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Your Business Online Presence in 2021: Ad-Blocking, E-Commerce, Customer Support, Social Media, and More
If there is one lesson small and medium businesses learned during a year and a half of lockdowns, it is this: a strong digital presence is no longer a nice-to-have. With a modifier “from home” being added to more and more everyday activities (work, shop, etc), the physical nature of brick and mortar locations threatens to come out less real than the online reality. Having a strong online presence has turned out to be the driving force that brings in new leads and revenue opportunities.
No longer is it enough to have a website or a Facebook page. You need to be actively involved in promoting your brand online. Be it through ads, your own ecommerce site, user-friendly customer support, engaging social media content, and a lot more, you need to be where your customers are—online. Here is a brief rundown of the building blocks you will need to build a solid online presence for your business.
Since the world moved online, the use of ad blockers skyrocketed from 15.7% in 2014 to 27% in 2021. Almost a third of your prospects are likely blocking your ads! But don’t fret, as there are ways to work around it while building trust and 1-on-1 value-based relationships that lack in the standard blanket approach to ads. Here are some strategies you can implement to remain visible to prospects who ad-block.
- Focus on value-add contextual ads (white papers, blog posts, calculators, etc) that tend to get through ad blockers.
- Build your strategy around sponsorship and influencer marketing. For example, sponsoring a YouTube channel relevant to your audience will ensure you are seen in a beneficial context.
- Create higher quality ads while negotiating with ad blocking software providers to allow your ads through the filters.
- Facebook network ads (Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp) and Google ads such as those in Gmail tend to now get filtered when a user accesses the site through a separate mobile app.
- Firewall the valuable content on your site and allow access after the ad blocker is disabled.
Additionally, a recent study has found ad blockers could be beneficial for your business. Ad blockers can give you information that can help you:
- Target users more efficiently.
- Provide a better user experience to your visitors.
- Focus your resources on users more receptive to ads.
E-commerce is one of the best ways to make use of online services to branch out your business and expand the customer base. Your e-commerce site acts as the anchor for all your ads, content, and digital activities that will all link back to your e-commerce product listings. So, it is of utmost importance to make it up to date, clear, secure, and usable. While SEO is one of the classic ways to gain online visibility, let us list down some of the ongoing e-commerce trends you may want to add to your site:
- AR-enabled online shopping, so your customers can visualize items on themselves or in their homes.
- AI-based analytics, for easier order forecasting and more cost-effective planning.
- Voice searches, to grab those opportunities as soon as they cross your customer’s mind.
- Result personalisation, to always suggest exactly what they need, at exactly the right time.
- Personalized user experience, to be welcoming and inclusive.
- Chatbots, to answer any questions the customer may have instantly, at zero cost.
- Mobile shopping, to provide ease of access and convenience.
- More options to make secure online payments, for even more confidence and convenience.
- Video content, to tease imagination and inspite.
- Subscriptions, to eliminate friction of manual re-ordering for those daily-use goods.
- Sustainability, to show respect to your community and environment.
Studies say that post-COVID-19, customers will be paying even more attention to their overall customer experience. And it goes without saying how important customer support is for a positive customer experience. Businesses should start focusing on enabling a better agent experience via better tools and software solutions. You should also be training your service reps on making the best use of the enterprise systems, facilitating better handling of customer data, and collecting as much valuable feedback as you can. Here are some top trends gaining importance in the customer support space.
- Omnichannel customer support (email, chat, phone, and so on). The easier it is to reach your business and get a response, the more your current and future customers will trust you.
- Better engagement on social media. Not only is it important to engage with the community on social media and respond to complaints, but the feedback your customers volunteer on social media channels is invaluable to inform what they care about and how you can better service them.
- Personalized customer support. Noone like to feel like a faceless number.
- Better use of software tools and data-based insights. Customer Relationship Management systems allow you to view the entire history of your business’s relationship with each customer, building trust and allowing you to serve them better.
Social media usage grew by leaps and bounds in the past few years. There are currently 4.3 billion active social media users, and if you want to find an audience, social media is where you need to look into. Here are some top social media trends to look out for in 2021:
- Live streams. Transparency is in. Show your prospects how to use your product, how you create it, and how other customers enjoy it. Plus, videos are ranked higher by social platforms’ algorithms.
- Stories as content. Our brains are wired for stories, so tell them compellingly and vulnerably. User-generated content—user stories—is a great instrument for building a community around your brand and showing appreciation for your loyal customers.
- VR and AR media trends. With the limited amount of experiences still available to large portions of the population, immersive virtual/augmented reality experiences are bound to set you apart.
- Social commerce. Engage your customers and prospects in product design, buying and marketing—people love to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
- Themed campaigns. Social media makes it easy to plug into the culturally significant narratives—use it to celebrate with the world.
- Genuine engagement and organic growth. Don’t talk at your customers, talk to them! Authenticity is how your customers know you are the real deal.
So, what will you do to enhance your business’s online presence in 2021? Chat with our IT experts at 3nom today to make it a reality!