The question: How can I grow my business online, has always plagued the mind of the average brick and mortar business person in Nigeria. Doing business online goes beyond the customers that walks into your establishment to get goods; it involves harnessing the power of the Internet for eCommerce activities.
In recent years, eCommerce has become the main sales driving force for most companies around the world. In fact, it has drastically increased the growth and revenues of eCommerce companies like Amazon and eBay. It’s definitely time to smell the coffee, and take charge of your business by growing it online. It’s time to join the many businesses that are taking advantage of this windfall to increase their sales and customer reach. To help you in your quest to grow your business online, this article will absolutely be of immense value. However, let’s take a look at the few reasons why you need to grow your business online.
Why You Need To Grow Your Business Online
You might probably think: why do I need to go the grow my business online? Well, there are so many reasons why it’s extremely important to grow your online presence, especially if you want to get ahead of your competitors. So, let’s take a look at these convincing reasons
It is Inexpensive
Throughout the history of man, there has never been a better time to start a business. The advent of the Internet has made things so much easier for the small and medium business owner, since it gives them the same level of exposure as the major players in their respective industries. In fact, small businesses only need to purchase domain name from a host provider, craft an effective digital marketing strategy, and they can build an impressive customer base. Furthermore, there are overhead costs or rent expenses in online marketing: everything you need is mostly free on the Internet. Online marketing doesn’t restrict you to your immediate environment; it allows you to expand beyond your geographical range.
It Improves Your Company’s Image
This alone, should be enough reason why you should have an online presence. In fact, this determines how serious clients think you are. Getting a website, blog, or social media presence can go a long way in getting you the desired results and profits. Still think, it’s not worth it?. Analysts shows an increase in the revenues and recognition of companies and businesses with an online presence. In addition, customers will be able to trust your brand since new prospective customers will be able to read the reviews of long-standing clients.
Around The Clock Availability
Unlike fast food restaurants and gas stations, it’s practically impossible for some businesses to stay open 24/7. The Internet acts as the solution to this handicap. With eCommerce, your business can be accessible irrespective of the time of the day. Your clients can read about your products and place orders at any time. Take for instance, the increased income you could gain from work-free days such as weekends and holidays
Better Customer Support
Growing your business online, will save you the cost of employing a customer service providers. In fact, with an online platform, you can create a FAQ section and video section that will enlighten your audience and prospective customers about your products. You should know that your customers are looking for specific information about a particular product before they purchase. Therefore, you can use your online presence to give them all the information they need.
With time, it’s possible to get tired of the constant heat and humidity of the place you work. Growing your business online, will afford you the flexibility to work from any location. You can comfortably conduct your business from any location in the world. eCommerce has definitely made things so much easier for the small business owners, as they can easily reach their target audience or demographics, even if they are a thousand miles away. Furthermore, you can mold your business to your lifestyle, i.e; you can dictate your working hours, and therefore, have more time to focus on other tasks.
In a brick and mortar business, you are only limited to the amount of customers that can reach you, let alone, visit you. However, by growing your business online, you can practically thousands of people visiting your online store at once. Just imagine the potentials and benefits that you stand to gain if your services are exposed to millions of people using the Internet.
Reduction in Overall Cost
You can reduce the cost of employing staffs for some key functions in your establishment. For example, a very good sales letter used in an effective email marketing, can reduce the need for a salesperson. On the other hand, an in-depth FAQ section can replace the need of employing customer service. Growing your business online, reduces your staff and the need for a large office space.
12 Online Strategies To Skyrocket Your Business
When used effectively, the internet can provide myriads of benefits to the growth of your business. In fact, according to a Smart Insight Survey, more than half of companies that uses online marketing experience an increase in sales. The following online strategies are guaranteed to give you the best results.
Upload Captivating Contents Frequently
This strategy is crucial in improving your brand reputation and creating a lasting online presence. You have to post captivating contents frequently, in order to generate response from your audience from your audience. Mind you, not just captivating contents but also original ones. Here a few guidelines to make sure your content strategy is working;
- Employ storytelling as a way to pull your audience deeper into the story
- Create contents with your target audience in mind
- You should focus more on the quality than the quantity of the content.
