What business doesn’t use technology? Yes, that is the unmistakable sound of crickets. But here’s another, more pertinent question: which businesses maximize their use of technology to generate revenue?
The world is abuzz with technological chatter, with the noisy flux of shifting processes, incoming apps, innovative start-ups and increasingly simplistic digital tools which help us streamline our businesses and make a bigger splash for less cash. Companies with growth goals know that technology is the great game-changer, the equalizing tool which can make existing processes cheaper, easier and more profitable.
In this article, we’ll look at key technologies you should consider implementing to better leverage your business online.
1. Utilize social media
Your output on social media will, of course, be defined by your business’s infrastructure, target market and budget, but the worst thing you can do is stay away from social platforms altogether. Get your market research right, find out where your customers congregate online and start building a social strategy which promotes your brand, stimulates engagement and generates leads.
Whether you’re a small business or an international conglomerate, having an online presence beyond a functional website and staid LinkedIn profile is vital. What’s more, advertising on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allows you to aggressively target a large number of potential (or current) clients and generate enquiries and sales in next to no time. Naturally it’s about disseminating a range of content instead of simply bombarding your target market with slick ads, which is why employing a social media strategist is a wise move if your budget allows it.
Social channels are excellent outlets to run campaigns, improve customer experience, inspire brand loyalty and differentiate your offering.
2. Take advantage of cloud-based technology
Gone are the days of imposing steel filing cabinets encircling your office. Actually, those days continue for a great many businesses, though savvy companies have invested in future-proofing by adapting quickly to cloud-based tech. Flexibility, ease of use, cost and the prospect of rapid deployment are just some of the benefits of cloud adoption. Another concerns data mining: cloud providers are adept at assessing enormous quantities of data, subjecting the collated information to algorithms and technologies to identify trends and help businesses improve processes.
Those who think of the cloud as merely a digital safe or storage house fail to see the bigger picture, although security is certainly a major pro: according to a recent Microsoft SMB study, 94% of small businesses cite security benefits after switching to the cloud.
3. Use a high-quality VoIP system
The benefits of using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) should be obvious, but if you’re still tempted to use the conventional or analog system in your office, know that you could be missing out massively. Using the internet to make calls far cheaper and means you can log in anywhere in the world, conduct videoconferences, discuss important deals, and otherwise stay on top of things as if you were in the office. Mobility, functionality and flexibility are the three key benefits of installing VoIP, which has undoubtedly enhanced communication in the business world and led to increased productivity across the board.
Sifting through the various VoIP providers on offer can be time-consuming, so using a comparison site like GetVoip is recommended. Like other comparison sites, the portal provides an exhaustively researched rundown of tried-and-tested systems to let you see, at a glance, custom packages for various budgets.
4. Optimize for mobile
Did you know that 52% of global web traffic was generated via mobile devices in 2018? Smartphones have made the digital space more accessible than ever before, which means mobile optimization is absolutely necessary for successful marketing and SEO.
Having a mobile presence is about more than just stacking your website into a mobile template and hoping conversions remain consistent across all devices (not to mention browsers). A mobile journey should be customized and optimized for buying, whether that journey is taking place on your website or your social channels. After all, a mobile browser differs from a web browser in several regards. To take just one example, page speed is even more important for mobile users than desktop browsers. Beyond optimizing images for mobile, you’ll need to minify code, leverage browser caching, cut down on redirects and modify site structure.
5. Don’t be afraid of video
A lot of business owners are afraid to put themselves out there: to add a face and voice to the text-based voice which narrates their online story. But embracing video, whether in the form of live videos and ‘stories’ on social media or product-, category- or topic-led videos on your website, can be a winning strategy. Not only will it help to build brand transparency, making browsers feel like they’re getting to know you, but it will help to stimulate engagement.
Live video can also be utilized to disseminate discount codes, offer exclusive content, update clients on products, conduct question-and-answer sessions and give your own unique perspective on topical events.
6. Incorporate online reviews
In the pre-digital age, word of mouth helped spread the word. And while this is still hugely important, online customer reviews have largely taken over. Incorporating an online review platform means new customers can quickly scan verified feedback from buyers throughout the world. If your product and/or service is top-notch, your clients will say so, and those good vibes will loudly resonate.
Integrating a tool like Feefo is perfect for reputation management and giving your audience an easier shopping experience. What’s more, the ratings will show up on search engines and you can share them on your social media. With UX becoming ever more important, and customers becoming less trusting of sites which don’t feature reviews, conversion rates are only going to worsen the longer you hold off.
7. Learn how to better use Analytics
Analytics is great, but how many of us can say we’re using it efficiently? That we’re going beyond measuring web traffic and digging deep on reader engagement by consistently tracking metrics like session duration, views per session, bounce rate and return visitors?
While much of user engagement is left to our interpretation, we can come to some solid conclusions simply by keeping a closer eye on Analytics, realizing what’s working and what isn’t and altering our content accordingly. It might be something as simple as improving internal links, or more complex like reviewing site design and navigation.
Technology represents a multi-faceted means of improving your business. As demonstrated, there are tools to build brands, run campaigns, upsell products and services, enhance user experience, promote engagement and establish trust. Use them to give customers what they need and achieve more sales and leads in the process.
While getting a firm handle on tech isn’t easy, following these seven tips, and doing the simple things well, will make success more likely. Don’t wait.
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