Of what use is a website or Online Marketing to my businesses other than the fact that it is the trendy thing to do these days?
My business is revenue driven; can a website or Internet Marketing increase my business income?
I have been asked these questions by lots of clients during pitches, time and time again. And my answer has always been the same; a website alone cannot add value to your business.
Having a cost effective website is only the first step in building a company’s brand presence online.
Yes, most entrepreneurs agree that it is easier to spread a message on the internet (both for business and social purposes) than the traditional delivery system.
However, entrepreneurs in Nigeria are hesitant to building and marketing their business presence on the internet.
Interviews and pitches with clients and prospects at Nativedge shows that entrepreneurs in Nigeria are hesitant to invest in websites and Internet Market Strategies for the following reasons;
1i it is either to expense to build or maintain,
2.Others say it will add little value to their line of business because someone they know invested in a website but it didn’t add value to their business. It was simply a ‘Nice to Have’.
On websites being too expensive to build or maintain: the world of technology has advanced to the point that there are numerous options available for businesses to own a website at little cost.
All you have to do is search for the website template of your choice; add your business information and you are ready to go.
There your business has a website. You never thought it could be this easy and cheap right?
On the other hand if you rather go with a custom website that meets the needs of your business, you will have to engage a website consultant that understands your needs and can work with your budget.
However, it does not mean that a business website is a miracle worker or tool to add value to your business.
Having a website does not mean that people online will see or visit your website or patronize your business just like that.
Give it a thought.
Ask anyone who has a website if they received hundreds of visitors to their website when they created it or if anyone patronized their business from the website. The answer will be either of the two;
1.I don’t know
Either answer means the website isn’t adding value to their business. Thus, the aim of investing in the website has been defeated. Why invest in a website when no one visits the website.
And this is one of the reasons some entrepreneurs in Nigeria believe a website investment will not add value to their business.
Nigeria has over 45,000,000 daily internet users (as stated by International Telecommunication Unit (ITU) as at 2011), 133,282,003 mobile subscribers and one of the worlds fastest growing Tele-Density of 94.42 as stated by Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) in August 2014.
For businesses operating and servicing the Nigerian population, an internet marketing strategy will need to be implemented to attract people on the internet to a business website and convert them into actual paying customers.
Which notable Nigerian companies have used their cost effective website to drive growth and revenue?
Within the past three (3) years, Nigeria witnessed the growth of eCommerce giants like Konga.com, Jumia.com?and recently payporte.com; these companies have revolutionized retail in Nigeria using their websites.
They display products on their online store, people buy these products using any of their payment methods and they deliver the product to the customer. Unconfirmed reports say both companies are already trading in billions of naira.
In the Human Resource industry in Nigeria, Jobberman.com?changed the way recruitment are handled. Job seekers upload their Curriculum Vitae (CVs) and Employers advertise job opening in their company.
Recruitment process in Nigeria has gotten easier and cheaper, as a job seeker can search for job openings across Nigeria and make their application; Also Employers can shortlist candidates for jobs. This is done all online.
So how are these companies able to successfully make their cost?effective?website attract visitors and convert them into paying?customers?
Here is the secret that most website developers don’t tell you or don’t admit; yes!
Websites empowers you to spread your business products and services across the internet, but if you don’t have an internet marketing strategy to attract online visitors to your website, your website investment won’t do a damn thing other than waste your valuable time and money.
Let me share with you a brief experience I had with a client at Nativedge, we were engaged to build a website for the clients business and during the website design stage I requested to know the plan the client had for internet marketing regarding the envisioned website, the client didn’t see the point of an internet marketing strategy.
The thinking was ecommerce websites were booming so if one builds an ecommerce website for a retail business it will immediately enjoy the boom being enjoyed by the raves of the moment i.e. jumia.com and Konga.com.
Well we built the ecommerce website for the client and as expected sales didn’t come in. we got called by the client to ask why the ecommerce website wasn’t recording sales and reaping from the ecommerce boom in Nigeria.
We had to carefully remind the client about the discussion we initially had concerning internet marketing. It’s one thing to own a website and another thing for online visitors to visit your website.
We are happy that the client finally saw the need for internet marketing and proceeded with crafting one.
To make a business in Nigeria or any part of the world succeed on the internet, entrepreneurs need to understand that the online community is made up of human beings in our physical communities or world; the only difference is that they are using a device (computer, tablet or mobile phone) to perform their activities in the virtual world which we call the internet.
And as such, they have to be made aware of a product or service for them to patronize it.
There are two ways to achieve a vibrant online presence, you either hire a Digital Marketing expert or you learn to do it yourself.
For entrepreneurs who are new to new media, here are some of the best guides to Online Marketing. Pick one, read and practice it comprehensively.
Beginners guide to online marketing:this is my personal favourite. Neil Patel wrote this guide for an audience of first time digital marketers, entrepreneurs delving into online marketing and marketing managers.
The noob Guide to Online Marketing:this is an elaborate graphic guide of the concept of digital marketing worth having a look at. It was initially published on unbounce but further elaborated on Moz.More and more consumers look to the internet to find products or services they need. The truth is that they either find you or they find your competitor.
So investing your time in an internet Marketing strategy is the way to go if you want to drive profitable traffic to you website.
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.
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