Sixty-one percent of Internet users across the globe research products and services online before purchasing anything, according to an Ipsos study published in April 2012. Whether you sell gourmet coffee or offer website building services, the business will only be as successful as its Internet presence. Having a website, along with Facebook and Twitter accounts, are good starts. But if you want your business to stand out among the competition, it will take a little extra effort on your part.
Snail Mail Still Works
While the world has gone almost entirely digital when it comes to business, one thing that hasn’t changed is direct mail marketing. “Snail mail” marketing gets a 4.4 percent response rate from potential leads, compared to only a .12 percent rate from email campaigns, according to the Direct Marketing Association. The U.S. Postal Service offers bulk mail discounts that can fit the budget of just about any business. You can use contact information customers have already given you, or purchase relevant mailing lists from any number of businesses. Mailing should be short and to the point. Find a service that does business card printing and include those, along with some sort of incentive for customers who respond to the mailing.
Guest Blog Posts
Let’s say you sell wedding accessories online. When you search “wedding accessories” in Google, Bing or Yahoo, what comes up? The blogs that pop up first should be the target for you to offer a guest post. Most high-ranking blogs offer readers a way to contribute. Offer your point of view and expertise on an issue related to the blog and your business. Include links to your social media sites and link back to your own blog in the article you contribute. The exposure this will bring to your business is priceless.
Commenting In Forums
Most major news sites and large blogs allow commenters to include a link back to their websites. When news breaks that is relevant to your industry, offer your take in the forums. Any responses left in forums should be professional in nature and in no way personal. You will be representing your business and introducing yourself to an entirely new audience. The more information you offer, the more compelled readers will be to get further information about you by clicking through to your website.
Mobile Web Compatibility
Businesses that have had websites active for more than a decade are ahead of the game in many ways. But the platform you use may now be obsolete when it comes to displaying on mobile devices. Despite being geared for mobile use, 95 percent of tablet shoppers and 72 percent of smartphone shoppers make purchases at home on their mobile device, in lieu of using a desktop or laptop computer, according to Nielsen. You can always create a separate, simple .mobi website that customers can easily use to find your location, contact information and other pertinent information about your business. There are also several services online which you can easily make your regular website mobile compatible.