3 digital solutions to grow your business
Since the onset of COVID-19, businesses have pivoted to provide more products, services and solutions for the increasingly digital world. With businesses looking for new ways to grow and reach new customers digitally, it's important to identify and advance digital strategies within their companies and connect with leading Minnesota suppliers who can help develop these solutions.
At the recent MN Supplier Match Roundtable, experts from Minnesota companies in supply chain logistics, e-commerce, digital marketing and more led discussions with businesses looking to explore trends and best practices around digital strategies. Roundtable leaders included:
- Kaisa Taipale of C.H. Robinson
- Jim Frome of SPS Commerce
- Marnie Ochs-Raleigh of Evolve Systems
- Pedro Alexander Medina of Haystack Data Solutions
- Scot Alexander of Optimity Advisors
- Ryan Carlson of Fidelity Bank MN
Why use of digital tools is more important than ever
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced more personal and professional lives online. Businesses have responded accordingly.
"76% of U.S. small businesses reported increasing their use of digital tools during the pandemic and 93% of U.S. small businesses report now that they intend to maintain or increase their use of digital tools post-COVID," said Wendy Gonzalez of Google, keynote speaker at the recent MN Supplier Match Roundtable. "As consumers are continuing to spend more time online, it's critical for small business owners to continue to expand their digital footprint, to make the most of the opportunities ahead."
What tools can Minnesota businesses use to meet and engage customers in the more digital landscape? Wendy provided three simple tools that can be used by any business.
1. Optimize your Google business profile
"If your business has a local presence, your business profile is a free and easy way for your business to show up in Google search and maps. We know consumers are looking online to connect with local businesses. We want to make it easy for potential customers to find you," said Gonzalez.
This step can communicate simple information like open hours, phone number, website, and show pictures. Google has also added additional new features that allow business to share new events, products and services with customers, as well as the ability to book directly. Optimizing your Google profile makes it easier for your potential customer to engage with your business.
2. Utilize easy-to-set-up Google Ads
You don't need to be a digital advertising executive to get your business in front of potential customers. Google makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to reach their targetted audience.
"At Google, we have a product that is specifically designed for small businesses. We call it Smart campaigns. Smart campaigns creates ads and has them across Google properties in less than 15 minutes. Ads can also just appear on our display and our search partner sites. And you can set the geographies where you want your ads to be shown. Potentially allowing you to connect with customers across the world, if that's applicable to your business. Those ads are optimized to drive results that matter most to your specific business. Are you most interested in driving store visits, website sales, phone calls or app downloads, things like that."
3. Connect with customers on Youtube
You don't need a professional videographer or multimedia team to make videos that represent your business on Youtube.
"You can have a free Youtube channel as a great way to showcase what's unique about your business," said Gonzalez. "It helps make personal connections with your customers through the power of video. 70% of Youtube viewers say that Youtube makes them more aware of new brands. And viewers say that they're twice as likely to buy something they saw on Youtube. And this is also great because Youtube has a large reach, more than 2 billion monthly active users. It's actually the second largest search engine in the world, after Google."
Want to learn more about MN Supplier Match?
COVID-19 has disrupted supply chains around the world. But there are suppliers all over the state who can provide accessibility, short lead-times, shared networks, and trusted quality. MN Supplier Match is database for members seeking connections to Minnesota’s robust supply chain. Click below for more information or contact the Chamber's Sean O'Neil to learn more.