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How to take your business online in days and on a budget.

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

As business owners, specifically of small and mid-sized businesses, the questions on your mind centre around how you can DIY a solution to pivot your business online because, let's face it, going digital can be really expensive.

We get it! For many, the rug was pulled from under their feet. Nobody ever imagined that nations could shut down on this scale. Even before all this, budgets were already tight and days were already so full multitasking on projects that required personal attention. Today, scaling back even more is seemingly necessary.

I've put together a 'cheat sheet' to give you a bit of a head start as you effect your digital master plan.

1. Social media

This is the time to take to social media. Why, you ask? With "more" time on their hands (I say this very loosely), the public is more active on social media. The numbers of app downloads, subscriptions, time spent on the sites - most metrics point to increments. Additionally,

- It's free

- Your audience is already there (spending more time than ever before)

- You can create a profile in minutes

- You can sell your products and services through a social media shop

Social media disrupted the world of marketing and opened up the doors to new ways of interacting with consumers and customers. Done right, social media has the potential for massive returns.

With your social media page, you can build in e-commerce integrations, build email and sms marketing lists, engage and nurture communities. You can walk people through every stage of the marketing funnel with just your social media page and the right integrations.

To be successful on social media, there are 6 things you need to know which have been summarised in this article. Additionally, we demystified some of the myths that are associated with social media marketing - check out this article so that you don't make some of the common mistakes that most do.

Pro tip: When it comes to social media, the trick is to be consistent. Post regularly and have good imagery.

Find out more about social media marketing

2. Websites

A website is an extremely important marketing tool today. According to Communications Authority of Kenya 2018-2019 report, a little over 49m Kenyans have mobile data or internet subscriptions. This represents approximately 92% of the country's population. This is unlike social media which has about 8m Kenyans actively using it (We are social report - Kenya, 2020).

If the percentage of users is not enough to convince you to have a website, think about the story you get to tell. With a website, you aren't limited to the number of characters you need to use to pass a message along to your audience unlike social media and microblogs. Find out more about why you need a website here.

When building a website, the major considerations I feel should be your priority are:

  • A mobile-friendly site - most search happens on a mobile phone. People need to find information on the go. It's the small things like having a clickable link to for the enduser to call your business that matters.

  • The User Experience (Ux) - It's easy to get carried away and want to give your audience some kind of 'unparalleled' experience when they go to your website. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - just make sure that your fancy website animations and transitions make sense for and to the person on the other side of the screen. It should be easy for them to navigate your site to get the information they are looking for.

  • Be discoverable - Page 1 on Google (or any other search engine like Bing, Yahoo!, Baidu, Yandex etc) is a coveted spot. It takes a while to get there, but it isn't impossible. Search Engine Optimisation is important to grow your website traffic if you do not have a budgetary allocation for search engine ads.

Building a website today can be fairly inexpensive and quick, unlike back in the day. Using website templates can reduce the time to build a website by up to half.

Pro tips:

  • Be careful when using a template as often, a lot of the text on the template may be mistakenly left unchanged. (I've come across several websites that still have the filler text, "Lorem ipsum dolor....").

  • Make sure you do your research on how people search for businesses like yours. This will guide you on developing the content for your website.

Find out about web design

3. Chatbot marketing

You've probably heard of people saying things like: I make money in my sleep. Why can't this be you?

Being online means that people can access your business website or social media pages at any time of the day, even when your business is physically closed for the day. Even as you sleep, someone may be on your social media page or website ready to buy or transact. In this day and age, and in this economy, there is no reason for you to miss that sale. Marketing automation should be a major part of your business' digital transformation and marketing plans.

With chatbots, you can bring conversations to your audience at any time of the day and help them make that decision to buy from you. Think of this as LIVE chat, but with a 'robot'. Yes - robots are taking over.

Chatbots are built using artificial intelligence (AI). Through AI, the chatbots can respond to different phrases and questions posed by users (your customers).

You can build a bot with conversational flows based on the frequently asked questions in your business, or walk people through an ordering process (all the way to making a payment and receiving the money). With chatbots, you can also collect leads (phone numbers and emails) and other insights to use for re-marketing later on.

Chatbots range in pricing depending on the level of detail required and the integrations involved. Contact us to learn more about chatbot marketing and get a custom chatbot build for your Facebook page and website.

Find out more about chatbot marketing

4. Web listing

If you still have a physical location for your business and don't have the capacity to get yourself a website just yet, getting listed on a web directory is a good option. It's the Yellow Pages for the internet (incidentally, Yellow Pages are now active both online and in print).

Google is still one of the top visited sites in Kenya. Getting your business listed on Google My Business is the first step to getting found on the internet. With web directories, you get to control how your business appears on search results and Google maps.

Find out more about search engine optimisation (SEO)

5. Video Marketing

YouTube is another top visited site in Kenya. Creating video content that your audience consider to be value is another way to get your business online without a website. Just like social media, creating a YouTube account is free. You may even be able to monetise your videos and make additional income.

Find out more about video marketing

When all is said and done, to be really successful at digital marketing, you need to use an omni-channel approach. Meet your audience where they are. Put differently, your audience needs to find you in whichever platform they are on - search engines, Facebook, Instagram etc. To be able to be on multiple channels, you need to consider staffing your various engagement platforms with human resources or automating the engagement. If you cannot handle multiple channels, prioritise the ones that will give you the most value for your time and effort.

To learn more about the channels mentioned here, or other digital marketing channels, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Check out our training video on how to take your business online in days. We delve into more details about what you can do to go online in days.

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