Social media always remembers even the slightest mistakes. Making one, especially if you’re not a world-famous brand, could drop your engagement and loyalty rates to nill. Many companies have already had their fair share of fails, so why should you go down the road?
We’ve gathered ten main social media mistakes that are frequently made by businesses of all kinds. While not all of them are critical, some might help you lose a customer or two. Avoid doing so by reading more about the fails below!
1. Trying to be in every network
Having a powerful presence on social media is great. You engage more customers, create better brand awareness, and also increase sales. However, that doesn’t always work the way it sounds. There is a bunch of obvious pitfalls ignored by most companies.
While you might have created an account in all existing networks, you can’t publish the same content everywhere. A YouTube video won’t fit on Instagram. Likewise, funny Instagram memes have nothing to do on LinkedIn.
Each platform has specific requirements for the type of content that is posted. Brands that try to be present everywhere usually don’t get it. These companies would repost every publication without any changes expecting them to bring tremendous results.
Everyone forgets that it doesn’t work that way. So here are some tips to consider:
All content must be adapted accordingly to the platform;
Remember that it is better to stay out of a network than build a negative reputation within it. Focus on the media where most of your potential clients are active. Once you make a community there, move on to secondary websites.
2. Posting content with poor engagement
What is engaging content? Always ask yourself this question before creating something new. If you fail during the creation stage, you won’t succeed when publishing.
Content with high engagement rates often includes:
Texts with helpful information or storytelling.
Instagram has recently posted a guide about how its algorithms work. This information will help you increase the visibility of your publications.
You must first focus on the quality of your content. If people like what they see, they will react somehow. Any like, comment or share will show the actual engagement rate. Still, what would make people do this?
It is said that video content engages users much better than photos and texts. The statement is quite reasonable once you think of it. There’s something new each second, driving more attention with every moment. Even a simple slideshow made with a free video merger would generate bigger engagement.
As the publisher, you need to know the pains of your target audience. This includes topics that interest them, the style they prefer, and multiple other ideas that show what could strike an emotion. The simplest way is asking people questions or sharing viral information. Yet, it all depends on the area you work in.
3. Nothing special about the profile
Would you be interested in a profile that’s similar to dozens of others? Most likely, you wouldn’t even give it a chance. But, unfortunately, that’s how modern consumers act.
Visiting your profile, the audience usually expects to see something special. By saying “special,” we mean an individual brand style. There are hundreds of ways to stand out. You could have a certain profile layout, one-styled images, powerful texts – anything that draws attention.
Take a look at the accounts of Recess and GoPro. Both have pleasant, attention-drawing images that tell a story about their products. Nothing extra. People see nice photos, brief texts, and an engaging story. In addition, they see the products with the ways they work – that’s another significant advantage!
Some ideas to improve your profile’s first impression would be:
Think of a unique layout (rows, tiles, puzzles, rainbows);
Highlights with good covers and titles;
A profile bio that gives all necessary information;
Engaging texts with storytelling and other features.
You could practice different layouts with a preview application. It will let you see the way your profile would look before any real users. Many accounts use this to build their profiles in one style without errors.
While there is no limit to your creativity, don’t overdo it. Your brand’s message must be clear enough for people to understand it within several seconds!
4. Not using CTAs
The absence of call-to-action phrases helps your company lose a lot of potential clients each moment. Okay, they read your text, saw the photos – what’s next? The audience is free to scroll by without even worrying about additional information about the product.
This is one of the common social media mistakes made by many companies. A CTA isn’t the universal cure. It’s more like one of the elements that make people buy the product or at least get some additional interest.
Some recommendations regarding your CTA are:
Make a crystal-clear point;
Ensure it stands out;
Use numbers to show a discount or demand.
Remember that you mustn’t deceive the audience. If you share a price in the CTA, it can’t be different after a user contacts you. This will only create a negative impression. We need sales, not lowered reputation!
5. Posting irregularly
With hundreds of other brands and influencers creating content every day, having an irregular schedule might prove to be a big issue for your accounts. It is best when you regularly publish during certain days of the week.
