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Tackling Online business failure by Adegboye Adeniyi

Segun Balogun

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How organic web traffic can stunt business growthWhat if I tell you there is one single thing you are doing online that is making you lose customers and invariably lose money. You see, with changes in technology, come increasing changes in the way brands and customers connect.

While online marketing can be a mix of different strategies, understanding the fundamentals of any marketing approach can make your efforts yield good results.

Here are some misconceptions about factors causing poor returns on investment from online marketing efforts:

You have a ‘lousy’ website

Okay, I admit that your website should not be totally poor in design but I can tell you that some of the greatest websites with the highest traffic do not even have “great” designs, e.g. Craglist.

Search engine optimisation

The problem is not with lack of implementing SEO on your website. I sell SEO services and most times it is not about your website optimisation.

Paid promotion

The problem is not because you are not using paid promotion very well. A lot of businesses run paid adverts and they still are suffering huge loses online.

The single most important mistake many online business owners make is the refusal to design, build and operate based on who their customers are.

You may need to ask yourself these salient questions.

Who is your customer? (Note that I used the word ‘is’ and not are)

Does he/she have access to the Internet?

Will he/she be accessing this website on mobile for a larger part of the day or using desktop computer?

And most importantly, why precisely are we online?

If you answer all these questions offline then why not take time to answer them online before you even lift a finger to design your website.

Why don’t you understand your customers before you design your ads online?

Why not know who your customers are and the best way to relate with them before you decide if the best social media platform for your brand is either on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?

Why don’t you put effort into understanding how your customers behave online before you decide to use that keyword for your website?

The major threat may be the “lack of customer persona” for your business.

What is customer persona?

Customer persona is a fictitious description of your idea customer based on part data and part hypothesis. You can have as many as 20 or as low as two customer personas. The idea is to segment your target marketing into distinct unit that enables you to create specific offer for them.

For example, a persona for a business may be

Name: John

Gender: Male

Age: 40

Location: Lagos

Income: N6.7m per annum

Family: A wife and one daughter.

How do you come up with your business persona?

Customer persona should be based on data from research and guess work with a pure balance between the two.

To create your customer persona, you can use data from

  • Your website analytics.
  • Your current customer and their behaviour.
  • Educated guesses based on what your product does.

With a detailed persona, you can now go ahead and

  • Create meaningful design for your website:

With your customer persona, you can now go decide if the favourite colour for your website should be blue. You can now make an informed decision on if having a larger font on your website is a good choice or not.

  • Create content for your website

A detailed and proper persona can help you understand what your customers want to read and how such content should be presented. Once you have identified their pain point, you can write the copy on your website to answer their question thereby leading further down the marketing funnel.

  • Choosing your keywords

Keywords are important in anything you do online but not all keywords are applicable to every situation. Understanding your customer’s behaviour and how they search for you would let you know what keywords to use to attract the right kind of people to your business.

  • Where, when and how to connect with your audience

‘Business to Business’ or ‘Business to Consumers’? Understanding your audience will let you know where to focus your marketing spends. Should you spend more time on Linkedin or Twitter? Should you invest more in email marketing or organic marketing?

Conclusion

The difference between a company that succeeds online and those that fail is not in the amount of money spent or how large their team is. When it comes down to marketing your business online, the key strategy is to identify ‘Who,’ ‘What’ and ‘Why’ of who you are selling to.

source : Punch

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Business

5 Tips to Improve Customer Experience

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One of the biggest challenges that a lot of Australian enterprises are struggling with is the question of how to improve your overall customer experience without changing too much of their current business model. The reason why this is so important is due to the fact that a customer experience tends to be the number one reason why people return to your business and there’s an estimate that it’s five times cheaper to retain a customer than gain a new one. In order to make all of this work to your benefit, here are five tips to improve your overall customer experience.

1.      Simple navigation

From the moment people enter your website, they need to be able to discern what is what and where they should go next. Some people make a mistake of presenting website visitors with too many clickable elements and information early on, in fear that they won’t be able to see all that their website has to offer. The problem is that this only makes it harder for people to make up their minds. One study shows that the more option you present a person with, the less likely they are to actually make a choice. With that in mind, make sure to let them explore your domain one step at a time.

