Customers are using the internet more and more to find products, goods and services – and why wouldn’t you when it’s so convenient? In this article, we discuss a few reasons why you should consider taking your business online.

1. Reduced marketing expenses for the business.

Marketing doesn’t cost what it used to. Marketers used to rely on the expensive costs of billboards, newspapers, radio and television advertisements. However, as the world moves into the digital sphere, so do the habits of consumers. The costs of a business owning a website could be as simple as maintaining it, optimizing it using Search Engine Optimization and keeping up to date with google algorithm changes (which affects your visibility in google search). In addition, by using the data obtained from web analytics, your advertisements can be shown only to your target market. This means that less time and money will be spent trying to appeal to ‘the masses’.

2. Increased business exposure.

Because you are online, your reach is extended and thus you are able to generate more leads. With more leads and a greater conversion rate (the number of desired actions completed by users divided by the number of users), you are able to see improved sales due to a broader or more targeted customer reach.

3. Appeal to new markets and enter into the GLOBAL market.

As a business moves online, a ‘local’ business could become ‘globalized’. The business is able to enter into an international market, allowing for increased growth potential and return on investment.

4. Builds brand awareness, visibility and POWER.

The benefits of having a social media page for a business:

  • Improved search rankings in popular search engines (source: Content Ignition: 10 Ways to Get More Economic Value from Your Social Media Content by Mark Shaefer).
  • Increased traffic to website from popular search engines (source as above).
  • FREE advertising with the added benefit of product/service persuasion through the business’ sharability i.e. BRAND POWER. What is brand power? Through sharing, your organic reach will increase, allowing your market to expand at no cost to you. This has the added benefit of product/service persuasion (and this is what drives brand power):

People are 70% more likely to make a purchase based on a friend’s social media updates

(source: Content Ignition: 10 Ways to Get More Economic Value from Your Social Media Content by Mark Shaefer).

People share things on social media for the following three reasons:

  • As a symbol of love or support
  • It aligns with their self-identity
  • As an act of generosity or kindness

Therefore, the business needs to appeal to their target market using strategies that appeal to the above actions and their ‘sharability’ will increase.

5. Able to understand/evaluate competitors successes and adapt own campaigns accordingly.

With tools such as Buzzsumo, a business can analyze the topics or content of competitors that is the most shared on social media, and adapt their campaigns accordingly. This ‘sharability’ factor is based on the idea that people are more likely to invest in products/services that their friends invest in (as mentioned previously).

6. Establishes verified online presence.

Customers wanting to purchase/find out more about the business are able to do so directly from the source. These days, anyone wanting to find a certain product/service uses search engines. By optimizing search results to benefit your business using strategies such as SEO implementation (among others), your business will appear at the top of search engine results, thus generating more ‘traffic’ and (hopefully) more sales. Here is a helpful infographic of the social media ‘verified page’ badges to look out for. These will usually appear next to the person or organization’s name on their profile.

Social Media Verified Page Badges Twitter Facebook Instagram Youtube Instagram Linkedin

7. Develops loyal customers by encouraging repeat purchases.

By following businesses on social media, customers are reminded of your ‘presence’ in their social media routines, and might be persuaded to make repeated investments in your product/service.

8. Convenience for customer.

The convenience of being online for the customer is that purchases are fast & easy and information about products/services/promotions is available at the click of a mouse or press of a button. It is important to note that customers are less likely to trust a website that is not encrypted when they are making online payments. Make sure that you use pay pal or another trusted payment service.

9. Easy to evaluate ROI (return on investment).

Tools such as Google Analytics show businesses where people are navigating to on their website, how long they’re spending looking at each webpage, etc. This helps to establish appropriate digital marketing campaigns at targeted audiences, leading to less time and money that would usually be spent on traditional marketing campaigns. Furthermore, social media provides marketplace insight through analysis pages like ‘insights’, which is free and easy to use.

10. Grows business partnerships.

If a company with a similar brand image goal/ideal sees that you have a large reach on social media, they might agree to sponsor/collaborate on a project if certain terms are agreed to (e.g. if they are advertised along with your product in a certain marketing campaign). This means that the business gets ‘free’ association credits (i.e. X is cool, and because Y associates with X, Y must also be cool) and is also able to maximize profit potential through sponsorship.

This article was inspired by one of our previous posts:

The Importance of Having a Great website.

In hindsight of its creation, we realized that it is essential to discuss why a business should consider having a website in the first place.

However, there are a number of things to watch out for when going online, as not paying attention to the finer details of your online strategy could be detrimental to your business. In What to watch out for when having an online presence for your business, we will discuss the dangers of incorrectly managed and executed digital strategies, as well as ethical digital business practices to employ in order to ensure customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with these digital marketing insights.

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