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Why Your Small Business Needs an Online Presence in 2018

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of an online presence, especially with in-person services or a brick and mortar store.

You may think you’re doing just fine with word-of-mouth referrals or prime real estate. While these are both crucial factors in a successful business, you could be missing out on some big opportunities to expand your revenue.

From salon/spa and restaurant owners to personal trainers, clothing boutiques and everything in between, an industry-leading online presence can benefit your business in so many ways.

The following is a list of reasons why you should invest in an online representation of your brand and the contributing factors that will make or break your ‘online presence.’

A website is a 24-hour showroom of your products or services.

You may have restricted business hours; understandably, no one wants to work around the clock. But, a website will. Think of it as a 24-hour showroom for your products or services, allowing you to generate leads even after hours.  Investing in a well-designed website that accurately reflects your business, regardless of if you’re actually selling online, will help direct clientele to you.

Today’s Consumers do their research.

Studies show that 81% of today’s consumers do research before they make a purchase. And no, they’re not driving to every potential dinner spot to see the menu and experience the ambiance first hand before making a decision. They’re researching online, looking at reviews, trying to find the closest option that fits their occasion, budget and what they’re in the mood for.

It’s the same for products. If I need a dress for a special occasion coming up soon and I know of a boutique in far North Scottsdale that’s been recommended to me, but it’s over a 20-minute drive, I’m likely to check the regularly-updated Instagram for their latest stock to see if something peaks my interest. After all, I’d like to avoid driving all the way out and not finding anything I like.

This goes for just about anything! Wanting to research top hair salons before I get highlights done, finding the best-ranked plastic surgeon online to view his or her work, and researching to find a personal trainer that’s best suited to my needs.   

It’s easier to improve your business’s performance with analytics that show you exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are.  

In digital marketing, analytics are the lifeblood of what we do. They’re how we determine what procedures and techniques are effective and what needs to be tweaked or re-strategized. Analytics are the ‘why’ in why we do what we do. They allow us to outline your target market with exact percentages and buyer stats to better customize a sales strategy. Knowing the rate-of-conversion of each campaign or the click-through rate of each category of product or service you offer will help a business to pinpoint what resonates with their target demographic, what kind of content they like/dislike and how best to nurture their leads into conversions. You can’t get this kind of actualized information in person.

  1. Social media allows you to provide outstanding customer service remotely.

Social is a way to delight your consumer base on a daily basis. Think of it as providing outstanding customer service and conditioning them to make a purchase, while they’re away from your establishment. Why is this important? It increases the chances of them coming back and better yet, becoming fans and promoters of your brand.

Creating shareable content relevant to your industry is another hugely beneficial way to promote your brand and receive free advertising. If you’re in the fitness space and you share the quote, “Instructors who say ‘one more’ are the reason I have trust issues” and your buyer personas relate to this and then share it with their like-minded following, which then reshare your content again, it creates what we call a viral loop of conversions. People promote your business unknowingly, simply because they enjoy your content.

Facebook ads are also an incredibly effective way to reach new clientele. With strategic targeting you can place exactly what a consumer is looking to buy right in front of their nose – AKA on their Facebook newsfeed. While signage can be hit or miss, only a small percentage passing by may notice or act on your sign, Facebook ads work in a way that is personalized to each buyer. Say our marketing agency has a client in the supplement industry, for example. We create an ad and customize its audience to “newly single males.” We then design a visually engaging quote that says “Breakups Make Bodybuilders” with the supplement brand logo subtly placed underneath. The viewer may take this as a “sign” to get into fitness as a way to cope with his breakup. When strategized well, the conversion rate behind these ads performs high. We hope you can now see why these components of an online presence are worthwhile to your brand. The truth is, the time your business spends offline is revenue lost to your competitors who are present online.  You can view Avintiv Media’s digital portfolio and contact us for a consultation on our website here.

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