Essential Growth Hacks For Your Small Online Business
Growing a small business can be a difficult task. Many small businesses and start-ups rely on a high growth strategy in their inception but one that comes at a low cost in a short space of time. It sounds like the marketing elixir every company is in search of. You may be surprised to learn that actually, it is not out of reach. There are strategies available to help grow a business even businesses without expansive resources and decades of marketing or business experience that you expect from the likes of Coca-Cola or McDonalds.
So if your business is looking to break new ground in terms of its growth consider some of these growth strategies below to get your business steamrolling ahead into 2022.
But first, the low down.
These strategies will focus on growing your clientele and may require small amounts of cash but a lot of creativity, flexibility, willingness, and innovation. It may depart from some of the more traditional methods of business promotion that you may be accustomed to or comfortable with. But it is 2022 and business growth looks a lot different today than it did at the turn of the century, or even five years ago.
Growing your business does not just mean upping your marketing methods but it will require you to look at every facet of your business including sales, staffing, customer services, and the products your source, develop and sell. You will need to take a view of the whole of your company and not just one aspect. You need to be mindful of the nuances of your small business and be clear on the ways in which you can apply these strategies to best serve and grow your business.
When it comes to using new products or services customers generally fit into one of two camps. There are those who get excited by a new release to the market and are eager to be the first in the queue and the first to try it, regardless of the price. Then there are those who are nervous about new products. Those who are ambivalent to part with their money on a product they may not like. Especially if that product comes with a considerable price tag.
One of the best ways to overcome this second camp of shoppers is to put your money where your mouth is and give them the opportunity to trial your product or service for free.
If you are a retail business then this can be an easy endeavor, you simply give out your products for free. If you run a subscription service consider a week or months free subscription. If you sell online resources how about providing a condensed version for free to entice them to buy the full version.
Allowing your customers to trial your business at no cost to them is one of the best incentives you can offer to get people familiar with your products. You could then offer a discount if they proceed to make a purchase, giving them even more reason to come back for more.
# 2 get others to do the selling for you
The great thing about this strategy is that it involves all the clientele from camp 1 and camp 2 mentioned above. Once those eager to try the latest market offering have sampled your goods and those freebies have been distributed and used it is time to get feedback.
Gathering and publicizing good reviews is one of the best ways to entice new custom. The uncomfortable fact remains that a prospective client is more likely to trust fellow shoppers than it is a seemingly faceless business. Reviews and testimonials will add limitless gravitas to your promotional content and claims so obtaining them is a must.
Entice customers to leave reviews by offering opportunities to win further goods, or offer future discounts. Where you can, encourage customers to share pictures of them using your products. Make it a quick, easy and simple process that will not put people off. Once you have these reviews back in be sure to show them off.
Display quotes and positive feedback in clear and obvious places on your website. Take to social media to share the reviews and display them proudly. If you come across negative reviews then a good practice is to respond to them, take the comments seriously and do what you can to appease your disgruntled customer. This will show your willingness as a business and that you take customer service very seriously, which will ultimately help to instill trust into new customers.
# Clever content
Content marketing is a must for businesses in the 21st century. People the world over can access information immediately and at their fingertips. They can make informed purchases like never before. The great thing about this is that you do not need to have the world’s biggest marketing budget to be able to produce clever content and reams of information that can attract your customers.
One of the best places to start when it comes to content curation is by using social media because it is completely free. It costs nothing to start up and start sharing content via social media, just your time. As social media management can be a time-consuming affair the best practice is to identify 2 or 3 channels that will best suit your business and its demographic. You do not want to be wasting valuable time plowing in resources to a channel if your target market isn’t there.
You can then go about growing your channels and building a community of followers, which you can hope to eventually turn into customers. It is however a long process and followers will not appreciate a bombardment of advertising being thrust in front of them. They want to follow accounts that give something back, that add value to their day so be sure to strike the right balance between content that advertises your business and content that will be well received and appreciated by your community of followers.
Content marketing goes beyond the remit of social media. The content you create or curate to provide information on your business can be done via your website, a blog, other people’s blogs, podcasts, and emails to name but a few. There are a plethora of digital streams available to you to flex your creative muscle and start producing creative content that will ultimately draw potential leads to your business.
It is important to remember that content curation and content creation are two separate types of digital marketing both of which serve as purposeful but time-consuming methods of business growth. If this is something that you feel is out of your remit, be it due to time constraints or expertise consider whether this is the strategy that you plow your, albeit modest, budget into. A digital marketing agency such as Digital Marketing Service Pro can take on the running of your digital marketing freeing you up to dedicate your time to the other areas of growth you have identified.
When you are creating content to use as a tool, it not only interacts with your current customer base but also helps you to reach out to new potential clients. Because of this, you need to think about whether or not it is valuable to your desired audience. Every piece of content that you create should have a specific goal or purpose. You shouldn’t simply just put out content for the sake of posting a blog, or a video. You should make sure that the content you are creating is going to resonate with your audience, or at least have some value to it.
There are several ways in which you can ensure your content is informative or valuable to your target audience. A few examples include: creating a checklist for yourself to ensure there is a purpose to the post, doing competitor research to see how your competitors are navigating with their content, and listening to customer feedback as often your customers will be the first to question why you are posting nonsense.
Be sure to engage your customers or clients as frequently as possible so as to help your business benefit from the feedback you receive. This can be done through social media platforms, face-to-face, via email and post, or even by creating feedback forms or quizzes for them to complete and engage with. If you are unsure about what questions to ask your target audience, there are tools available to help that you can utilize, such as an ai question generator. If you implement these tips into your content creation, you will find what you post goes a lot further.
# 4 Make buying easy
You have spent a long time in the early stages of getting people to know your name, know what you are about, and importantly to want your product. You now have to convert these leads into sales as without sales there is no growth.
One of the biggest hurdles that get in customers’ way is the time it takes to complete a purchase. Customers will be put off by a long or complicated checkout procedure. The internet has made for instantaneous communication and information so it stands to reason that instantaneous shopping is just as sought after. Websites that require customers to click from one page to another, input copious amounts of detail, and sign up for things unnecessarily will be a turn-off. They may even give up and abandon the items in their virtual shopping cart. Especially those who are acting on impulse.
Ensure that you have made your checkout process as streamlined as possible, even for first-time purchases. Enable applications that allow for customer information to be stored and easily used for subsequent purchases. If you want to encourage customers to sign up for a newsletter or email campaign do it after the transaction has been complete. Remove as many hurdles as you can from the customer clicking ‘pay now’.
Finally, you can expedite the checkout procedure, and indeed the entire shopping process, by ensuring that you have a high function and high-quality website. Customers do not have the time or inclination to sit around and wait for a slow-loading web page. What is more, if your competitors are doing what you do only better and faster then you will lose out to them. Your website is your shop window and the gateway to profitability so ensure you spend sufficient amounts of time and expertise building up both the back and front end of your website.