As time moves on and technology continues to evolve, there are more and more opportunities for businesses to operate virtually and connect with their audiences online. Whilst having a physical space and option of personal one to one contact is important, these services can only be provided at certain times and under certain circumstances. The beauty of virtual business is the constant brand awareness and ability for customers to access services at any given time.
Creating brand awareness and building virtual business can be done through several channels:
- Social Media
Probably the most obvious and popular tool is social media. Followers can get in touch and overlook business movements, actions and messaging through their own personal devices. Platforms such as Instagram allow businesses to visually show the work they do, and tools such as Instagram stories or Facebook stories give followers an instant insight into the day to day running of businesses. It also means customers can comment and receive round the clock advice at any time. With new social channels such as TikTok growing in popularity all the time, there is always a platform out there which will suit your business, so it is good to identify these early on.
Creating a 30-day plan of content for your social platforms will really strengthen your messaging, and will give your audience a reason to check back in with you. Hooking onto national days, key calendar dates and interacting with followers will really help strengthen your brand awareness.
There is also the opportunity to grow your social following and brand awareness by interacting with influencers or celebrities who fit in with your brand. Hosting competitions or giveaways with key figures is an easy and effective way to reach new audiences. Whilst the prize doesn’t necessarily have to expensive, making sure entrants must follow your social pages is a great way to raise brand awareness.
Alternatively, collaborating with another business that links nicely with yours is another way to reach similar audiences, whilst creating interesting and captivating content.
- Online Shop
An online shop and website is like having a permanent salesperson for a business. An accessible website with clear and concise messaging can help customers navigate the shop, and with clear call to actions result in online sales.
Another service you could think about selling is knowledge or training. Online courses are an easy way to reach people wanting to emerge into a new field as it is not time sensitive and easily accessible. If you have the monopoly on a certain topic or skill, then definitely see if this is a revenue opportunity for your business.
- Utilise experts
Having someone with a vast expanse of knowledge is another great sales tool, however they can be difficult to reach at all times, so utilising their expertise can help strengthen your business. Whether their comments and insights are used across social media, online forums and publications or simply for the business website, having experts in the field visible will let customers feel a human presence.
- Go Live!
If your experts are happy to go live through social media, webinars or shared video calls, there is a huge opportunity to still operate your business through virtual reality. Forums such as these are a great way to converse with customers, existing or potentially new, as well as others in the same industry. Talking about current topics, offering advice or being there to guide an activity is a great way to add another channel of communication.
- Host an event
If you wanted to go a step further, hosting a virtual event is a great way to make your audience feel like they’re in the room with you. With festivals, wine tastings and fitness classes all being hosted virtually, there is no limit as to the kind of event you can host online. With group chat apps such as Houseparty and Zoom, you can communicate with large audiences, guide activities, organise panel speakers, host Q&As meaning you can effectively host a whole event from the comfort of your own home, without the expense of hiring a space.
If you did want to add a personal touch, sending out goody bags after the event to give guests a physical reminder of the event will also strengthen the events impact.
- Good old-fashioned letters
Well… online letters, more specifically newsletters. Allowing people to subscribe to a newsletter is a great way to reach your audience quickly and with key information. Some businesses also use customers details to send texts and other important notifications to their audiences faster. Emailing is one of the easiest ways to reach people these days, and newsletters can include all sort of vital aspects to help maintain your business.