Get Ready to Migrate Your Business to Online
Having an online presence feels more important than ever before, as businesses from yoga studios to restaurants move their trade online to survive the global crisis. While the switch to an online business takes some big decisions and strategic planning, in this article we’ll go through some simple tips you can follow to support your move to online selling.
As an online design tool, we’ve helped thousands of companies establish their online presence through branding and social media marketing content. In this post, we’ll be sharing quick tips on how to get your brand seen and heard online during this time. So without further ado, let’s dig into how you can switch your business to online and give it an effective online presence.
Develop a Business Plan
So, what’s the plan? It’s all going to come down to what kind of business you have, it might look totally different if you’re running a clothing boutique, than if you’re running a restaurant. Think of this first before you start your online strategies, but always remember that an online presence provides you with tons of different possibilities. If you want to go more in-depth with starting your own online store, this post by Tuts+ is a great place to start.
5 Tips for Promoting Your Online Business
We are talking about setting your website online, your product images, your catalog, your shopping cart, and more. To start a proper migration make an audit of all your content! Yes, this is indeed a long process. So if you haven’t this is the perfect time to review all your content.
This time is all about creativity, maybe you don’t have time to put your whole stock online, or maybe you offer a service. Here are five strategies that businesses all over the world are taking advantage of their social channels to keep in touch with their customers:
1. Make Sure You Have an Online Presence
If you are not online at all, start by making your local Google My Business, creating a website, getting on social media and basically cover all the main online platforms where your audience will look for you. A recent blogging industry study by FirstSiteGuide shows that for 66% of bloggers, the first promotional option is social media.
2. Put Your Inventory Online
Upload product pictures that are clean and clear and highlight your products, this way your online customers can see everything your brand has to offer without going to your physical store.
3. Create Social Events Online
Arrange concerts, meetings, webinars, live sessions to reunite with your customers somewhere digital. The idea is to keep your brand present while staying safely indoors. Many brands are going live on Instagram or keeping up with their Instagram stories because we’re all looking for connections these days, even if it’s through a screen.
4. Offer a Year-Long Code or Gift Card
If closing is inevitable, a great way to get some cash flowing is to offer your clients the option to get a gift card with special value (i.e. a $25 dollar card with $30 dollar value), to use when the contingency is over. This is a great option for businesses that offer services, for example, beauty salons or restaurants.
5. Adapt Services to the Current Situation
Restaurants that haven’t closed down are taking online payments to minimize cash exchange and delivering (or have a pick-up option) pre-made kits like breakfast or dinner boxes. Also, with so many people at home, some places have started selling make-at-home kits like this one from Crumbs and Doilies, a bakery in London.
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We’ve never felt so much love and support from our Cake Fam as we have at this time! 🥰 The incredibly talented and resourceful Crumbs Team have pulled together to bring you this little baking bundle of joy. We know how troublesome it is to find flour and sugar etc to bake with right now but with these kits all you need is a couple of eggs, oil and a little butter and you’ll have a sweet treat in no time! Of course this doesn’t detract from the current situation but hopefully baking can relieve a little stress from being cooped up inside! Use code CUPCAKE10 to get 10% off of this and everything on @cupcakejemma website right now. We DO ship worldwide. Link in our bio 🙌🏽❤️🧁 #cupcakejemma #baking #cupcakes #crumbsanddoilies
Advertise your products or services to your customer’s doors. Whether you are using a delivery app or investing in your own delivery system, let them know they don’t need to leave their houses to enjoy your products. This article by Think with Google can give you some great ideas on how to assist your customers and communicate that you’re still available.
6. Make Sure You Optimize for Mobile
This applies to any online channel your business has. Whether your online presence as a Facebook page or you already have a website, you should optimize, and update your brand online. Where to start?
- Upload new product images
- Use focused keywords so people can find your more easily online
- Link online to specific products you want to promote, think seasonal products, or products you’ve been meaning to move.
7. Repurpose Content to Publish That Has Worked Before
If you have content that has worked in the past, like short informative videos, a photoshoot you particularly liked, or if you have a blog post that had a lot of traffic consider updating it and sharing it on social again. Right at this moment, people are using social media way more than usual.
“According to Facebook, usage of the app is through the roof. While advertising is down across platform, people are using social media who may be looking for a distraction. Republishing previously successful content in a fresh way could help to engage them.” – The Verge
What If I Already Have an Online Store?
If you’ve already put your business online the important thing to understand is that there will probably be different customer behavior than what you’re used to. Keep an eye on your metrics like traffic, conversions, clicks, etc.
“Social distancing has resulted in wild click behavior swings across sectors including grocers, productivity tools, restaurants, and hotels. TLDR marketing” – TL;DR Marketing
Be There for Your Customers
We all need a little more attention than usual these days. You can use many customer support channels like social media messages, text messages apps, and phone calls to your advantage. Choose a channel that really makes it easy for you to be there for your customers.
If you’ve already caught their attention, and they reach out to you with questions, concerns or trouble, this is a great moment to be extra careful in how you handle the situation. Make sure you’re offering solutions to their questions and that you’re as efficient as possible. If you’re having trouble with a specific part of your business, for example, shipping companies deciding to shut down, for the time being, make sure you have a plan in place and communicate it to your customers so they know what to expect.
We Are All in This Together
Building a successful business is much more than just selling a good or providing a service. Successful businesses usually have a community around them and this is a great time to rely on it. It could be your entrepreneur community, your neighborhood businesses, or even your clients. Reach out to them and let them know of your status, you’ll probably get much more help than you’ve expected.
Some Final Thoughts
We understand that these are hard times for many and that times seem uncertain, so take care of yourself and your team. The WHO released an article on mental health considerations which you might find helpful. You can always take a look at it if you are feeling uneasy. And as always, stay safe!