Why don’t we say “5 posts a week” or “10 stories a day”? Because that’s not how it works. Primarily, you won’t be able to generate that much quality content for a very long time. Sooner or later, overposting would make your content team turn into an example of another social media failure.
All your publications must be well-planned. That is why it is best when the content is prepared in advance. Depending on your industry, you could publish something 1-3 times a week. Stories must be posted daily to keep your engagement rates high.
Of course, if you want to stay afloat, you will have to do more than that. Each detail must be well-thought to keep people interested. Publishing content will small engagement rates will bury your account, so think of different ways to keep the statistics “alive.”
6. Always trying to sell
Yes, CTA’s are good. But that’s only when they are used in moderation. People will never want to follow an account that always tries to sell a product directly in every post. That’s absurd!
To stop making this error, follow the practices of the top brands in different industries. For example, have a look at Photoshop’s Instagram. Nearly every post is a creation of customers who used the company’s software. Seeing such beautiful images, people are likely to want to create some of their own. How? They buy the software!
Your sales should be made through stories and ideas. Think of your followers as students. Giving them the knowledge directly by saying “buy it” won’t do any good. However, if your lead them to the answer, make them realize that they need the product themselves, the results will be astonishing.
Here are some tips on how to sell your product on social media:
Share stories of your customers;
Involve user-generated content;
Demonstrate the value of your product via different situations.
Selling without selling is hard to master, but it’s definitely worth it. Try applying this strategy and adapt it depending on the customer’s reactions. This is how you will find the best approach!
7. Not promoting best posts
Many companies neglect promotion tools on social media. Sometimes, they use them but only with separate content created for advertisement-only. It might be a good try, although there’s an even better way to apply it.
When you see that a certain publication gets much better statistics when compared with others, it’s a good time to promote it. Subscribers are engaged, so it is very likely that other people will be as well. You never know unless you try!
For best results, you will need to know maximum information about your audience to target people with similar interests. With multiple tools for social media analytics, that shouldn’t be a problem. Remember that each audience requires a different approach. You can’t target teenagers with ads for adults!
Some tips for promoting your best posts are:
Check whether a user will be interested in the topic without knowing what’s going on;
Ensure you target an audience similar to the one that’s engaged in the post;
Work with an experienced targeted advertising specialist not to lose your investment.
If you want to get a free promotion without spending money, try contacting influencers to strike a deal. Probably, some might agree to repost your content for being spotlighted in your profile. However, bloggers usually prefer barter deals if money isn’t involved.
8. Leading a brand with no personality
Have you ever wondered why some brands are remembered, and some aren’t? It’s simple. That’s the way their branding works!
Seeing an ad with a red truck and Santa, people will think of Coca-Cola. A big yellow letter “M” will immediately remind them of McDonald’s. Why? Because these companies have a personality. “It’s that VERY brand!” – here’s what the audience thinks when they see anything related.
Building a personality for your brand requires a ton of work, and that can’t be done in one day. Generally, here are the points that determine your uniqueness:
A clear identity with certain beliefs;
A unique style of doing things;
A suitable tone of voice;
A team that is not hidden from society.
While there are dozens of points that build up a personality, these four are the foundation of all. It’s much easier when you’ve got a community around your product, like in the gaming industry. However, for instance, selling beverages or clothes makes things a bit more complicated.
Follow one style and apply the points mentioned above. You will see what else can be added once you start building a brand personality. If you’re interested, you could also read our previous post about starting an online business.
9. Creating content for everyone
This mistake is literally the same thing as trying to be in every network. Earth is huge, and the population of nearly 8 billion makes it impossible to suit everyone’s tastes. Even if it is a smaller group of people, focusing on your audience is always the best approach.
Now imagine that Asus, a huge technology company, started publishing content about food, clothing, and gardening. What would happen? Yes, total chaos. Current subscribers would be shocked, and new ones wouldn’t even subscribe.
If you specialize in a certain industry, then you have to stick to it. Food companies mustn’t try to apply politics in their campaigns. The same goes for any other example. Apple publishing about food? People aren’t there for this type of content!
They follow a brand because it shares similar ideas and values. Changing those will push away the current followers and is unlikely to attract new ones. Therefore, the best approach is publishing content that is only related to a specific audience. It’s the only way to keep it loyal and engaged.
