Recently, we started a new series on my recommendation for 20 things to do in 2020. Some of the things shared are things to do at the start of 2020. Particularly the things shared in the last post. While others can be done during the course of the year but are still by no means less crucial. Today we would focus on laying a solid marketing foundation in order to end up having a good year for your business. If you are just starting this series with us, then I'll advise you get caught up with the first five things I shared in the previous post. To check out part 1, click here.
6. Survey your customers or potential customers
In online marketing, your audience research forms the basis of all you do. It is the foundation for which all decisions are made. Naturally, when you are starting out if you don't have a good understanding of your audience you are simply setting yourself up for failure.
A few vital reasons why you need to find out what your customers want and what problems they are facing currently when it comes to the solution your business provides.
7. Create an online marketing plan
There is a very popular quote that adequately captures the importance of a marketing plan. It's a general quote but it is so apt and relates to every aspect of our lives including marketing for our businesses.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. - Benjamin Franklin
When it comes to creating a solid marketing plan, there are many elements you can include, however, I recommend the following.
Once you have your marketing plan on lockdown, you just need to implement it so that you can begin to see the progress you expect in your business.
8. Start taking online payments
This point is a no brainer. I want to believe that you have your online payment system set up for your business, but just in case you don't. Please tell yourself that 2020 should not meet you still asking people to send you a dm before they can get your account details or depending on unreliable delivery men to collect your cash for you, or even worse only selling offline in your store or office. Like!
Try your best to keep up with the times. Getting a payment account with one of the online payment solutions is cheap and they only charge you when you receive payments. The truth is, your business can grow a lot faster when your payment processing is not totally manual.
I understand that for certain situations like if you live in some African countries, you still have to have manual payment methods like USSD bank transfers and mobile money because of the way the financial industry is set up. However, I can say to you that it still helps to have your system for online payment setup. Apart from the fact that many people use this (50% of my business payments come in via card payments made online), it opens you up to receiving money from people outside the country.
If you are thinking of one to get started with, I'll recommend Rave by Flutterwave, this is the one I use in my business. However, there's also Paystack which I know is pretty popular as well.
9. Create a website
A website is not the first thing to create when you are starting an online business. Yes, a website is important, but I am one person that advocates closely managing your resources when you are just starting out. By resources, I am not only referring to money. In fact, money is not the primary consideration for me when I tell people not to start with building a website because there are so many cheap ways to have a website up and running. With less than $20 you can have your own website.
The main consideration is the time involved in obsessing over all the little parts that come together to create a website that helps you achieve the look and feel you want for your business.
If a website is not the first thing I recommend, why am I asking you to create a website for your business in 2020? Well, the truth is your website is one piece of real estate on the entire web that is yours. It's put in the public domain and you can completely control the narrative. That's where people who want to find out about you or your business can go to before they make any commitments to you or if they are randomly searching for stuff related to what you do.
If you aren't just starting out, I'll recommend you build a website that showcases your brand in 2020.
10. Create landing pages
Ok, calm down. I know when I said in my last point that I don't recommend people to start their businesses online by building websites, some of you had alarm bells going off in your head that just kept on asking how? how? how? don't you need a website to get people to sign up for your email list?
This naturally brings me to this point. You don't need a full-on website to get started online. However, for a serious online business, you definitely need at least a landing page and this is what I recommend you get started with.
The next logical question on the mind of many people reading this is so what's the difference between a landing page and a website. Well it's simple.
A landing page is a single web page that is focused on a single specific call to action. There are no other links that take a visitor out of that page except the visitor closes the page or takes the action that is required.
A website, on the other hand, has many links that redirect the potential customer away from the page. There is most likely a navigation menu that includes all kinds of things like a link to the about page, the services/product page, pricing page, etc
When you are planning to implement a marketing campaign, what you would need is a landing page and not necessarily a full website.
Look out for the next installation of 20 things to do in 2020. Also, tell us your biggest take away from this episode in the comment section.
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