Start online business is what marketing superheroes define the first step to financial freedom. Chance has no place here, a real digital communication strategy must be put in place to make the most of this.
Follow our key steps to avoid mistakes and successfully start an online business.
1. Start online business: Make an analysis for your situation on the market.
Before even building your digital strategy, start with a little soul-searching about your business and thinking about the state of the current market.
Define your strengths and weaknesses, but also market opportunities and external threats to take into account.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How is your business doing in terms of sales?
- How does it compare to competitors (market share, positioning, etc.)?
- What is your image with the public? Good, bad, non-existent?
- Does your offer meet a public need? Does it meet their expectations?
The better you understand the overall situation, the more easily you will be able to establish a relevant and effective digital strategy.
If you don’t have time, you can also call for a digital marketing agency’s help.
The SWOT analysis method:
To support you during this crucial step which consists of analyzing the market situation as a whole, you can use SWOT-type analysis methods.
It is an English acronym that can be translated as SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This will allow you to clearly define your strategic options.
2. Start online business: Define the objectives of your digital strategy.
Your digital strategy must focus on SMART objectives and indicators.
Definition of the smart method:
The SMART method consists of five indicators:
A specific objective must be directly linked to the work to be carried out: it must be personalized. This goal should be exclusive to your business. It must be clear, precise, and understandable by all.
A measurable goal must be quantified or qualified.
An achievable goal is a goal that represents a challenge to be achieved and is large and ambitious enough to be motivating.
A realistic goal is able to anticipate the obstacles you will encounter and avoid giving up.
A temporally defined objective is clearly delimited in time, on a specific date.
These indicators are all variables allowing the achievement of your objectives for your digital strategy.
Your objectives directly influence your action plans to be put in place.
Of course, a digital transformation may seem essential to adapt to new technologies and the consumption habits that result from them. So it’s a good idea to think that you don’t really have a choice.
But this is a real opportunity for your business: new ways of communicating that will allow you to reach a larger audience and increase your turnover.
You cannot, therefore, embark on the adventure without clearly defining your expectations.
Many objectives are possible, among which:
- Traffic: traffic generation, both online on your e-commerce or m-commerce website and in a drive-to-store strategy to generate point-of-sale traffic …
- Lead: lead generation (prospects), lead nurturing, conversion …
- Visibility: development of its notoriety through brand image, your online presence, and improvement of your e-reputation;
- Customer loyalty,
- Customer experience.
Also ask yourself what do you want from your strategy: is it a single product, a product catalog, or even your entire business?
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3. Start online business: Analyze the digital strategy f your competitors.
Your competitors have the same goals as you. Therefore it is interesting and instructive to see what methods they use to succeed in building their digital strategy.
It can help you spot what works and what doesn’t, for inspiration, and more to differentiate yourself and do better.
For example, in a market like that of B2B SaaS solutions which are very competitive, being able to distinguish oneself from what the competitors offer becomes vital to exist and not to blend in with the crowd.
- Who are these competitors?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- How do they communicate with your target?
- On what media?
The answers to these questions are all avenues to follow in developing your own e-marketing strategy.
4. Start online business: Define the target of your digital strategy.
Set up a digital marketing strategy without clearly defining what the target is is irrelevant.
It could lead you straight to a resounding failure.
To help you, you can create a buyer persona, i.e. a typical profile of the consumer you want to target:
- Who is he/she? Age, place of residence, job, hobbies, income …
- What are their needs?
- What are his/her motives?
- How does he/she use the internet? How many times a day and at what times? Rather on mobile or desktop?
- What social networks does he use? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn …
Make a precise profile. You will thus know how to communicate with him, on any medium and at what times.
5. Define your web marketing budget.
Implementing a digital strategy represents a cost for companies. Therefore you must establish a budget because it will at least partly determine the means you will use to achieve your goals.
Digital marketing is a real gold mine in terms of possibilities, each with its advantages and disadvantages, and above all with a distinct price.
Some means represent a significant financial investment when other solutions require above all patience and subtlety, as is the case with a strategy of Inbound Marketing.
6. Define your digital communication strategy.
You have identified your strengths, your weaknesses, your objectives, the target to be reached, and your budget to achieve it. After that, you can think about the means of communication you will use to retain your prospects.
Depending on your needs, you can:
- Invest in social media (social networks);
- Upload videos to Youtube;
- Launch a newsletter by emailing;
- Develop a website or blog that will serve as a showcase for your brand or a support for e-commerce or m-commerce;
- Create a mobile application …
Or why not all of this at the same time if it is relevant!
7. Implement a content creation strategy.
This point directly relates to the choice of the different digital communication channels used. Indeed, you do not broadcast the same content depending on the chosen channel. Moreover, you don’t choose the same channel depending on the content to be broadcast.
Are you going to bet on an Outbound Marketing or Inbound Marketing strategy?
If you opt for an Inbound Marketing strategy, you will have to ensure the web writing of brand content:
- blog articles (blogging),
- white papers,
Outbound Marketing ensures quick results, but it is costly.
Inbound Marketing is inexpensive, but the results take longer to arrive.
This is a fundamental strategy that focuses on the medium and long term: produce high added value content for visitors, which will indirectly promote your products, your branding strategy, and your values through the employer brand.
The patience it asks for is very well rewarded, to such an extent that this strategy becomes essential.
To make things easier for you, think about Marketing Automation which will allow you to optimize your productivity and your results.
Marketing automation is an emailing strategy allowing the automated sending of emails according to the actions carried out by your leads.
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8. Measuring your web performance.
You have established a strategy on the net and it is now deployed. You now need to analyze the data using performance indicators.
Define the KPIs (Key Performance Indicator) that will allow you to effectively measure your performance. There are a lot of them, so you need to choose them wisely.
We can cite :
- The traffic generated on your website;
- The conversion rate;
- SEO ranking(natural reference);
- The click-through rate;
- The time spent on the site;
- The ROI (Return on Investment).
Don’t wait to analyze the data, as it provides you with essential insights into what works and what doesn’t.
- It is therefore an opportunity to adjust your web strategy as you go.
You now know how to build a digital strategy. It is both a work of introspection on your company, and of observation of the market, the opportunities, the targets, and the competitors.
A job that will bear fruit if it is done well!
The key points to remember:
- Analyze your strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats.
- Define your goals and targets to decide what actions to take.
- Monitor your performance to adjust your overall strategy if necessary.
1 thought on “How To Start Online Business – 8 Secrets You Need to Know!”
This is clear, concise, and complete!