10. Using hashtags that aren’t interesting for the target audience
If you subscribe to the hashtag “#hamburger,” you expect to see hamburgers. What would your reaction be if you saw a pizza with this hashtag? Okay, then what about cars? Many accounts use tags that aren’t even closely related to what their content is about. Only a negative reaction appears in this case.
Each hashtag is followed by a certain audience. If you are a fast-food restaurant, your audience will most likely be found in such tags as #fastfood, #burgers, #fries, and a bunch of others. You can find all hashtags related to a certain word with free online tools.
Here are some tips on hashtag usage:
Avoid banned and spammy tags;
Don’t use tags that are irrelevant to your content;
Ensure you understand the meaning of each tag applied.
Instagram limits hashtags to 30 per post and 10 per story, while Twitter recommends using only two. LinkedIn suggests using three to five of them to avoid being spammy.
This is a very popular instrument, so there even are different types of hashtags. Some of them are:
Product and niche-related;
Acronyms, emojis, and others.
You will find related keywords for nearly any topic. So, if you do not want to end up dealing with negative emotions, use only those that are relevant to your post and account. That’s the only way your target audience will be engaged!
How to avoid making these mistakes?
Even if you’ve read the article till here, you are still likely to keep on making several mistakes. That’s not the reason this material was created, so let’s find a way to help you avoid the most common issues.
The most efficient strategy to remove all errors is creating a checklist. Whenever your team reaches the content-making phase, they will use the list to double-check the material. The same goes for planning and strategizing.
Finally, set a general rule in your content marketing department. It should always be quality over quantity, not vice-versa. Once every member sets this as a lifelong standard, you can be sure that your social media will be on top of the competition.
A vast number of businesses have gone online and millions of employees have shifted to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic—with mixed results.
While many people have enjoyed the flexibility that comes with working from home, some have found it tricky. And then there’s the risk of data breaches and other cyberattacks.
When operating from the office, the day-to-day workings of a company are protected as a matter of course. But with each individual using their own laptop or computer at home… things aren’t so cut and dried.
So… Can it be compromised?
The short answer is yes, of course. Although you could argue that a computer is at risk of compromise in an office too. However, working from home comes with bigger risks, including individuals falling for scams, employees using weak passwords, lack of firewalls to protect employees’ home Wi-Fi networks, and the use of other devices that aren’t encrypted.
It seems that COVID-19 has resulted in a massive upswing in phishing emails. In the past few months, they have increased by over 600%. Malspam and ransomware attacks have also increased exponentially—often by trying to exploit the confusion caused by the pandemic upheaval and knock-on economic effects.
What are the cybersecurity dangers of remote working?
There are several specific scenarios and activities that pose a threat to a company’s cybersecurity:
Human (employee) error
Lack of vigilance
File and information sharing
Use of personal devices
Difficulty accessing IT support
Failure to use VPN
Failure to back up files and data
Use of unsecured Wi-Fi connections
Some of these present bigger risks than others, and the scope for disaster varies. But all are largely mitigated if a company is vigilant and comprehensive in its security practices.
This unfortunate weakness is applicable whether working remotely or in an office setting. Unfortunately, it’s much more likely to crop up when working from home—probably because sitting in your “home office” results in a much more easygoing approach to work.
Human error can include things like clicking on malware, opening attachments that contain viruses, or setting a weak password that’s vulnerable to hackers.
While human error is unavoidable, training and educating staff can reduce the occurrence a great deal. Keeping staff informed about the dangers makes them more aware, and more likely to spot a scam, phishing mail, or potentially threatening attachment.
Lack of vigilance
Similar to human error, lack of vigilance can result in chinks in a company’s metaphorical armor— weak points in the cybersecurity barrier that protects data from unauthorized access.
Research has revealed that people working from home fall for phishing scams at much higher rates than those working in office. Shockingly, 47% of employees fall for phishing scams when working remotely.
For many people, “working from home” can also mean working from a coffee shop or similar setting where Wi-Fi is available. What they fail to realize, however, is that such networks are insecure and provide hackers or other parties with an ideal opportunity to access confidential data.