2.      Listen to customer feedback

The next thing that you should consider when you decide to improve customer experience is asking people what they want. Sometimes you don’t even have to ask, seeing as how people might already be actively complaining about what your business lacks. So, check out some reviews and social media comments with your brand mentions in order to see what people want. Other than this, polls and surveys can also be a great source of information and you should never neglect this vast potential. This way you can get the answers on questions that you find relevant, thus gaining actionable information instead of raw data.

3.      Look for professional help

In the past, entrepreneurs, especially those running digital businesses had to face all of these ordeals on their own. Nowadays, on the other hand, both locally and globally, it’s quite easy to find affordable professional help. For instance, as an entrepreneur behind an NSW-based enterprise, you can just look up management consulting firms from Sydney and schedule a meeting. Due to the fact that these agencies specialize in improving your company’s interaction with its customers, the improvement to the customer experience is both immediate and easily noticeable.

4.      Be consistent

The next thing you need to understand is the concept of nostalgia and the fact that people tend to be emotionally entangled with familiarity. In order to exploit this phenomenon to your own advantage, you need to learn how to become more consistent. For this to work, your brand needs to have its own identity and even if you decide to change a thing or two in order to stay in touch with the time, this change shouldn’t be too drastic. People don’t usually react positively to change, especially if it’s drastic or sudden. For your content marketing, make sure that you have the same people behind it all the time.

5.      Don’t be too pushy

There’s a saying that if you love something, you should let it go. The same principle applies in the business world, as well. You see, by being too aggressive with your post-sale follow up you’ll scare people away. People are always interested in what they need and rarely in what others need from them. The fact that you want them to come back means nothing to them, however, if you make a good first impression, once they need you, they’ll be sure to come back.

Conclusion

As you can see, each of the above-listed tips is fairly easy to implement and it doesn’t require you to deviate too far from the path that you’re already on. In other words, you gain quite a bit without having to make unnecessary sacrifices or compromises. This is a clear win-win scenario and a great boost for your business model.

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Business

Universal Guide to Starting Your First Enterprise

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Regardless of how happy you are with your current employment, at one point in the future, you may decide to start your own business. There are so many benefits of this kind of a career move, ranging from the fact that you’ll be your own boss, all the way to the fact that your income will drastically increase, once your business grows out of its proportions. The best thing about this is the fact that never before was there a better climate to start a small business or a startup. In fact, as many as 97 percent of startups employ less than 20 people, which means that by starting modest, you’ll quickly be able to catch up with them in size. Here are five guides to help you get there in no time.

1.      Put your thoughts on paper

One of the most important things that you need to understand is that no matter how great an idea sounds in your head until you put it to paper, you won’t know what you’re dealing with. Writing a real business plan is one of the most effective methods of verifying your business idea. Second, if you decide to look for investors, later on, they’ll insist on seeing your business plan (possibly even checking out a prototype). Either way, it’s something that can come as incredibly handy.

2.      Decide how you will fund your business

The next thing that you need to understand is various options that you have available when funding your business. The majority of entrepreneurs use their personal savings or loans to start a business, which leaves them with full ownership of the enterprise in question. About 38 percent of these startups and small businesses are financed from funds borrowed from friends and family members. Other options that you have available are venture capital or angel investors, yet, attracting these investors is not an easy task. Finally, in some fields, it’s possible to go for crowdfunding as a fundraising method.

3.      Determine a business structure

Depending on the origin of your initial capital, you might need to opt for a more complex ownership structure than you’ve initially intended. Still, even if you don’t plan to run as a partnership, it’s crucial that you determine a business structure of your enterprise as soon as possible. If you’re a sole owner, running as a sole proprietorship may seem like an obvious choice. Nonetheless, this is a scenario that can be quite risky, due to the fact that, if things go wrong, you risk even your other personal assets. Therefore, it’s advised to go for an LLC (limited liability company) for the sake of safety.

