10 Reasons To Bring Your Business Online

At this point, it's no secret that bringing your existing or new business online has major benefits.

Blog Author ImageCalum McEneaney

October 17, 2020

What we'll cover:

Whether going online means creating a clear, concise social media page, or developing a functional website to sell or showcase your products, it's essential for small businesses (both new and old) to get started on their online presence as early as possible.

Here at Input Media, we help start-ups, small businesses and enterprises to make more money, get more traffic and increase awareness online.

Below is a list of key benefits that going online can bring to your business:

It improves your business' image.

Businesses with a functional, modern website coupled with a social media presence are much more credible in the eyes of the customer.

Let's say you're selling freshly squeezed orange juice in a grocery store. You're lined up against fierce orange juice competitors that can sometimes span the whole aisle, right?

Which brand do you think a customer is most inclined to purchase?

  • Your juice brand - Relatively well-known by locals, but otherwise isn't well-represented on a bigger scale; or
  • Your competitor's brand - Booming online presence and targets and engages their audience consistently every day or week using online ads, email campaigns or any other relevant online marketing techniques.

Of course, in that limited time frame where customers consider their options while shopping, they're more likely to pick the brand that's established both offline and online, especially if they've seen that exact product on an online ad recently.

Low (and sometimes zero) start-up costs.

Creating a social media account like Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook is free, and is a great (if not essential) way to start growing your online awareness. With the right consistent appearance and relevant brand information on your social media pages, that can sometimes be enough on its own to boost your sales over a short time.

Hiring a web developer or even creating a website on your own is a little more pricey, but in general there are options at your disposal for any given budget, no matter how much or how little cash you've got to start off.

Work from anywhere, even on the train.

One of the biggest benefits you'll get from bringing your business online is the fact that once you're set up, you won't even need to be at the office or in your store to make money. With an e-commerce store (an online site where you sell your products or services) you can reach both existing customers and potential new ones easily, even from your phone.

You can market your business in almost infinite new ways.

Print, radio and physical advertising are all effective in creating a local awareness or buzz around your business, but they're limited and also pretty hard to scale efficiently - you may be able to get an ad in the local paper, but is it feasible to get an ad in every local paper when you want to expand outwards? Not really.

Online marketing brings a whole new dimension to showcasing your business and gathering brand awareness. Not only can you attract more customers with engaging content and relevant advertisements, but you can even track which marketing techniques are working best for you, and avoid paying for less optimised ones that aren't helping your business grow.

It allows for exponential growth, bringing new potential customers.

It can be hard for small businesses to grow when they only have referrals or local advertisements at their disposal. On the contrary, having a memorable, engaging online presence will draw customers in from places or interest-types that you didn't even consider previously, and that's before running targeted ad campaigns or any of that other fancy stuff to attract customers.

Websites and social media platforms are a super cost-friendly way to reach thousands (or tens of thousands) of new people. Once your online image is established and credible, you'll have opened your business up to unlimited new possibilities for growth, such as Lookalike Audiences, Targeted Advertising and so on.

We'll be posting more tips on the growth methods mentioned above in the near future, so stay tuned.

It offers new, interesting ways to interact with customers.

Social media makes your brand seem much more 'human', and allows you to interact with and engage customers, new and existing, in a variety of new ways.

As an example, let's say you own a weight-loss gym in your local town. Usually to attract more customers, you'll hand flyers around nearby shops or buy an advert in the local paper. While that might work for bringing in a few new clients every month or so, it might not be the ideal way to engage your potential audience. With a social media account, you can speak to your local audience and beyond by using relevant, interesting posts or tailored special deals on some of your weight-loss programs.

An example of an engaging post to help interact with your customers would be to upload a poll and let your audience vote on things like 'Which exercises do you find most difficult?' or whatever other questions you have that are both relevant and informative. It's a lot easier nowadays to ask the right questions to the right people in your target audience, and being there for your customers when they want to interact is key to growing your business quickly and organically.

You can analyse customer data to make more informed decisions.

Once you've made a few sales online, got a bunch of website visits, or gathered a comfortable social following, the control you have over your brand just keeps increasing.

With tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Analytics, you can gain a vast amount of knowledge on your new online audience. You can easily get answers for questions like 'Which country are most of my sales coming from?' or 'What's the peak time for visitors on my website?'. With this new database of relevant, interesting information, you can make wiser marketing decisions and effectively hone-in on your target audience, a process which you can repeat over and over until you have a refined image of who it is you're really selling to.

Customer relations are easier to manage and stay on top of.

Using services like Facebook Messenger or on-site messaging for your website, you can talk to your customers and address any requests or concerns they may have, in a matter of minutes from the moment they hit send. Fast, relevant responses make customers happy, and replying via your website, email or social media is a great way to build a strong field of trust between you and your customers.

Everybody likes good customer service, and it's easily achievable once you're online and have an efficient messaging system.

Adds new opportunities for social proof.

Social proof is something humans seem to flock towards all the time. When you see a restaurant with a huge line waiting outside, it creates a sense of trustworthiness, popularity or reputation, doesn't it? This is what social proof is, and having relevant reviews or testimonials on your site can create the same effect for visiting customers.

People trust brands when they see other people doing the same, and having business credentials or relevant endorsements on your site, or a consistent flow of social media shares on your posts, are all ways of increasing your social proof and making your business look more credible, more professional and more experienced.

You can be (pretty much) open 24/7.

With automated services like ManyChat for Facebook (Automatic message replies), your opening hours need not be a limiting factor on your revenue.

Having an easy way to reach out to customers and reply to people around the clock can bring a strong sense of community and care to your brand, and will definitely be something people bring up when they're talking about you (at least when customer service is brought up).

Click here and let us know how our team can help your business, whether that means getting you online or updating a previous, dated website that's been slowing you down.

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