The Online Arms Race: Is Your Business Being Left Behind?

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

The impact of the online world in business has been nothing short of a revolution. The internet changed how we deliver services, how we market, and even how we run our business. Already, many that have failed to adapt to each new wave of change have been caught under them and lost instead. It’s time to take a look at the business and to decide whether or not you’re truly caught up with the online arms race that keeps modern companies competitive.

Having ears and eyes all over

Let’s look, first of all, on how the internet can change the nature of the business internally. The more effective your workforce and efficient your processes, the more you stand to earn. One example of that is the rise of remote workers. Nowadays, desk jobs are some of the most common across all businesses. By relying on remote working, employers are able to not only drastically cut the costs of providing equipment, space, and furniture for employees. They are also able to source their talent from a wider geographical range. Remote working is becoming more popular, and there are a lot of tools to not only ensure you’re sharing the resources and tools that need to be shared but to track employee productivity even if you’re not there to check up with them face-to-face.

Connected, communicative, and correct

Whether they’re far away or sharing an office, online tools are making it a lot easier for workers to cooperate and communicate, as well. One tool particularly helpful is project management software. In the past, failing to spot miscommunication, blockages in the workflow, and when someone might not be pulling their weight could lead to project goals being entirely missed. Project management software allows a business owner a bird’s eye view of those big, important collaborative tasks. Everyone can see what role they play, who their work is connected to, and problems that could slow the project down if not dealt with proactively.

What you need, when you need it

The internet has also made it a lot easier to share resources, as mentioned. However, you don’t have to do it only through emails and direct file transfers. Businesses are using Cloud storage services more and more to host all their internal resources. First of all, it serves as a reliable backup of the data you keep on physical devices. However, it also creates a bank of sticky knowledge and resources that your team can access when they need it without you having to play the role of gatekeeper. It allows for more independent working and gives employees the opportunity to be resourceful instead of having to interrupt someone else’s workflow.

Marketing is more than a tool now

The net is a communicative tool more than anything. It’s the most broadly used tool for spreading information, opinion, and marketing. But marketing is about more than sending advertisements and trying to get the attention of your target market. Nowadays, marketing is very much the online representation of the company’s identity. Instead of focusing on one technique, like companies of the past might focus solely on television or radio, companies like CandidSky make it clear that the comprehensive approach is best. Your website, your social media, search engine optimization, content marketing. They all work together, helping one another grow. Online marketing is the language we use to build a brand and a community, as well as how we drive conversions, sales, subscriptions and so on.

The new town hall

Social media has perhaps become one of the most important parts of that language, too. In the past, advertising was a slow process, creating a message with the intention of having it heard time and time again. Social media is much more fast-paced. A business needs to regularly deliver content and management tools like SproutSocial are often necessary to deliver it across several platforms at once. But it’s not just content they create aimed at winning customers. It’s also about curating content from others to keep them interested in your channel. It’s about reacting to and interacting with your various followers. Sometimes, it will be used for customer support functions, or times it simply offers a social and personal dynamic between the business and the market. Nowadays, social media marketing involves a very hands-on, personable approach.

The digital grapevine

Your digital marketing and your social media efforts are how you attempt to get your message out there and direct the discourse towards your business. However, the internet is a free speech bastion and a consumer guide, as well. There are others who have something to say about your business and it’s not always good. With genuine criticism, businesses must be tactful in how they deal with customers or else they risk coming off very poorly. As PureReputation shows, however, there are negative comments and reviews that can be left containing out-of-date or even false information. If a business is looking to start spreading its message online, it has to be aware of and to deal with the noise that already exists.

Know more, earn more

You can do a lot more than control the message of the business online, however. You can also use it to get to know a lot more about your market, as well. There are various ways you can get insight on who you should be targeting and what, exactly, the want. Big data collection with tools like Google Analytics is becoming more and more popular. But there are ways to take a more hands-on approach, as well. It’s recommended that every business on social media takes the time to do a little snooping into the most active of their social media followers, for instance. Email marketing and social media are also great channels for sending out surveys to get it straight from the horse’s mouth.

There are elements of running a business that remain constant, regardless of how tech evolves. The need for a product or service with a market. The need for good financial sense. But, hand-in-hand with all of those, the need for the incorporation of the online world is becoming more and more essential to success.

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