7 Business Challenges to Prepare for When Going Online in 2020

How can improving your digital marketing strategy help you overcome business challenges in 2020? Competition is fierce in the online space with businesses of all sizes fighting for attention. 

Big businesses with big budgets pay top dollar for their messages to be seen. This often makes it harder for small business owners to profit from online marketing.

Learn what you can do to face the biggest business challenges this year and come out on top with a highly visible, engaging web presence.

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The 7 Biggest Challenges Your Business Should Prepare for When Going Online

In 2020, your website might be even more important than your physical storefront. To compete with others in your industry, you need to focus on how you can drive customers there.

Doing this might take some time, but the right approach will help you surge ahead of competitors and build a lasting industry presence.

1. Differentiate Lead Generation Strategies with Email Marketing

There’s no doubt an email list—including previous customers and those simply interested in your products/services— is one of the best ways to boost your ROI. 

Emails have an average open rate of 20.81%, and 17.75% of emails that generate click-throughs result in sales. Among all digital marketing channels, email marketing boasts an incredible ROI. 

For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you have the potential to make up to $44. But building an email list can be difficult when almost every website bombards customers with calls to action requesting contact information.

Your challenge, as a business owner, is to differentiate the way you get customers’ email addresses.

Try gamifying your signup process to engage customers right from the start and simplify future personalization efforts. 

For example, having customers take a quiz to find the best products for their needs provides a customized shopping experience. However, it also takes the guesswork out of segmenting your email list. Be sure to follow up with tailored messages containing relevant, valuable information.

2. Improve Digital Ad Targeting Strategies

Audience segmentation is key in ad targeting. 91% of customers are more likely to engage with brands providing personalized recommendations or offers. Additionally, 80% are more likely to make purchases when the shopping experience caters to their tastes.

In addition to personalizing your lead generation strategy, you need detailed customer analytics to grab attention with targeted ads. 

To serve the best ads based on preferences, your customer relationship management platform (CRM) should gather as much data as possible about items viewed, what customers like about products, and purchasing habits.

Cookies on your website ensure that your preferences are “recognized and remembered” for a seamless experience each time they visit.

3. Keep Customers Engaged on Social Media

Stories are all the rage on social media platforms. This doesn’t only mean storytelling—social stories are temporarily available content pieces—normally pictures or videos—meant to engage with viewers. 

HubSpot reports a 220% year-over-year increase in story-related ad spending in 2018. Over 400 million Instagram users create stories every day, with the average brand posting 2.5 stories per week. On Facebook, stories only have a 10% adoption rate but are growing 15 times faster than news feed sharing.

What do these statistics on stories mean for your social media strategy? 

Customers want engaging content that integrates with the experience of their daily lives. Stories provide a platform for generating interest through narratives related to your products or services. They also give customers an opportunity to interact with the ongoing evolution of your brand.

Use video to make stories immersive, and include customers’ content in your stories to create and maintain connections with your followers.

4. Optimize for Changing Consumer Search Preferences

Mobile and voice searches are transforming the way customers find products and interact with brands. No matter where you’re located, this is one of the biggest business challenges you might face.

In early 2019, 45% of millennials in the U.S. reported using voice search “regularly” for shopping. Voice searches for local companies are also on the rise. 46% of people perform smartphone voice searches for local business information one or more times every day. 

To put your site in front of more people, focus on optimizing for voice, mobile and local searches in 2020. 

Use conversational language in your website copy and content marketing, including questions, long-tail keywords and filler words. Including location keywords attracts nearby customers and allows you to connect with target audiences in particular areas.

If you want your brand to stand out in any Google search, create rich snippets for your site. Rich snippets rely on structured data markup to give Google additional information about page content. Search engines then use this data to help users find the right page faster through more detailed results.

5. Adapt to “Zero-Click” Searches

Did you know 50% of Google searches don’t result in clicks? 

As Google has evolved into a centralized hub of information, more people are able to find answers without leaving results pages. Businesses seeking to actually drive traffic to their websites by ranking for popular queries need to update their content strategies in 2020 to include information beyond the basics Google provides.

There are two main ways to do this:

  • Create content that answers common questions to increase your site’s chances of appearing in a featured snippet
  • Use onsite content to dive deeper into relevant subjects and encourage customers to read more

National Business Capital & Services can help you navigate the zero-click learning curve and optimize your content to improve click-through rates with a customized SEO marketing plan.

6. Building a Loyal Customer Base

Customers are using voice search and zero click to find exactly what they want without giving much thought to brand loyalty. 

This is especially true of young shoppers, and it represents a significant challenge for the marketing strategy of a small business. Why? 

Customer loyalty is cheaper than customer acquisition. You’ll spend five times more on customer recruitment than on retention. The customers you already have provide around 65% of your income.

That’s why loyalty programs are so hot in 2020. 

According to eMarketer, almost 60% of internet users place high value on earning rewards and loyalty points when they shop. An interactive loyalty program paired with a commitment to product quality and customer service provides an experience that will keep customers coming back.

7. Comply with Consumer Privacy Laws

It’s no secret that the potential for a data breach makes people wary. Failing to properly secure your site could cost you as much as 84% of potential sales according to HubSpot. 

Government regulations have made it perfectly clear: business owners are responsible for the safety and privacy of customer data.

As more regulations are put into effect, compliance is becoming a non-negotiable aspect of running an online business. With GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act and Brazil’s General Data Protection Law already on the books, you need to make sure your site and any third-party service you use follows proper compliance procedures. 

An SSL certificate will encrypt any contact information transmitted through your website.

Boost Your Online Presence with a Business Line of Credit

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, access to financing was one of the top small business challenges in 2019. 

But with organic reach on social media topping out between 1% to 2%, it’s hard to get your content seen without putting money behind your campaigns. 

When you add in SEO changes, lead generation and audience targeting, you can find yourself spending more than your cash flow can support.

What’s the best way to fund your online strategy? 

A business line of credit from National Business Capital & Services can provide the money you need to fund your online strategy on an ongoing basis. As you learn what approaches work for your business, you can draw more funds to invest further in these, and scale back your spend in other areas. 

Ready to get started? Apply now to learn your options!

National Business Capital & Services is the #1 FinTech marketplace offering small business loans and services. Harnessing the power of smart technology and even smarter people, we’ve streamlined the approval process to secure over $1 billion in financing for small business owners to date.

Our expert Business Financing Advisors work within our 75+ Lender Marketplace in real time to give you easy access to the best low-interest SBA loans, short and long-term loans and business lines of credit, as well as a full suite of revenue-driving business services.

We strengthen local communities one small business loan at a time. For every deal we fund, we donate 10 meals to Feeding America!

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About the Author, Matt Carrigan

Matt Carrigan is the Content Writer at National Business Capital & Services. He loves spending every day creating content to educate business owners across every industry about business growth strategies, and how they can access the funding they need!


Disclaimer: The information and insights in this article are provided for informational purposes only, and do not constitute financial, legal, tax, business or personal advise from National Business Capital & Services and the author. Do no rely on this information as advice and please consult with your financial advisor, accountant and/or attorney before making any decisions. If you rely solely in this information it is at your own risk. The information is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge, but there maybe errors, omissions, or mistakes.