Currently, there are 2.92 billion users with access to internet across the world. Internet penetration has grown exponentially with increasing bandwidth and broadband connectivity. Use of internet has seen a sharp rise with some of the most popular online activities like online shopping, e-mails and social networking. Considering that, large businesses realized much earlier, the importance of having a website.
Soon after, small-scale businesses in big cities followed in their footsteps to pose them a competition. But there is a lot of scope to explore the opportunity of website creation among small-town clients. Small-town businesses still think that the number of customers they cater to versus the amount of investment required in a website is a no-go for them. The problem is that they don’t realize the potential a website holds.
The need is to educate them and make them think big. For a small-scale businessman in a small town, everything ultimately comes down to the investment required. They are extremely cautious in spending every penny. Let them know the value for money they are going to get. Don’t limit your selling proposition to the benefits of having a website with 24X7 access theory.
Following are some of the critical points that you need to stress upon:
A. Share with them the advantages of setting up a website
1. Ability to track visitors
Creating a website is easy. But how effective it is for your client? Do they understand how can they improve the performance of their website? Expose them to various analytical tools that help the website owner to track and understand their visitors. Google Analytics is one of the free tools that track the visitors coming from every platform i.e. online ads, videos, smartphone, tablet or PC.
It also helps them to gain insight into customer purchase behavior, revise their marketing approach and improve the traffic on the website. They can learn to conduct A/B testing and share their learning with their colleagues. Reaching the right target audience was never so easy and your clients need to be convinced with that.
2. Building a strong brand image
Your client has been probably following traditional marketing ways of reaching the target audience. Though there is nothing wrong with that but looking at the reach required and demographics of a small town makes a website look more progressive & professional. It portrays a strong brand image.
People in small towns are aspiring to become tech-savvy with the penetration of internet in the remotest areas. The target audience of your clients is this group of people who are learning to have everything at their disposal at the click of a button. The way your clients market themselves and the convenience they offer plays a significant role in the brand building exercise. Beyond the name recognition they get through online medium, it is the communication about their service potential that gets them true recognition.
3. Advertising a website is a lot easier
It is true that online advertisement of website is a lot easier than traditional modes of advertising through pamphlets, newspapers, magazines etc. Online advertisement gives you a sea of opportunities to pick and choose from a variety of mediums. Social media advertisement is one of the leading ways of online advertisement. The fact is that people feel free to interact on social media and the marketer is open to follow the interests & likes of their audience.
Company blog interlinked with social media profiles is a dexterous approach taken by an online marketer. Apart from that, listing the website through online ads is another interesting way of expanding the reach. Furthermore, they can tweak the website content to keep it SEO-friendly and original that differentiates them from others. Online modes of advertisement are under the control of the business-owner and their ability to engage with their audience makes them superior unlike traditional marketing.
4. Getting more leads
Website has a global presence. It gives them the opportunity to reach the customers beyond their town. Business queries that usually happen over a phone can now easily happen through a website. Moreover, complex queries become difficult to address through phone or SMS. Use of fax and posts is, gradually, fading away.
Websites are the only efficient way left for both buyer and seller to generate and respond to business queries. Adding to that, people are more willing to submit a form online than to pick up the phone and explain. As a seller, your clients get sufficient time to think, choose their words and give the right quotation to the customers. On the contrary, if your client has a retail business, running an e-commerce website for online selling sounds appropriate.
B. What more can they do with a website?
Many people are simply unaware what they can do with a website. They can receive online bill payments, sell their products and services, manage their content, start subscription for new offers and discounts, newsletter registration, start a customer portal & a whole lot of other things. If your client is able to understand this and finds it relevant to his business needs, you have made an excellent start.
C. How is design of the website important?
A good website design is equally essential as quality content. Your clients might argue that they can get a new website made at a fraction of the cost. But what they really don’t understand is the ability of that website to show any meaningful results.
• Color, fonts and logo play a significant role in determining the look of the website. Besides looking good, a website needs to be easily navigable helping the potential customers to locate what they are looking for. The usability factor needs to be kept in mind without compromising for the sake of appearance.
• The images need to get uploaded faster as a higher loading time irks the visitors. Moreover, a website owner has a time of couple of seconds to impress the visitor. If they fail to do so, the visitor quits.
• A good website drives the customers to explore more and take action. So, do not forget to include Call-to-Action buttons.
• Include a sitemap while designing. It also helps in increasing the ranking on search engines.
D. Have their competitors outpaced them?
A quick check on the competitors is required to know what kind of design and facility they are offering through their website. Show your clients by typing in the Google search bar, if their competitors show up in the search results by trying different keywords. If you have served the competitors of your client, tell them how you will differentiate to serve them better.
Also, analyze a series of other mediums adopted by the competitor to stay ahead in the race like blog, social media etc. Try to sell a complete package that might include setting up a blog, Twitter and Facebook profile for your clients.
E. Do not undermine mobile consumers
Access of internet through mobile has shown a steep increase over the years. With the increase in the use of smartphones and tablets, mobile application development & tie-up with third-party developers have already shown its worth in large towns. Mobile is going to remain the most preferred medium of accessing the website in small towns as well. Therefore, the website interface needs to be mobile-friendly.
How do you find new customers?
Finding new customers is not so difficult when you are confident about your services and have a long-term plan in focus. Attend local events and gatherings to understand local businesses & the challenges faced by them to market their business. Interact with businessmen to share their personal opinion and the way they look ahead to expand their business.
Do remember to share your business card with them. Don’t try to sell your services at the first meeting. Get yourself listed in the local chamber of commerce, which shows that you are an authentic person and not a fly-by-night company. In small towns, word-of-mouth referral plays a key role in getting leads. So, build relationship with your existing customers and ask them to recommend your services.
Understand their business needs to understand them better. They might not be aware what is good for them. Create a need, share the potential benefits and sell it with a promise of on-going support. Build a trust and a long-term relationship. Emotions play a significant role for a small-town businessman. Share your joy in their success.