Explore Other Forms of Content
Content management goes beyond written content. Most people often think about written content since it is easier to make and it’s more common. Other forms of contents includes videos, podcasts, and even Infographics. Unlike written content which requires just creative and a good command of your lexicon, other forms of content like videos and podcasts, requires technical knowledge. In addition, you will need equipment to carry this out. Integrating videos and ads into your media campaign, is an opportunity to do things different.
Optimize Your Website For Mobile Devices
Recent studies shows that a large percentage of people prefer to access the Internet from their smartphones. This large percentage is mainly attributed to the portability and the ease of movement that users derive from smartphones. Yes, mobile optimization has become an integral part of Internet marketing. Your website should be able to resize pages automatically when viewed on a mobile device. This will help to increase your reach to your target audience.
Become An Influencer
Building your reputation in your respective niche is extremely vital. Since you are not the only one writing or advertising a particular product or service, it’s important to establish yourself as an influencer brand. Here a few things you should when influencing a brand
- It takes time and effort to build influence
- Choose the niche where you want to build the influence.
- Social Media is the best place to start when building influence.
- It’s necessary to gain trust and confidence before building influence.
Improve Your Web Design
There’s no online strategy had effective as well-placed website design that highlights the core aspects of your business. Your website design is like an online presentation and it’s the place where you make contact with prospective customers. You should consider the 2 main components of Web design, in order to achieve the best result. Firstly, you should consider the technical part which contains add-ons and the responsive part of the website. On the other hand, you should also focus on the visual part of the design. Remember, keep it done and interactive.
Keep Up With Recent Technological Trends
Online marketing is rapidly evolving, and a strategy used some months ago, might not be effective anymore. New software, new practices and updates of applications are being introduced every day. So, you always update yourself on any recent update or recommended practices in online marketing. One of the best ways to achieve this, is to follow an influential blog, and take note of any trends.
Be Part Of A Community
The main purpose of the Internet is to bridge gaps and connect people without geographical or social barriers. Therefore, in order to leverage the power of online marketing, you need to become part of a community. You can start by creating an identity and persona that your target audience can connect with. The connecting can be built in so many ways, either by chatting with your followers on social media via live streaming or you can ask questions and reply via Facebook or Twitter. In addition, you can communicate through emails or organize Ask Me Anything (AMA) threads on Reddit.
Get Familiar With The Usage Of Social Media
It’s a clear fact that social media are fundamental for online marketing strategies. Social media helps in content distribution, builds influence and reputation of a brand through lead and traffic generation. What’s more? Social media helps you to get ahead of your competitors by promoting your business through paid ads and other effective target options.
You can achieve outstanding success in online marketing through the proper utilization of Google’s wide variety of tools and features. From Google Analytics used for keeping track of your website’s performance to Google Adwords which provides organized paid campaigns, Google is definitely the starter package for online marketers. In addition, it’s features are user-friendly and are often cheap.
Utilize Paid Advertising
Every online marketer wants to get optimum results from their online strategies. Most times, online marketers don’t get to achieve aim, especially when they use free advert services. Therefore, most marketers turn to paid advertising, since it helps them to reach their target audience via advanced targeting options. In addition to this, your advert should be optimized for search engines and must contain the keywords you are bidding for. Lastly, don’t limit your ad to just written contents, you can also add videos and images to increase its appeal to prospective clients.
Proper Utilization of Call To Action (CTA)
There must be a goal when you are designing an online strategy; either you are trying to get more sales or followers, it all boils down to the power of CTA. The Call To Action is a function that invites the online visitor to perform a task. The task in this case, is what you aim to achieve for your digital marketing campaign. Therefore, you design an online strategy that invites people to click on the CTA button, in order to achieve your goal. The CTA is an effective online strategy that offers certain incentives that attracts the target audience.
Monitor Your Efforts
Monitoring and analyzing your past efforts is the best way to complete an online strategy. This method is very effective when you are trying to boost your online business with a marketing strategy. In addition, this method helps you to learn more about your audience and business.
Internet marketing has become crucial to the survival of any business or brand in Nigeria. Therefore, it’s very important to integrate yourself with the nitty-gritty of online marketing if you intend to build a brand that not just survives, but thrives in the digital age.