The business world had changed forever. It has been predicted that ecommerce will grow to a massive $4 trillion in value by the year 2020. It’s no longer really a question of if ecommerce will overtake brick and mortar. It’s a question of how fast it will happen. In the future, most business transactions will be conducted over smart phone screens.

With this in mind, businesses need to adapt if they wish to survive in this quickly evolving environment. If you don’t have an online marketing plan, you are already many years behind the curve. Online marketing works a bit differently than the traditional marketing campaigns from years past. If you are unsure about how to use the online digital landscape to build your brand, below are some suggestions that can help.

Use Online Influencers

The internet is truly massive. Currently, there are almost 1.3 billion websites online. Trying to gain significant traction amongst those 1.3 billion sites can sometimes feel like launching a space probe into a vast universe with the objective of finding alien life forms. Thankfully, there are shortcuts you can choose to implement. This includes using influencers.

Influencers are people on the internet with massive followings. They include individuals with well trafficked blogs, YouTubers that receive massive amounts of views and social media personalities with huge friend lists. If you can get an influencer to talk about your product, it will act as very effective marketing and inform all of the followers of that influencer of your brand. While you can pay certain influencers, sending them a sample of your product may often be enough to convince them to advertise your product.

Focus on Social Media Marketing

In the world of online marketing, social media is extremely important. These days, social media accounts are the means people on the internet use to communicate with each other. Social media is also the way a good portion of the general public receives information. There’s a reason why print newspapers are failing. It’s because news spread through social media has completely supplanted the newspaper business model.

You need to have a presence on social media. Use your social media accounts to help build your brand online. Try to build large follower lists that can be quickly informed of new products and promotions. These followers will, in turn, inform others that follow them of your products. If you manage to go viral, your advertising could reach millions on social media. The sky is the limit.

Realize Online Reviews Can Make You or Break You

You need to be cognizant of the fact that online reviews these days can absolutely destroy a business. This is thanks to online review websites that have gained massive popularity as tools to help consumers make their buying choices. Think of Trip Advisor, for example, one of the most popular travel review sites on the internet. If a hotel guest finds their room to be dirty, hundreds of thousands of travelers could be informed of this fact thanks to an online review on the website.

Overall, you’re not going to be able to game the system by relying on fake reviews. Instead, you have to ensure that your customers always leave satisfied. Try to influence those satisfied customers to type kind words about you on online review websites.

Combine Digital with Brick and Mortar

Many large business like Nu Skin and similar companies have fine-tuned the balance between physical locations and an online presence. If your business has brick and mortar locations in addition to doing business online, you should certainly be trying to cross-promote each branch of your business. Have your brick and mortar customers sign-up for email alerts. Give your online customers coupons that can only be redeemed at a brick and mortar location. It should help produce better synergy between both your online and offline operations instead of having them cannibalize each other.

The business world is becoming increasingly digital and interconnected. Don’t ignore the fact you have to market your brand online these days to stay relevant. If you do, you will certainly be left in the dust by savvier competitors.