Leveraging the benefits of the internet in doing business is an essential requirement to boost your business. Today, many companies have realized that and have taken the first step in going digital and reaping the benefits of the internet. However, most businesses leave a lot of features unused and don’t manage their online business effectively.
It is a commonplace for a business to pay for a website to be built then abandon it totally after a month or two. Sometimes businesses open a social media handle, interact for a few weeks, then abandon it for other projects. The internet has a wide array of benefits to offer businesses.
How to Develop and Manage your Online Business Effectively in Nigeria
However, the proper utilization of these benefits can be rather complicated. There are two ways to approach the utilization of the internet to boost your business;
Hire a professional
This involves hiring a team of web developers, content creators, data analysts’ etc. Most Nigerians make the mistake of hiring website developers only and pay a one-off fee for their website to be built.
However, a website is useless if it isn’t properly maintained. This involved updating content, optimizing navigation, etc., regularly.
When it comes to hiring professionals for your website, one professional is not enough, and a one-off payment doesn’t cut it. It is advisable to hire a team and keep them on payroll & budget for maintenance.
Only sites that are regularly maintained and optimized accrue benefits to their owners.
For a social media handle, things are much easier since you only have to hire one person. However, said person must post regular and quality content while interacting with your current and potential customers politely.
It is always advisable to keep a close watch on the activities of the professional you hired to ensure that they are working hard and effectively.
There are data and metrics available for you to check the performance of your social media account and assess the efficiency of your employee or consultant.
Do it yourself
As opposed to hiring professionals to handle your website and social media accounts; you can opt for the good old D.I.Y. strategy.
This has a lot of pros and a lot of cons. However, it is the best option for you if you don’t have a website, and you are just starting up your small-scale business.
Doing it yourself is the cheapest option possible. It also ensures that you project the true image of your brand.
Nobody can love your business as much as you do, and nobody can project your brand as accurately as you will. However, doing it yourself is no excuse to have a mediocre online presence. If you are doing it yourself, then do it right.
Do your research, monitor the data generated by your handles and sites, keep your followers and visitors engaged, get on all social media platforms, keep your eye out for the latest tricks and techniques in building your online presence, etc.
Maintaining a solid online presence that converts to sales and money in your pocket would take more than posting a few pictures or writing a few tweets.
You have to double down and get to work. Be rest assured that the results are worth the stress and time required.
An online presence is an investment that keeps giving returns as long as you keep putting in time and effort.
Things you should know about taking your business online
Whether you are hiring professionals or doing it yourself, there are some things you should know. These are some tips that would keep you ahead of the competition.
These are a few tips that would help you handle your online presence effectively or manage your team of professionals knowledgeably.
Even if you are hiring professionals to run your site, there are some things you must know that would help you guide your team to achieve their goals.
You are the entrepreneur. Therefore, you are the leader and must have a clear understanding of the goals and vision of your digital presence.
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Data Analysis is the light
One major problem that most entrepreneurs face in the digital world is the lack of data. Being unable to know what they are doing right and measure the effectiveness of their actions. However, that was all in the past.
Today, getting data on the efficacy of your ads. Your online presence, as well as your customer’s preferences, is as simple as A.B.C.
Social media platforms now have features to track how many people saw your post and compare it to how many people liked it. This can give you an insight into what your customer’s like and what they don’t.
For websites, google analytics is the best way to go. If you are planning to optimize the benefits of your website, then you had probably wanted to hire a data analyst.
However, with google analytics, you don’t need a computer genius to analyze the data garnered by your site.
Google Analytics is so user-friendly and straightforward that you can easily set it up and keep track of the growth of your websites yourself.
With dedication, you can have a proper understanding of the growth trend and data points of your website in a matter of days.
Data analytics helps you gather a lot of useful information about your customers and your business space. Thereby guiding your decisions about your business and your online presence.
It’s all about your customers
In the bid to build a brand, pump out content, and release flashy ads. Many people neglect the most crucial factor in a business, i.e., customers.
While it is good to have a good business brand, excellent online presence, regular and quality content, etc. It wouldn’t matter if your interaction with customers is poor and repulsive.
Customers must find it easy to contact you. Your lines of communication must be easy to assess and also convenient. In Nigeria, it is best that you have your WhatsApp number on the bio of your social media handle and at visible spots on your website.
This number must always be online, and whoever is replying to messages must be polite and have quick responses. Customers hate it when they have to wait two days for a reply, and the replies are shallow and useless.
The key is to make it easy for customers to reach you and ensure that they have a good experience interacting with you.
Visibility is Gold
With a lot of people online in the same business space as you, standing out can be difficult. There are at least five businesses in your state offering the same service or good you are selling, irrespective of what that good or service is. Online it is about who shines brightest.
Most people click on the first result that pops up after a search. Nobody goes to the fifth page to begin their research.
Most online searches begin and end on the first page and, more importantly, on the first three search results. If you aren’t on the first two pages of a query related to your business, then you might as well not be online.
When it comes to being visible, be it on social media or the web, there is a wide array of techniques. From Search Engine Optimization to paid ads. Let’s not forget the good old giveaways and influencer marketing, every means to stand out is fair game.
However, the trick to standing out is to ensure that you get the most out of your money and time. To get the best out of your investment, you must have the proper combination of money and content.
Spending money on online Ads without good content is a total waste. It doesn’t matter that five hundred people see your post if only twenty actually read it, and only two enjoyed it.
Good content would grow your online presence and visibility, but without proper publication and spending, it would be rather slow.
Therefore, the best path to online visibility is to create top-notch content and then drive said content with money through ads, giveaways, influencers, etc.
One way to improve your online visibility other than the generic Ads is to list your business on Google. There is a high probability that your business has some online presence, and all you have to do is claim and verify your business.
Nevertheless, listing your business on Google has a lot of benefits. This include making it easy for people to locate your business premises on google maps. As well as increasing your rank when people search for the service or good you offer.
The world is always changing, but no part of the world changes as fast as the internet. The rule and trends are always in a state of flux.
Techniques that worked last year have become obsolete and useless this year. Slangs and hashtags that ruled the digital space last week are, for the most part, forgotten forever.
The best way to keep your handles and websites effective is to stay up to date. Don’t be scared to optimize your website. Improve the navigations, update the user interface, overhaul the overall outlook of your brand, and try new things.
Dominating the online arena of your chosen business takes the perfect combination of technical skills, creative prowess, and funding.
As your business grows, more would be required from every aspect of this combination. However, the rewards are also sure to grow with the requirement.
One easy way to treat the online presence of your business is to see it as a department rather than a mere feature.
If you are just starting up your business, then being the only staff in this department is fine. In most cases, you are the only staff in the whole company.
However, do not shy away from consulting with experts. And as your business grows, you must also be ready to employ people to fill crucial roles in this department.