Are word-of-mouth recommendations still the best advertising a small business can get? Not according to a recent Telstra survey of SME consumers.
Plus, many businesses are losing customers and sales to competition because they're not taking simple steps to move with the times.
In November 2017, The Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report released information based on surveys of more than 1000 SMEs and over 1000 consumers.
The results highlighted the growing gap in views between business owners and their target audiences, who are moving online in droves.
When it comes to choosing a business, first-hand recommendations (and disgruntled warnings) from previous customers are still very important.
However, the research found that businesses overestimated word-of-mouth referrals, and underestimated the growing importance of e-recommendations in the form of:
This shows just how important it is now for every business to:
The big issue highlighted in the report was that many traditional businesses said they didn't understand technology or where to start:
Their main reasons? Perceptions of the cost, time, effort and resource required.
The online world can be overwhelming for any business owner, especially if you don't have much experience or knowledge.
And while there are many ways to market your business online, the greatest benefits and returns are likely to come from addressing areas highlighted in the report.
1. Choose a smart, eye-catching design
2. Get a responsive design
3. Have the ability to do your own updates
4. Create pages that help your audience
5. Be Google-friendly (SEO)
Learn more about SEO tips for SMEs here
6. Announce your site to the world
When people want to find out about a business, they'll often type in 'review of (business name)". And if they don't know a specific business, 'reviews of (business type)' e.g. 'reviews of plumbers inner west sydney'.
To come appear in the search results, you need to be on review sites and places people are looking online.
1. Create profiles on several review sites
Review sites are places online that people go to leave an find reviews on businesses from past clients. Start with Yelp, Facebook and Google My Business.
2. Ask people to leave reviews
If you ask, you are more likely to receive. Just something like. "Hi (name) we are trying to improve our Facebook/Google/Yelp page. We'd really appreciate if you would leave a quick review."
And promote your review pages everywhere emails, in your store, on your website.
3. Approach the best people to leave reviews
Prospects want to know more than just 'Great business'. They want to hear enthusiasm and details. So get in touch with people who will have more to say such as:
4. Respond to feedback
Whether it's a positive or negative review, you should respond to every comment. Happy people appreciate the thanks, and those who are not so happy will appreciate that you care. So, will people that are reading the reviews.
Further to this, don't worry if every comment isn't positive. Research shows that new customers put more trust in reviews when some of them are not glowing. Everyone knows that you can't please all the people all the time.
If a business has all 5-star rating, most people think they are fake reviews.
Whether you're ready for your first website or your old site needs an update - your local web design and marketing team at Snap can take care of everything for you.
Get in touch today for friendly, expert advice and a competitive quote.
|Tags: Business Insights Marketing|