Building a Formidable Brand Online
Free Book Preview: Brand Renegades
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Consider the story of Sanjay Doshi, an optician who owns a local optical shop in the heart of Kolkata, in West Bengal, India. Sanjay realized that there was a lack of quality eye care services in the city. He took it upon himself and founded his own brand focused on personalized eye care. Initially, Sanjay relied on word-of-mouth marketing and other traditional avenues to bring in customers. However, he soon understood the need to establish an online presence through a website to reach out to more people. Observing people flitting in and out of his shop, he saw each of them constantly on their mobile phones scouring the internet to fulfil their various needs. While he was an expert optician, Sanjay had little knowledge about building an online presence. But that didn’t deter him from searching on the web for a free website builder and creating an entire site on his smartphone. In the past month, Sanjay’s brand website has reached more than 1,000 customers and prospects online. With this increase in business, he is hoping to open two new branches in the next two years.
Sanjay’s story is representative of the fact that small and medium businesses are growing at a fast pace and contributing in a major way to the Indian economy. The Indian MSME Ministry’s Annual Report of 2015-16 states that India consists of nearly 51 million SMBs, and these contribute to nearly 37.5 % of India’s GDP. Today, digital technologies have changed the landscape in which these SMBs operate. This is because Indian consumers have moved online and have gone mobile.
As per the report, ‘Mobile Internet in India 2017’ published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India & Kantar IMRB, the number of internet users is expected to reach an estimated 500 million by June 2018. These consumers regularly interact, engage and transact with businesses online. This allows SMBs the opportunity to innovate and achieve business growth by going online and using digital communication technologies. SMBs in India that are aggressively adopting digital technologies stand to gain faster profits; scale across India and beyond country boundaries; and greater employment of people. Having an online presence is a critical requirement if your business aims to make consumers aware of the products and services offered, and how these offerings can improve their lives. An integrated online presence is simple to create, requires minimal effort and is very effective. The first step is to use a reliable domain name such as a .com or .net and build a website page that links all the services promoted by your business. Once you have a domain name, you can either redirect the user to a social media page or build a brand-new website with a customized design and user interface.
With an online presence, your business can gain customers online and reach prospective ones both locally and internationally. Your business can build a brand name for itself with the help of an established online identity. Utilizing digital marketing methods such as search engine optimization (SEO) for the brand website, helps customers reach and interact with your business easily. While a social media presence can bring added value to the online brand personality and promote brand products, a website is your business’s branded destination. This is reflected in its design, user interface, and messaging. With plenty of free as well as paid options available, building a website and a website marketing strategy is extremely easy.
To target prospective consumers, build a user base and increase sales, here are a few points to keep in mind so that your business can have an edge over the competition
It always helps to have a digital marketing planning in place, to ensure an easy execution. There are several digital marketing tools that help to easily create a formidable plan of action. Moreover, good planning resonates into better returns.
An online business needs to entice consumers to visit its brand website and convert them. When the consumer is at this crucial decision-making stage, a business should increase its interactions and persuade site visitors and prospects to take action that leads to conversion.
Converting a lead to a sale, when a consumer is at the purchasing point is essential. After building a strong interaction with website visitors, an online business needs to utilize certain conversion rate optimization hacks that are useful in turning them into paying customers.
A business should have a long-term engagement and develop deep seated relationships with consumers so that one-time buyers convert to repeat customers. This can be achieved by a social presence, on-site communication and email interactions. This helps a business attain loyal consumers who advocate its brand and bring in more consumers.
To conclude, creating a digital marketing strategy is just the beginning of a business’s journey towards making the most of its online presence. A business requires to capitalize on growth in the digital space. There is a strong shift in the digital landscape towards mobile and social media. A business must reach out to potential customers and influence their buying decisions through a .com website and keep them engaged through social media channels, to ensure optimal results.