More than 93 million Nigerians own at least one connected devices and are spending more than 30 minutes browsing the internet every day
Why is this a big deal to a business owner?
This means that many consumers in Nigeria will get to learn about a business and its products for the first time while spending time online.
Today, the web is connecting consumers with businesses of all sizes and these interactions provide a sea of opportunities for businesses and business owners who want to succeed in 2019 and beyond.
This is why your business needs to have a strong online presence this year and maintain that presence going forward.
So what does online presence actually mean?
In this article, you will discover...
- the meaning of "online presence".
- Platforms that you can use to launch your business presence online
- Why partial online presence is not enough, and lastly
- 5 proven benefits of a total online presence
ONLINE PRESENCE: An Intro
You can think of a business's online presence as the sum of all its online identities and how well it maximize the use of those identities to establish valuable interactions with prospects and customers.
Essentially, your online presence is your digital sales force and at the same time your customer service channel.
Now equipped with that knowledge, I recommend your online strategy should be to achieve a total online presence for your business or brand, not a partial presence.
What does that look like?
Most businesses already use platforms such as Facebook & Instagram to launch their online presence. But that is not enough presence.
You see, internet users are multi-platform creatures, swiping from interface to interface - from Instagram to news blogs, to Google search to local review boards.
Yes, It's that crazy!
Therefore as a business looking to be present at every customer moment, a total online presence means you need to own a website, or an e-commerce site, create social media accounts, stay on-top local review sites, get listed and rank on Google My business and maybe create a blog to nurture a community of fans around your brand.
But how does being "fully online" actually help a small business grow?
Here are 5 proven benefits of having a Total online presence.
Get discovered Anywhere, Anytime Online
When they seek thee; shall they find thee - Paul Foh, Nigeria's #1 Sales Coach
People will most likely go on to "google search" your business even if you met them in-person and pitched your services or product to them. Help your customers to find you. Online presence helps more customers discover the services or products that you provide.
Have you ever "google searched" your business name and you found absolutely nothing about your brand on the internet.
Probably a number of prospects did the same research and got nothing too. Then they never made that call to you for further inquires. Or maybe they found your competitor and did business with them instead.
They lost interest in your brand and what you sell. Getting found online today is a currency credited to you. It increases not just your credibility but also allow customers have access to your service anytime, anywhere.
You can Influence increased store visits
What is happening in correlation with increasingly digital consumers, however, is the rise of a new phenomenon called ROPO: Research Online, Purchase Offline. - The Productsup Blog
The other day I was hunting for somebody who could get my traveling bag zip fixed. I must travel in the early hours of the next day. I launched to my street and began searching for the nearest bag repair shop or alternatively, a shoe cobbler.
The first shop I went, which was recommended to me by my neighbor could not help me as they have a smaller size zip, much to my dismay. What was I to do?
I went to Google and typed in the appropriate search terms, not knowing what to expect. In my mind i begged that I find a shop to solve my bag problem as its was getting dark.
The first result came and I punched their call button. To my dismay again, contact was not reachable. I swiftly move to the second business on the Google listing but this time I used the direction button instead.
I quickly discover that the shop is a few distance away from my street so I hopped on a "keke". I reached the shop just in time as the owner was about closing for the day.
With some gentle plea he reopens his workshop and as luck would have it, on his work table lies the last of the kind of zip that fits my bag.
That very day, that business acquired a new business from Google. One Google search and that small business owner secured a new customer.
Build Trust currency with an engaged and loyal customer base
Everyday nurture meaningful and memorable communication with your customers.
You must have come across the concept of branding and brand communication? It is not only about creating beautiful logo designs and choosing company colour.
Its also about actively building trust in the mind of the people who demonstrate some interest in what you sell. People only buy from businesses they trust.
When consumers see that not only are you present on major social media and other online platforms, but you also post valuable content daily, they assume your business is legitimate.
When what you post struck a cord with them, they will believe you are the expert in your industry and they will feel more comfortable to buy from you.
A well managed online presence allows you to engage with your customers in the moments that matter. And this will help your potential customers to have trust in your brand over time.
A well managed online presence allows your business to respond quickly to negative feedback; attend to customer problems and rebuild customers' confidence.
Acquire more interested consumers
An online presence does not only help you to establish your brand on the web, it also capable of helping your business bring in sales.
When you set-up a full online footprint for your business, you can leverage each layer of this channels for lead generation and sales conversions.
By simply running paid Ad from your social media pages, you can lead prospects to your website. Once on your website you can have the ready-to-convert prospect book an appointment to visit your shop, or purchase an item in your online store.
Leverage web Analytics to Improve Key Business metrics
The beauty of marketing your business using online/digital platforms lies in the capability to make data-driven decisions that improves key business metrics such as brand engagement and sales revenue.
Every online platform where you may consider to launch your online presence offers some kind of analytics capability.
On Facebook and Instagram, "page insights" allows you to know the number of unique users who saw your post, called "Reach", the number of engagement with your post, called Engagement, and many more useful metrics.
You can install tracking codes from Google Analytics on your website to help you track where visitors are coming from and how much time they spend viewing content on your website. These are very useful metrics to help you or your marketing executives understand which channel to focus when planning your Ad campaign.
The #1 rule to succeeding online today is to be in the right places - the places your primary target audiences congregate. Be consistent with your interactions. Be on every web platform that your target customers use - social media, News site, review boards, online community etc. Make it a goal to expand your online footprint every month. Today you may operate an Instagram business page, make it a goal to create a LinkedIn page or build a business website before the month end.