In the competitive world that we find ourselves today, word-of-mouth referrals and other traditional marketing channels are no longer enough to promote your business. In fact, sticking to these old traditional channels is like keeping your business, products or services locked in a box such that even though people are passing by and they’re curious about your business, you still miss out because not all of them will be pushed by their curiosity to approach you.
Therefore, a business that has an online presence is a business where all the products are displayed very attractively through a window like a lovely candy or baking shop with inviting treats especially for those who need your services.
It’s advisable that you keep with the times and adapt to the changes that have swept the marketing world; the same changes that has made the concept of ‘digital marketing’ very popular. A market survey revealed that four out of every five consumers use search engines to get information about businesses, products, and services.
Therefore, it is essential that your business does not get left behind and you make sure that your customers, as well as potential customers, can easily find you when they need you; And this only one among the sea of reasons why your business needs an online business.
I’ve compiled a list of reasons why your business needs an online presence as soon as possible. Maybe this will push you to take action.
Cheaper advertising and marketing costs:
You no longer have to print thousands of posters and pay people to post them around your city or country to get people to notice you and your business. It definitely costs less to build and maintain a website even if you would pay someone to do it for you. Also, almost all social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are free and since your potential customers are using these networks, why not make it easy for them to find you? Don’t let the rest of the world leave you behind, a lot of different businesses have different online platforms that work for them. Find the online platform that works for you and make use of it.
Full-time business operations:
Your business is open 24/7 because you have a website or a page where people can know all about you and the services you offer even when you’re offline and they know how to contact you when they need your help. This is why every business should own a website with a contact form and order online function; this way anyone around the world can see your products or services on your site and order online. However, your online presence does not necessarily have to be a website, I’ve seen fashion designers and graphic designers who don’t own websites but use their Instagram accounts as their business front. That is an online presence befitting to their business.
Keeps your customers informed:
Having an online presence with adequate information about your business tells your customers and potential customers all they need to know. Especially if you have a frequently asked questions (FAQ) on your website with which you answer questions before they are even asked. With a good website which also acts as a portfolio, brochure or catalog, you can keep your customers apprised of all your services, your working hours and how they can reach you.
Apart from that, having a website helps you build an email list of people interested in what you have to offer and if you have a good list or even twitter followers, etc, you can easily broadcast new services and offers to them and expect a good response (especially when you’re not spamming).
An online presence is one of the greatest tools of branding especially a website. When you have a website, it’s like an empty page that you can splash text and colors all about you and your business to show people all around the world.
Builds your reputation and gives you credibility:
A consistent online presence for your business gives you credibility. It tells people that you’re serious about what you’re doing. It assures people, especially when you have testimonials, that you’re genuine. I recently read an interview on hustle.ng about a lady who sells bitcoin. She said she started quite by accident and she flourished because people already knew her name because she had built a presence for herself on the Nairaland forum.
An online presence defines your client base and helps you reach a larger audience:
Can you imagine a person that offers typing services to people all over the world meeting his customer in the United States from the United Kingdom just to deliver a typed Microsoft word file? It’s impractical for you not to have an online presence if you want your business to grow and flourish. People don’t have to meet you, they can easily send you a message on your website, Facebook or WhatsApp and that makes life so much easier for everyone. And it allows you to access customers outside your country and everywhere in the world. Your online presence with a really good search engine optimization strategy can draw customers from all over the world to your business.
Keeps you ahead of the competition:
An online presence keeps you ahead of your competition especially those still depending on traditional methods of marketing themselves. The reason why many young people are making a success of themselves is the fact that they understand the importance of a basic web presence and most importantly, they know how to leverage the social media and search engines about their products and services.
Don’t underestimate your competitors, it doesn’t matter if they’re newcomers, they can steal away your customers by anticipating new and current online trends to hold the attention of your current and potential customers.
Increases your accessibility:
People don’t just walk around in search of goods and services by checking the pages of newspapers or walls for posters, many people just make use of search engines. In fact, a Nielson survey determined that 70% of consumers don’t just buy products and services anymore, most depend on user reviews and opinions they find on the internet. Therefore, an online presence ensures that people find you more easily.
Consumers expect you to be online:
Yes, your potential customers especially those young’uns expect to easily find you online. Most consumers immediately go to search engines when they need something.
Let me give this illustration, one afternoon, I was just checking my Whatsapp messages, I’m in a lot of Whatsapp groups, not just to promote my businesses but also to look out for new opportunities, so at times I’m wading through up to 400 messages every day. Let’s not get carried away, okay so I’m wading through messages and I find an ad for a neatly used phone on sale and I really need to change my phone as soon as possible for a better one so the first thing I do is search for the phone’s specifications and reviews on Google as well as the standard price for one.
There are some people out there who depend so much on the internet that even if they hear about your company or business offline, they still google it and if they find nothing about your business, then it’s Sayonara for them. So take some actions today to give your business an online presence.