Nowadays, it’s hard to find a business without a website. Restaurants, fashion stores, art galleries, clubs & bars, law firms, gardeners, hairstylists…. Websites are not for big corporations anymore – small businesses need them just as much. A business with a website has access to many more customers than a business relying only on traditional advertising methods (business cards, flyers, brochures, etc.)
However, businesses are not utilizing their websites to their full potential. Many use the website as a digital business card – presenting their contact info and some photos of what they do. But this does not actually grow the customer base or bring revenue in.
A website can be used for so much more. Here are 4 ways in which it can truly benefit your business:
1. Building an email list
The number one thing a website can be used for is building an email list. But why email?
Many businesses focus on building an audience on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. However, there are many issues with this approach.
First of all, social media networks can change their rules and algorithms at any time. What works one day might suddenly stop working the next day, with no explanation. Depending on a third party is not a smart solution.
Moreover, just because people are following you on social media, that doesn’t mean they’re going to see your posts. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all other major social networks are very saturated with content – your post would have to “fight” with hundreds of other posts for the brief attention of the user. People are used to scrolling fast through their newsfeeds and skipping through most of the content. The chance that they will see a particular promo post is small, even if they are “fans” or “followers” of that business.
On the other hand, people pay much more attention to their emails. An email box is a personal and well-controlled space. If they get your content in their email inbox, there is a much, much bigger chance that they will see it, than on social media.
1. Selling physical products online
It’s surprising how many physical product.based businesses have websites, but no online shops. Nowadays, creating an online shop is fast and easy, and has so many advantages over a physical shop. Online shelf space is unlimited; shelf life is unlimited. Online shops allow businesses to reach so many more clients than the ones entering their physical shop.
Furthermore, if the business has already developed an email list, they can promote their online shop to that list: give them discounts, product bundles, coupons, vouchers, etc.
3. Selling digital products
Digital products have even more advantages over physical ones. Once created, this kind of products can keep on selling, with almost no maintenance or additional work.
Digital products require special expertise to create, and cannot be applied to every type of business. They can include ebooks, ecourses, printables, videos, or anything that can be downloaded.
You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) be selling to your audience all the time. Instead, you can give them inspiration.
First of all, giving back to your audience is a great way to build brand trust & loyalty. Second, if users are wondering whether to buy your product or not, a surge of inspiration can tip them over into making the purchase.
How can you apply this to your business? For example, if you are a food store, you can post recipes that can be created with your products. Say you are a hardware store – you can publish tutorials on how to paint a house. If you are a travel agency, you can write about the best beaches in Thailand. And so on.
There are numerous ways to make a website work for you and grow your business. Don’t let it just sit there as an expensive digital business card. Put it to work.
If you need help, we can give you a hand.