Anyone who makes his or her bread and butter online knows that it takes a lot more than just a nice, new and flashy website to create a successful online business.
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to sell consulting services, toys, cars, clothes or cleaning supplies – if there’s any money in your niche, you’ll have to face some serious competition.
In my line of work, I come across all sorts of different entrepreneurs who are ready to give their 110% in order to launch the next biggest online business.
Even though they all seem quite eager to succeed, more often than not, I recognize the same patterns in their behavior. Most of their takes on owning a successful online business are full of some serious holes and inconsistencies.
They all start big, but most of them never last long enough to see their business grow and reach new audiences and customers.
Well, there are a lot of reasons.
Lack of commitment, no real investment, no cash flow, terrible website, no traffic, horrific product photography, boring marketing, poor planning, awful management, no SEO skills, weak social media presence, insanely strong competition – these are just some of the more common ones that cause most online firms to fail.
A lot of people jump into the business world without even figuring out the essentials first, like who’s their ideal customer, what does he like, what does he dislike, and what kind of problems will your products/service solve for him or her?
Although quite saturated, the Internet is still a pretty lucrative market. In order to stay ahead of the competition, one must think outside of the box and constantly try out new things that will bring in new audiences and conquer new markets.
These days, if you want to increase your site traffic, optimize your conversion funnel and stay alive in your niche, you need to become a real “growth hacker”.
You need to grow fast, and cover markets your competitors still haven’t discovered.
You have to develop a strategy within the parameters of a scalable and repeatable method for growth, driven by product and inspired by data. Although your goals are based in marketing, they’re mostly driven by product instincts.
Knowing this, you either have to live in the intersection of data, product, and marketing, or be ready to see your business get ripped to shreds by your competition.
Despite the fact that having a growth hacking strategy has become of crucial importance for any business who operates online, the fact is – there’s no real bulletproof approach to it. The same set of principles does not apply to every niche and every business. You constantly need to think of new things and develop all sorts of different methods that still haven’t been used by your competitors.
Having this in mind, instead of just listing some of the tactics we use at AltusHost to conquer new markets and expand our customer database, I have decided to reach out and ask a few different successful online business professionals the following question:
For 2016, influencer marketing is going to be one of the most effective methods of online. Building relationships with individuals who have engaged and relevant followings on social media can have a huge impact on the growth of your company for several reasons:
1) Relationships can be sustainable in the long term so that once a relationship is built it is far easier to maintain, yet it’s value remains or increases.
2) People trust the advice they get from the people they follow (they follow them because they know and trust them).
3) Influencer marketing relies on relationship building, not big advertising budgets. This makes for a more level playing field than PPC advertising.
4) Influencers often have small, but highly focused niche communities making them very effective as a marketing platform (as opposed to advertising to the public in general).
One of the biggest challenge for your company’s success is making your business salable. And the first and foremost step in making your business salable is attracting customers to your business.
A well-organized marketing plan is an unavoidable part of protecting your online reputation and brand while attracting customers you want. It is very important to make your business easily findable through online search engines, while also exploiting social media. But, it’s not an easy task to create well-structured and attractive website.
Your website is representation of your business, that’s why it should be beautiful and professional.
Customers having thousands of online stores to choose from, will pick the one whose design is the most modern and aesthetic, because a beautiful store is considered more reliable and trustworthy. And your primary goal should be to create really a five-star website.
One more important thing is to get active across social media. You should claim your name on every social network you may ever want to use, even if you don’t plan to use the network quite yet.
For starters, content-based businesses need to look at the quality and thoroughness of their content. If you want to build a content-based business and you are producing 400-500 word posts that are vague and insignificant, your content-based business will likely never succeed. Rather, you should be looking to produce extremely lengthy and thorough content that informs, instructs, and inspires your audience. Or, in other words, you need to over-deliver on the content your audience needs and wants.
In all of my online businesses (which are all content-based websites) I aim to provide at least two lengthy and thorough guides per website. And, I try to make these guides cover every aspect of the topic I am writing about and that they are at least 6,000 words in length. In fact, my two highest-traffic and highest-earning guides are well over 15,000 words in length.
On the technical side of things, regardless of how well your website looks and is designed, if your website is slow and takes forever to load, you will lose a lot of potential customers/audience members. I saw the biggest increase in my online businesses when I ditched my shared hosting company and switched to a dedicated server that was optimized for performance.
After moving to a dedicated server from a superior hosting company, I saw my bounce rate decreased significantly (over 10%) and my time-on-page and page views increase dramatically. And, of course, these increases led to a better user experience, which led to higher rankings in Google’s search results, which led to more readers, and, thus, more sales.
In 2016, online entrepreneurs must focus on influencer marketing. With Instagram influencers on the rise and new ones being created every day, getting your product into the hands of those with clout is essential.
These influencers are able to reach hundreds of thousands of people with just one post!
Additionally, influencer marketing is fantastic for lifestyle brands. So how do you go about finding and securing influencers?
First, you must identify which influencers pertain to your industry and rank them by how strongly they relate to your brand. Next, market specifically to these influencers. Get your brand in front of their eyes. This could be through digital marketing, traditional marketing or pure word of mouth.
Next, get the influencers involved. Using top influencers to market your brand to your target market is a strategy employed more and more, so get in early with influencers. Your goal is to turn these influencers into advocates of the firm. They are the brand ambassadors who draw others in.
A few common attributes of influencers include those involved with the community, politics or charities, those who have large social networks and are active on them, those who make an impact and are trusted. Overall, influencers have active minds, many interests and early adopters in markets.
At Deskbright, our primary growth channel has been organic search placement enabled by strong content marketing.
We’ve build a best-in-class Excel course and put it online for free.
It took a while to develop, but the content is high-quality enough that it has attracted links from sources from media outlets to universities to libraries.
Through the power of content marketing, we’ve developed an incredibly strong referral network while boosting our placement on organic search pages simultaneously.
In 2016, new entrepreneurs should think about how they can leverage the power of content marketing to create buzz around their business and drive traffic to the top of their conversion funnel.
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