7 Digital Resources To Get Your Small Business Visible Online
If it feels impossible to be everywhere at once, and everything to everyone – it’s because it is. Your time is a valuable commodity that needs to be assigned accordingly, which is why reliable digital resources can be incredibly invaluable and transformative on your business if wielded correctly. Here we have rounded up the top 7 digital strategies and resources so you don’t have to research them yourself and can select and implement what is going to drive the greatest impact for your small business.
1. SEO marketing
Each of us operating a business knows the power of SEO marketing services, with SEO ultimately opening the door to a whole channel of customers that didn’t know you were an option to them. A good SEO agency will audit and improve your existing customer journey, with your products and offering no longer going unseen by your ideal audience. Your SEO marketing scope will depend on the shape your business is already in and the keywords you are trying to rank for, so be sure to speak to a couple of SEO agencies and be transparent about your expectations and the budget available to you.
2. Social media planning and scheduling
Small businesses can’t always post to social media on a whim or when a compelling event unfolds. There needs to be some planning and scheduling so that you can keep up a consistent presence and message, and not miss opportunities to honour and leverage seasons or topical events. It also allows you achieve a visual identity, so that when your customers land on your pages they are struck with your values and persona – not just a collection of random images and words. Some of the more notable social media scheduling platforms would be Later, HootSuite and Loomly. So maybe start here first.
3. Graphic design
Having a graphic designer on your payroll is always a benefit, but it’s not a reality for most small businesses. This is where digital resources like Canva, PicMonkey and A Beautiful Mess actually allow you to design your own creative assets to use in flyers, on social media, through email marketing and even give your contracts and paperwork a much-needed flourish. If you’re apprehensive to get creative, know that these platforms require no prior skill and are template-based so that you can jump in and have a finished asset in no time at all.
4. Email marketing
An automated email marketing platform might just be your greatest tool to engage and retain your customers, and it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think so don’t expect to reinvent the wheel to communicate with your customers. Platforms like MailChimp have been made famous by how easy it is to use, fully customisable and with enough control that you can design campaigns that are targeted and play into a wider marketing strategy. Take advantage of MailChimp’s easy-to-use platform and start seeing conversions from your newsletters.
5. Workflow apps and task management
Digital resources aren’t only confined to creative and marketing tools, they can also enhance your operations and how effectively your small business works. It’s also a fantastic way to gain clarity on where a project is at, and where the small business bottlenecks appear to be occurring. You don’t need to have a large employee count to get the best of these digital tools either, it will simply reduce the cost and make the capabilities a lot more targeted to your actual needs. Slack, Monday, Trello and many more dominate this space – so do a trial of a couple before you land on the one that works best for you.
Customer relationships are the currency of any small business, but that doesn’t mean it gets the attention it deserves. CRM is often overlooked as business owners are putting out fires in the present, which costs them revenue in the future. These CRM tools can track your customer history, personal information from your customers and retention methods that either prompt you or automate the communication altogether. If you have a huge number of contact information and haven’t got around to doing anything with it – now is the time.
7. Phone and video conferencing
Given the turn 2020 has taken and the future of remote working, it’s important to have the best tech available to facilitate your phone and video conferencing. If you master this, you might even be able to set your small business up entirely remotely, reducing your physical overheads in favour of virtual growth. Microsoft Teams are the ones leading the charge in this area, ultimately because it is a free feature to Outlook users and enables teams to take advantage of a full suite of tools like video conferencing, file sharing and online chat. If you’re wondering how this aids your visibility, then look at it through the lens of cutting down your administration and team management, and instead assigning those hours to some of the tools listed above or anything that gives you business an opportunity to be seen.
If you have experienced choice paralysis and wondered what tools are available to get you seen and engaging with your customers – here they are! And the best part is that many of them are free or available at a relatively reasonable price. It’s best that you don’t try and roll out all 7 at once, as your small team might need a minute to get their head around (let alone see value from) one before mastering the next.