4 Ways Small Businesses Can Grow Online in 2022

Michael Morales  -  March 1, 2022  -   

Although we’re well into the digital era, Review 42’s statistics on small businesses reveal that less than 64% of all SMEs have a website or professional online presence. This is despite the fact that up to 80% of consumers begin their shopping journey online. So as not to miss out on this huge potential for growth, small businesses stand to benefit from growing their online presence as soon as possible. Given that not every SME has the extra manpower or budget to apply sophisticated digital marketing plans, here are some cost-efficient and effective online strategies instead:

1. Create Video Content

Video is arguably the king of content online because most users seem to prefer it. As mentioned by Michael Morales in our breakdown of video content for business, video content is a great way to reach customers and improve brand recall. In fact, videos can be remembered for longer by up to 80% of customers and it can enhance website traffic by almost 41%. To create videos that convert, keep them as helpful, entertaining, and shareable as possible. Depending on your budget, you can either hire a video production team or you can simply shoot and edit your video yourself. Remember, that video need not be too fancy so long as it satisfies the need for digestible information your audience demands.

2. Optimize Social Media

Social media is one of our generation’s most powerful online tools. Hence, it’s no surprise that about 77% of all SMEs have a social media account. That said, another equally effective way to harness social media for your business is to go into thought leadership. This will require your business’ leaders to put themselves out there, but this may improve conversions. After all, 70% of consumers say they feel more connected to businesses whose leaders are on social media. To be an effective thought leader, start by creating an active account with positive content. According to LHH’s guide to professional branding, social media accounts that post consistently and mindfully are more credible and trustworthy. This also means that you should audit your social media presence to ensure you’re not affiliated with anything questionable or dated online. Since consumers patronize businesses that share the same values, proper social media practices can make you seem like a reliable business owner. Having this respectable reputation will directly benefit your business.

3. Invest in SEO Practices

While video may be a leading content form, text content is still a necessity. After all, more technical or detailed information may be easier to review if written out. Perhaps more importantly, with text content, you can leverage in search engine optimization (SEO). Currently, only 17% of small businesses invest in SEO which means a huge chunk is missing out. As detailed in Forbes’ listicle of SEO benefits, 80% of local SEO searches lead to actual conversions. This could be a game-changer for mom and pop stores who often rely on physical foot traffic. To make use of SEO, you can either hire a professional content provider or, again, do it yourself. Though you may not have the sophisticated SEO tools that professionals have, you can still give your business a significant boost by trying it yourself. A good starting point would be to add popular keywords into your headlines or paragraphs. This way, when prospective consumers search for these online, your business will be among the first ones they can read up on.

4. Offer Hybrid Experiences

Regardless of whether your business is purely online or if it also has a physical counterpart, hybrid digital experiences will gain you more consumer attention. Consumers today crave experiences and value businesses that can give this to them online and off. This means efforts like live streams or online/offline giveaways. Recent data from Social Media Today’s 2022 digital predictions even state that live streaming will become a hot trend among businesses this year. In places like China, this practice has already proven beneficial to local businesses who’ve regularly live stream as they have seen a 280% annual growth rate. The best part of hybrid experiences is that you can tweak them to your locale or industry. As a small business, you even have the grassroots advantage of knowing what online/offline experiences your target market wants.

While going online used to only be a “nice to have” for small businesses, today, it’s a total must-have. In order to not just survive but thrive in the digital era, small businesses must start applying online efforts. When SMEs are able to grow online, they can enjoy a more sustainable, future-proof, and scalable business endeavor.

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