Digital has become an essential part of our daily lives and in essence, the move to digital has become inevitable and it’s either you adopt it or lose. As the days, weeks and now months go by, we keep entering into a phenomenon that has captured the world’s attention. We have all been thrust into the center of a planet-defining and life-altering moment. As a business, it can be very difficult to find the light in this dark tunnel.
Businesses have been closed due to this pandemic and if you were running a brick and mortar or any offline business, now is the time to take your business online so you don’t lose out on potential customers and keep the existing customers.
Do you want the formula to get your business online? Are you a business owner that needs to make a quick decision to move your business online? Grab a cup of tea or coffee and let’s walk you through the steps.
According to Statistica, nearly half of the world’s population are active internet users. If everyone is online why isn’t your business? What is the first thing you do when you need answers to some questions? Go on Google and type in the search bar right? Do you get frustrated when you can’t find the answers on search engines? Now imagine customers searching for products and services that you offer and can’t get to you because you are not online.
Online visibility translates to business visibility. As of December 31st, 2019—according to Internet world stats—almost 40% (526.7 Million) of the African population are online. In Nigeria, 61.2% (126 Million) of the population are online. This means that one out of every five internet users in Africa are from Nigeria.
Taking your business online requires sufficient planning and having the right processes in place. One important skill to have or hone when going digital with your business is the ability to listen to your customers. Digitizing your business provokes fundamental changes in how your business operates and also how you deliver value to your customers.
Written below are six steps to going digital with your business.
Create A Digital Strategy
The importance of having a sustainable and viable Digital Strategy cannot be overemphasized. This would allow you to build a holistic customer experience that touches on every key area of your business—both offline and online. The Internet is like an endless ocean filled with numerous things. Without a proper digital strategy to act as a guide, there is a high risk of drowning in distractions.
Build A Digital Presence
This can be done by creating a business profile on social media or building a website (preferably if you have enough resources as this can be expensive). When creating social media accounts, it’s best to stick with usernames that are closely related to your business. After creating social media profiles, go ahead and reserve your domain name. As with the social media usernames, pick a domain name or URL that reflects your business.
As Bill Gates states, “Content is King”. Your business needs to attract customers and what better way than providing content that they can engage with thereby creating awareness for your business and possibly converting them to paying customers. Content as an umbrella term includes (but is not limited to) articles, stories, short posts (for social media), audio, pictures and videos.
Promotion or Advertisement
Organic reach on social media has a ceiling and as a result of this, businesses need to promote or advertise to reach their target market on social media while leveraging Google search ads to boost online visibility.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence can be used as a customer support tool and also a tool to drive revenue using chatbots like the Facebook messenger bot. Adopting AI for your business will allow you to accelerate growth and give you a cutting edge over your competitors.
Set Up a Payment System
The last and most important step is to set up a payment system or leverage a payment company to collect payments online from your customers. At the end of the day, a business owner will like to complete a customer journey and close a sale thereby increasing profit and revenue.
In conclusion, it is important to go digital as it allows your business to respond quickly to external economic factors and market dynamics. It also allows you to reach the 40% of customers that are online and searching for your business. Don’t forget to start small and grow your business.
I also encourage you to support #Support4AfricaSMEs – a campaign dedicated to curating and sharing solutions and interventions for African SMEs to keep their businesses thriving in these trying times.
You can be a part of this campaign by using and following the hashtag #Support4AfricaSMEs on social media and sharing the posts, articles and other resources. You can also find an aggregation of important resources here: http://www.support4africasmes.com/
It’s easy to get lost in the different kinds of chaos, just know that right now we’re all in this together and this is to reassure you that there’s hope, as we’ve seen an unprecedented level of support from individuals, businesses, organizations and governments.
Digimark is very passionate about SMEs and will work with you to grow your business online. We offer the different services listed below:
- Digital Strategy
- Website Design and Development
- Search Engine optimization
- Content Strategy
- Social Media Management
- Lead Generation
- Email Marketing
When all is said and done, COVID-19 will have a chapter in every history book and your business will be one of the successful stories.