Is your business really leveraging the internet?

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The truth is that, whether we like it or not, the internet is here to stay. I may love my old diary and still have a folder for business cards but nowadays most business has a large portion of its work done via the world wide web. Whether that’s email, social media, websites (and the rest!) it’s all online.

There are of course exceptions to the rule but if you’re here then I suspect your business and your market is also working online to some extent.

One of the many things I do as a Virtual Assistant is support my clients with their social media management, updating general information on their websites and issuing newsletters/email updates etc. They can all be quite time consuming tasks when it’s just another thing on your to do list but if you get the right person doing it it will be a sleek and relatively painless process.

It often surprises me that I am still asked why leveraging the internet is so important to businesses? After all, don’t people just ignore everything that comes up and you run a small cafe/shop etc anyway so you really only worry about repeat business from locals?

Truthfully some will just ignore it but what you are leveraging is not the whole internet as such, you’re using it’s resources as a free/low cost marketing service that you can tailor to your brand, your ideal audience and all whilst using the mediums that the majority of people will access on a daily basis.

Using these methods to market your business build rapport, respect and authenticity into your brand is essential, not only for getting new customers but for satisfying existing ones. We are indeed in the age of the millennial!

If done well, it allows you to interact with the end user in a way that until the last decade had never been possible. Almost instantaneously and let’s face it, if we are not now the age of instant gratification then i’ll eat my hat (If I had one!)  Email newsletters and follow ups can provide your people (and your clients are your people) with immediate updates if you have a new product or service or improvements to the existing ones. It helps that it won’t get chewed up by the dog when the postie pushes it through their letterbox and it also has the added benefit of you being able to see how much traction it’s getting using readily available analytical tools to see whats working and what isn’t.

Historically this in and of itself, was a hugely cost and time consuming exercise which, some months later would be evidenced in a pretty ring bound report with a hefty consultancy fee to match it’s glossy nature.

I decided to leverage the internet myself a little today and researched the current stats to share with you. This year it was reported that social media accounted for 33% of a persons time spent online. 45% was attributed to online entertainment (think Netflix) and only 22% on other activities.  With almost a third of peoples usage being scrolling through social media it’s a veritable treasure trove of customers that, given the right content, would seek to find out more about you and your business.

All businesses have 2 things in common, money and relationships. The quality of both depends entirely on how you show value to them and it really could be any business – the right online activities will help boost your income.

Let’s take a local hairdressers, they are a ‘bricks and mortar’ business and much of their work comes through word of mouth which is awesome. There also isn’t entirely much point in posting to say Canada about a Cambridge based business right? Did you know though, that with a good online strategy showing the products they offer, the quality of their work and targeting a particular geographical area it’s evidenced that this can increase incremental shop visits by up to 80%. That’s 80% more chance to arrange a colour and cut, sell a gift set of products or get that large wedding party booking you’ve been hoping to get for the purposes of wedding exposure.

The key is to provide consistent messages that are on brand and that these messages are targeted to the relevant audience. It’s all about the quality of your content and the correct distribution on a consistent basis.

There are quality VAs like myself that are happy to implement these strategies or, if you are really in the early low revenue stage of your business then you are perfectly capable of creating such a campaign yourself, a little bit of time and effort can do wonders.

First things first, if you’re looking to do this yourself I would suggest 3 things:

  1. Get extremely clear on exactly what you are offering. Too wide a scope and you’ll miss the mark on everyone.
  2. Get even clearer on who you are targeting with this campaign. Again, if you want to interest everyone you will simply not appeal to many.
  3. Pick one method/platform and dedicate a chunk of time every single week to creating visually pleasing, quality content that showcases your product/service, uses the language of your target market and calls them to take action.

Do these 3 things consistently and you will have the start of your own social media campaign! And don’t forget, a lot of people will just watch your accounts/keep the emails and it will take them a while to get in touch, this is because they are building their trust in your brand so don’t quit!

If however, you are in the next phase of your business and know that you’re struggling to manage this by yourself and are looking to invest in some quality support then contact me and we can arrange a free 30 minute consultation.

Pop any questions in the comments below and don’t forget that liking and sharing this post is a really great way to support my small business!

Thank you for reading,

A x

 

 

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