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11 Replies Latest reply: Nov 16, 2011 10:47 AM by Success_Is_Mine RSS

Small Businesses...What's Your #1 Challenge Online?

Insight Riot! Novice
Currently Being Moderated

Hi all,

 

We're discussing some product ideas for small businesses to help them with their online marketing.  Big subject I know, but curious if there is a really 'sore' point re: online marketing, social media, etc....technical stuff, basic concepts, platforms, etc.

 

So the question is, if you had a magic wand to solve only one problem, what would it be?

 

Look forward to your input!!

  • Re: Small Businesses...What's Your #1 Challenge Online?
    Expert
    Currently Being Moderated

    Not sure this is the type of response you're looking for, but I personally wish there was an easy way to put a shopping cart and a photo slideshow into a website with as minimal effort as possible. If I had a magic wand to wave, my website would have both of those!

     

     

    ~MoniE

    • Re: Small Businesses...What's Your #1 Challenge Online?
      Insight Riot! Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hey MoniE - appreciate the input.  I'm not sure what platform your site is on, but if it's wordpress (or any popular CMS), you have lots of options using plugins.  I'm using wp-ecommerce on one client's site and is very solid - but there are literally 10 or 20 solid options for a shopping cart that are either free or under $100.  Most can tie right to paypal and you've got an easy way to at least be able to sell.  The other option would be to 'add on' to your site and use something like shopify.  You could put this on a subdomain and so you wouldn't need to 'integrate' or completely re-do your website. 

       

      Slideshow should be same story - you should be able to find a great plugin for that for free. (again, depeding on your site's platform)

       

      Hope that helps and appreciate the discussion!

       

      Brett

  • Re: Small Businesses...What's Your #1 Challenge Online?
    CorpCons08 Master
    Currently Being Moderated

    I am confused by your question.

     

    Do you want to know small business frustrations with web design or online marketing? You have both listed in your question.

     

    With online marketing, I believe a lot of small businesses get frustrated with driving business to their website and then capturing the sale. SEO isn't enough anymore. Using social media websites has been a great success for a lot of small businesses, as well as partnering up with business networking groups or other local businesses that would be willing to link up to you. Most businesses either attempt to make a page themselves, or pay a high priced service provider to make one for them, and then it stops there. Great, you have a webpage out there, but how are people going to know about it and visit it? That's where I think frustration begins.

     

    Regards,

     

    Dan

    • Re: Small Businesses...What's Your #1 Challenge Online?
      JustChairs Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated

      I find that people are going to my website, but the stats for how long they remain there are not as high as I would like them to be. I want to keep them onsite for longer, but do not know what to do with that.

      • Re: Small Businesses...What's Your #1 Challenge Online?
        Insight Riot! Novice
        Currently Being Moderated

        JustChairs;

         

        Hopefully you're running Google Analytics (you are running Google Analytics right? )

         

        There's a section called "Visitors Flow" that literally gives you a visual representation of how people are using your site.  You can see the pages they're landing on and where they go from there (either exiting your site or moving on to another page).  It's really helpful to see what content is engaging people the most (going on to visit other areas of your site) or what pages seem to have a higher exit %.

         

        At the end of the day it's either a content or a navigation problem I would guess.  And for some reason, people are landing on your site and not quite finding what they're looking for (which Analytics can help identify source as well).

         

        So my recommendation is start to isolate what the high engagement pages have in common - either subject matter, presentation, etc.  and then is it clear where they can go next (and why they should go there).  People often forget to think intentionally about user flow and make sure they have a "check out our other things here", etc.

         

        Hope that helps!

         

        Brett

    • Re: Small Businesses...What's Your #1 Challenge Online?
      Insight Riot! Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Dan,

       

      Good distinction and sorry for the lack of clarity.  The intend was to dig for insight into online marketing.  Web design can be very frustrating, but I think what more people here are probably interested in is "how do I find potential customers online and convert them to customers?" as you say well in your post; "driving business to their website and capturing the sale." 

       

      The thing I'm really trying to get to is where people are at in all of these various 'silos' of online marketing; SEO, PPC, Social, Email, etc. etc. - When I talk to SMBs about any one of those I get a HUGE variance of responses from "I have no idea what you're talking about" to "oh yeah, we do that" (but find out most don't really 'do' much that is effective).

       

      All that being said, all of these issues really come back to a couple basics: traffic (visitors) and conversions (sales).  The quandry for people is what platform, what tools, what strategies, how do I learn this stuff quickly, do I do it myself, do I pay someone else? when will I see a return on my investment?

       

      The direction I think we're headed on developing a product / service for SMBs is probably going to be Facebook based as the platform is consistent (and ginormous). Trying to tackle a businesses' website should be a long term one to one service offering...and with facebook or some of the other existing social platforms, the audience is there (you do have to know how to find them).  The big 'gap' I see with current Facebook (and a lot of online marketing tools in general) offerings is that they're so "DIY"...which some one man band businesses like, but if you're a decent sized business owner who is running a tight ship, you certainly don't have the time for this stuff, and so do you pay someone on your staff who doesn't necessarily know any of this stuff either?  do you pay a firm to 'take it over'?  Sometimes businesses owners forget about factoring opportunities costs into their online marketing (it took you a week of you (or you staff's) time to get your new facebook page together...how much did that really cost you?)

       

      The intent was really to see what people are seeing as their highest priorities and what problems they need solved, and all of these responses added some good insights.

       

      thanks,

       

      Brett

  • Re: Small Businesses...What's Your #1 Challenge Online?
    Arron93 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    The blog is truly fantastic! Lots of great inspiration, which we all need!b Keep 'em coming... you've done such a great job very appreciating... can't tell you how much I'm pleased from your work.

  • Re: Small Businesses...What's Your #1 Challenge Online?
    Rainbowrite Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'd say my number one challenge is simply finding and connecting with possible clients. They're out there, but I can't find them! Marketing in general has always been a challenge for me.

    • Re: Small Businesses...What's Your #1 Challenge Online?
      Insight Riot! Novice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hey Jean,

       

      Appreciate the reply - if you're able to say, what type of clients are you trying to find?  I'd be happy to give you some ideas - specifically how to find them online.

      • Re: Small Businesses...What's Your #1 Challenge Online?
        Success_Is_Mine Novice
        Currently Being Moderated

        Marketing is easy in my mind.  If you're a social media addict, you can be clever in getting word out.  People say word of mouth is the best option. They're right.  Let the mouth be the social media such as texting your product via twitter and connected with facebook. Your friends on facebook are the perfect connectors and potential customers and their friends and their friends and so on .  Think outside the box. Stay on top of all the new media tunnels. Having a website, isn't going to cut it these days-venture out such as etsy.com and other support sites that help people sell products.  Keep in mind SEO and other marketing techniques. Who is your demographic.

        Connections are countless.  Also feature a youtube video of your product.  All you need is a cam on your laptop. Save and edit your video and drop it on youtube.

        I hope these ideas work.

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