4.      Take your first steps as an enterprise

Once you’re done with the groundwork, you need to take steps that will legally make you into a business. First, you need to register a company which will require you to submit necessary paperwork or go via an online platform, which is a lot simpler. Second, you need to get a tax ID number. Once this is done, you can start establishing both your online and offline presence. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get to the point where your business is making a profit.

5.      Don’t rush in

The last thing you need to understand when it comes to running your first enterprise is that you can’t afford to be reckless. First of all, no matter how good your idea may sound, there are so many ways a startup can fail and, even if you’re careful, some of these things might happen to you. Therefore, take it easy, don’t invest more money than you can afford to lose and start by taking calculated risks in order to learn the industry. Most importantly, if your enterprise doesn’t require too much time, it might be wise to keep your day job for a while.

Conclusion

In order for this guide to be universal, we had to focus on those issues that aren’t industry-specific. Acquisition of specific tools, experts and getting your hands on all permits and certificates is something that you can worry about later on.

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Business

6 Digital Marketing Ideas for Your Business

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According to some reports, 81% of customers use the web to look up the products or services they want to buy. Moreover, 94% of B2B buyers said they do the same. This makes it obvious that you simply can’t survive in the business world unless you promote your company online. However, not every digital marketing idea is worth investing in. If you’re looking to create a strong online presence for your business, here are six digital marketing ideas worth considering.

Improve your blogger outreach

The first thing you need to learn is how to make a great first impression in the blogosphere. First of all, everyone likes when their work gets noticed, which is why you need to study the person in question in order to check out their portfolio and identify their points of interest. Second, you need to make sure that you are professional and focused, as well as that you have a passion for the industry. Even if the blog does have fine domain authority, if it’s not related to your niche it just won’t seem organic enough. Another option is for you to look for specialized blogger outreach services and leave all of this to someone with more experience in the industry.

Rely on graphics

There’s no doubt that one of the most important factors in online marketing are graphics. Every business out there has to work with professional graphic designers who’ll provide them with visuals to use in their marketing campaigns. Graphics are needed absolutely everywhere from your website to your social media pages. Depending on the size of your business, you can choose to bring in an in-house graphic designer or start working with a graphic design company. No matter what you decide to do, having them design you a beautiful Facebook cover photo and interesting Instagram stories is a must.

Be transparent

People do enjoy browsing the web for stuff they need but that doesn’t mean they’ll turn to just anyone when they need a certain product or service. They’ll always look to do business with companies that are transparent enough and ready to provide them with all the info they need. A good way to make sure people trust your business is to upload the terms of use to your website and make your business look more credible. Grabbing other documents such as vendor contracts templates is also recommended.

Go mobile-friendly

As reported at the beginning of 2019, 62% of users accessed the web from their mobile devices. While PC users will still visit your website often, it’s also recommended that you make it as mobile-friendly as possible. Small screens and short texts require you to use your creativity to the fullest and make sure more and more mobile user notice your business. Fail to do this and chances are you’ll see most of your visitors leave as soon as they realize their experience won’t be the same as if they were browsing the web using a PC.

Use online networking sites

We’ve all heard about LinkedIn and there’s no doubt this platform can help you generate buzz about your business. Create a page for your business and don’t forget to manage it every now and then. Moreover, it’s also critical that you use LinkedIn and networking on a personal level. The best thing about this platform is that it’ll provide you with lists of your friends’ friends you can connect with and grow your career. Not to mention that there are groups on both LinkedIn and Facebook you can join and give your local presence a boost.

Create quality content

One of the biggest reasons why people use the internet so much is that they’re looking for information. And who are they going to listen to more than people who’ve been in the industry for some time? Use your knowledge and experience to create content and share it with people online. If you’re a gifted writer, creating content other people will like shouldn’t be tough. You can even take a look at your old content and see if there are any articles you can repurpose.

Final thoughts

Promoting your business online isn’t easy and with every company now getting on the web, it takes creativity and hard work to stand out from the crowd. Have these six ideas in mind and your company’s online presence will be guaranteed to get a boost.

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