Once again, raising awareness to the issue is key, and can go a long way towards improving vigilance.
File and information sharing
Working from home means that people use the internet more often to share files and data with colleagues, instead of using in-house methods or protocols.
Sharing data in this way, from home to home, poses a much greater risk. Immediately the danger of human error and lack of vigilance doubles, purely because there’s more than one individual involved. If employees are not provided with advanced encryption software, then company data is open to exploitation by third parties.
Use of personal devices
This is one of the greatest risks of working from home. Unfortunately, many companies find it too costly to provide every remote employee with a laptop or computer, which results in them using personal devices.
Not only does this mean their own laptops or computers but also smartphones, printers, scanners, and tablets. Many smartphones are not encrypted, totally negating the use of encryption on laptops or PCs and posing the same risk of data breaches. Personal devices may also lack vital antivirus software and firewalls.
A BYOD (bring your own device) policy is an excellent idea, not just for the office, but for those working remotely too. If policies and procedures are in place, there’s a better chance of protection.
Difficulty accessing IT support
Technology is great when it’s working, but all too often employees encounter IT problems, whether on-site or within the comfort of their own homes. It’s relatively simple for the IT department to fix an issue within an office environment, but they are highly unlikely to be able to provide the same service to individuals working remotely.
Internet connections and imminent data breaches can make it difficult or impossible for IT support to render aid and prevent attacks.
Allowing remote access to IT teams can alleviate this issue to some degree, but it’s not 100% infallible.
Neglecting to use a VPN
This scenario is interwoven with many others—use of personal devices and lack of vigilance, for example. Every remote worker should use a VPN, which is a fundamental tool to ensure privacy and security.
Issues with accessing IT support can also result in employees defaulting to personal devices without adequate security when something goes awry with the VPN they’re using.
Failure to back up files and data
One of the greatest worries of every business is the loss of their data, with no way of recovering it. It only takes one attack to bring a company to its knees by wiping out all their files.
To combat this, make use of the cloud and ensure that every bit of information backs up.
Use of unsecured Wi-Fi connections at home
We’ve already covered the dangers of connecting to Wi-Fi in public settings, but people also forget that their home networks are not protected.
Many people aren’t aware that updating home router software is necessary to ensure cybersecurity. And that failing to update other devices results in the same security risks as an insecure Wi-Fi connection. Even routers that have some kind of firewall in place are usually not as secure as an on-site network. This danger can be offset, however, by providing remote workers with a firewall equipped to deal with serious threats.
A New Era Requires A New Approach
It’s unlikely that work will ever return to pre-pandemic “normal”. This requires companies to change their approach to tech. Working remotely is here to stay, cybersecurity must adapt.
This year has been filled with some pretty serious ups and downs. So if you are apprehensive about taking the leap into entrepreneurship, those feelings of anxiety make sense. While approaching the decision to open a new business should be a thoughtful process, you don’t have to let the pandemic sidetrack your goals. Especially since this year could be full of unseen potential for entrepreneurs. In fact, here are four things you can in 2020 to make your dreams of owning a business come true.
You Could Earn Your Business Degree
So maybe you’re not sure if you have the right knowledge and experience to open your own business? If this is the case, you may want to consider completing an online business degree to sharpen your business prowess and gain the skills you need to succeed as an entrepreneur. If you already have a bachelor’s, WGU’s online MBA program could be the perfect fit and will help you boost your business knowledge, enhance your management and leadership skills and provide you with the tools needed self-assessment and self-awareness in business. While you can start a new business without a degree, business degrees rank as a top credential for entrepreneurs to have for success. Earning your degree could give your startup a serious edge.
You Could Establish an Online Business
Worried about how you will practice social-distancing and still establish a new business? Well you really shouldn’t be! That’s because starting an online business can be so simple, if you have the right tools at your disposal. The Online Tools Expert blog can provide you with all of the steps and tricks you need to create a successful online business from the comfort of your living room. Whether you need a website builder for your startup or simply need to know how to set up a domain, the Online Tools Expert has you covered. Not to mention that with more people shopping online than ever before, opening an online business could be a very wise decision.
