The final piece to the successful modern-day business.
It's no secret that in today's digital age, growing your business online is just as crucial as growing it offline. It's one of the most critical steps in achieving success and attracting a wider customer base.
In the construction and logistics sector, we tend to have a list of loyal and repeat customers who have been using us for years, but how do we entice new customers if they don’t have the chance to see our work and what we’re all about? In this piece, we'll explore some practical ways to create an online presence and help your business stand out, giving you the competitive edge.
Building a Professional Website
First impressions count, and most of the time your website is the first port-of-call for potential clients. Your website is your digital storefront and should be user-friendly and visually appealing.
What do you put on a website?
This is the perfect opportunity to boast. Be proud of your work and show clients what you can do. Showcase your past projects, services, and expertise. Separate your website into easily distinguishable tabs, start with Projects, Services, Products, About and Contact. You also want to make your contact information and social pages - like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn - as easy to find as possible.
There are a number of companies - like Squarespace, Wix and Wordpress – that provide all the tools you need to build a website that won’t break the bank. You can assess customizable, premade templates giving you the freedom to design a professional website with ease.
So now that we have a good looking, easy-to-use website, how do people find it?
Start by sharing your website on your social pages and have a link to your webpage on any correspondence you send out - be it in your email signature, or on your quotes. When crafting your website, be sure to incorporate Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO is the process of growing your website organically by using keywords from your industry or skillsets of your business. This might include words like ‘Building’, ‘Construction’, ‘Decking’, ‘Transport’ or ‘Shipping’… you get the idea. Just be sure to include key words related to your business and what you do on your website. This will put your website above others who do not use keywords, and according to Forbes, 75% of users don’t scroll past the first page of results, so a high listing matters!
Social Media Platforms
Social Media is where most people will engage with your content. Facebook and Instagram are there for you to share your completed and current projects, industry insights, and any tips, and tricks you may have. If you’re interested in business to business (B2B) engagement, focus on growing a presence on LinkedIn as well. LinkedIn is a powerful platform where you can promote your business at a more corporate level.
Social media is an excellent way to create a solid online presence and establish yourself as an industry expert. It's the new word-of-mouth. Recognising a company from social media can give a client the confidence to request a quote. It is also an easy way for you to interact with your audience through comments, messages, and shares.
Everyone believes that their own business is great, but sharing genuine customer testimonials to your social pages can work wonders in building trust amongst prospective new customers. You can highlight them on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
It is also important to be responsive to any inquiries online. Receiving a direct message online is like a client calling, so make sure you answer them. Shopify states “40% of shoppers expect brands to reply within an hour on social media, and 79% expect a response within 24 hours.”
Social Media Platforms are loaded with tools to help you find your target audience, or more importantly, help them find you! The use of hashtags (#), tagging businesses you collaborate with and project localisation (tagging the area you’re working in) on your posts are super important. Here's why:
- “Hashtags not only help users find posts about specific content, but they also help you reach more people interested in your content”. More on hashtags here.
- Tagging a business you’ve worked with allows them to reshare the post and lets their followers discover your business, instantly helping you both extend your reach.
- Localising your social media content helps you better connect and engage with local audiences.
Creating Engaging Visual Content
Don't be scared of the camera. A 10-minute piece-to-camera interview, where you breakdown a job can be daunting, but a simple before and after transformation video can hold a potential client’s attention far than a still image can.
Most importantly, back yourself and your work. Capture high-quality images and videos of your projects and equipment and share it online. Creating engaging visual content, sharing a sneak peek of something your business is currently working on or a behind the scenes snapshot can show the quality of your work and build trust with potential clients.
Don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy or not photographically gifted, there are websites, like Canva, that you can use to easily edit your photos and add filters, text or designs to make your posts demand attention.
Engaging in Email Marketing
Emails have become the new letterbox drops. Electronic Direct Mail or eDM’s, is how you can easily provide information to potential clients and focuses on building relationships, increasing your overall sales and conversion rate.
Over time, you will accumulate an email list via your website and regular clients. Use it to send newsletters with updates on projects, new services, deals, and industry news. You can even offer exclusive promotions or discounts to email leads. Try to personalise your emails and track their performance to make sure what you're doing is working. If you’re not a confident writer or would like some direction on where to start, there are websites available that can kickstart your email marketing like Campaign Monitor and Mail Chimp.
Building your online presence won’t happen overnight, but small businesses need to prioritise online and social media to thrive. By leveraging a professional website, SEO techniques, social media platforms and email marketing, you can effectively establish your brand and position yourself as a trusted provider in the industry. Stay consistent, monitor your results, and adapt your strategies based on feedback to ensure long-term success online.