Inspiration for Your Online Business Presence
An online presence is vital for businesses both new and established, but sometimes it’s hard to decide just what that presence should look like. If your business sells physical products, like t-shirts, mugs or art, then you need an enticing online shop front that’s easy for both you and the customer to use.
However, if your product is virtual, like a gaming experience or blog posts, then you need to take an entirely different approach; content needs to be reliably accessible and it needs to deliver on its promises, as the information on screen is at the crux of what your business offers to clients.
Perhaps you have an idea in mind for what you want your online business profile to contain; in that case, read on to find some great examples of how it’s done right and software to start building your own. If you still haven’t a clue what type of website or profile you should be launching, then read on to find some inspiration.
One of the most popular ways of creating a monetised online presence right now is through subscription services. Whether you’re selling content, education, beauty products or love, using a membership model ensures consistent customer engagement and a regular income.
Take Patreon, for example; anybody can call themselves a creator and set up a Patreon account. They then choose what they will be offering so-called ‘patrons’ of their profile, which could mean anything from monthly update videos, to exclusive blog posts, to lists of resources, to handmade treats arriving via mail. Patrons pay a monthly amount to access this content, usually with an option to pay more and receive more, or pay less and receive the bare minimum. This tier system means that, even if a customer only has $1 to spare a month, that dollar is going to you and they’re in your customer base. Plus, once their circumstances change, they’re more likely to increase their monthly payment to access more content.
A continuation of the subscription service model is the streaming service. Platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime have completely revolutionized the way that television is consumed in the 21st century. However, if you’re planning on creating your own streamable content like video game play-alongs or personal vlogs, then use an existing platform like Twitch or YouTube to host it. Similarly to Patreon, customers sign up to your channel on one of these established streaming sites and you rack up more views, more advertising revenue and, eventually, more viewers. These viewers can then be converted into customers by pointing them in the direction of your merchandise site, asking them to pay a subscription fee to watch your channel, or accepting donations.
This model can be used as your main business site and source of income; top YouTubers are making literally millions of dollars a year through monetization of their channel and advertising deals. However, it’s also good to have as a side project that directs customers to your main business.
Online Gaming Platform
Ever wondered just where those successful Twitch streamers are accessing their seemingly endless library of video games? Well, the answer is probably an online gaming platform or digital distribution service. Steam is one such service that works in a similar way to the aforementioned Netflix and Amazon Prime except, instead of providing streamable video content, it provides streamable, playable video games. A comparable rival would be Google Stadia, a cloud gaming service powered by Google. Whereas Steam and Google Stadia provide content from lots of different providers, alternatives like Playstation Now, Poker Stars and Xbox Game Pass offer content developed specifically for their platforms.
So, where can you cash in on this? Well, unless you already have a deal with one of the big gaming providers, you’re probably looking at establishing a profile on a platform like Google Stadia or Steam and then encouraging customers to play your original gaming content. This could lead to bigger things in the future, or act as another platform for selling merch or directing players to your main business venture elsewhere.
One online profile that should not be overlooked is the option of an e-commerce shop front. Platforms like Shopify, Wix and Squarespace allow you to build your own website using their tools, and customise it as much or as little as you like. They also provide safe and secure point-of-sale systems for you to use with your business, allowing for the buying and selling of products between you and your customers without the worry of funds or sensitive information being tampered with. Trustworthy platforms such as these offer you the opportunity to create a professional, accessible online presence for your business, and to get set up and selling as soon as possible.