Back in the old days, if you wanted to start your own business, you had to secure funding so that you could open a storefront or rent an office to work. Thankfully, it’s never been easier to start an online business. However, just because it’s much easier doesn’t mean that you should jump into anything before you’re ready.
As an entrepreneur, it’s essential that you do as much research as possible beforehand so that you’re set for success. Make the most out of your new enterprise. The internet is a vast ocean of possibility, so now is the perfect time to dive in and make waves.
These days we live online everything is done via our phones or computers, from shopping, to controlling our homes, and business is no different in fact, in many ways it leads the drive to improve online services for client accessibility.
This is where digital agencies and SEO firms come in; they advise and help companies to engage with their target audiences, and are almost crucial if you want to get ahead of the competition.
Digital agencies can provide a multi-layer creative, strategic and technical development of screen-based products and services; marketing strategy development used to be fulfilled by a web developer, but a full service digital agency can give a high degree of value by producing a successful marketing and communications program, giving the project creative direction, and a stand-out-from-the-crowd branding.
These digital agencies constantly monitor for new concepts, trends and innovative strategies, and will utilize their findings within your marketing, such as mobile and social media networks, digital signage, applications, video, podcasts and many other mediums. The speed that information travels in this digital age is increasingly impressive; however, if that information is irrelevant, worthless or reaching the wrong audience, then the speed and accessibility is meaningless.
Successful businesses can take advantage of these multiple digital platforms and, through a digital agency, reach a wider, but more targeted, audience thus saving money and time in the long run.
Know Your Competition
This is a step that many new companies fail to do before they start. Unfortunately, it’s also a vital one because it can help dictate how you proceed and avoid failure. Overall, your first step should not only be figuring out what kind of online business you want to have, but how you can make it work against fierce competition.
When looking at your competitors, you want to pay attention to both the influencers and the little guys. Although you won’t be competing directly with the large companies, it’s always good to see what makes them rise above everyone else. How does their website look? Are they interactive or overbearing? Do they have pop-ups and calls to action? What kind of copy do they use to entice new visitors? Is the layout clean and professional or cluttered and amateurish?
If possible, try to interact with them as a consumer. You don’t want to necessarily let anyone know that you’re trying to compete with them, but it’s helpful to see how they respond to their customers. For example, entrepreneur.com states that if they take a long time to respond to a query, then you can make a note that that’s something you should improve upon with your company.
Starting an online business is a new area that digital agencies are moving into. Previously the domain of larger companies and corporations, they have recognized the need to hit the ground running and agencies, such as The Search Equation, have packages specifically designed for such clients.
Although a brand’s website is going to tell you about how they operate, don’t forget to pay attention to their social media and marketing outreach. Look at the platforms they engage with the most and see what people are saying about them. Look them up as hashtags on Twitter to see how often they get mentioned, and pay attention to how many positive or negative responses they have.
Overall, the goal here is to figure out what you can offer that your competitors don’t, says
Forbes. You want to discover their strengths and weaknesses, so you know what to avoid and what to focus more attention on with your customers. Take advantage of their knowledge and expertise and let it guide you to success.
When starting out, money and resources are tight, and are easily used up whilst waiting for client income, but investing in the expertise of an established digital agency from the start, can make perfect financial sense, and easily recoup any monetary outlay within a short time frame.
Statisticians have found that up to 90% of new business lack digital skills in areas of social media, mobile, process automation, and performance monitoring and analysis; these skills are the key to starting and continuing to run a successful business. You’ll need to put in effort to ensure that your website shows up in Google searches for keyword phrases that are important and relevant to your products or services. A firm such as MadBeeTech SEO that offers affordable search engine optimization can be a big help for a small business that’s just starting out.
Protect Your Brand’s Online Reputation
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to get negative feedback on the internet. People are far more likely to badmouth your business than praise it, so you have to be careful how you navigate through the online community. Once your online business is up and running, you want to monitor how people are reacting to it. Just as you checked on your competition (i.e., through social media), you should take the same approach to your own enterprise.
See what people are saying about you and address any negativity head-on. If a customer is not satisfied with your company in any way, reach out and see if you can make things right. Also, make sure that you let your customers know that you are willing to correct mistakes and respond to complaints. This will encourage them to contact you before posting anything inflammatory on the web. If a Google search of your business name reveals negative results, seek the help of a professional online reputation repair service.
Search engine optimizing (SEO) is a basic, starter level skill that will immediately target your chosen audience. Other tools in this arsenal include Google rankings, keyword density, and responsive website checking. It is also crucial to use conversion rate checkers these can monitor how many website views convert into clients. A pay per click (PPC) campaign is another recognized key to reaching your target audience.
These days businesses cannot rely on newspaper adverts, or word of mouth to succeed; a high, web based, profile is a necessity and this is why you need the services of a digital agency.