Internet connection has made the world a global village and if you do not have access to internet use or have no idea on how the internet works, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Everyone is on the internet for absolutely different purposes. There are those of us who are keeping contact with our families abroad, others are learning from the school that is Google seeing that there is a lot of free information floating on there while others have opened businesses which are now loosely referred to as online businesses.
When you decide to open an online business, chances are that you have already researched the nitty-gritty and you are well aware of the things you have to do for your business to be received well by the public. The same thing applies for businesses that are not necessarily online but could do with some online presence which can help boost sales and make a good profit. As a business owner myself, I know how important introducing one’s business to the online community is and how helpful it is in the long run. For all business owners out there, marketing and advertising are the two primary tools you must use to ensure that your business is introduced across the boards and the only way to do this is by increasing your online presence.
In this article, we will look at the different ways you can increase your online presence and send more in-store traffic to your retail shop from your online marketing.
1. Online Press Release
Press releases have existed since I can remember. This is usually the easiest way to send information or updates to a mass audience at a go. Traditionally press releases were done in form of small advertisements by mainstream media houses for companies that had the financial capacity to pay for it. This left out small businesses who would find it hard to announce their new products or the opening of new stores.
With the introduction of the world wide web, retail stores and small businesses now have a way to send out online press releases which is something that has worked really well in promoting their businesses. Business owners can send out mass messages or emails to their subscribers or followers online and inform them they have new products launching, or there is a sale offer on their products, and many other things that a business would love to announce to its customers.
Be sure to note that the only way your online press release will have a positive impact in catapulting your business to greater heights is only if you have an existing online customer base and this might be across your social media pages and your website
2. Use Product Feeds
In recent times I have seen a great spike of offline retail shops, branching out and introducing a mini version or not so mini version of their retail stores, into online stores. This is absolutely incredible because it offers you a great reach to more people who wouldn’t have access to your business had it been solely offline. This is not enough though, with an online store, you must use product feeds which always help your business to reach a broader audience.
You might ask, so what exactly is a product feed? A product feed is a file generated from a website that has a list of the product details of things like descriptions, prices, photos, and special features. With that you can submit this list to shopping comparison websites or search engines that will make it easy for potential clients to be directed to your website when looking for something online.
3. Impact Knowledge
It might seem like everyone online is doing the same thing or selling the same products across the board but strive to make your customer’s online experience or interaction with your business, unique. There are very many ways that you as a retailer can decide to take on this one important aspect of increasing your online presence.
Human beings are inquisitive and the mere thought of them getting knowledge or information about certain things for free will definitely have them coming back for more. You can voice your authority in your industry by either hosting classes to impart knowledge on your products and how they can benefit the public at large, you can also host seminars or workshops in store for customers to come to interact with your services and products more. In the beginning, it might not seem like it’s working to your benefit but if you keep at it, it will definitely guarantee you returning customers because once you affect them with knowledge about your product and services then they can make a sound decision on why supporting you is beneficial to them.
Another way you can impart knowledge is by writing educative blog pieces to post on your website for your potential online clients.
4. Create Newsletters
If you have a business, you are aware of how hard it is to get a single customer and when you get one you should be able to come up with ways in which you can keep them coming back again and again to support your business. One way you can ensure that your customer remembers you and how important they are to you; is by introducing newsletter and email marketing for your business. You can either make it a weekly or monthly thing which will help keep your business fresh in your customer’s minds every time they receive the emails or newsletter. Also remember the first point we made about online press releases, when sending your newsletters or emails you can also include new information about your business to keep your customers in the know.
5. Submit Your Site
When you create your website, the first advice you will get is on how to push your site and gain more traffic by submitting your site details to major search engines and that is enough to increase your online presence but that is not absolutely true. It is 100% important to do this but that is not the only thing you should do in order to see massive traffic towards your site and that is why submitting your site into specialized link directories and niche sites is important. This will definitely help in catapulting your business online presence to greater heights.
6. Create Online Commercials
I will say this again and again, mainstream media is the most expensive form of marketing and advertising and because of this, a lot of businesses and retail shops would never get a chance to advertise or market with them because of their budget not being enough. As much as you can do press releases which are usually in written form, you can go a step further and create your own online commercials. With all these online platforms enabling video updates, it has become very easy to create your own commercials and post them online for your customers.
Press releases must be accompanied by a word-of-mouth form of advertising or marketing and this can be made possible by recording your own personalized video commercials. This will be super cost-effective and it will benefit you majorly. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing and advertising a business and once you have mastered this, then you are on the right track.
7. Social Media Networking
If you are starting your business in this age of social media, then you are very lucky because you can market and advertise your business to many people for free. With social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and many others, introducing your products and services to people has been made easier because your target audience is most probably a post or a tweet away. Having an avid following that supports you fully and has access to you for possible probes a click away is really important because it gives your customers a sense of belonging.
8. Introduce Affiliate Programs
This is also known as affiliate marketing which is a process where retailers pay one or more affiliates for every single sale that has been made because of their direct efforts. Amazon does it with a lot of blog and website owners where traffic is large. It is a really popular way of marketing or advertising your services as a retailer which more times than not works perfectly well for many.
If you can do this for your business, then I would highly recommend that you take it up and manage your affiliate program by yourself to minimize the number of mouths that will have a say in your profit.
All these will help catapult your business to greater heights only if approached and used in the correct way. All the best as you increase your business online presence because the future is definitely online, so jump on the train before it leaves you behind.