Online shopping has become an important part of our life. Never before has the dependence on online businesses been as high as it’s now, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result, an increasing number of businesses are now shifting their operations online. Therefore, any online business owner can expect greater competition, whether it’s for Business-to-Business (B2B) customers of Business-to-Consumer (B2C) sales.
In such a scenario it’s necessary for businesses to have effective strategies to expand. Therefore, this article will discuss seven effective strategies to grow your online business in 2021 and beyond.
Build Your Brand
The most important part of an online business is building your brand. To do so, you will have to define your business’s niche. This can be the toughest task because your niche should ideally not have very few customers, unless you’re selling exclusive or expensive items. At the same time, creating a niche that’s very common means you’ll be pitted against countless competitors in the same field, from small startups to large corporations.
Therefore, give some thought to the niche and build a brand around it. Brand-building is very important as customers need something to identify with. If you provide them a superb brand image, they are likely to become loyal customers. Also, it helps to focus your online marketing strategies on developing that brand.
Know Your Customer
You should be very clear about who will form the bulk of your customer base. This includes considering the demographics of the locations you wish to cater to, and their purchasing power.
Also consider other factors such as buying and spending patterns, likes and dislikes, as well as festive seasons when people like to buy. This also holds true for B2B businesses since there are certain times during which their goods are in higher demand. A business succeeds when people love its products or service offerings.
Unless you know where your customers would come from and their basic profiles, it would be challenging to make business decisions. Therefore, if you’re planning on starting an online business, it’s crucial to know your customers.
Focus on Content Marketing
Content marketing can drive a lot of traffic to your online business. Over 90 percent of customers now read online content, especially blogs and reviews, before making the final decision to buy a good or service.
One marketing idea is to create a business blog. You can generate a lot of traffic from a business blog as consumers often trust blog posts more than company websites or conventional ads. A good blog with interesting, engaging, and relevant content can therefore help you to expand your business.
A blog also helps you to interact with possible leads. That’s because people that are interested in your brand’s products and services will post comments on your blog. Responding to them individually helps to develop a sense of loyalty towards your brand.
Furthermore, a good blog also keeps people interested and allows you to build a superb email list. People will sign up to your email list when they know that your blog provides high-quality content that is relevant to their lives.
It’s a myth that email marketing is outdated or redundant. Customers wish to remain in touch with a brand that matters to their lives. And in 2021, when many people are experiencing isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, reading emails is a great pastime too.
You can leverage this higher interest in emails to generate leads and gain customers. For example, if you find a potential lead on your blog, send them an email offering free samples or discounts to influence their purchasing decisions in favor of your online business.
Email marketing also features as a part of content marketing. For people to read your emails and act upon them, you need to provide interesting, relevant and actionable content.
Leverage the Power of Social Media
Facebook has 2.6 billion users worldwide while Twitter has over 320 million. Instagram and TikTok are also well-known and widely-used platforms, as well as LinkedIn, the networking site for professionals.
An increasing number of businesses are active on various social media platforms. That’s because it’s free and easy to share content and reach out to millions of people through the internet. Therefore, one of your strategies to expand your online business in 2021 should be to leverage the power of social media.
This is simple. You could create superb posts and upload them on a Facebook page for your business, or gather Twitter followers and keep them informed about any latest developments with the brand, special promotions, and offers.
You could also leverage influencers that are active on Instagram to drive business. Having influencers promote your brand online can help it expand rapidly.
Invest in Video Marketing
A lot of online businesses overlook the power of YouTube. As an online business owner, you may wish to invest in video marketing, which can inexpensively drive a lot of customers and leads for your brand.
As a matter of fact, people are spending more time on YouTube than ever before. According to Statista, there’s a surge of 77 percent in total watch time on YouTube since 2020. This means that investing in video marketing through YouTube could result in higher profits.
You can upload amazing customer testimonials, informational videos on how to use a product or service, or company events and happenings. These help you to keep people interested in your online business.
Additionally, YouTube videos are fairly inexpensive to make and edit, and they can be shared easily by your viewers. Nowadays, any search on Google also throws up YouTube videos. Therefore, you can safely invest in video marketing to expand your online business in 2021 and beyond.
Offer Affiliate Marketing
Lastly, you may wish to offer affiliate marketing to expand your online business. In fact, an increasing number of online businesses are now providing affiliate programs to grow their business. Affiliate marketing industry sources claim that 42 percent of all sales on Amazon, the single-largest online retailer in the world, occur through its affiliate network worldwide.
Affiliate marketing allows you to open several sales channels at the same time without spending any money. When you offer an affiliate program, bloggers, content marketers, website owners and influencers can sign up as members. They will provide affiliate links on their websites and blog sites alongside superb reviews of your products and services.
You only have to pay money when an affiliate marketer makes a confirmed sale through a link on their website. This means you can receive countless affiliate channels for free, and pay only for the ones that generate a sale.
These seven strategies to expand your online business in 2021 are time-tested and effective. All you need to do is adapt them to meet the specific needs of your online business, and then put them into practice. Good luck!
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