How to start an online business?

How to start an online business?
  • October 6, 2022

 

You have an online business idea (e.g. online course, online store, software, professional services). You are exploring a product market fit.

Your have registered a business. You have a business plan in place.

You are looking forward to promote your products or services.

We explore 8 ways you can find success while starting an online business.

 

1. Win customers online with a digital marketing strategy

A digital marketing strategy is a plan for achieving specific goals using online channels.

A digital marketing strategy will help you identify digital marketing channels that are required to reach your customers online. Once you have a made a choice of digital marketing channels to focus your efforts, create and run digital marketing campaigns to reach your target audience.
 
Define campaign goals and monitor progress against them. Set metrics to monitor the progress of your marketing efforts against the goals that you set out to achieve.
 
A popular digital marketing tactic to engage leads is via email marketing campaigns. Learn more about your ideal customer. Create email campaign goals. Identify what types of email you plan to send them. Segment your prospective customers. Create an email that resonates with your prospective customers. Include relevant call to actions (CTAs). Track important email metrics like open rate and click through rate.
 

Win customers online with a digital marketing strategy

 
 

2. Build an online presence

Promoting your business online helps in positioning your products or services with your target audience at places where they frequent. Promoting your business online helps you reach your target market at scale. Your brand is front of mind when your customer is researching solutions or at the decision stage.

Promote your business online by building your website. Create a web design that appeals to your target market. Be found in search by optimising your web pages with the target keywords used by your target market during search.

Create a content marketing strategy and create a social media marketing plan to reach your target audience. Establish a customer database to organise your leads and build your email list to engage your customers.

Create lead magnets and offer useful information in exchange for details like email address. Monitor how each digital marketing channel is performing against your stated marketing goals.

The above tips are also applicable for small business owners who sell physical products or services online.
 

Build an online presence

 

 

3. Build brand awareness

It is quite important to build brand awareness . A brand is other people’s perception of what you do. Learn more about your customers and create a unique value proposition that addresses their needs.
 
Identify what content types resonate with potential customers. The content type varies depending on goals, needs, behaviours and challenges faced by your target audience. What does your organisation stand for? Identify the right channel mix to reach customers and create marketing goals for your business or product or service. Create case studies by building an outstanding credibility through quality work and thought leadership in your field.
 
Build brand awareness 
 
It always important to understand the progress of your brand building efforts. Does your target audience recognise your brand? What is your brand identity or how does your target audience perceive your brand? Does your target audience know what products and services you offer?
 
A few ways to measure brand awareness include asking questions, social listening, analysing search data and website traffic. This will provide inputs for improving your brand awareness strategy.
 
 

4. Generate an inbound interest and capture leads

Create a content marketing strategy. Provide useful information to your ideal customer at various stages of their buying journey with your organisation. It’s important to have a good understanding of your target market needs and what their buying journey looks like.

Find ways to provide useful information in exchange for an email address or any other information that your require. Publish relevant content articles via social media platforms.

A higher purchase intent will prompt customers to leave their email address in exchange for information to address their needs. This will enable you to nurture a lead by further understand their needs and goals.

Generate an inbound interest and capture leads

 
 

5. Utilise enabling tools for marketing and sales

Back end marketing systems and processes will help with marketing activities like lead capture, conversion rates and email campaigns. Sales tools will help with sales activities like sales forecasting, tracking opportunities and deals and managing the customer lifecycle in CRM.

Marketing and sales software will help you build an infrastructure to promote your products while setting up a successful online business. Sales and marketing tools can be used to maintain buyer personas, organise leads and segment your leads. This is applicable for all type of businesses.

Example - If you are the owner of an ecommerce business and you have products to sell online. Email marketing tools will help you to send relevant information (e.g. new products, latest offers) via email newsletters to your customer base or prospective customers. Sales and marketing tools will help you in automating repeatable marketing tasks like email sequences to contacts in your CRM.

Utilise enabling tools for marketing and sales

There are challenges associated with managing multiple marketing and sales tools. In this blog post, I explain why I prefer using an integrated sales and martech stack to power my sales and marketing needs.

