Margin Business Guides: Your business should be online

The internet is the top global destination and you must not be

It’s 2017. About 46.1% of Nigerians can now access the internet on various devices and that percentage will only keep increasing.

What does this mean to me?

It means that as a dynamic entrepreneur who wants to succeed, there’s no better time than now to put your business online with active social media channels and a website that provides clear and concise information about what you’re offering customers, where you are and why your business is the best choice.

Why should my business be online?

Here are four strong reasons to convince you:

1. Cost-effective reach

With over 80 million Nigerians going online several times daily, the internet is probably the most cost-effective way to reach your target market. Having a website makes you discoverable to potential customers through search engines like Google at no cost (unless you choose to pay to improve your website’s ranking in search results). Also, advertising your business on social media can save you a lot of money. For example, depending on your audience, a Facebook ad that costs about N5,000 will likely be seen by over a thousand people. Comparatively, using traditional advertising to reach a similarly sized audience will costs several times more.

 

2. Round-the-clock accessibility

Websites don’t close for the day and social media channels can always be reached. And because you cannot predict when a potential customer will seek out a business like yours, 24/7 availability is an advantage you should have. For example, while most physical stores close at a certain time every day, online stores have the advantage of being open round the clock and customers can always place orders which will be delivered during regular hours.

 

3. Effective branding and thought leadership

Beyond selling, every business should invest in building its brand and work toward developing and nurturing an emotional connection with potential and current customers. Through the combination of a website and social media, you can grow your brand and develop a reputation for leadership in your business sector by sharing testimonials from customers, interacting regularly with your audience and providing relevant information about your sector consistently. This will help you differentiate yourself from your competitors.

 

4. Referrals

People talk, about each other and about the products and services they use. And these days, a lot of those conversations happen on social media. Having a presence on social media makes it easy for satisfied customers to refer other people to you by simply directing them to your social media channel. Pick channels used by your target audience: you don’t have to be everywhere to be effective.

 

The bottom line

Putting your business online is not just a trendy thing to do, it is good for sales and your brand. Begin with a simple website (which must have clear information about your business: address and contact details, product(s) or service(s), your USP), social media accounts (pick channels that best suit your business and post about your business once a week) and a listing on Google. The rewards will come eventually.