Are you thinking about starting an online business? There are several essential steps you can take to create marketing campaigns that will work and guarantee your success. Let’s go !
1. Having the right idea
Every successful company starts with a business idea. And this brilliant idea must have the right answers to several questions:
- What will your company consist of?
- Who are your customers?
- What is your target market?
- What are your flagship products? / What services do you offer?
- Who are your competitors?
Of course it’s not that simple. You can find all sorts of good answers to fill the question bar. However, it is important to remember your core values and the single main purpose that drives your entire business forward. Before everyone ” What is it’ and ‘Who is’, we ponder the one and only ‘why’.
And remember that having the right idea is not enough to make it great.
2. Know your market
Customers today want to feel like brands are speaking directly to them. According to several studies on the subject:
As a brand new small online business, if you take the time to learn more about your audience, you can deliver personalized and engaging content right from the start.
3. Identify your audience
If you already have customers, you can use their data to create an audience profile. Useful data points to identify include:
- The age group ;
- The job ;
- Marital status;
- areas of interest;
- spending habits.
How you collect this information is up to you. For example, you can:
- Refer to social media marketing and use analytics tools on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram;
- They speak directly to their customers and ask them questions.
4. Choose a business model
When learning how to start an online business from scratch, it helps to be aware of some proven online business models.
Here are six types of online businesses to consider:
- Ecommerce: Use a service like Shopify to create a website and sell physical products online.
- affiliate marketing : Promote the products and services of other online businesses and get a commission for every sale you make with this passive income idea;
- Coaching and Consulting: Become a coach or consultant and sell your expertise, advice and support;
- information products : Consolidate and sell your expertise in e-books, online training, etc.;
- Independently : Providing a service to other people and businesses using a skill you possess, such as B. Advertising, writing, copywriting, design or programming;
- Software as a Service (SaaS) : Build software or an application and charge users a recurring subscription fee.
5. Choose a company name
Choosing your company name is an important step in starting your online business. To do this, you need to check that the name you want is available as:
- Name of the company ;
- domain name ;
- Username on any social network you want to use.
If the name you choose isn’t available as a domain name or social media username, plan for various permutations of the name, and remember that many domain name extensions beyond .com are available.
Also check that your name and domain name do not violate any registered trademarks.
6. Develop a business plan
Once you know your idea is viable and you have your company name, develop a comprehensive business plan. Even if you don’t plan to secure financing for your business, the business plan will still help identify potential roadblocks and plan for future growth and profitability.
The work you did in step one gives you a good base on which to develop your business plan. Several resources are available online to help you put together the building blocks of a solid plan.
7. Define your business finances
Many entrepreneurs often ask themselves the same question: “How do I open a business bank account?”. After you have officially registered your business with your local government, you should have the tax identification numbers and other information required to open a business bank account.
As you grow, you may need funding for future projects, whether it’s launching a new product or spending on marketing and advertising. Having commercial bank accounts makes it easier for you to manage this capital and keep track of your income and expenses.
8. Study your competitors
The best way to start a small business online is to research any companies that might be considered competitors. In order to assert yourself in the market, you have to define your brand image and your positioning on it. Analyze your competitors to see how they are performing.
- Who are your competitors?
- Who are your customers?
- What problem do they solve for people?
- What are their products/services?
- What are people’s reactions to your products/services?
This will give you an idea of who your target customers might be and will make you think about how you can do better than your competitors.
9. Design and build your website
Once all these steps are well defined, you are now ready to design your website. Remember to keep it simple as you have less than five seconds to grab a prospect’s attention. For this :
- Make your website navigation clear and simple and the same on every page;
- Choose one or two plain fonts on a white background;
- Add an opt-in offer so you can collect email addresses.
- Make the purchase easier: no more than two clicks between the potential customer and payment.
- Make your website user-friendly because it is your online storefront.
10. Use search engines
Pay per click (PPC) advertising is the easiest way to drive traffic to a brand new website. It has two advantages over expecting traffic to come to you organically:
- It appears immediately on search pages;
- You can use it to test different keywords as well as titles, prices, and sales approaches.
Not only do you get instant traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to find out which keywords are converting the most. Then you can distribute the keywords throughout your website, which will benefit your rankings in organic search results.
11. Establish a reputation as an expert
People use the internet to find information. Make this information available to other sites for free, including guest blogging, and you’ll see more traffic and higher search engine rankings. The secret is to always include a link back to your website.
- Offer expert content for free. Create articles, videos, or other content that people will find useful. Share this content via social networks or online article directories;
- Become an active expert in the forums and social networks of your target market.
This will reach new readers. Even better, every website that publishes your content will link to yours. Search engines love links from relevant pages and will reward you in the rankings.
12. Convert visitors into buyers with email marketing
When you create an opt-in list, you create one of the most valuable assets in your online business. Not only is email marketing cheaper and more effective than print, TV, or radio because it’s highly targeted, but it also helps build lifelong relationships with your visitors.
Anyone who visits your website and signs up for your list is a very interesting lead. And there’s no better tool than email marketing for tracking those leads.
13. Choose a marketing strategy
When you are ready to promote your business online, you need to choose a marketing strategy. There are several, but when it comes to learning how to start an online business, some are better than others.
Here are four digital marketing approaches you can use to get sales pretty quickly:
- Social Media Marketing: Use social media to create and share content, engage with your audience, and drive traffic to your website to generate sales.
- Influencer Marketing: Work with influencers to promote your products directly to their followers;
- Paid advertising: advertise on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube to increase brand awareness and increase sales;
- Direct Awareness: Contact people in companies to introduce your services.
14. Increase your income
One of the most important digital marketing strategies is to develop the lifetime value of each customer. At least 36% of people who have bought from you once will buy from you again if you follow up properly. Closing the first sale is by far the hardest part, not to mention the most expensive. So use back-end selling and upselling to entice them to buy again:
- Offer products that complement their original purchase;
- Showcase related products on your “thank you” page after purchase;
- Reward your customers for their loyalty to make them even more loyal;
- Send electronic loyalty vouchers to redeem on their next visit.
SIf you just started an online business, follow these steps. If you’ve been online for a while, do a quick check to see if you missed a step or never had time. You can’t go wrong with the basics.
After all, learning how to build a successful online business can take time. So don’t worry if your first online business doesn’t take off right away. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs have failed multiple times before they succeeded!