6 Things You Should Know Before Putting Your Business Online
So you’re ready to take the leap to the world wide web. Congratulations! Whether you’re a brand new business or an old-school company looking for a new-school idea, an online presence is absolutely paramount to any marketing strategy.
Most successful business have a robust online presence that leaves users feeling informed, like they’re armed with the right information, and confident that they’ve come to the right place. Before you develop your new online presence, ask yourself these questions:
- What do you have to offer?
Your website can act as a lot of things – a brochure, menu, catalog, point of contact, or an online store – but no matter what, it should be a source of information about your business and what you have to offer. Include the basics like hours, location, directions and contact information, as well as a mission statement and descriptions of products or services. Be sure you’re also telling the user what you can offer them – how can you fix their problem?
- What do you do better than anyone else in your industry?
Why should a user go with your company over your competitors? Can you offer them a superior product or service? Amazing customer service? Free coffee with purchase? Let them know why they should come to you.
- Who are your competitors?
To have a successful online presence, you should know who your competitors are. Better yet – study them. What do they do that you don’t? What do you do that they don’t? What is their online presence like?
- Who is your audience?
Audiences can be tough to define, but are very important. Targeting a specific audience is key – anyone can buy your product or service, but who would be most likely to buy? Males or females? College graduates? Moms over 40? Nail down your target demographic. Online, if you’re selling to everyone, you could end up reaching no one.
- What are your top 3 business goals?
Ask yourself that question from every interview you’ve ever had – where do you see yourself in 5 years? Outline any important goals you would like to achieve or tactics you would like to implement, online or off. What business aspirations do you have? Driving sales? Increasing consumer engagement? Lessening the amount of phone calls you receive?
- How will your online presence support your business?
An online presence isn’t a cure-all or an instant fix, but it is an essential marketing tool and a sound long-term investment. How can you use your website, your social media, or even your inbox to support your business and help it thrive?