You Could Score Low Rates on a Loan
If you need funding to back your new business idea, now may also be the perfect time to apply for a small business loan. That’s because interest rates on loans are lower than any time in recent history and those rates are likely to stick around for quite some time. So even if you open your business and need additional funding in the coming months, you could end up scoring a killer deal on your loan. If your startup expenses are minimal, you could also take advantage of business credit cards that are offering low interest rates. Many of these cards also offer rewards and other perks to boost your new business. Depending on the type of business you plan on opening, you may also be eligible to apply for business grants to help out with startup costs.
You Could Buy Equipment at Lower Prices
One of the most unfortunate impacts of the COVID-19 impact is that so many small businesses have been forced to close their doors permanently. In fact, up to 41% of businesses that were listed as closed at the beginning of the pandemic have made the heartbreaking decision to shut down for good. While this may give you pause when it comes to starting a new business, you should know that certain types of businesses are actually booming right now. So if your idea for a business is on the list, you could search your town to see if closing businesses are selling off their tech and equipment. Try not to feel guilty about scoring used equipment from these businesses and keep in mind that by purchasing items from them you are indeed helping them.
Opening a new business is never without risk. So don’t let fear keep you from reaching your full potential as an entrepreneur. Times may be uncertain but this could also be the perfect time to earn a business degree, start an online business or find the resources you need to successfully establish a new startup and watch your profits soar.
As the world continues to evolve, the technology and lifestyle of people also evolve. Everything has gone through so many changes as time goes by. Regardless of whether these changes are good or bad, they impact people’s lives. With a growing number of opportunities for everyone in various industries, it’s only right to take this chance to do something worthwhile and beneficial for everyone’s needs.
In these times, many individuals have gotten to learn the ropes of business and entrepreneurship. Owning a business allows an individual the opportunity to take control of what they need to do. And it’s worth noting that owning a business also allows them to share their skills and other knowledge with potential customers in exchange for profit.
With the advent of the digital age and the many advantages of the internet, it seemed to have made everything accessible, convenient, and efficient. Because of its constant presence in people’s lives, it only makes sense that the world of business enters the world wide web. Companies need to be up to date with the trend because it is one way to keep it afloat and profitable. And, thus, the emergence of online businesses.
Why You Should Start an Online Business
Online businesses continue to grow globally and have become so ubiquitous that almost every industry, company, and brand can be found online. And it’s only a matter of time that even small and mid-size enterprises (SME) will make their mark in the world of the internet.
However, while it does look easy to start an online business, there are several factors to consider before starting one. The beginnings of startups will always be a struggle. As mentioned, since the online business industry is growing, there is a lot of competition. It can get overwhelming to see potential competitors also out in the open. It will also be a challenge for any business owner to gain the first, initial, customers, and build a loyal following (later, it becomes easier as you get your word-to-mouth up and running).
Before diving into this endeavor, what do you need to consider and do to start an online business?
Identify Your Niche
When you want to start an online business, you may want to ask yourself what you know, which can help other people? It is easier to start in this endeavor if you can identify your specialization. Identify something related to your skills, talents, or knowledge about a particular industry, platform, product, or even a service. Because if you can identify your niche or something that you are good at, it will become more comfortable for you and even less taxing than starting on something that you have no prior knowledge or experience.
As you identify your niche or specialization, this will help you classify your target audience or market. This way, you will know what their demands are, their spending habits, and other factors that will help your business startup. It is easier to promote and sell first your product or service to customers who are interested in what you can offer.
Creating Your Brand
With your established niche and specialization, it will be easier now to create your brand. Your branding is what will be your business’s identity as you enter the online marketplace. Effective branding will help you gain potential customers as you sell your products or services. It will also set you apart from your competitors.
Decide on a Business Name
One of the first things to do when you create your brand is to decide on a name appropriate for your business. You may want to think of a name that is simple but memorable. Nothing too long or complicated or even overly unique. While you want to stand out among hundreds of other businesses with something unique, you may want to keep in mind that your business name must have a recall and something easy to remember.
Once a name has established, it will be easier to think of the next steps in building your brand. The logo, design, business profile, and even core values are other factors to plan and decide in establishing a reputable brand for your business.
