How to Make Your Business Succeed Online

 

19-47-51-ecommerce-2140604__340

While it’s true that there are many variables to success in different industries, having a strong online presence is not one of those variables. Developing a strong online presence, even if your main field of operation depends on offline activities, gives your business an undeniable competitive advantage in the digital world we live in today. As such, those who are quick to utilize this advantage get to enjoy having a head start in the business marathon. Although operating a successful business online may seem daunting for many, there are a few steps you can follow to secure the success you’re seeking. Here’s everything you need to get started.

1. Start with a Solid Plan

As a businessman, you know all too well that it all comes down to planning – and an online business is no different. It’s the same with starting any business; you first start with studying the market, researching opportunities, analyzing your target segment, and devising strategies to bridge the gap between your services or products and the end-user. Regardless of your area of operation or industry segment, your plan should cover your mission, operations, financials, business model, and, most importantly, marketing strategies. 

2. Invest in a High-Quality Website

There’s a reason why having a strong online presence gives your business an unparalleled competitive edge; it’s all in the exponential exposure you get to millions of prospects. Think about it this way: how much exposure would you get if your business is located in the main street of a capital city? You’ll be exposed to the busy streets and the probability of getting clients will multiply – but your competition will also be heavy. The same goes for an online business. While you get exposed to the millions of users searching the internet for services similar to yours, there will also be various businesses trying to fish for those customers. The fastest and most dependable way to acquire those customers is through a high-quality website. 

A high-quality website certainly won’t be for free, but it’s well worth the investment. You’ll first need to hire a website designer who’s quite experienced with both your needs and what makes a good website. An experienced web designer knows that there’s so much more to a website than an attractive layout; a cool design in a page that takes forever to load is like wrapping a diamond in recycled tissue paper. Furthermore, a pro web designer will know how to optimize your website for search engines, thus improving the ranking of your website in the search engine result pages, improving your exposure rate. 

3. Establish Your Online Presence

Whenever online presence is mentioned, most people think about social media platforms. Your online presence indeed starts with creating a high-quality website, but it can also be extended to utilize social media platforms as well. The social media platforms you use will depend largely on your field of operations and marketing strategies. For instance, if your business targets mainly B2B clients, then having LinkedIn and Twitter profiles is a must. If you’re focused on serving customers, then Facebook and Instagram accounts will serve you better. Each social media profile will require its marketing strategy, but successful strategies will ensure a strong connection with your target segment. 

4. Do Your Research

Even after narrowing down your target segment and devising your strategies, you’ll find out that the market you’re entering is vast, your competitors are strong, and your target segments are diverse. You’ll start to realize that the data you’ve gathered so far needs further investigation, and this is where your research will continue. In order to beat the competition, you’ll need to not only study the market and its fluctuations but analyze your competitors, their strategies, their customers, and their services. You’ll need to find out how you can beat them by attacking their weak points or offering what they lack. On the other hand, you have your target segment to understand. By diving your targets into user personas and trying to understand their mentality and perks, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding online.

5. Serve Don’t Sell

It’s easy to post about your products, services, competitive advantage, and just how godly and unrivaled your business is… but is that really what your audience is interested in? Your audience doesn’t care about how cool you are, they want to know how valuable and relevant your business is to them. Whenever you’re about to post something to sell your business – don’t. Alternatively, always keep in mind to serve your audience, tell them what they want to hear, explain how they can benefit from you, and showcase your ability to understand them better than anyone else. While you’re at it, remember to listen to them and to satisfy their needs. That’s that biggest secret to cultivating a happy and loyal fan base. 

6. Maintain Your Brand Reputation

Unfortunately, the online arena is a double-edged sword. While it’s easy to get exposure, any mistake you make will also be magnified to the public. That’s why you’ll need to keep a close eye on your online reputation and act swiftly whenever there’s a mistake, bad reputation, or accident affecting your brand. By setting up a Google Alerts notification, you can get notified whenever your brand is mentioned. 

7. Test, Analyze, Optimize

Truth be told, even if you’ve spent months planning your strategies, you’ll only be testing out the result of your hypotheses. You can never guarantee the KPIs you’re seeking from the first try. However, it’s normal to set a demo marketing strategy to test out your hypothesis and data gathered, even if the results deviate from your expectations. In fact, doing so is a crucial step in operating an online business, as it gives you better insights upon which you can devise more accurate strategies. Even if you’ve been in the market for years, you’ll keep testing every step of the way until you find the strategies that give you the best results – and that’s where analytics come to play. As long as you’re in a constant state of optimization, you can rest assured you’ll get the results you’re seeking. 

19-51-37-visa-3082813__340

Once you get the hang of it, operating a successful business online becomes an easy task. Indeed, it will still require a lot of effort, planning, testing, and optimization, but, by then, you’ll have become familiar with the road. Reaping the rewards then will never taste any sweeter. 

Comments

What Next?

Recent Articles