TAKING YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE

Taking your business online means taking your business to the next level

The major difference between an offline business and an online business among other differences is “leverage”TMG

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Going digital in a good decision a business owner could ever take then investing heavily in digital marketing is the best decision a business owner could ever take.

Thousands of Nigerian businesses are already online (that is, they already have social media presence but only hundreds are successful, wow!  The answer is simple, only the few hundred invested beyond having just a stagnant account (presence). They drive authority through CONSISTENT AND AUTHENTIC CONTENTS, they drive sales through STRATEGIC PAID ADS and they build relationships with both partners and customers through SOUND FOLLOW UP SYSTEMS.

Going digital or taking your business online as you would simply say as a business shouldn’t be taken lightly like a persona digital presence, you have a lot of homework to do first on your business goals and objectives before picking up that device to go online.

know your business goals and objectives before going online
know your business goals and objectives before going online

It shouldn’t be “make our company follow them dey online too, make them they see us” [Pidgin that connotes “Let’s join the online community so the community can see us]. This say got me laughing right now as I am writing this, because last time I checked living in an area doesn’t make people in that area recognize your existence, hundreds if not thousands of people are also living in that area which automatically takes attention away from you if you are not:

  • Actively participating (Consistently posting to keep being on top customers feeds in the digital world)
  • Meaningfully participating (Original and good quality brand contents to drive authority and trust in the digital world)
  • Voluntarily helping (Customer care, follow-ups, giveaway and freebies to let customers know their comfort is more important to you than their money in the digital world)
  • Financially investing in things that will drive popularity (paid ads in the digital world)

The last one talks about the space you pay for just to host your book launching, tutorials, seminars or whatsoever you are into; that local prints you paid for just to have an appearance on the local prints and those other people service you paid for just to drive popularity.

Now you see, the online world is of no different to real life, you have to invest either in “cash” or “time and energy” before you start reaping, no two ways about it. The only difference is, there are several opportunities to explore and more money to make when taking your business online than the real world (and that’s what I referred to as “Leverage” earlier).

The internet is a world on its own and WWW refers to the end-user part of it; the WWW has several segments (scopes). Although all these scopes share one thing in common, and that thing is they are all websites. In other words, the end-user part of the internet which is “www” are all websites. Just that they are websites with different functions and capabilities.

In the business perspective, these different functions and capacities divided the end-user part of the internet into four scopes

SCOPES IN TAKING YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE

Scopes
scopes to take your business online that media guy

The idea of knowing the scope of the end-user internet to use as a business owner refers to the research you have to do to get a clear insight into where exactly are your current and potential customers are. Are they on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc or combination of these? (social media) Are they customers that always like reviews and research on products before buying? ( directories and review websites). Are they the ones that prefer easy online shopping than traditional? ( A website). Knowing the best scope will help you know where exactly the majority of your clients are and save you thousands of Naira in marketing,

TAKEAWAY – You don’t have to be on all platforms at the same time, know the scope where most of your clients are and jump on it for a couple of months with aggressive marketing and relationship building.

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As a business owner whatever scope you decide to take, this is the place where people find you, get to know you, and hopefully become your customers. So do it right like you mean business.

It’s better to not be online at all than to be online with no success. TMG

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  • BUSINESS DIRECTORIES
  • WEBSITES [SIMPLE OR ECOMMERCE]
  • SOCIAL MEDIA
  • MOBILE APP

Each business has a specific scope they should perform online first before other scopes depending on the industry and growth of the business. And this first scope must be heavily invested into before moving to others. The inability of most marketers and business owners to know the right scope to firstly invest in brings frustration and failure in the result. A lot of them even end up giving up at some point.

CLICK HERE TO SEE WHICH SCOPE FITS YOUR KIND OF BUSINESS

STEPS IN TAKING YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE

steps in taking your business online
steps in taking your business online
KNOW YOUR GOAL [CONVERSIONS]

One goal at a time, pick one goal and invest heavily as much as you can for months before moving to the next just like the scope

  • Business promotion/ Scouting New Customers
  • Relationship Building
  • Sales generation
  • List building [Email]
  • Traffic
  • Download [Apps, docs]
  • Contact [phone number or shop location map]
  • Book Appointment

Just like choosing the scope of marketing, the nature and current growth of your business determine the first goals to invest in online. Therefore do your homework, study your business quite well, know your visions, missions, and current goals and don’t forget to know your position in the industry growth chart. Know all these before going online.

There’s one thing about this particular section. No matter what particular goal you might choose first to start with before anyone can walk through either your physical shop or online shop [website/social accounts] and do whatever your goal is they have to know you exist, therefore “Business promotion/scouting new customers” is definitely indispensable in running online goals. If you decided your first goal is not business promotion possibly you already have enough customers out there and you picked another goal, ensure to run little business promotion [either through free or paid ads] to boost your other “main” goal.

PRIORITIZE A PARTICULAR DIGITAL SCOPE FOR YOUR CHOSEN GOAL

one step at a time that media guy
one scope at a time

One step at a time, there is no need to rush – Jordin Spark

You don’t necessarily have to put your business in all the digital platforms as most Nigeria business owners think, you just have to get the right one for you and your customers then start leveraging

Each goal has that specific scope that makes it more effective than when practices on other scopes. For example, you have a food and beverage company that has been in existence for 2 years with limited sales and customer base [growth], your first goal as a 2 years company for the first few months should be “business promotion” to let more people know that your business exists.