Register a Domain
As the business owner, think of a domain name for your website. As much as possible, align it with your brand or service. Domain names are like the addresses for your website, allowing an individual to gain access. Sites available will let you register your domain name for a fee, though some will offer it free for at least a year. Your domain name must be unique as there are no two domains that are alike.
It’s important to mention, that having an online presence with a registered domain name, is important not only for an online business but to offline, low investment small business, as well.
Choosing and Developing a Business Model
Every business owner should have a business model if they want to start an online business. Think of it as having a blueprint or an outline for whatever plans you have for your entire business. A business model will let you see how the whole company operates. It will also allow you to study on ways how to sell your product or service effectively to your target market. There is also the matter of earning more profit for your online business as there are various ways to do it.
There are several business models out there, but you will need to decide what you think will work best for your business. Here are some examples:
E-commerce – This is one of the most popular online business platforms. Think of it as an online marketplace for various products. Some big names on this platform are Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and Alibaba. It is the most direct and straightforward way to connect to your customers.
Dropshipping – A modern eCommerce business model in which you own the storefront site, but not holding any inventory, so, on order completion by the site visitor, the item is sent from the actual item holder, which can be even overboard and far away. This integration can be manual or automatic. For a great way to start a dropshipping site with a WordPress platform, check out our review of the AliDropship dropshipping plugin review.
Affiliate Marketing – This is the usual go-to platform of bloggers that allows them to earn an income online. Through this type of model, a business or company can sell their product or service through a blog or website through a referral link.
Online courses – This usually targets those who are in the educational industry or service. But if your business provides informative content such as webinars or teaching courses, this model will work best for you.
Membership and Subscription sites – This specific business model will let the company charge its customers a recurring fee, whether monthly, annually, etc. It is useful, especially if you want to have long-term contracts with your customers, as this will secure revenue from these recurring purchases.
Freemium model or Software as a Service (SaaS) – This platform is a mixture of free and paid services. It will allow your customers to unlimited access to the basic features of the service and then charge them if they want additional and advanced functions and add-ons.
It is up to you as the business owner what sort of business model you think will suit your online business the best. It will help lay down every aspect that comprises your business, including demographics, marketing, operations, finance, and revenue. You may even want to include some research about your competitors and lay down some strategies to provide better products, services, or alternatives.
The whole planning process may seem intimidating, especially as a beginner; there are various resources available online to help you start, for example, look into this list of online business ideas.
Select Your Web-Hosting Package
You have your name, business model ready in gear. It is time to go on the internet and start your online business. Enter web hosting. Web hosting is a service that allows a user, be it an organization or business owner, to create and post a website on the internet. Various web hosts provide the technology and services that the user will need to create a website.
There are various web hosting packages provided by different web host providers. Your task here is to select among your options that will provide the service you need for your online business while also getting the value for your money. Consider the components and features that every package will offer before taking that dive. Think of it as if you are canvassing for the best one out there.
Many web host packages will offer their lowest prices, so you will need to be extra careful when choosing the right package for you and in general, avoid hosting offerings from EIG companies. You will need to be as thorough as possible to check and identify the features and add-ons your website will need. Also, keep in mind that you might need to invest in other offers that will cost more and ensure excellent performance for your website.
As for a specific hosting solution, for this site with use DreamHost, which we recommend.
Building Your Website with WordPress
WordPress offers one of the easiest ways to create your website. A considerable percentage of sites you will find WordPress powers online. Just like other web hosts, WordPress has features that are designed to be user-friendly and will not require advanced web development and design skills. They have available tools to manage your web content, has customization options and plugins you can use to start building your website.
WordPress is a good starting point for online businesses. While it started as a simple blogging site, it has expanded and developed to cater to more functions that a website will need. It just means that you can create a website for e-commerce sites, online portfolios, membership sites, auction sites, chatrooms, and many others. While the Software is free to use, you will need to pay extra for the hosting since it is self-hosted. Depending on the website’s scale, you may want to check the different hosting plans of WordPress.
Marketing Your Website
Here comes the fun part. To start gaining traction for your business, you will need to market and promote your business through your website. Once your online business is up and running, you will need to find ways to get more than just visitors to your websites. You need customers to earn income for your business.
