The buzzword ‘going digital’ has been around for years now, and for most entrepreneurs, this has meant having a website with a logo, service or product offering, positioning and contact details.
At a recent learning event hosted by Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), a global peer-to-peer network of entrepreneurs, Ryan Sauer, Managing Partner at King James Digital, said that although a website is a critical starting point, there is more to effectively creating a digital presence at any level of business growth.
Sauer shares the myths that can be a stumbling block to successfully digitizing a business.
Myth 1: Build your website and people will find it
There are billions or websites on the internet and ensuring yours is found when people are searching or requiring your service takes effort, money and time. Simply telling your friends and family that you have a URL and an online presence does not mean that your potential client will automatically find your site if they have not been exposed to your brand. Set aside part of your marketing or digital budget to allow for some burst campaigns or an always-on, ongoing media campaign. There are long-term and short-term ways to get traffic to your website. Ensure you have a mixture of both.
Myth 2: You must have a Facebook page for your business
Not all businesses require a Facebook page and social media strategy. Social media takes time and effort and if you are going to spend time and money on it, ensure it serves a purpose. For example, if you are a small three-man aeronautical engineering firm, posting social media updates on a daily or weekly basis will not necessarily win new business, employees or followers. Find and invest in the correct channel for your specific business.
Myth 3: You must SEO your site
Some sub myths that stem out of this myth. Just because you ‘SEO’ (search engine optimization) your site, it is not guaranteed you will rank on the first page of Google for the words or phrases that you think you will. On this point, if your website and domain is brand new, SEO ranking and indexing can take some time. Be comfortable with the long-term strategy that SEO is going to take.
Myth 4: Email marketing does or does not work
“Whether you believe email marketing does or does not work, either way you are right.” I made that up but it rings true when I speak to clients that are on either side of this statement. It comes down to how well segmented your lists are and how clean and frequent you keep your communications.
Take the time to think through a marketing mail send out and what action you want the user to take.
Myth 5: Once I have a site there is no need to look at it again
If you spent money building a house and furnishing it, it requires maintenance and constant work and effort. Your website is no different. The internet changes, people’s mobile devices change, expectations of user experience change and that all results in websites requiring updates and content enhancements. Budget for a quarterly refresh or, if possible, make these changes even more frequently.
Coming out of the event, EO member and Managing Director at Vicinity, Ricky Frankental said that one of the key insights out of the session was the importance of having a clear strategy to drive an entrepreneur’s approach to digital marketing, and subsequently measure results.
Sauer says that there are many more components to a digital presence and entrepreneurs can achieve maximum exposure on a minimum budget if they plan their digital efforts right.
Credit: Eva Khosa - Atmosphere Communications