Failure to fully take advantage of online marketing is costing many small businesses in Ghana and Africa.
In Travis Thorpe’s post on the top reasons why small businesses fail, he explained that in this day and age, when “google” is a verb, any business which is not actively taking advantage of online marketing is leaving so much business on the table that they may soon be out of business.
Data from Invesp and many sources show that a whopping 80% of internet users have previously the internet to make a purchase. Additionally, about 80% of internet users in the US are expected to purchase within a year.
Think of the millions involved in this and you’ll easily see the vast opportunities this brings to local businesses. This data is typically collected on US internet users and consumers, but the reality is not too different from many nations of the world like Ghana.
Internet penetration in Ghana stood at 48% in January 2020, with some 6 million social media users, according to Data Reportal. This simply tells you where your customers are spending considerable proportions of their time.
And just like we all behave, people often make online research for products before they purchase. About 81% of all internet users fall within this behavior bracket.
There is no better way to put it, but if your business will thrive, then it must be conspicuous and visible to all these consumers searching online for your products or services. You can achieve this in three main ways;
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Search engine optimization is the process of improving the quality and quantity of organic or unpaid website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines.
It involves the processes used to optimize online content so they can be discovered easily by search engines, and so that they’ll show up when someone types in a relevant query.
This means, your online content, products, and service offerings must all be search engine optimized.
2. Social media marketing:
This would be the active advertisement and offering of your products and services on all relevant social media platforms. If your customers are there, then you must be there as well.
3. Cross-selling between communication channels:
Cross-selling would be the practice you are engaged in if you offer additional products to your existing customers. An example of this is what your financial advisor does by introducing you to other products they have available and selling them to you.
You should be cross-selling through most of your communication channels, including your emails, newsletters, private messaging, podcasts, blog posts, etc.
You must realize by now how crucial your ability to take advantage of all these marketing avenues is to your business’s survival. It’s sad, but it is said that 9 out of 10 of all startups fail, and 1 out of 10 fail within their first year.
Covid-19 Pandemic has inadvertently generated thousands of small businesses, many of them operating from home as first-time entrepreneurs.
Even if your target audience is not global, you can still market online focusing your efforts on local internet users in your city or country.
Final take on online marketing
In conclusion, many businesses are now incorporating a strong online component into their press exposure, press releases, traditional PR, social media, print marketing, and you risk falling behind if you don’t do the same, and do it in a better way than your competitors.
Starting an account on Yellow Pages Ghana is always a great way to advance your SEO and increase your business’s visibility.
What do you see as your biggest challenge to effective and successful online marketing…? Tell us in the comment section below, we always love to hear from you.