Now, there are ways to do it. Below are some examples.
Social Media marketing – At this time, almost everyone can be found on any social media platform being glued to their phones. Social media is an effective way to gain an audience and potential customers for your business. All these social media networks will allow you to connect with these customers.
Email marketing – Sending newsletters through email is one way to keep your customers up-to-date with your products or service. With the use of a marketing automation tool, it will help you create content for your customers.
SEO – This is the process of letting your website rank highly in search engines such as Google or Bing. It is essential to optimize your content so that it will rank as one of the top results, and that way, you will gain more traffic for your website. Optimize your content while using specific keywords within your site, persuasive copywriting, and enhancing your website performance.
Paid Advertisement – You will need to have some extra budget to do this kind of promotion for your business. Various platforms will let you promote, such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and even YouTube.
Online Directories – Since they cover a wide range of audiences, you may want to submit your URL or website address, and other details to these online directories. They, in turn, will store these details and incorporate this information into their data banks. Once it has registered with them, they can appear in search engines every time an individual searches for a relevant, if not similar, content.
Content Marketing – This is sharing and distributing online content, which can be done through various methods. There are infographics, video content, and even blogging. It will stimulate interest from the audience to a particular product or service.
Affiliate Marketing – it’s a process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make. So, as the name says, you become an affiliate of the seller.
For affiliate networks example, check out our Repixel review, which is an ad network that allows you to earn money by placing retargeting pixels on your website. ShareASale, one of the world’s leading affiliate marketers based in the USA. Fiverr affiliate program, the world’s biggest marketplace for freelancers with over 12 million users in almost 200 countries, or ClickBank, a leading digital affiliate market.
Turn Your Website Visitors into Customers
It is not enough to only attract visitors to your website to check what your product or service can offer to them. You need some sort of call to action to ensure that every visit will be at least give you something in return. Ensure that your website encourages these visitors to purchase your product or service. You may also want to add on some offers or future promos through a newsletter subscription. That way, you are at least guaranteed that they will be back for more. Also, make sure that your contact details are visible so that they can easily reach you.
You may want to add some analytics tools on your website. That way, you can determine and analyze the peak time for your website, how many visitors are coming in, what features your business is attracting interest and whatnot. It will also help you with what needs to be improved.
Every beginning of any endeavor will always be challenging. But, always keep in mind that even the most successful entrepreneur or most significant business has also started from nothing. More than determination and commitment, you will need to do your research and do your best to enhance your skills and knowledge. No one can be successful in just one night. Every step of the way is essential, so enjoy it and, at the same time, learn from it.
Finding it hard to market your business and keep things running smoothly these days? You’re definitely not alone in your struggles. With so many restrictions and concerns still floating around due to COVID-19, businesses everywhere are adapting their marketing and sales strategies. If you need to do the same, these essentials can make the process easier:
1. Financial Resources
While the rest of the tips in this guide will help you keep those expenses to a minimum, it can also help to have a few financial resources in mind. If your business has been affected by the pandemic, you may be able to use grants and other funding sources to make the changes needed to stay afloat.
Although the application process for the ZenBusiness grant is closed for 2020, you may still be able to apply for grants from federal or state resources. Several corporations, including GoFundMe, are also still offering grants and other forms of financial support.
2. Social Media Content
Harnessing the power of social media could be your best bet for keeping yourself in business through this crisis. That’s because now more than ever before, people are relying on social media to stay connected to friends, loved ones, and the community. Folks are also turning to social media to find local and online businesses to support, so you should seriously consider taking advantage of this uptick in traffic. Schedule regular social media posts, but be sure to keep your content empathetic and useful.
A great way to do this is by mixing in a few personal posts with strictly business posts. Promoting digital content from your website is also a great way to use social media. Digital content can include videos, blog posts, and even podcasts! Don’t have a podcast yet? Online Tools Expert offers a great step-by-step guide if you’re ready to take the leap.
3. User-Friendly Websites
If you don’t have a website to link to your social media accounts, you could be missing out on a huge revenue stream for your business. Having a website helps consumers learn more about your business and also helps establish trust with those consumers. You can also save yourself some time, and perhaps even save a few customers, by listing basic business information on your website.
