There are about 1.7 billion users of Facebook. There are hundreds of millions on other social media platforms. Every day, the number of internet users grows exponentially. If an event happens, it is sure to first break on the internet before getting attention via mass media. With the internet, the world has become a virtual community and to the seller, the world is a marketplace.
There is enough space on the internet for the 21stcentury seller to pitch a business center. You cannot afford not to keep up with the trend as millions prefer to shop online for its convenience and varieties. If you only operate a physical business center, get another one online. You can benefit both ways with this.
However, before you delve into online marketing, you have to ask yourself some important questions.
What online medium will best fit my product or service?
This is a basic question. This is where your knowledge of the product or service you sell comes in. More, you need to understand that the internet is an open space for everyone to pitch a tent. To answer this question, look at the potential consumers of your product and service and locate where they are. You also have to know which platform will project your product favorably. For instance, if you sell beauty product, Instagram is fitting for your business because of the image sharing feature it has.
What are my options?
With many mediums on the internet, you should make out a list of possible options for your products.
What am I most comfortable with utilizing?
Two things come to mind here: the product you want to showcase and the online medium that does it best. You have to find these.
Which mediums best represent my brand?
Advertising in the wrong internet medium can be a colossal waste of resources. You have to check out various mediums to see the ones which put your product or services in good light. There are blogs, forums, websites, vlogs, and so many other platforms. Your product peculiarities determine what is best fit.
How accessible will you be online?
If you are an online seller, you must be ready to walk your potential customers through your products or services. There should be a noticeable customer service portal which warm personnel attending to customers.
Any plans for collaboration with another business? If so, through what possible mediums do you plan to achieve this?
Collaborating with other business(s) is not a bad idea; in fact, it can be very advantageous. However, what space are you targeting? You should make out a good list of platforms that can make the collaboration easier. The internet is beneficial but it takes a workable strategy to gain traction.
Your business will not be the first to sell on the internet. Lots of businesses have become successful via the internet; lots of businesses have failed also. You should make out time to study the successful online businesses and the failed businesses. You need to know what contributed to the successes and what happened to the failed business. This will help you in making decisions. Note that your research must place substantial focus on businesses that sell products or services similar to yours.
Next, you have to accumulate ideas from research and the understanding of your products or service that can work as online strategies. People would buy what they see as beneficial to them – it must solve a problem. That’s why you must be ready with lots of ideas which can attract people to your product or service. The place of knowing your product cannot be overemphasized. There may be other sellers selling the same products online – how do you push yours to get more attention? You need ideas which are well packaged and branded.
With billions of people on the internet and the number increasing daily, you need to know where you can advertise to increase your sales. The social media is highly beneficial. With a little token, you can advertise on Facebook to a target audience of a particular age range and geographical location. This works via an algorithm that can get your advertisement to millions in an hour. On many other social media platforms, there are opportunities for advertisements. Forums are also very beneficial. Lots of forums are on the internet – with various themes and objects of discussion. Enthusiasts would frequent these forums and this is an opportunity to reach them.
Furthermore, you have to develop a marketing plan and know which online medium best align with it. Your marketing plan is what you are working on to get your product or service as much attention as possible. Using the wrong online medium may cause a lot of problems. You may have to take a feasibility test of the online options available to you.
How much time do you plan to invest in the online medium? This question is fundamental as buyers can approach your online stall anytime. Do you have a plan for when you are not online? Which online medium will best suit your time plan? You must always give enough clarification on the platform so buyers can get information even when you are not available. It may be hard for small businesses to have 24/7 online presence as the traffic may be bigger than expected but helping customers get all the information they need will be really helpful.
In conclusion, the internet is an ever-growing community and if you are not online in this age, you need to get online. The space is wide and can contain millions of more business. However, as with a large business space, the competition is tough and you may have to do much better than your competitors. Learn from successful online business which deal in the same niche as you and apply some of the principles. You have to know your product, look up the best internet platform for you, and know your target customers.
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