Pointers from our experts help you take your business to the next level by harnessing the power of the World Wide Web.
When it comes to marketing your brand, there are more options available than ever before. The Internet has revolutionised entrepreneurial business strategies and it’s best your company get onboard – soon!
According to Gino Cosme, online and social media consultant at Cosmedia in Joburg, traditional media spend is declining, so, he advises, your company should follow global trends to maximise profits.
Establishing an online presence
According to Cosme, the importance of establishing an online presence lies in connecting with your customers. “Online is an extension of what happens offline,” says Cosme. “Unlike traditional media, the Internet is a more engaging way of getting your message across.” To kick-start your online strategy planning, Cosme says one needs to follow “the eyeballs” and see what multimedia your customers are accessing.
Best online vehicle for your brand
To determine how the Internet can benefit your brand, you need to consider your target market. Catering to the needs of your consumer is an essential marketing strategy in any arena. You need not start a media revolution. Cosme argues that the key to taking your brand online is to “choose online vehicles that complement your brand in its traditional landscape, as well as in the digital realm.”
Brands that benefit
In general, business-to-consumer organisations benefit more from an online presence than business-to-business organisations do. Cosme argues that companies need to think outside the box and realise that the hierarchical style of marketing no longer exists. The key to having a successful online campaign is developing the right strategy. “Business owners have to be objective,” he asserts. “Each business has an individual blueprint and they need to determine where their online strategy fits in with traditional advertising models,” says Cosme.
Guidelines for formatting your site must be tailored to your company’s individual needs. Cosme stresses that people engage differently online than they do offline. Your site structure depends on the nature of your business. While a media organisation may wish to create an engaging online environment to keep readers online, an e-commerce site is targeted and response-driven. Their objective is to get customers to use their credit cards to make online purchases.
Boosting site traffic
The primary means of boosting traffic to your site is to appear on search engines. This is mainly done through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and social media, i.e. allowing users to create profiles and network online, which keeps users on your site.
According to Cosme there are four fundamental principles for going online:
- Think outside the box. The traditional way of doing things no longer stands. Have the courage to be objective and pioneering.
- Going online is an individual, strategic process. You need to determine where your company is going and use the Internet to reach future goals. Cut back to business basics and see a website as a tool to benefit your company.
- Have a means of measurement. If returns don’t meet your targets, the business needs to establish why its online strategy is not succeeding.
- Develop strategies that complement your existing business.
Visit www.cosmedia.co.za for more information.