How to Market Your Business Online
If you’re reading this article, you’re most likely a small business owner who wants to know how to market your business online. We get this question often and that’s why we decided to share with you the story of Amber, a typical business owner, who also wants to take her business to the web, but isn’t sure of the best path…
This is a little like choose-your-own-adventure. We’re going to take you through the thought process, and you will see where each decision leads…
Typical Business Owner: Amber Jones
Amber is a designer and she loves what she does. From her studio cottage on Vancouver Island, she creates wonderful masterpieces. Her office spills over with beautiful fabrics, colourful threads, and stacks of textured paper. And though she travels and teaches across Canada, her favourite place to be is in her home studio overlooking the beach. That’s where she finds most of her inspiration.
Amber initially launched her business on a platform like Etsy. We’ll call it Crafty Paradise. Up until recently, sales were amazing! That is until Crafty Paradise changed its algorithm. Now, Amber’s wares are no longer being featured in customer searches. Sales are down, and Amber is left scrambling. She must now explore website and E-commerce options if she wants her business to thrive.
PAUSE. In this scenario, Amber, learned that her reliance on a proprietary platform for selling her products was not as easy and carefree as she had hoped. Does this sound familiar?
So, Amber decides she needs control over her online branding and marketing. That means independent solutions, but the question begs, “How to market your business online?”
Amber’s already identified certain requirements to get her business off the ground. She needs a website, a blog, E-commerce, product photography, email marketing and some basic search engine optimisation (SEO) to get the ball rolling.
She’s also a “hands on” kind of person and doesn’t mind doing some of the work herself.
Let’s see what happens when Amber chooses one path, the Do-It-Yourself, or DIY option.
If Amber decides to build her own website, she’ll need to do a few things:
- Search for tools that will fulfill all her online requirements
- She’ll have to dedicate time to familiarize herself with each tool
- If she wants a decent result, she might have to take classes, expensive workshops or lengthy and sometimes sporadic online tutorials that can often confuse and mislead
- It will take a big bite out of Amber’s schedule, as she figures out how to build a site
- She will need to learn all about SEO and source some tools to help her get traffic to her Etsy storefront
- DIY also has its limits and downfalls if she chooses a site-builder, such as third-party branding on her website, no control over platform changes or policies, or SEO
RESULT: Even if Amber somehow becomes proficient in all these things, it still involves a huge learning curve. It will also lessen the time Amber now has to do what she loves — create, travel and teach. And after all the stress and sacrifice, will Amber get the results she wants?
When it comes to web design, E-commerce, and many other online marketing activities, it’s not realistic for Amber to expect the same stellar results from DIY as could be achieved by hiring seasoned professionals to do it for her.
Now, let’s see what would happen if Amber decides to hire someone to do all the heavy work for her?
If Amber decides to go with a professional, there are still many avenues she could pursue.
A) She could hire a solo freelance designer, or developer…
But, that will mean limiting creativity and skill to that one individual. A solo-preneur may or may not have all the talent and expertise Amber requires for her project.
B) She could always hire multiple resources…
But then, that will likely become a balancing act of time, brand management, and a whole lotta’ stress! She’ll also need to be vigilant about brand management, if brand consistency is a priority.
C) So, let’s say Amber decides that an agency is the way to go…
An agency will have an entire team of uniquely talented and expert professionals ready to work! Amber loves that! But, with only a small start-up budget, she’ll need to be realistic. Many agencies are not interested in working with start-ups who have budgets under $50,000.
So, is she stuck on what to do? Are you? We know the situation. We’ve been there ourselves.
What if there was an agency out there that could take her modest budget and make something great? Allow her some freedom to do things herself, but also the reassurance of having experts at the helm?
What would happen if Amber went with an Agency like Original Ginger:
- Amber would have a flexible collaborative approach, where she can capitalize on the talents and expertise of our professionals but still have as much, or as little feedback, as she wants. She could leverage their implementation services only when she needs them.
- She would have a unique ‘brand story’. We are storytellers. We take the time to understand you, your business, then we develop a distinct and creative flavour for your brand, that will help you stand out from your competitors.
- She would have tools delivered to her that are easy-to-use, so that she can easily manage her website content, rather than contacting her web master for every tiny change.
- She’d have excellent customer service and communication. We return all calls or emails within 24 to 48 hours, unlike many other “too busy” agencies.
- She’d have the guidance of senior talent, who have years of expertise in the areas of branding, web design, content writing, e-commerce and marketing. This means a one stop shop. It also means consistency for her brand.
- She’d also have an agency with a unique work philosophy. Although OG has big agency expertise, we choose to work with small and medium-sized businesses.
At OG, we are masters in the art of getting your business online! We can create beautiful websites that balance design and function with client usability and customer experience. Have a look at our small business website packages — you can choose what works for you, and your budget!
With the following perks:
- We’ll set up a personalized email marketing dashboard for you along with beautiful branded templates. Drag n’ drop makes them super easy to use!
- We include 6 months of free membership access to our series of training tutorials, with every custom web design package.
While you focus on running your business, we can focus on how to market your business online, whether that means building a website, new marketing strategy, email campaigns, anything you need help with. Trust us, it saves money and time in the long-run. So, if you’re a business owner searching out a creative and collaborative marketing and branding partner, Original Ginger could be the fit your looking for.