4 Things Every Online Business Needs to Succeed
These days you can do just about anything online and make money doing it.
It's really just about finding the right niche, making your brand reputable and gaining a loyal following of customers or making yourself an influencer and starting to charge for it. Problem is, there's thousands of people competing for a share of voice in such a saturated digital space. (Can I get an amen?)
You may be an aspiring style or mommy blogger wanting to share your ideas and link to products; or a small jewelry boutique needing beautiful high-quality photo content to grow your Instagram. Whatever online business you run, there's a few things that are absolutely imperative to your company's success.
Beautiful Website Design
There are millions of websites out there selling the same thing you are, so you better give people a good excuse to explore and an even better experience when they land on it.
Think of your website like a home; the inside and outside is reflection of who you are and what you do. Just like when you go to a big, beautiful house with a stunning interior, you really notice the effort and thoroughness of the house. Well, people can tell how much money, time, and thoughtfulness you put into your website, and it's usually rewarded.
While it needs to look good, it should be all about you and what you're selling. Whether that's a trending style, exercise supplements, or speaking services, your message should be extremely clear and help position your viewers to buy.
Kick-Ass Content Creation
Your brand is not tangible, it's an ideal, a feeling, an experience. It's who you are to your customers or followers and it lives and breathes through every post, caption, email, headline, filter, and boomerang. You get the picture.
Content marketing leads to brand awareness, which leads to a better reputation, credibility, advocacy and loyalty. Instagram is something to be reckoned with; it's like your personal PR firm, sharing with the world who you are, what you do, and what you value you bring to people. There's a lot of people on Instagram, so your brand better have a strategy to stand out.
Calvin Klein encourages their followers create content by taking a picture of themselves in Calvin Klein underwear and posting on Instagram and tagging #mycalvins; Dan Bilzerian shares content of his lavish lifestyle because that's how his brand gets the most engagement, and Refinery29 sends email newsletters every morning highlighting a new trend and some links to shop the look. Because consumers' attention spans are so short, you need a constant stream of high-quality content across your platforms.
Some of the most common forms of content marketing are:
- Blog posts
- Tweets, Pins, Posts, Vines, Snaps
Unless you have an entire team and a lot of funding, you don't have time to focus on delving deep into every single one. Choose 2-3 that will best suit your brand. If you run a cooking blog, articles and photos optimized for Pinterest are probably your best bet. If you are a style blogger, beautiful high-quality images for Instagram usually work, and if you are a business consultant, podcasts and webinars are where you're going to attract the most engagement.
The weird thing about business is...
Every audience is different, so finding your niche and finding what your audience really likes may take some time. Don't give up.
The best advice?
Sometimes, the best way to get inspired is to see what other brands and businesses and influencers do to generate content.
Influencer-level Social Media Management
This is your arm to the outside world. No longer is it important to just be on all the social media platforms, you have to know the tips and tricks for each to maximize your brand's growth and reach. Influencers on Twitter and Instagram can make upwards of $100k for a post advertising another brand's products.
Do you really think Kylie Jenner is super stoked to eat Burger King's new chicken fries? Probably not. What she is stoked about is the huge check she got from the Whopper company.
And no, you don't have to be rich and famous to get paid to post. Focus on being an influencer in your own niche and go from there.
Your audience is waiting for you and your business to get your products and influence in front of them. Learning from what your competitors do to be successful is going to help you get started in the right direction.
Digital Advertising Campaigns
When you don't have a big following, or you need to promote a new product, feature, or deal, paid social media marketing is the way to go.
This includes advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google. Social media advertising is the most cost-effective form of advertising available today and you can reach people instantly.
As you reach more people, you open up the door for more awareness, traffic and sales.
Because of Facebook's reach (including their Instagram platform), and targeting capabilities, you will be able to reach your target audience at the lowest cost possible, especially compared to traditional media.
There's a learning curve + language barrier. You definitely need to be well versed in digital advertising metrics such as impressions, cost per click, CPM, viewability, CTR, lookalike audiences, pixels, the list goes on. You also need to know how to create a advertising funnel strategy, and building out different audiences. But if you know how, you can make a lot of money on Facebook.
It's just the beginning, but you need to act now.
No matter what type of business you run or want to build, a beautiful website design, high-quality content creation, social media management, and digital advertising are the pillars that will make your digital brand successful online. Doing each one the right one, in line with your brand, vision, goals, and aspirations will result in transforming your business into a kick-ass, money-making machine.
Business is a marathon, not a sprint.
Did I miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!
About Social Style House
Social Style House is a creative marketing agency helping brands and bloggers build, grow, and transform their digital brand into a professional, engaging and world-class business.
At Social Style House we provide website design, branding, social media management and content creation. We design customized packages for many different clients including fashion bloggers, designers, stylists and e-commerce brands.
Interested in how we do it? Get in touch!