Whether you have already got your business’s digital presence up and running or are just preparing to go live, your website should be supported by knowledge of search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies and unique content, as well as a proactive approach to social media.
“Our website is the foundation upon which we generate and deliver value – although our site is our product, I consider it an extremely powerful marketing tool in its own right,” says Mad Paws product manager Chris Nheu.
The service that connects pet owners with more than 3,500 verified pet-sitters across Australia is the latest venture in the pet-sitting marketplace to attract funding – the company recently reported securing $1.1 million in capital in its latest funding round – while the pet services industry itself is one of the fastest-growing local industries in Australia.
“Because of the nature of the internet, a technology company like us has the potential to be global from day one,” says Nheu, whose role involves translating customer needs into product specifications and then working with the development team to get it built. He says a website enables the business to:
- Serve its main function by connecting pet owners with pet services
- Facilitate transactions in a secure and safe manner
- Deliver peace of mind to customers with local customer support and insurance
The power of interesting content – keeping customers hooked
There is a huge opportunity for marketplaces to build a cohesive social sharing strategy around content, says Nheu: “As a two-sided marketplace, our service profile pages present an awesome opportunity to leverage unique, user-generated content,” he says.
“While our service profiles are still undergoing rapid development, you only have to realise that service profiles display multimedia content, and that photos and videos are the most viral content on the web.”
Nheu says one important way to avoid turning people off is to steer clear of launching into your marketing spiel or elevator pitch: “The most engaging website is that which comes across as authentic and consistent.
When you go to a blog you can be captured by the stories and lessons being shared because you can tell they’re real. It’s always clear when an influencer is pitching a product/service they don’t believe in, and that can be a big turn off because you think they’re selling out.”
Gain organic traffic by mastering SEO techniques
All content on your site also contributes to a search engine optimisation strategy that scales over time. If you have a good understanding of SEO, you can ensure heightened visibility as people seek out your products and services online.
“In other words, as our platform grows and scales, its authority on Google’s search algorithms will yield better search ranking results, which is a cost-effective channel for acquiring new customers as your reach extends,” says Nheu.
Have a deep understanding of your customers
For Nheu, the best marketing strategies start with an acute and intimate understanding of your users.
- Know their stories, know what they are doing on a day-to-day basis, and understand how they are discovering new things online.
- Think outside the box for ideas on acquiring new customers and explore all the various social media platforms out there that might be right for your business. Of course, the traditional channels will always be there, but everyone else knows about them as well.
- Small businesses need to go that extra mile to find the hidden insights and secrets that aren’t so well-known to really connect.