 
 

6. Create a unified view of the customer

It is important that information does not stay in organisation siloes. We have all experienced this at some point in our careers and it can be really frustrating. This is because there is no smooth flow of information between the different teams (e.g. between marketing, sales and service teams).

This will result in lost sales opportunities due to information being lost in transit between marketing and sales teams. You will not be able to nurture leads via email marketing. Your customer service teams will not have access to a complete customer information while addressing customer issues.

Create a unified view of the customer

One of the advantages of using an integrated sales and martech stack is to reduce occurrences of information siloes. In this blog post, I articulate the challenges that I faced while using multiple sales and marketing tools.

 
 

7. Enhance customer experience

Customers also need to feel that they are being heard and helped at various stages of their buying journey. Guide your customers who arrive at the web store front by providing useful information that address their needs.

A poor customer experience could result in a lost sale. This could have been avoided by providing answers to a query that they may have.

If they get stuck or need more information about something (e.g. product feature or price), appropriate mechanisms need to be in place for addressing their queries (e.g. live chat, ask a question, FAQs etc.).

Enhance customer experience

In this blog post, I explain the importance of understanding your customer needs (use persona templates) and creating a unique value proposition that sets you apart from competitors. I also discuss the importance of organisation values. How an organisation’s values drive their business culture and business structure.

 

8. Create a business model

A good business model enables an organisation to create customer value and capture organisation value. A few examples of business models include Software as a Service (SaaS), affiliate marketing etc. Ask yourself the following questions.

Can any traditional factor that the industry competes on be reduced, eliminated, created or amplified? Can any industry assumption be inverted on its head? The answers to these questions will help you to invest in areas that are deemed more important than others. 

Create a business model

 

 

Conclusion

Starting a business is really exciting! Create a digital marketing strategy to promote your business online. Make your target audience aware of your offering by increasing brand awareness. Utilise enabling marketing and sales systems to help you achieve your marketing goals (e.g. generate leads).

Create a unified view of the customer to enhance customer experience. Create a business model to create customer value and capture organisation value. All this increases your chances of success while setting up an online business.

 
 
 

Contact our team

Are you looking to build trust with your buyer by addressing their needs at different stages in the buyer’s journey? Are you looking to raise brand awareness and generate quality leads for your business by improving your website visibility in search? Are you looking to attract buyers to your website and convert quality leads into customers?

If you answered yes, we can help! We are an inbound digital marketing agency, search engine marketing agency and content marketing agency based in Sydney, Australia. We are innovators and marketers with expertise in:  

 

1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Are you looking to drive revenue growth from organic search? We write engaging content that ranks higher ⬆️ on search engines, increases web traffic 🚦 and generates quality leads 👑 for your business! Our SEO campaigns utilise ‘target keywords’ used by prospective buyers, has potential to increase search engine rankings and organic traffic in the long term.

 

2. Google Ads.

Are you looking to drive revenue growth from Google Ads? We create paid search campaigns that increases web traffic 🚦 and generates quality leads 👑 for your business! Our google ads management services includes a paid search audit and paid search campaigns (Google Ads - formerly Google AdWords).

 

3. Email Marketing

Are you looking to drive revenue growth from email marketing? Our email marketing services in Sydney will enable you to nurture leads who are interested in your products or services. We write engaging content that increases web traffic 🚦 and generates sales opportunities 👑 for your business!  Our email marketing services uses a human centred design approach to understand your target audience, has potential to increase website traffic and generate sales conversations in the long term.

 

4. Content Marketing.

Are you looking to drive revenue growth from content marketing? We create content prototypes to find out what message resonates with your target audience and how your product messaging is perceived by them. We write quality content to address buyer needs at different stages of the buying journey and marketing funnel - content audit, content marketing strategy, content management. Our SEO content writing services includes website content, blog posts, videoswebinars and email marketing.

 

 

Book a digital marketing audit

Anees Misbahudeen | Digital Marketing Director & Founder at INNMCO

 

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