Why your business should be online!
How marketing has changed and how you should adapt.
by Eugene van der Merwe on 25 October 2016
How has marketing in South Africa changed over the last decade and how should you adapt? Most of the principles discussed in this article would be old news for some of you but in general I still see 100’s of businesses operating on marketing principles that should be in the archives. Many of these old marketing practises like newspaper adverts, flyers and bill boards, although not as effective, still work and that is why some businesses still use them. The problem is that they are a ticking time bomb that will eventually stop producing any results and if you’re business isn’t setup yet to pivot, you will be in n river trying to go upstream without a paddle.
It’s to difficult to change?
Once someone gets use to doing something a certain way and as long as it still produce some result, they likely won’t change. Humans fear change and fear what they don’t know or don’t understand especially when it comes to technology. I bought an older friend an iPad, setup google apps and tried to show her how to use it. I tried to explain that everything will be backed up but was met by continuous rejections saying she will rather keep doing things the way she’s used to instead of learning something new, and she is not alone. I will eventually get her to come around…..
I understand that it is difficult to change and learn new things, (most people don’t even do it in their careers with the motivation of an immediate salary increase) but the flipside is you don’t and never become more than what you are today. History has proven that if your business doesn’t improve and keep up to date with changes in the market and the needs of the consumer the most likely outcome for your business is death and the same applies to your marketing approach.
Where do I start?
Technology! Every couple of decades something new is brought into the market that completely changes our thought process. It changes the consumer’s expectations and how they react to their environment. If you look at the 1990’s when e-commerce first came into the market the public was sceptical about its success especially of businesses like Amazon that sold books online. The general public was so used to buy physical items in a store especially books, that few people expected companies like Amazon to survive, let alone thrive. Today there is only a handful of items that can’t be purchased online and soon it will be the preferred place to purchase almost everything so what are you doing to get online?
The cause of procrastination has a lot to do with not knowing where to start so I would like to show you how easy it is. Obviously the first place to start would be your website and secondly to generate traffic to your website. Having a website is a start but means nothing if no one knows about it. Please keep the following in mind when designing your website:
- A website should be easy to use. The more complicated you make it the more likely it is that a potential customer will go on to a competitors website.
- Within 10 seconds the potential customer should be able to find any information the need on your website to make a purchase
- Your website must have a call to action. What do you want the potential customer to do once they land on your website. If your website doesn’t motivate someone to contact you or purchase from you then it isn’t serving any purpose.
- Don’t design something that you like, design something functional that your potential customer would like.
With that in mind a website with the above functionality you can expect to pay R3500 – R7500 once of and a hosting fee of around R120pm. E-commerce websites are a bit more expensive with a good e-commerce site setting you back around R10 000 – R15 000.
I have my website, now what?
Cool, the first step is done, now you need to generate traffic. There are numerous ways to generate traffic to your website but the most common ways is using online platforms. There are many platforms that you can use and all of them have pro’s and cons but the most popular are platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Snapchat, Google+, Google SEO and PPC. To get the best results on these platforms you have to make use of the paid options. The best free way to generate traffic is by optimizing your website so that Google ranks it organically. Some steps that you can take move your website up the Google rankings are as follow (These change continuously so stay up to date)
- Blog! At least once a month but preferably once a week.
- Continuously update your website with new content, info and news
- Ask your web developer to install SEO plugins on your website
- Use the Google platforms such as Youtube and Google+
- Register your business on Google My Business so people can find you on Google maps
- Make sure your social platforms are connected and working on your website.
There are a few more things that you can do but for now this will be good. I will write another article in a few months to describe the next steps once you have completed these.
I hope you found this useful and if you have any additional queries please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also host free workshops to help you understand these concepts better and how to do the above tasks yourself. Please email me if you are interested in attending one of these free workshops.