We live in an age of always-on, multichannel commerce – where anyone, anywhere, can buy anything at anytime.
It’s not just the big brands like Nike and Apple we’ve come to expect round-the-clock service from. Increasingly it’s expected of small businesses offering B2B services to do the same.
So how can you make your business more digitally available? It’s not as big a transformation as you may think.
Know Who Your Customers Are
The more you know about your customers, their habits, as well as how, when, and where they’ll engage with your company; the easier it becomes to sell to them.
To help guide customers, many companies will create customer personas – profiles of ideal customers from their target markets. It doesn’t take hours of research to get started – it just means devising some assumptions to test: identifying groups of customers with problems that your business can solve.
Stuck at the starting line? Why not put a quick customer survey together to get some insight?
With a clearer idea of who exactly you want to reach, and what they’re up against, the better focus you’ll have on how you market your products and services.
Social media. So many platforms, so little time. Part of knowing who your customers are means knowing which platforms they use and how they prefer to engage with your business.
For instance, a specialist oil-drilling parts manufacturer probably won’t use a Facebook page to engage with their customers. However, they may want to highlight their commitment to sustainability via LinkedIn.
Equally, the increasing number of messaging platforms – Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype etc – give small businesses another way of staying in contact with customers. Again, choosing which one to use will vary according to the type of business you have and the relationship it has with your customers.
Keep Content Coming
Content marketing is already well-established as a great way of getting customers to engage with your business. However, while the temptation may be for you to use it as an opportunity to drive home how great your company, product, or service is; it should always be created with the customers in mind.
For example, say you’re a consumer-focused travel insurance company. While your overriding message might be for customers to stay safe when overseas, it has limited mileage from a content perspective. A better tactic would be to create content about different destinations – blogs, videos, podcasts even – to whet customers’ appetites for travel.
That way, your travel insurance brand has something interesting and engaging to share – and even though it’s not a core ‘insurance’ message, you can guarantee that when customers come to book their next trip they’ll be in touch.
Optimizing for All to See
Content marketing is also great for SEO – Search Engine Optimization – another key component in getting your business noticed online.
This is simply about knowing what your target customers are looking for and ensuring that your business’ website and online profiles include these key terms. There is an art to it however, and there are various organic and paid ways of making it work.
But optimization isn’t just limited to SEO. It applies to all aspects of your user experience. This includes the way your website’s designed and making sure it’s mobile-responsive to capitalize on the fact some 70% of online traffic comes from mobile devices.
Linking Back to Your Website
Landing pages are a great way of testing what works and what doesn’t. Linking to them from a social media post or online ad as part of a campaign can be an excellent way to gauge how customers respond to your business.
All things considered, when the technology is available and the demand is there, it makes sense for small companies to do everything they can to be noticed. However, what’s even more important than being innovative is doing so in a way that’s consistent with the way your small business operates, and how your customers respond to it.
About Red Rhino
Red Rhino provides Managed IT Services, Support and Consulting to businesses in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley including Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam, Delta, and White Rock.