The advances of our digital age have made many changes in the way business is conducted. Over the last few decades, entrepreneurs have evolved from exploring their local audience to reaching national and global audiences. This democratization of worldwide business landscapes makes for an exciting time, but it’s certainly not without its challenges.

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One of the major roadblocks many small businesses face in such an open global economy is competition. It is more important than ever for entrepreneurs to make certain they can reach their audience and connect with them in a meaningful way that produces results. This isn’t easy; many businesses struggle to break through the vast amount of noise in the marketplace.

We’ll take a look at a few key areas that can help business owners adjust their practices and discover their audience. What tools assist entrepreneurs in attracting and connecting with customers? What are some of the best practices? 

Data Analytics

For the uninitiated, “data analytics” is a terrifying term. Though it’s certainly a technical term that relies upon a certain amount of expertise to interpret, it needn’t be a source of anxiety. It’s not beyond the average small business’s reach. In fact, in a business environment that requires a smart approach to audience identification and targeting, analytics is essential to success.

Data analysis can be useful across a range of areas. Business owners can gain insight into where the services they offer are most in demand, or if there are specific needs that are not currently being served. Data can reveal the demographics of those most likely to use certain products, and whether they undertake activities that might be supported by items that a business is developing. We live in a data-rich world. Every time someone engages with social media advertising, uses an app on their smartphone, or purchases an item from an online retailer, data about them and their actions is collected. 

It’s all very well to know that this data is collected and how it can be used, but the key is connecting with services that can help small businesses analyze the data and gain an understanding of what it means. Over the past few years, several analytics services have emerged specializing in serving small businesses. Those services can help entrepreneurs to mine data across multiple platforms. They also supply analytic tools to help them interpret that data. This allows companies to understand where their
audience is and what they want in order to better direct their marketing efforts.

Embrace Technology

Finding an audience in a global market isn’t simply about identifying who is most likely to require which services. It’s also about businesses positioning themselves in such a way that they can be easily discovered and accessed by their audience. If entrepreneurs are hoping to attract customers from across the country or around the world, it is imperative that they embrace technology throughout various areas of their business.

Part of building a reputation in a global economy is making sure your business is easy to interact with. Financial technology (FinTech) has developed to the point that it is easier than ever to send and receive payments from across the planet, making purchasing easy for both global travelers and those sitting behind their computers. Brick-and-mortar stores and online services should include FinTech solutions from payment processing for cards to options that
allow purchasing by PayPal or even cryptocurrency.

It’s worth bearing in mind that Millennials represent the largest proportion of consumers today, and they place a high premium on businesses that utilize technology in interesting and convenient ways. By combining products and services with popular apps, utilizingpurchasing options via social media, and even engaging with customer service options such as chatbots and WhatsApp messaging, business owners can make their companies more accessible and navigable by a global audience.

Social Media Marketing Content

Social media is an inescapable element of today’s society. While some people are not always comfortable or confident with its use, it is nonetheless an essential tool in finding an audience, building relationships, and maintaining long-term connections. However, it’s not as simple as just opening accounts across all networks and throwing out a few sporadic posts. 

First of all, it’s important to use the data analysis gained in order to understand who is being targeted and what social media platforms that demographic is likely to use. This allows entrepreneurs to make intelligent decisions about whether they will focus their social media marketing efforts on a more visual medium such as Instagram or a text platform like Twitter. Businesses should then create diverse content beyond the simply promotional — the aim is to connect with the audience, encouraging them to interact enthusiastically. Further analytics can also be gained from posts, helping to gain a firm grasp on understanding who saw them, what they reacted to and where they were located, more data with which to make choices about posts going forward.

It’s important to understand that discovering an audience can take more than a few simple social media posts. It is beneficial to build the business’s profile by creating content that bolsters its reputation for expertise. Start a regular blog that gives insight into production methods or where materials are sourced. Vlogs on YouTube allow entrepreneurs to not just showcase their wares; it also provides customers with a relatable face of the company. An added side benefit of these types of content is the potential to monetize them or collaborate with other creators to make connections in the industry.

Conclusion

There’s no denying that the greater connectivity of our world today helps to make an exciting and challenging business landscape. By taking the time to get to grips with data analytics, exploring the potential of technology in commerce, and understanding the true value of marketing content, business owners can rise above the noise and connect with their target demographic.

 

Indiana Lee is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest with a passion for covering business best practices, social justice, environmental protection, and more. In her off time she enjoys hiking with her two dogs. You can follow her on twitter @indianalee3, or reach her at [email protected].

 

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