The coronavirus pandemic has revolutionized businesses around the globe. In an era of mask mandates and social distancing, remote work has become the new norm. Companies that have increased their agility and improved their adaptability have emerged more successful than ever. For many businesses, this meant transitioning online.
The success of organizations that have transitioned online has shown how viable online businesses are. It comes as no surprise then that the last couple of years have seen a tenfold increase in online startups.
However, offering a unique product or captivating services is only half the story. If consumers don’t know about the product or service you’re offering in the first place, you won’t attract them. Traction is essential. Successful online startups gain traction for their products and services through one or more of the ways below.
Maintain an online presence
The days of traditional brick-and-mortar businesses are gradually coming to an end. Contemporary organizations must realize that they need to maintain an online presence because that’s where they’ll find potential customers.
Every online business needs a website. It is a principal requirement if you want potential customers to take your business seriously. Think of your website as a resume for your online business. If it’s unresponsive, looks visually dull, or is difficult to navigate, potential customers will click away. A website holds the potential to serve your online business for several years, but don’t settle for a mediocre one. We would also recommend checking out the best web hosting services to reduce the downtime of your website.
Social media is indeed the most powerful tool to gain traction for your online business. The usage of smartphones has increased exponentially over the years. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are among some of the most downloaded apps on the App Store. Ideally, businesses should extend their operations to all three of these platforms.
Instagram has built-in tools to assist online businesses. These include the ability to create an online catalog within the app and track user metrics. The Sill, which sells plants, pots, and plant supplies, is an excellent example of a highly successful online business that has harnessed the power of Instagram to the fullest.
When it comes to maintaining an online presence, consistency is essential. All your social media handles should follow the rule of integrated marketing communications. You should establish a consistent visual theme across all the social media profiles.
Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing
It is unlikely that an online startup will have the resources to invest in a large-scale, multi-faceted marketing campaign. But, don’t underestimate the powerful impact of word-of-mouth marketing. When people like a product or a service, they’ll likely mention it to their friends and family – which means you’ll have more potential customers.
Take Netflix, for example. It has coined the term ‘binge-watch’ and even embraced the suggestive phrase ‘Netflix and chill’ in 2015, both of which are commonly used. As far as Netflix is concerned, this is free marketing.
If you’re offering a product or a service, add some novelty to it to get people talking. Reach out to customers regularly and encourage them to spread the word to their friends and family. You can even create a catchy hashtag to set things into motion. After all, OnePlus’s highly successful customer-driven marketing campaign revolved around the hashtag ‘flagship killer’.
Build your brand
There is more to a brand than just a logo or a label. A brand is how customers perceive a product.
There’s a reason why Apple’s customers are unbelievably loyal – so much so that more than 91% of iPhone users can’t imagine switching to an alternative. Apple’s success lies in the fact that it has created one of the most influential and recognizable brands globally. Its visual and verbal slogans all emphasize the same message: “purchase our products if you want to stand out from the crowd.” Even the packaging has been designed so meticulously that it reflects this message.
It’s ironic how customers rush to purchase the newest iPhone to “stand out” in a world where almost everyone has one. But alas, branding is a powerful tool.
The same goes for online businesses. Create a brand that reflects the values you believe in, and tailor your product or service to align with it.
Reach out to influencers
If you want to give your online business a boost, consider collaborating with popular social media influencers. If you’re a lesser-known startup, you may have difficulty reaching out to the most popular influencers. However, the smaller ones will be more than willing to work with you. It’s a win-win situation: the influencer receives your product or service for free, and you get access to their followers.
Most people follow an influencer because they enjoy their content. It usually also means that they agree with the influencer’s opinions and trust what they say. If an influencer promotes your product/service, their followers will likely follow suit and become customers.
Supplement your business with original content
Moment, an online business specializing in camera gear, has a YouTube channel that features photographers and filmmakers out and about on their adventures – using Moment’s products. With nearly 500,000 subscribers, this channel is racking up serious numbers whenever a new video goes up. It is a remarkably impressive marketing strategy. Not only is Moment earning YouTube revenue each month, but it is also enticing curious consumers towards its products.
If you’re running an online business, consider creating original content of some sort. It can be a YouTube channel, a podcast, a newsletter, or a blog. Ali Abdaal, a popular YouTuber, has done just that: his free YouTube content and blog are a gateway to his paid online Skillshare courses.
Consider running a giveaway
Nothing creates hype like a good old-fashioned giveaway. A giveaway is one of the most primitive forms of marketing, but it’s still widely used today. The idea is simple: get traffic to your website and social media accounts by having people interact with them and add entrants to a pool.
Giveaways are an excellent way of increasing your reach. People love free things, which means they usually don’t hesitate to participate in a giveaway. Even if they don’t win the giveaway, they may still end up looking up your business – and potentially become customers.
Online businesses are the future in the post-coronavirus era. In the digital age, gone are the days of conventional billboard and print marketing. Successful online businesses realize the importance of skillfully curated social media accounts and captivating websites. They also know that customer loyalty depends on their branding.
Suppose you’re running an online business or an online startup. In that case, this guide will surely give your business the traction it needs.