Do not let the rush for sales get into your head, a lot of people selling exactly what you are selling and they have been online before your existence yet they are not making any sales or few sales online. Mixing “sales generation” with “business promotion” as a 2 years old company with limited awareness and sales can jeopardize your online presence and your overall industry authority as a brand. Don’t forget a few sales still come in if you perform “business promotion” effectively and that involves good quality content, consistency, sound customer care and follow up system.

Now that you have chosen business promotion for the first few months of your online presence, time to prioritized a particular digital scope to leverage your goal on. For business promotion, “business directory” is the best.

What are business directories?

Business directories are those websites, mobile apps, email systems that host businesses information and promote it to their audience. Some are free while others are paid system. Whatever case, locate the most effective directories in your local environment, your business niche directory preferably. Take a list of directories that are effective in terms of search [SEO], traffic, social media hashtags density, word of mouth, etc.

MAKE A PRESENCE ONLINE

Make a presence online
online presence

Whatever goal and scope you have chosen above, time to make a presence online. For example, the food and beverage company analyzed above. After listing possible directories necessary, reach out to those that are premium to pay and get registered or just go ahead to register on the websites of those that are free.

Do this and watch your “awareness” and “sales” growth.

Note you can add either social media or website as a landing page to your directory profile, whenever people read your directory profile they can either call you, click on your web address or social media address to learn more and get personal with your business and eventually contact you.

But if you can’t afford more than a scope at a time stick to directories and just put your phone number on your profile, thanks to social media, accounts are free so you can open a social media account and add it to your directory profile as well.

START MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE

marketing your business online
marketing your business online

Now that you have an online presence, time to start marketing.

In order to start marketing your business online, an online version of your business is needed. This online version refers to either a website or a branded social media account.

ADVICE: If you want to do an aggressive marketing with enough budgets available build a website. If you have weak budget and don’t want to be that aggressive in pushing your brand online, build a social media business page.

The reason why I am giving you this advice is due to a real-life incidence that I have experienced as a digital marketer over the years. Setting up a website, paying for a domain name, hosting and perhaps webmaster fee with “no money” left for Search Engine Advertisement or “patience” to practice Search Engine Optimization which is a long term process, would fetch you nothing but just “an online presence”. And guess what, online presence doesn’t bring sales, marketing does. In this case, even someone who paid to use directory websites is going to make more sales than you because those directory websites pay heavily to Google and other advert companies to market their website pages.

If only the company has opened a free social media business page, gets a quality camera to provide visual content, gets a content creator for social media management all from the website money it wouldn’t be that messy as it was then.

Good, let’s proceed………..

MARKETING WITH A WEBSITE ONLINE PRESENCE

If you created a presence online (that is, taken your business online) by building a website, it’s advisable to practice more SEO than SEA for an everlasting search engine ranking that generates money to your business till Jesus comes.

To practice SEO on your website, no matter the nature of your business a blog is needed, if you are not good at creating contents, hire someone (now you see why I told you, true website marketing is for high budget, if you can’t afford to hire someone it’s ok, you just might not have enough SEO that can rank you well on search engine when people search).

As published by NewsCred in 2014, 70% of consumers say they prefer to know a company via articles rather than ads. It’s also worthy of note to know that not all contents have to be original. According to Designandpromote.com, 48% of marketers curate contents from third party sources weekly.

Not having a blog on your website means you don’t want to practice SEO on your way to taking your business online, rather you want to practice SEA (Google paid adverts) with your money.

MARKETING WITH A SOCIAL MEDIA ONLINE PRESENCE

If you created an online presence by building a social media account (that is, taken your business online), get yourself a good quality camera (not phone cam, be warned) and a good social media manager if you are not really techy or professionally good using social media.

Ensure:

Daily posting

Consistency in management pattern

Sound customer care system

Paid adverts only inside the platform’s ads manager if available (Do not use “promote” button)

Follow all rules and guides of the respective platform to reap maximally the worth of your advert money

Strategic follow-up system

ONLINE MARKETING PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT

Analytics
Analytics

This is a point at your online marketing journey where you will be curious to know exactly the measure of the success of taking your business online. We call it data analyses, data is the only way to prove that a campaign either succeeds or fails in its goals and the most common of it all which is used to measure growth is called metrics. There are a lot of tools online that can be used to measure data on your websites and these tools are called “analytics”. Google Analytics being the most widely used is a free tool that will help you know the number of people that enters your website (daily, weekly, monthly and yearly), their geographical locations, how they navigate in your website, what they clicked on, time spent, and the kind of device they used to access your website. All these are a wealth of power in the hand of any creative business owner as it enables you to know what interests your customers more, what doesn’t and what needs reshuffle. With analytics, you can estimate your conversions to see how many people actually do what you wanted them to do with your campaign.

Other analytics worthy of trying includes SE ranking, Piwik and Kissmetrics.

Social media performance measurements are usually shown on the page’s insight tab or their respective Page manager app or Ads manager app.


Due to popular demand from my subscribers to post some guides about the most popular social media on the planet, my next post will talk about Facebook marketing. I must say I am not surprised by this demand as Facebook is the most used social media in Nigeria for both personas and businesses. I will break into pieces on how to carry out a million-dollar campaign using all the 11 Facebook campaign objectives. This will be one of the most powerful pieces I have ever written so far, click here and be the first to get notified when I post it

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