting with your audience.
Analyze your customer base using an embedded analytics platform and segment them accordingly.
Get Visibility via Cross Promotion
Building your digital presence can be a daunting task on its own, especially when you’re starting from scratch. In times like these, opt for getting your brand cross-promoted.
Think of relevant blogs and articles that concern your business and contact them for cross-promotion.
Work with public relations professionals to get your brand noticed on the internet. If credible sources mention your product or services, consumers would be more likely to make a purchase and your brand would also get more recognition.
It is important to have a visual roadmap of what your brand needs to represent before you go digital with your business.
Hold Giveaways and Contests
Let your digital audience come to you!
Prepare a plan to encourage your customers to interact with your brand in-store and online, establish an online contest or a coupon system to drive traffic to your eCommerce store, social handles as well as your physical location.
Encourage your in-store audience to find your brand online and vice versa.
Try to introduce promotion schemes that encourage your current consumers to advertise to their friends and family, and introduce a loyalty program to strengthen your connections.
Similarly, bring your digital presence to life by enabling your customer to recall your brand, its branding, and the location.
Moving your business online requires you to pay extra attention to the basics. You would have to constantly train your employees and review your digital brand image to cement your success in the digital world.
Explore using different digital tools for guidance and an employee handbook to make sure all your employees are on the same page.