Five strategies for regional firms to grow their online business

1. Model success – but don’t be a copy-cat
Creating compelling content is crucial for all businesses online – it doesn’t matter what type of content you’re delivering, as long as it answers your customers’ questions and engages their curiosity and interest. The more connected your audience is with your content, the easier it becomes to build trust and encourage them to take action towards your brand. If you want to captivate your audience’s attention in the long run, then you need to create authentic and ‘real’ content.

However, this does not mean that you need to reinvent the wheel. There are hundreds of entrepreneurs and businesses with successful social media accounts that can act as inspiration and a road map for success. Take some time to study your competitors and the industry leaders to see what they are doing right, to emulate their strengths and avoid their weaknesses.

2. Create a mobile friendly website
With smartphones being the first thing most of us reach for in the morning, as well as the last thing we see at night, having a mobile-optimised website needs to be a top priority within your online business strategy. The majority of people use their handheld device to browse websites, so it is a critical step to customise your visitors’ mobile experience and ensure that you have stunning images, enlarged buttons and tabs and most importantly, easy navigation.

People take notice of websites that provide a great visitor experience and with users preferring to visit websites through handheld devices, this is an area that a brand cannot ignore.

3. Add value on social media
Having a presence on social media allows you to have a global ‘shop window’ that is accessible from anywhere and at anytime – it’s where you can exhibit a brand’s personality, sell products and services and build relationships with customers. Being on social media gives one the opportunity to boost storytelling by posting and sharing a variety of visual content. However, ensuring that your presence on social media is generating a positive impact on your business and adding growth to it will depend on different factors such as the consistency of posting, delivering fresh content on a daily basis, the quality of the visuals and remembering to add a call to action – like including your website page link – to ensure audiences can find out more details.

4. Don’t focus on everyone – know your target audience
Determining and understanding one’s intended audience is key to any online business’ prosperity. Sometimes the idea of reaching the highest number of people is so strong that we see brands buying followers, but this is detrimental in the long run. While gaining the admiration of a bigger crowd can be tempting, the focus should be on the people who are going to add actual tangible value to a business.

Being precise and pinpointing your core demographic will help in the development and improvement of your content…

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