When the pandemic hit, nearly every aspect of our lives was turned upside down. To begin with, many of us were unable to leave the house for weeks, locking ourselves away from the world we knew. But as the world continued to turn, so did our digital sphere which proved to be more valuable than we could have ever imagined.
The need to stay connected to our jobs eased as some businesses shifted to a remote working environment. This meant that employees could continue to work remotely while some businesses adjusted their marketing strategies to include more digital touch points.
There were several major shifts that took place as a result of the pandemic. First and foremost, there was a massive shift in consumer behavior. Where once we would have turned to traditional means of marketing to generate sales, we are now able to utilize digital marketing to gain customer engagement and eventually purchase behavior.
Along with the changes in consumer behavior came new customer expectations. In today’s world, customers expect to gain access to businesses online. This is known as the digital customer, and they possess different behavioral patterns than traditional customers. Because of this, businesses must change their marketing strategies to be effective in a digital world.
Why Home-based Marketing Works For Small Businesses
If you’re reading this, I assume that you’re either (a) a small business owner or (b) a marketer who works remotely for a small business.
If it’s (a), congratulations! You’re in the right place. You can learn a lot from this article. If it’s (b), let’s dive in.
The primary reason that marketing from home is attractive to small businesses is because they don’t have a lot of money to spend on traditional advertising. In a time of quarantine, people are unlikely to be searching for vacations or dining out experiences. This means that there’s plenty of room for you to make your presence known.
As a business owner, your job is to provide your customers with value, and in today’s world, that’s likely to be done online. When someone is searching for a business like yours, what do you want them to see? Pretty pink websites with fluffy kittens? Stunning staff enjoying coffee together?
Of course not. If you want to stand out among your competitors, you need to offer your visitors something unique and valuable. That something could be pricing, which is often a concern for small businesses. This is why many marketers choose to operate from home. You’re not bound by traditional advertising constraints and you can experiment with different pricing models.
Another advantage of operating from home is that you can provide your customers with a much better experience than you could when working from an office environment. People have a bad habit of being critical of businesses they’re unfamiliar with, so your challenge is to ensure that your customers feel confident enough in your company to provide critical feedback as a part of your onboarding process.
Last but not least, marketing from home allows you to spend time with your family. If you’re a parent, you know how important it can be to have time for your children. While some businesses won’t hesitate to exploit this fact, you can choose to have more family-friendly policies where possible.
This isn’t to say that you should banish all work from home. If your work-from-home approach causes you to work more efficiently, who cares? In fact, there’s a case to be made that working from home can actually increase productivity.
The key is to find a way to work remotely that makes you feel productive and happy. If this sounds like something that would be valuable to your business, continue reading.
How to Market Your Business Online
So you’ve decided to put your money where your mouth is and you’re planning to market your business online. Fantastic! But where do you start? How do you go about generating leads and driving sales?
For newbies, simply providing quality content wherever you can is a surefire way to gain credibility with potential customers.
Why? Because content is valuable. People enjoy consuming content, especially when it’s valuable to them. When you provide value, you stand a chance of connecting with your customers on a personal level, which in turn, makes them more receptive to your marketing message.
The content doesn’t necessarily have to be sophisticated. In fact, when so much content is competing for attention, being straightforward is often the best way to go. The simpler the better. Think of the Netflix documentary, ‘How to make money online.’ With no frills and little else, the documen
t provides an easily accessible introduction to online marketing and gives newbies a good enough reason to keep reading. As an online marketer for a living, I can tell you that this kind of content is extremely valuable.
If you don’t have the time to produce high-quality content on a regular basis, no one is going to blame you. But if you’re struggling to get leads and sales, producing an informative piece about your industry could be the answer you’re looking for.
There are several different methods to market your business online. You could start by creating an Instagram account for your business. If you don’t have the time to consistently post on Instagram, you could always hire someone to do it for you. But regardless, establishing a social media account is a good way to gain credibility with potential customers. They may not all be on social media, but many are.
You could also launch a blog for your business. As I mentioned before, quality content is valuable, and so is a business that publishes high-quality content regularly. A blog can be a great place to post frequently and consistently. Not only will this make your business seem more legitimate, but it will also provide you with the opportunity to show off your expertise in your industry. These types of blogs can be extremely valuable in providing information to your target audience.
How To Establish Credibility
If you’ve decided to put your money where your mouth is and you’re looking to establish credibility with potential customers, you could consider the following to gain more social media followers and make the transition to an online marketing life a smooth one:
- Use your personal Instagram account to advertise your business.
- Post regularly and use key phrases in the captions to attract the right audience.
- Use the #influencerstatus symbol when you post to increase the odds of your post being liked by a famous person.
- If possible, create videos to accompany your blog posts. Not only will this make it easier for your visitors to understand and remember what you’re saying, but it will also provide you with more opportunities to use your camera to its full potential.
- Take advantage of affiliate programs. In return for someone clicking a product or service within your blog post and making a purchase, you’ll earn a commission.
- Join organizations such as the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the American Advertising Federation, the American Advertising Women and the Institute of Advertising Agencies to learn from industry experts.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things. While it may not always be possible, staying consistent with what you know will only get you so far. Experimentation is essential in order to discover what works best for your business.
- Build a reputation for yourself. Just because you’re new doesn’t mean you have to play it safe. If you want to gain trust from potential customers, you need to be willing to take some risks. Experiment with different pricing structures and see what happens. If something doesn’t work out, at least you’ll have learned something new.
If none of the above seem like a good fit, you could always use a tool like Influencer Marketing Platform to gain credibility with potential customers. Influencer Marketing Platform offers multiple ways for businesses to connect with famous people, including:
- Instagram influencer campaigns,
- Twitter influencer campaigns,
- Video creators, journalists, bloggers, and more!
With the right influencers on your side, you can rest assured that you’re reaching your target audience, but you can also experiment with different pricing structures and see what happens. In a time when everyone is struggling to gain credibility, having some famous faces promoting your product or service can be the key to gaining trust, and eventually, sales.
Once you’ve established yourself as an expert in your industry, you can take the time to delve into more sophisticated methods of marketing. Email marketing, for instance, allows you to keep in touch with your customers and see which ones are most likely to be interested in your product or service. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there, and with the right influencers, you can access it.