Just having a website isn’t enough anymore
By Christopher Wallace, vp for sales and marketing with Amsterdam Printing
From multinational companies to the local handyman who cleans gutters for $50, everyone has a website these days. And they should. According to the 2010 Local Search Usage Study, 70 per cent of consumers go online first to find out about local businesses. That’s seven per centage points up from the year before and the number is only growing.Just having a website, however, isn’t enough in a society that has grown accustomed to discovering new businesses through smartphone apps and social media platforms.
In fact, that same study found that consumers are 69 per cent more likely to use a business if they have a social media site with information about the company.
For those businesses that are still waffling over whether or not to make the social leap, consider the following ways in which a little online effort could go a long way toward increasing your overall consumer base.
Make your website mobile
Even though your business might have a working website, have you considered how easy it is to view on a smartphone?
In most cases, it can be difficult (if not close to impossible) to view websites not formatted for smartphone viewing.
Especially if your homepage involves a lot of graphics, tabs, and/or various sections that upload separately. Fortunately, the web community has seen the need for mobile view-ability and several companies have already sprung up that offer website mobile conversion at little to no cost.
From step-by-step DIY instructions on how to create a mobile version of your site to hosted conversions that can be ready in less than a minute, a mobile version of your business site will help avoid potential customer loss because of a jumbled or too-big homepage.
There’s an app for that app
Now that your site is mobile ready, the next step is making an app. Less than a year ago, if you considered making an application for your website, you probably reeled at the amount of coding needed to create even the most basic website-to-app conversion.
Today, however, there are websites that show how to build an app without touching the first line of code.
Why have an app? Say you own a brewery and you’re regularly releasing new seasonal beers, receiving reviews, or holding tastings in your local community.
Smartphone users with your app can easily check to see what’s available now or where they can go to try a tasty flight.
Or if you have a crafty retail store that is constantly getting new consignments, you can list your new products, share pictures, and provide informative links.
All of this without potential customers having to first log onto a social media site; look up your company name; scroll through the various options; and finally click on your site and wait for it to upload.
If they like what you do, an app is instant access to all the great things going on with your company.
An offer they can’t refuse
One of the greatest draws for any business is the online coupon craze. Businesses have reported running out of hundreds of specials within minutes of being posted by an online coupon company.
If you’re ready to handle the flood and deal with the deep discounts usually required to bring folks through the door, online coupons are a fast way to get your company name out in your community.
And if your customers enjoy their experience, the word-of-mouth reviews generated are often more than worth the hassle of dealing with a handful of crazy coupon days.
Christopher Wallace, vp for sales and marketing withAmsterdam Printing, has more than 20 years experience in sales and marketing. At Amsterdam Printing, a leading provider of custom pens and other promotional items such as custom USB drives, Christopher is focused on providing quality marketing materials to small, mid-size and large businesses. He regularly contributes to Promo & Marketing Wall blog.