Three Tips to Grow Your Business Online in 2019
With the immensity of the internet comes a lot of opportunity to grow your business, but what really works and what doesn't?
The year is 2019 and with 4.1 billion users on the internet, the age old question for businesses quickly becomes: how can you tap into those numbers to grow a business? By growth we can mean a lot of things- increasing leads, more effective marketing, improving workforce, innovating project management systems, etc. For this article, I’m going to cover three unique tips to grow your business online in terms of marketing. Whether it’s a brick and mortar flower shop, a hip street wear clothing website, or an enterprise SaaS with locations both online and around the world, these tips can help leverage the sheer power of the internet to grow your business. I know because I’ve done it for myself.
1. Affiliate Marketing
What’s the most important part of why the internet is valuable to businesses? Users. People on their phones, tablets, laptops, all gazing onto one single device in front of them. That’s some pretty hot real estate, wouldn’t you say? Thing is, users know what they do and don’t like (or trust). As quickly as a potential online customer visits your website with a click, they can instantly click the back arrow and never return again. Where do they usually go? To someone they trust or at the very least, have more experience with.
If Sarah wants the down low about which laptop would best fit her needs, sure, she can browse Best Buys website and compare stats, but she’ll find more value in going to her favorite tech blog for an analysis about the differences. Unlike Best Buy, the blog is not usually biased, and gives her the honest info she needs to hear. But aside from having trust, the blog also has a highly diversified group of readers, who likely have never seen or even heard of your product. So what kind of opportunity does this pose for your business?
Affiliate marketing is the process by which you (a business) advertises your product through a third party, reputable source (an affiliate) and get your product shared to high quality, unique internet traffic. Now, the types of affiliate marketing campaigns can greatly vary, and I wrote a detailed article about the difference between affiliate networks and programs which you can read here. As a business seeking online growth, I suggest you investigate the points of authority (websites, bloggers, influencers, etc) in your niche and contact them to discuss affiliate marketing opportunities. Doing so can result in more publicity, leads, and ultimately, sales.
Millennial Moderator for example has an affiliate advertising program which offers businesses the chance to share their products in-article. We do a variety of advertising types, depending on what works best for both the blog and the business. Like most other affiliates however, we have a very high standard for the types of business we work with, in an effort to share only those businesses that we think our readers would truly find valuable (we care about you). If you’re interested in working with us, please refer to the advertise section of our site and get in touch.
2. Develop a Voice for your Business
In a completely faceless environment as the internet, people tend to flock towards online presences that are authentic and clearly connected to someone/thing in reality. For example, which user would you feel more confident in asking technical questions about a product, if they stated they work for Apple?
Obviously one of them cares enough to put in their name that they work for the company. A little bit of investigation would lead to confirmation that this is in fact an employee of Apple. But what does this mean? If you’re the owner of a business, your online presence must clearly show who you are and what you do. I personally never trust a business website that doesn’t have a “Staff” section that clearly outlines who is on the other side of the screen. Now, another place this business voice is important, is in social media.
Social media poses a whole new array of opportunity, much more than I can fit into this one mod. At the end of the day, your goal as a business is to get engagement- people commenting, sharing, liking, these are the digital currencies of online business exposure. Is you business social media page a boring, faceless profile that gives off the “bot” vibe? Nobody will pay attention to it. Or is your social media usage active, engaging, creative, and personable? That ought to get some quality engagement from online traffic.
Having a digital, personal presence for your business is most important for startups and small businesses, as you have the ability to network with millions of other business owners on community platforms like Reddit. r/startups for example is a place for startup business owners to interact and engage with other business owners online. Not only can you learn and connect with potentially like-minded others, you can also start finding customers.
3. Develop Innovative, Abstract Marketing Ideas
The internet rests on the pillar of innovation. With technology comes an immense amount of opportunity to improve (literally) every part of your business but most importantly, your marketing. I recently wrote an article about the difference between resources and resourcefulness, where I mentioned an example of a truly resourceful marketing idea from the sunglasses company Oakley. That kind of mindset can be used on the internet in the very same way. There are literally a million and one ways to get innovative and market your business online, and you can do it all from your computer at home.
Here’s a simple exercise that I came up with when working with a recent client in growing their business online: identify what the main growth opportunities are for your business (what could you be doing better), then come up with how that problem could absolutely be solved if ANYTHING WAS POSSIBLE (use your imagination, dragons and space travel are not excluded from the list of possibilities) and then work down until you find a solution through using technology. The hard part is coming up with the idea, the rest is just implementation. Shameless plug- If you’d like my help to grow your business online, you can contact me on my website.
No matter what kind of business you have, the internet provides immense opportunity for growth. To tap into this opportunity, you’ve got to think outside the box and get resourceful, it’s the only way to keep up. Here’s another tip I give to my clients- every move your business makes should always seek to gather at least one of the primary customer collectibles.
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