Information to cover can include your business hours, location, and any COVID-related changes to your operations. If you don’t already have a website, you can use a free website builder to get one started for your business. Aside from being affordable, these tools make it easy to establish your domain and set up a user-friendly site that will attract more customers. Also, look out for SEO tools to ensure your website reaches even more people.
4. COVID-Safe Practices
Expanding your online options is an effective way to keep your business open during the crisis, but at some point, you may be ready to reopen your actual store. When that day comes, be prepared with the latest guidelines and recommendations that will protect your staff, your customers, and you, and it can also protect the future of your business.
Consumers will feel safer in your business if they know that you are taking the proper precautions, like requiring masks and practicing social-distancing. Be sure to advertise these policies on your website and social media accounts, so that customers don’t get caught off-guard by the new rules. You should also post requirements around your store. You can use these free templates to print new signage.
If you want to stay in business over the coming months, it’s important to narrow your focus on how to better connect with your customers. Expanding your online presence can boost your sales while your doors are closed, but these marketing strategies can continue to benefit your business even if you are allowed to reopen. So, combine online marketing with safe practices, and you should be able to sustain some profits and your business.
In just a few years, eCommerce has grown in leaps and bounds, so that transactions—in just about every industry, at that—are now mostly done online. This isn’t surprising at all, considering the ease and convenience that the internet offers its users. So as consumers become more and more dependent on the internet, it’s only natural for businesses, big and small alike, to follow suit—including yours.
Now, there is in fact, a good number of web-based adaptations that your business can benefit from. However, if you’re new in the digital arena, it can be easy to feel out of your depth. For this reason, it’s only smart to make use of the resources you can easily find and access online to start and sustain a lucrative business in the digital age. Let’s take a closer look at what’s out there and how you stand to benefit.
The apps that make your life easier
It’s a well-known fact that, in this day and age, there’s a tool, app, or software for just about any activity that anyone can conceive of. This definitely makes life a lot easier in more ways than one, especially when you run a small business that involves multiple tasks that need to be done timely and efficiently for your enterprise to remain competitive and profitable.
Needless to say, it’s more than wise to download—and in some cases, invest—in these tools where your business needs them most. This is the best way to keep your tasks and processes flowing as they should—or better yet, free up your time and energy, so you can focus on more important things. So make sure to keep an eye out for apps that allow you to automate, collaborate, stay productive, etc. as these are almost always worth your while.
Of course, there are also tools that you simply can’t do away with. As more and more business is done online at present, more and more threats arise along with them. It’s a must, therefore, to have cybersecurity measures in place to protect your and your customers’ sensitive data. Thankfully, the options for digital security are rising to the challenge of fighting these threats, so you’re sure to find solutions for your devices, website, and other systems.
The freelancers who help you get things done
Again, it can be all-too-easy to feel out of your element when you’re not used to using technology in certain ways. For instance, as you take your business to the next level, no doubt, among the most important web-based projects you’ll need is a solid online presence. Now, while you can, of course, find out how to start a blog or website easily enough, your business model will invariably demand something more professional or intuitive, which can be well out of a beginner’s skill set. It’s a good idea, therefore, to enlist an expert freelancer to get it done, which is easy enough to do with online job boards. This also applies to other tasks that you neither have the time or skill to do, as well, which can be truly invaluable help as you run your business.
Of course, it’s only prudent not to entrust sensitive tasks or information to just anyone, so a background check can be a necessary evil before you hire a freelancer or employee. However, know that there are actually FCRA rules that you need to be mindful of before you do so, so make sure to do your due diligence before you do an employee background check to keep everything above board. For one thing, many states don’t sanction criminal background checks until after you’ve made a conditional job offer. For another, some states also require you not to consider arrests without a conviction, plus there’s a seven-year limit on the information you’re allowed to gather.
Suffice it to say, taking your business to the next level means embracing tech, warts—that is, threats—and all. Thankfully, it’s tech that will also provide you with the means to get it all done, as well. It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur, indeed, so ride this wave of innovation to take your business to the next chapter.