By Lance Brown, VP of Product Development at Huzzah Media, provider of innovative digital solutions for small businesses
With today’s consumers always on the go, it’s more imperative than ever for small businesses to engage with their customers on a more frequent basis – since many of their big box counterparts are already doing so.
However, 7 out of 10 small business owners say time and cost restraints prohibit them from improving their online presence, according to a new study from Huzzah Media. Expanding their digital footprint may be a struggle in large part because most of today’s online tools aren’t suited for their unique needs. So, where to start?
As overwhelming as going digital may seem, there are simple things small business owners can do to get started:
1. Start with Your Website.
It sounds simple, but don’t neglect your Website. Keep it fresh by updating it on a bi-weekly basis. Have someone on your team take ownership of the site, and make it part of their regular to-do list. Map content back to what will help your audience – what problems do they have that you can help solve with your content? Build a content calendar to keep you on task with updates.
2. Embrace the Power of Search.
While a good Website is critical, it’s not enough. Studies show only 28 percent of small businesses are happy with their company’s Google rankings. For many, more control over the power of search can not only have a big impact on reaching your customers, it can help you track insights about how they are finding you and what other stores/terms they’re looking for that leads them to your business. Get started by getting a free Google analytics account to understand traffic patterns to your Website.
3. Reward Your Loyal.
In order to drive repeat business and reward your most loyal customers, try integrating a rewards program, which can help you better compete with larger businesses and create increased enthusiasm among customers. Huzzah offers a first-class digital rewards platform that businesses can customize, control and afford.
4. Take it Social.
Establish and maintain your key social network platforms, like Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Customers want to engage with brands beyond where they are being sold to, so social media is a great way to stay engaged and show your store’s personality. Remember to keep up with them or you risk losing momentum you have when you set them up.
5. Remember the App.
Many small businesses neglect to take their digital presence to the app store. Several new tools provide out-of-the-box solutions that can help you get started. With an app, you can more easily let your customers know about discounts, deals and exclusive offers. As well as use it to track and send invoices and do business on the go. For some, like Orlando-based Blade Runners Commercial Landscaping, it has resulted in big returns – owner John Rodriguez says because of the app he developed using Huzzah’s solution, he closed a $75,000 piece of business, because we they were able to make the experience so much easier for customers.
 Huzzah Media conducted an online survey of 316 U.S. small business owners from February 25 through March 7, 2014.
VP of Product Development Lance Brown oversees the development and strategy at Huzzah Media. He began his career in sales & marketing for large retail brands before transitioning to positions on the small business side. Brown took his retail expertise and helped smaller boutique software companies develop CRM-based applications that focused on helping SMBs better understand how to be more efficient with their sales & marketing initiatives.