Digital marketing paved the way for small businesses to get on equal footing against big companies. Right now, you don’t have to put up a brick and mortar shop to start a business, you can just create and rely on social media to get sales. In fact, today’s digital era has enabled us to test if our business idea will work without too much financial repercussions.
For instance, you want to open a hobby shop. In terms of money on hand, you have enough to buy a few stocks and finance sponsored ads. Your only connections are the other hobbyists you play with. So how would you know if this is a lucrative business? It’s simple: create a business account on Facebook and create an account on online marketplaces. Post pictures of the stocks you have on hand and share them incessantly both on your personal page and on your group discussion page. Encourage your hobbyist friends to share your business page with others as well. Spend a little for sponsored ads to target potential customers. Now all you need to do is wait for orders.
That is what digital marketing has brought us, being able to start a business and test if it will earn significantly at a low cost. But if starting online efforts is a little daunting, here is a basic checklist to guide you.
Create a website
You don’t need a storefront, but you do need a website a potential customer can visit to check out your products. Upon purchasing a domain name, you can start creating your website through the website builder feature of your chosen internet registrar. The website builder will allow you to drag and drop images, functions, and navigation tabs instead of punching in codes and html.
Business accounts on different social media channels
Facebook is one of the most effective business accounts to have, mainly because most people are there. The great thing about promoting on Facebook is you have full control of the budget and the demographics. You can set which age group and interest group you want to target, and for how long the promotion will run. And if Facebook isn’t your thing, another great option is Instagram. Especially if you have cool images of what you’re selling, this could be a great avenue to share pictures and target as many hashtags as you can.
Content includes your social media posts, promo banner copies, and blog articles (if you plan on publishing some). Online marketing lives off of content, so make sure they spark interest and encourage engagement.
Network on social media
The way networking is done on social media is obviously following accounts and engaging with them. If you noticed, sometimes there are companies you haven’t even heard of that suddenly followed your account. Some would even retweet or mention you. And it’s effective! Of course, there are people who might find it unusual or even annoying, but that strategy is effective. Once a user checks out your account and sees what you have to offer, there is a huge possibility that they will follow back.
Once you have a solid following and customer base, encourage them to leave reviews. Feedback is an effective way to sway a hesitant buyer’s mind. If they see that most of the reviews are good and satisfactory, there is a big chance they will become paying customers.
When starting a business, laying out an online marketing plan is as important as buying products stocks and choosing the right store name. This is the cheapest and most effective way of doing business, so maximise its use and make it count.