When small businesses make the decision to grow larger via the Internet, they enter a new playing field with its own set of unique challenges. Most small businesses fail in establishing themselves online, largely because they cannot overcome common marketing challenges presented by World Wide Web.
Being in the fields of web design, content creation and inbound marketing, our team at Bluleadz knows these challenges well. In this blog, we've pinpointed the 5 biggest challenges small businesses face when they take their business online.
1. Building a QUALITY Website
This is an obvious place to start - when a business decides to go online, the first challenge they have is building the best website they can. Most small businesses start looking for professional web designers, who can make sites that both look pleasing aesthetically and navigate properly. These are very important things to look for in a website, but they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to quality website design.
The best web designers build websites that not only look great and function flawlessly, but are also designed to perform well for business - i.e. gaining clients and making money.
2. Creating Valuable Content
Once a small business has a website, the challenge then becomes generating valuable content, which will attract visitors that are interested in (and searching for) your products and services. Creating content that is valuable to your niche is a challenge, because it takes specific skills - mostly high quality writing, but also video, design, speaking and etc. It takes a great deal of time and expertise to create high quality content, and not all small business owners have enough time or skills to invest in doing so.
Overcoming this challenge usually involves hiring professionals to create content for you. In fact, one of the biggest components of an inbound marketing agency's work is creating content for clients.
3. Growing an Audience via Social Media
Once you overcome the content creation challenge and start publishing material that people in your niche value, the challenge becomes promoting that content. One of the best ways to do this is through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube. The goal of social media fo business is to grow a large audience that is relevant to your niche and industry, and hook this audience's attention.
This involves lots of time posting, responding and monitoring influencers in your industry, across all of the social media platforms. It's time intensive - as we've pointed out already, that time is not a commodity for most small business owners. Managing social media accounts and campaigns is another major component of our business. Social media is an core aspect of how companies gain the attention of their leads - i.e. their future customers.
4. Generating New Leads
Every small business needs a system of generating leads. Consumers almost never make a purchase the first time they go onto a website - you need an opportunity to communicate with them a second time (usually, it's more like seven times). To do this, you need to capture some sort of contact information from them (such as an email address), which can kick off a relationship with them. You can generate leads in a number of ways, but one of the most prevalent is by giving away free content (e-books, reports, videos, etc.) in exchange for an email address or phone number.
Once you have a lead, you have someone to communicate with and show your value to. If you do a good job in both of these aspects, this lead will soon become your customer and invest in your products and services.
5. Converting Leads into Sales
This is the very last step in the sales process, and is so because it's such a challenge for small businesses online. Online business - actual business where sales are made - requires a great deal of credibility, trust and respect. In order to close the deal in the online marketplace, most small businesses have to overcome the challenge of getting their leads to look up to them as authorities in their niche. Businesses who are able to pull this off do so through an array of Internet marketing, inbound marketing, promotions, networking and educating. Education is what most people in your niche are seeking when they go online.
They're not looking to be sold to and they're not looking for products or services - they're looking to learn. If people in your niche consistently believe they are learning from you, they will eventually look up to you as an authority within your industry, trust you and value your business enough to invest money in your products and services. Determine your business's SMART marketing goals by downloading the FREE kit below.