Now more than ever, it’s vital for small businesses to have an online presence. With many consumers still staying home due to the pandemic, now is a better time than ever to reach people where they are as they pass time in quarantine: the web.
Not sure where to begin? In this article, we are happy to offer some practical tips to get you started:
Building Your Brand
Right now, customers may not have the opportunity to come see your brick-and-mortar store for themselves. Fortunately, a website and clear online brand can help you capture—and keep—their attention. Searching online is how 93% of consumers find local businesses to frequent.
Central to an online presence is your website. Even if you’re using social media, it’s not a substitute for a dedicated website where consumers can easily find you. Your website allows you to tell your story and get consumers invested in your company. Being honest about your business and values can build trust and loyalty because consumers crave authenticity from businesses.
By leveraging your website and social media to build a community, you can turn customers into brand ambassadors. Word-of-mouth is a huge trend in social media marketing, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money on expensive influencers because 61% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know more than influencers.
Reviews & Reputation
Not only is your brand important, so is a positive reputation with customers. Whether it’s a testimonial about the service you offer or a review of one of your best products, these little blurbs can help you build your reputation. When choosing a local business to frequent, 87% of customers read online reviews in 2020, which is a 6% increase from 2019.
It’s not just the consumer feedback that’s important, however; it’s also how you respond. 96% of consumers report that they read businesses’ responses to reviews, but 70% state that they don’t like to see generic responses that are the same on every review. When responding to reviews, read the feedback carefully and personalize a response accordingly.
Level the Playing Field
For small businesses, going head-to-head with larger competitors can be intimidating. In terms of physical presence, the larger company will always have more resources and it can be difficult to match. However, in a digital space, small companies are on more even footing. Digital marketing allows small businesses to use the same strategies that huge corporations use and compete on a level playing field.
With the rise of the digital market comes a lot of tools that make it simple to build a website that looks polished and professional, even if you’re not a web design expert. Take some time to look up similar business websites and focus on a clean, mobile-friendly design.

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