Your idea is great, but is it getting the right audience? Have you been able to drive sales exponentially? Or are you simply holding out for the right time to go big? Has all this led to a hint of self doubt and a feeling that your idea isn’t the best?
Hang in there…the time is now! The web is your medium to go forth and get the desired visibility. It is absolutely crucial that you understand that going online is the best way to move forward.
Why is an online presence vital, you ask?
Your online presence includes more than a website and social media. To be concise, it is a complete package of your social profile and inbound marketing efforts which need to be put into motion to generate credibility and resource building.
Think of your website as your first interaction with the customer. It is the point where you make your first impression. The potential customer judges you and rates your business outfit right there. This is a window of opportunity to establish credibility and you need to nail it. It may be your only opportunity.
Running a startup has its own set of challenges. Getting investments and accurately planning your various budgets are sometimes the most challenging aspects in the project. I cannot tell you how to operate your startup, but what I can definitely share with you is how to identify your marketing needs and plan a marketing budget accordingly.
Some start their business with savings; some with debt. You need to invest money to make money. A marketing budget should not only be sizeable, but also a high priority. Not having money or a budget is not a good excuse to prevent you from spending on an online presence.
I will refrain from putting a percentage here because it will vary from business to business. If the numbers seem daunting, you have the option of staging your marketing efforts in phases. There is nothing like a well-structured marketing budget. The right investment is critical.
For greater effectiveness, utilize your marketing budget in stages. For example, phase one can be for user interface, user experience, marketing applications and tools. Later phases can be for analytics.
In my experience, I have seen some great quality brands built over the years at reasonable rates. Immense efforts go into such quality products, and it is possible.
You have to ensure right from the design phase that when your website is being built, it incorporates proper SEO- friendly framework. If you already have an existing website, I recommend you update it, optimizing it for search engine friendliness. Update it with fresh content regularly to make it a powerful marketing tool.
The latest buzz is to create mobile apps to catch your users on the go. Alternatively, you could choose to make your website design responsive to meet that need. Refer to our free requirement gathering questionnaires for web development, mobile app development and internet marketing to see what best suits your needs.
As a startup, developing a brilliant product or service is only half the battle. Getting it to the right market and gaining a credible presence among the audience is just as important.
It is common place to look up the website or a social media page (LinkedIn or Facebook) to verify a brand or a service provider. When someone looks up your company to learn about it, make sure it is up to date and looks professional. It is easy for a customer to dismiss an unimpressive company right away. You need to hit the ball out of the park in this short window of opportunity. Let me reiterate, quality is of the essence here.
Here is a quick checklist of why an online presence is vital.
It is an essential marketing resource
Your web presence helps you gain credibility; it is a marketing and sales tool. Like I mentioned before, it is your first communication and likewise forms a first impression for a customer. Choose to impress!
A Branded image takes time to develop
Don’t be fooled by the ease at which established brands attract an audience. They have built this reputation over years. It takes time, but your online credentials will increase your visibility and potentially your sales, too. Because the customer will make a judgment call based on first impressions, your impact needs to be rewarding and should establish recognition.
It will help build credibility
Don’t be misled by false promises that a website guarantees sales or that SEO guarantees sales. The desired outcome should be to build credibility and make a “social” or “web” presence. This helps in eventual lead generation.
It offers a much higher return on investment (ROI)
Depending on your business and how well you perform in your online presence (not how much you spend on it), you can recover your costs very quickly. Compared to most other forms of advertising, the ROI is much higher. It is available 24/7.
About the author:
Matt is the co-founder and President of IT Hands. He and his family have lived in South Asia for over 19 years.
IT Hands provides customized solutions to web development companies and internet marketing agencies.