In many ways bloggers, vloggers, influencers and content creators are small businesses, who choose to demonstrate their authority on their chosen niche, by marketing themselves as a ‘product’ entity that their ‘audience can buy into’ and form an intimate connection with, much like small businesses do with their own pool of respective clients. But with 29% of small businesses not having their ‘own website’ to market their tools, products and services, it makes me wonder why small businesses are not utilizing social media and the web, to take their business to the next level and reach a bigger pool of clients? After all having a website not only acts as a visual and content led portfolio that shows off a small businesses most valuable assets to a prospective client but it also attracts a bigger audience, who in turn will engage and interact with your website and social media channels. The benefits of using a website to market your brand is extremely beneficial to growing your small business but it is the accumulation of relevant social media channels like Instagram and Twitter, which will elevate your web presence, alongside your website portfolio.
But why do small businesses need a web presence, especially when they might be used to more traditional forms of coverage like paper media such as newspapers and magazines? Well its simple , as bloggers we are marketable commodities, whose very own power to market goods and services is directly correlated to how well we use social media and the web to take our brands to the next stage and it is the same with small businesses. Whether you are an illustrator who uses Etsy to sell your illustrations or are a start up jewellery brand, creating a basic website will allow you to appear more accessible to clients, will demonstrate your ability to adapt to the times and best of all means that even when you are not ‘at work’, because your website is there 24/7 , you are able to provide services, without physically needing to be on standby. Not convinced? Well read on below to find out how small businesses who create a web presence make themselves more approachable to clients.
1.Creating A Website Acts Like A Visual And Content Based Portfolio For Your Small Website
Do you remember at school in subjects like media and DT creating visual and content led portfolios that were a demonstrative record of your ability to think outside the box creatively? Or how you were pushed and challenged to embrace new technologies like ‘Windows Movie Maker’ and ‘Photoshop’ which were used to help you create and edit videos, photos and get used to new media technologies? Well its the same with ‘websites’; websites are portfolios that exist in a permanent online space that you have full control over, meaning that like ‘coursework’ you are able to hone your website into presenting the best of your small businesses ability to compete in the global field of brands, agencies and services, depending on what you are offering your clients. For example let’s say that you are a small start up jewellery brand and while you have a physical ‘store’ you have realized that your potential to maximize sales can be enhanced through harnessing the power of a social and web based presence. So you create a ‘digital store’ using a simple free WordPress template, which showcases all the jewellery that you have for sale, alongside some information about the brand, FAQ’s and contact details. You soon realize that your online store has the potential to create more brand awareness because unlike a shop which closes, a website is ‘always open to the public’ meaning that you could be sleeping while two watches have been sold.
So regardless of small businesses ‘niche’ there is always the potential to use that visual portfolio to not only sell your services, but most importantly to raise brand awareness which will help grow your brand more organically in the long run.
2. An Online Or Web Presence Allows Small Businesses To Appear More Accessible To Clients
I mentioned earlier that unlike a ‘shop’ a website never closes and that is part of the reason why its so important for small businesses to have a web presence because it allows them to be more accessible to clients. After all, who hasn’t made an online order at 3 AM, after that trust you had been coveting all week turned up in your dreams and told you that you simply had to buy it? Yeah exactly and I can’t say that I have been shopping at the mall at 3 AM because guess what… the shops are not open! So you see, small businesses might be competing with larger mainstream brands, but unlike the retail market, the internet allows small businesses to thrive because there is a bigger audience that lives online, even if you are a niche business that sells ‘quirky enamel pins’. No matter what you sell or promote, there is an audience in the digital sphere that will be interested in what you have to say. One thing I will say is though is that while a basic website template is fine to begin with, consider boosting your Google rankings by interacting with other small businesses or content creators that can help spread the word about your brand, to an audience that is relevant to small businesses.
For example you might have a vegan handbag brand and want to reach out to cruelty free bloggers, to help promote and market your brand, which also makes your brand more accessible to clients, as that is additional marketing that can allow you to build your brand and online presence. But remember, when working with others, you should always treat them with consideration and respect, because fostering genuine human connections, especially as a small business entity is so important for your brand and how clients will receive word of you. Always treat others like you would like to be treated I always say.
3. A Web Presence Acts As A Powerful Tool Which Enables Small Businesses To Market And Sell Their Goods More Effectively
We already established that having a web presence can help make or break a brand, while demonstrating that the accessibility of an online as opposed to physical store is more attractive to potential clients, because they can quite literally interact with you from the comfort of their own home. Naturally as busy people, it’s little wonder that retail sales are declining, which can have damaging consequences for small businesses that might be self-funded, so the option of pursuing a ‘digital led’ marketing strategy is ideal for small businesses to market and sell their goods more effectively. In a way having a website acts like a brochure for potential clients to browse, without the pressure of having other people watching them shop, or pressurize them into making purchases they don’t want to make, creating a more safe space for your client to browse and shop. And with FAQ’s and contact details printed clearly on screen, clients can see exactly what services you offer, the pricing for said products and get in touch if they have any questions that they would like answered.
So you see the reason why a web presence can allow small businesses to market and sell their goods more effectively, is because unlike a physical store where you might struggle to find something in your size, or something that you like, you can filter options on a website to suit your needs, so the sales that your small business will make, will be more attuned to what the customer wants. In fact by analyzing the trends in consumer traffic, click throughs and sales, it can help you determine exactly how to attract more clients, by offering them the product and services that they clearly need or want.
4. Having A Web Presence Helps You Target A Bigger Market Of Potential Clients
And speaking of attracting the right customers, as a web presence is in the digital ‘websphere’ so to speak, your small business is able to target a bigger market of potential clients, because the better your web presence, the more eyeballs that will see your brand and interact with it. I would really suggest working on your DA and Google Ranking by using keywords that is relevant to your website and goods or services, to improve your web presence, which while does take a lot of time and effort, when you invest said time it can lead to some pretty incredible results. Even if you are a local ‘small business’ who is thinking about ‘national level marketing’as opposed to international services, your brand can become global, provided you choose the right marketing strategy for you. So lets say that you are a new fashion brand, who has opened an eCommerce store selling your colourful range of slogan t-shirts, sassy dresses and cool accessories that you are marketing to your chosen consumer audience of 25-34 because according to your marketing research, results have shown this should be your target audience.
Allowing yourself to create branding that will appeal to this audience , while help you target an even bigger market of potential clients, because millenials have access to disposable income which can boost your own sales, if you are selling the products and services that will appeal to them directly.
5. A Website Helps Build Your Businesses Credibility And Legitimacy
Often a brand without a website can be losing out on thousands of potential clients, something which I know from personal experience can be damaging for the continued growth and awareness of a small businesses success. Of course many businesses are able to thrive without a website, but generally speaking a website does help build a small businesses credibility and legitimacy. I will give you an example, when I went to Italy, I contacted many restaurants to sample their authentic cuisine, and many of the restaurants did not have a website or contact details, meaning that I was unable to contact them and thus they lost a potential client. When you don’t have a website in this day and age, the consumer will quickly move on, until they find a competitor who has all that information that they require readily to hand, something which could have been avoided if you had the website available for your brand. Furthermore, without a website, some clients might consider your lack of web presence to be suspicious and might question the legitimacy of your brand which is never any good when you are trying to grow your brand is it?
Why Do You Think That It Is Important That Small Businesses Have A Web Presence?
Please note this is a collaborative post with Silky Ocean Studios but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.
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