Local business, international customers: Taking your business online

A lot of small businesses based in different parts of the country are starting to take advantage of the internet and internet marketing to reach more customers. It is an opportunity that must not be wasted, especially now that there are thousands of potential customers searching for the products and services your business is offering every day.

Turning a local business into an online one and catering to more customers from around the world is not as difficult as you think. You just need to complete these three steps to get started.

Set up your online presence

We’ve talked about how to find the best office space for your business. Setting up an online presence is very similar to setting up an office or a retail store. You start by securing a domain name and social media handles that best represent your brand. You can usually do this for a relatively small fee (domain name) or for free (social media IDs).

A domain name is the anchor to all of your online activities. This is where potential customers will find your products and services, information about your business and various other resources that they will find valuable. Social media accounts, on the other hand, are your way of connecting with the audience and potential customers directly.

Fill them with content

Next, you need to start filling your online presence with valuable content. This is similar to adding furniture or a good interior design to the store you set up a few years ago. You want to start by having a good, functional website. Unless you really know what you’re doing, it is best to have a team of professionals assisting you in the process.

The site can be used to display product catalogues and take orders. You also want a blog section where you can share stories, information, tips and tricks as well as other types of content to your audience. Having a blog section with good content is a great way to attract visitors to your site; they will appreciate the information you share, even when they don’t need your products right away.

Lastly, share the content you’ve added to the site through social media. Ignite conversations, respond to questions and connect with industry leaders on Facebook and Twitter. You can also attract followers with behind-the-scenes stories and exclusive offers.

Promote and be known

Always make sure you add your online entities to business cards and other promotional materials. This is the fastest way to garner interest on your new online presence. You can also combine online promotions with offline activities to expand your reach even further.

There are some interesting internet marketing strategies to use too. You can, for instance, optimise your site for search engine purposes. The more you appear in search results, the more traffic you will get from Google and other popular search engines.

At this point, you will have orders coming from different parts of the country; you may even have international customers ordering your products and services. Just make sure you can keep up with the growth and the number of new orders!