I love when people are brave and step outside the box to become their own boss. I come across so many creative and talented people who start their own online business in an area they are passionate about. They spend so much time and energy designing, sourcing and packaging their product offering. Yet too often there is much less time spent on the digital marketing strategy. No matter how amazing the product is, without the right strategy, sales channel and marketing plan, there may be little or no sales. I have identified some key areas that start-up business owners should consider in the short-term.
If you plan to sell online – how do you expect customers to find you? Now it is very easy to set up a website with an ecommerce platform such as Shopify and Wix. Have you actually thought about how will you drive traffic to your website?
To get your target audience to find you on Google through a keyword search can be more complicated than you think. To start with, you need to undertake a thorough keyword analysis, upload relevant and regular content on your website, ensure your site navigation is easy to use and your website loads quickly. Simple? Not so much - which is why I highly recommend using the services of an SEO (search engine optimization) expert and website guru to scope and execute on your behalf to drive your organic raking and generate quality sales leads.
If you choose to sell through giant online retailers such as eBay or Amazon, potential customers are already going to these sites so you don’t really need to drive traffic. However, you do need to get your product listing to page one. To do so, you need a deep understanding of the eBay / Amazon model to ensure your product will stand out amongst the competitors.
Just because you have a Facebook and Instagram page, this doesn’t automatically mean you know how to effectively market your brand on social media. Firstly, are you using the right social media platforms for your target audience? If you have a B2B business, Facebook and LinkedIn are generally the most effective social channels. For consumer brands, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest may be better suited.
Once you have identified the most suitable social media channels, you need to identify the most effective content to drive brand awareness, increase followers from your target audience, boost audience engagement with your brand and promote your product. Relevant photos, videos, “top tips”, article links and memes are commonly used to drive engagement.
To effectively engage with your audience and grow your following you must consistently post relevant content across your social media channels, at least 3 times per week. Many business owners underestimate the time it takes to regularly manage social media. If this sounds like you, why not outsource this key marketing function?
Why do successful businesses regularly post blogs? To provide engaging content to their audience, boost credibility of their brand and drive organic traffic to their website by focusing on keywords identified through the SEO process.
As per social media management, this also needs to be regular. The creation of even one relevant blog per month that is keyword-rich is all you need to start with. Again, this can be a time-consuming task and is a skill in itself, therefore I encourage you to outsource this task to free up your time to focus on the core business.
It is exciting and at the same time, daunting to set up your own business. Just remember, you don’t have to be a digital expert to get results. You just need to lead and outsource key areas such as the digital marketing components mentioned in this article, to generate sales and drive business growth.