How Can Your Business Succeed Online In 2013?
Every business, however small or large, wants to succeed online. As the 2013 starts, how to increase profits and succeed online is at the top of most business’ agenda for the coming year.
Whether you’re just starting a new business or taking your existing business to the next level, the following tips will guarantee your success in the coming year.
1. Enhance Your Website
A great website can be a very important asset for any business. Whether you are an e-commerce business or a traditional bricks and mortar company, how well you are able to leverage your website to acquire new customers will play an important role in the success of your business in 2013. This is the year to take a fresh look at your website and see how you can use your website to drive leads and boost sales.
A good quality website does not have to cost thousands. Today, there are many affordable ways to create a website or enhance its features. There is more to an effective website than attractive design. It is even more important for your website to have the right features and tools that boost engagement and help your website to meet its objectives.
Here Are Some Tips:
- Use a clean-cut, clutter-free website layout
- Offer interactive features that promotes user-engagement
- Make good use of lead-capture forms and landing pages
- Use effective call to action
2. Expand Your Social Media Presence
Social media marketing has become an essential ingredient of any successful Internet marketing strategy today. Most businesses already maintain profiles on the leading social networks. 2013 is the year to expand your social presence and take it a step further. Think beyond a basic social presence and put an effort to take your social media marketing to the next level.
Here are some tips:
- Use multiple social channels to expand your reach
- If you haven’t already, start building your presence on Pinterest and Google Plus
- Improve your posting strategy: Post more often and schedule your posts
- Take advantage of social media automation
- Consider social advertising such as Facebook ads, Promoted Tweets, etc
- Use social media to reinforce your brand.
- Use consistent branding across social profiles
- Share quality content from several sources, not just your own site
- Engage actively with users - open-ended posts, polls, engaging campaigns, run contents and promotions, reply to comments, retweet, like or share other users content.
- Try social commerce e.g. selling products on your Facebook Page
3. Make Your Website Mobile Enabled
PWC have estimated that mobile internet use will surpass desktop use within the next 3 years. Yet, only a quarter of businesses have a mobile enabled website. It is important to make sure your website offers a seamless experience whether it is accessed from desktop or a mobile phone.
If you want your business to capitalise on the mobile marketing trend, at the least you should make your website mobile enabled.
How to Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Enabled?
Creating a mobile website is not as difficult as you might think. The approach depends on whether you already have a website for your business or you are starting from scratch.
If You Don’t Have A Website:
If you are creating a new website then I highly recommend creating a responsive website. Responsive web-design is a new approach for creating websites where CSS techniques are used to scale the site automatically to fit the screen resolution of the user. This ensures users can access your website seamlessly from a desktop, tablet or smart phone. It also means there is no need for your business to create and maintain separate versions of your website for each device.
Image Courtesy: Axbom
If You Have a Website That is Not Mobile-Optimised:
Responsive web design is a relatively new concept. If you already have a website, the chances are the design is not responsive. In such cases, creating a separate mobile version of your existing website is a more suitable option. There are several web-based services you can use to create a mobile version of your site.
4. Change Focus from Direct Marketing to Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is the new way of marketing that is much more productive and efficient than traditional direct marketing methods. Inbound marketing is a highly targeted marketing approach that involves acquiring customers by creating exceptional content and information.
It typically involves creating quality content to attract prospects towards your website and then using leveraging website to convert them into leads for your business. It is far more efficient than traditional marketing methods like billboard advertising or even direct mail.
Inbound marketing is also more cost-effective and cheaper than traditional marketing methods. Studies have found that businesses that use inbound methods have a 62% lower cost-per-lead than companies that focus on outbound tactics. (Source: Hubspot).
The 3 main stages of inbound marketing:
- Get Found (Via methods such as content creation, SEO, Internet marketing, Social Media)
- Convert (Via methods such as landing pages, lead capture forms, call to action)
- Measure and Refine (By monitoring your stats closely and taking action where needed)
5. Invest in Content Creation
Content marketing, the process of creating and distributing content, is at the heart of inbound marketing. Publishing content is one of the most effective ways to attract customers and drive traffic to your website. Although it takes time and effort to create quality content, the benefits are well worth the effort.
Businesses that time and resources to implement an ongoing content marketing plan have a much better chance of succeeding in 2013. Having a publishing schedule can be a great help and ensures a consistent approach.
Types of Content You Can Create:
Following are some types of content that you can create as part of your marketing efforts:
- Publish blog posts frequently
- Publish articles on topics relevant to your niche
- Produce White Papers and Reports
- Create EBooks
- Publish Documents and Presentations
- Create EZines
- Start a Newsletter
- Offer Webinars, Tutorials and Email Series
6. Explore Mobile Advertising
Businesses that wish to capitalize on the mobile marketing trend and succeed online in 2013 will need to do much more than simply making sure their website is accessible on smart-phones.
Businesses that prioritise mobile marketing and try out new ways to target this ever-increasing consumer-base are much more likely to succeed online in the coming year.
There are many mobile advertising options that businesses can take advantage of. Here are some of them:
a) Mobile Paid Search Ads:
Mobile Search Ads is an easy way to get your site listed above other sites on search engines. Most search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo offer paid search ads that specifically targets mobile customers.
b) Mobile Advertising Networks:
Mobile advertising networks make it easy for businesses to run and manage mobile ad campaigns on several sites, apps and other channels from a single place. There are many self-service as well as managed mobile advertising networks that your businesses can take advantage of.
c) Location Based Services:
The last couple of years have seen an increase in the popularity of location-based services. Sites like Foursquare and Yelp offer a great way to offer deals to customers based on their location as well as to reward loyal customers.
2013 is a great year to leverage Internet marketing to grow your business and increase your profits. Whether you are starting a new business or are looking for ways to expand your existing online business, the tips above can help you take your online business to the next level.
What About You?
What are your plans for 2013? How does your business plan to expand its online presence and boost its online profits? Please add your response by leaving a comment below.
I am an E-Commerce Consultant from London with over 10 years of experience working and consulting with diverse businesses ranging from reputable multi-national corporations to small businesses.
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