Get Your Business Set For 2022

Building a strong and sustainable business requires resilience as well as flexibility. Pandemic or not, people’s demands are constantly changing. The usage of online channels to find and connect with businesses is only going to increase. Therefore, you need to make sure that your small business is ready to embrace 2022 with a digital-first business strategy that focuses on SEO, social media, and email marketing

The year 2020 changed life in unprecedented ways with far-reaching effects on social interactions and business. If conducting business online wasn’t already on the rise, the restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic made it the key to survival and has made it clear that a digital-first approach is the only weather-proof way to stay in business.
Whether you’ve already pivoted to online or are contemplating doing so, here are some ways to create a robust strategy that will help you thrive in 2022 and beyond.

Take your business online

When you think of eCommerce, you think of global giants like Amazon that are leading the way. Small businesses just don’t have the network and capital to sell their goods everywhere.
Shopify CEO, Tobi Lutke recently said that the company’s recent clients include grocery stores, farmers, and local food businesses.
How then can you take your business operations online? Here are the first few steps:

Find the right eCommerce platform
You don’t have to be a tech-savvy web designer to create your online store. Platforms like Shopify and Magento do all the work for you with their customisable designs and a wide variety of features and plug-ins. All you need to do is research and find one that best fits your needs and budget.

Buy a domain name
As a small business, a brandable, premium domain name to represent your online presence will do wonders for you. When picking a domain name, there are two things you must never compromise on – relevance (choosing the right words) and memorability (brevity and simplicity).

Plan your content
Your online presence needs to replicate your physical business as much as possible. This involves providing website visitors with all the information they need about your company, pictures, videos and adequate customer support.
Your website design and add relevant calls to action should guide visitors in their user journey.

Provide multiple payment options
You need to provide a variety of payment options including debit/credit cards as well as e-transfer so that your customers can pick a method that they are most comfortable with. In order to reassure them that their private information is secure on your website, you need to opt for the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate.

Take Advantage Of Mobile

The growth of smartphone technology has changed the way we communicate and do business. In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 54.8 percent of global website traffic.

A significant section of this mobile traffic comes from regions that lack other infrastructure. For instance, people in certain developing countries may not often have a computer at home but they most likely have a smartphone. Doesn’t it make sense for your business to create mobile experiences for their customers.
The easiest way to do so is to work on it simultaneously with your online presence and focus on these two main aspects.

Responsive website
A website is typically created to be viewed on a computer. When viewed on a smartphone or a tablet, its specifications can get skewed, making for an unaesthetic and inconvenient user experience. What you need is a responsive website design.
A responsive website is one that automatically adapts to the device it is being viewed on. If you’re getting your website designed by a professional, talk to them about how a responsive design can be integrated.

Mobile application
Creating a mobile application is the best way to offer a smartphone experience to your consumers. Apart from eCommerce, industries like fitness, real estate, food and beverage, medicine, art, and entertainment are using mobile apps to conduct business online.

Harness Social Media

According to Statistica’s data of daily social media usage, on average, people spend up to 145 minutes every day on social media. The usage of social media from mobile devices has also seen an increase, with 4.08 billion active social media mobile users worldwide as of October 2020. As of January 2021 there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide – 59.5 percent of the global population. Of this total, 92.6 percent (4.32 billion) accessed the internet via mobile devices.

Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter have taken heed of this and enabled people to put their channels to greater use. This includes discovering brands and shopping.

For small businesses that cannot afford paid advertising, social media offers several features that can be used for organic brand awareness and even for conducting business.

Here are a few tips to grow your small business on social media:

Create business accounts
Business accounts give you access to advanced features that help you track engagement, segment your target audience and make your products more visible and accessible through tagging and linking.

Rely on analytics
All social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have powerful analytics tools that provide valuable insight into your audience.

Make your channels shoppable
You can make your products shoppable on most social media platforms, which means that people can buy your products while they are still on your Facebook or Instagram page without having to navigate to your main website. This is a great tactic for boosting impulse buying and customer acquisition.

Engage in content marketing
Even if you don’t have a content marketing channel like a blog, you can provide value to your audience, generate brand awareness and showcase your expertise by posting quick tips, short videos, images, and infographics on social media.

Offer customer support
Transforming your social media channels into a one-stop-shop where people can connect with you, learn about your products and even purchase them also involves providing customer support.
People will post their concerns as comments or messages and your social media team should be equipped to handle questions that don’t require elaborate support.

Focus on Local SEO

People are increasingly using search engines to look for businesses and services in their vicinity. Approximately 46% of the searches on Google are for local businesses. After searching for a business close to them, 76% of the people will visit that location within a day.
Local SEO has become a great opportunity for small businesses to improve their search visibility and find their customers.

Here are some tips to boost the local search rankings for your business:

Create your Google My Business account
By setting up a free Google My Business account, you can list your business name, address, contact information, website, work hours, location on Google Maps, images, reviews, and much more. You can even add tabs for people to directly call your number or place online orders.

Target local keywords
Use long-tail location-based keywords in your website content and meta descriptions to highlight your “localness”, such as “food delivery service in Ado Ekiti”, “web designer in Surulere, Lagos area” and “Friendly Optician in Ibadan”.

Do you want to implement any of the suggestions above, we’re here to help.
At Mc.Rufus Interactive, we undertake Web Development, Branding, Strategic Communication and Social Media Management.
Let’s get talking. Email: stevealabi@mcrufusinteractive.com

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