If there was one thing that the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us, all businesses need to enhance their presence online or start building their online presence.
However, there are also a handful of industries and business types in which an online presence was not a priority. These affected businesses may have only just started to work on their plans to go digital.
Thankfully, the digital world is constantly changing and improving, so you can start your digitization process anytime; It’s never too late.
So, if you’re starting an online business, here are some things that you need to include in your plans.
Plan New Headcount
If you’re just starting to explore the digital marketplace, you’ll need several additional staff members with a completely new skillset.
As an example, you’ll now need to consider hiring a content planner, a graphic designer, a videographer and a digital ad manager.
Look up how a digital marketing agency might word their job descriptions, and you’ll have a pretty good guide on the type of talent you need on your team.
Figure Out the Finances
How much budget do you need to allocate to build your corporate website, online stores, hire staff with digital marketing experience, or even outsource all your digital marketing work to another agency?
When launching a new product, you must have the financial resources available to fund your efforts.
Examining the launch phases and determining the costs associated will help in the planning phase and help sustain and propel your launching efforts.
Going digital means you will need to add new tools, such as online payment gateways, to your business arsenal.
There is no single amount of money companies should allocate to a new product launch. However, there are some averages estimated by industry experts based on a percentage of overall marketing budgets, such as:
12-20% for small businesses
6-12% for established businesses
53% for SaaS businesses
Keep in mind that every business is unique and has different financial, industry, and marketing resources and needs.
Whether you’re going for a digital product launch or a complete digital rebranding for your company, you’ll want to be sure that you’re doing your taxes right with all the new changes in your company finances.
Tax time is never fun. Companies must go through tons of receipts, double-check all invoices and expenses, and make absolutely certain they have categorized income and expenses correctly.
The three categories below will assist in the proper reporting on your tax returns:
Expenses: Includes all monies paid out for a specified period.
Income: Represents all payments received and when.
Profit and Loss: This is the information you will need to report on your tax returns. It is the net profit or loss based on total income and expenses.
It’s best to consult a tax professional or use software that helps you generate accurate financial data for tax purposes.
Hire a Professional Company Branding Consultant
A brand is much more than colors, logos, and fonts. It is the identity and personality of your entire brand.
The first thing that you’ll need to do is decide on a brand direction. Next, determine your brand pillars, your corporate colors, brand tone and voice, and many more aspects that you’ll need to keep your corporate branding consistent across online platforms.
Because of the vast amount of competition, companies must ensure they stand out in the crowd and invest in creating a strong brand presence to grab consumer’s attention.
Consider hiring a digital marketing agency specializing in corporate branding to have proper branding directions for your new digital marketing team.
Determine Your Ideal Content Marketing Platform
To succeed in digital marketing, the content marketing platform you choose is an essential tool. The ideal platform will assist in content creation, product promotion, content distribution, and SEO optimization.
Access to analytic tools to continually fine-tune and optimize marketing strategies is a necessity, as well.
However, there are so many options available. It could be challenging to find one solution that includes all you need.
Do your research and select the platform that best suits your needs. Try different tools and tweak your marketing initiatives for the best results.
Think about where your clients are going to look for you? Will they Google your products, services or just your business niche?
As an example, a second-hand car reseller will probably not be putting their car listing on Pinterest.
But this same platform will be ideal for gardening tools, landscaping inspirations or a kitchen showcase featuring your latest blenders and juicers.
This will give you a better idea of who and where to find your target audience to market your online business more effectively.
Check out your competition and see where they are showcasing their products. You want consumers searching for your offerings to find you in the same places your competition is.
Create a Digital Marketing Calendar
A digital marketing calendar should consist of a rough time frame for your upcoming online campaigns, festive-season promotions and other special sales for which you might want to plan.
Most companies have an annual calendar ready, but it’s okay to have a quarterly calendar too.
If you’re going to spread your online content across multiple platforms, create a schedule that your team can stick to.
Consistency is much more important than posting frequency, so feel free to post daily, every three days, or every week.
Of course, you can always increase your posting frequency as your digital content team expands.
Get the Creative Assets
When starting an online business, you will need to prepare the creative assets to be used for further designing later.
Hire a photographer to take flat-lay shots of your products or have a videographer record a sequence of shots that shows how your products can be used.
These videos and flat-lay images can be trimmed, edited and added to other raw footage and pictures.
Your team can create more variations of creative assets on your social media pages, your website, and other digital platforms by having a decent-sized library of video footage and images.
Plan and Execute Social Media Presence
With a brand playbook and a digital marketing calendar ready, your team can now produce content in line with your newly established brand tone, graphic style, and posting schedule.
Don’t skimp out on graphic design, videography or ad budget. Instead, hire new resources if needed to continually produce better quality graphics, videos, or social media posts.
You’ll also need to have an online customer service representative respond to online inquiries, comments, and messages on the social media platforms you’re on.
Run Ad Campaigns
Having organic content is essential, but so is running some ad campaigns. You can run some ads to promote your latest products, new services, or free gift offers.
You can decide which platform you want to advertise on based on the initial social media planning that you’ve done.
Feel free to experiment with different ad assets, ad types and more until you discover something more suitable for your business. You might find that particular ad types are more successful compared to others.
A/B Test your Digital Marketing Approach
Don’t forget to A/B test your content and online ads. The target audience and content placements that you’ve determined may not be ideal, but you can continuously refine your digital marketing plans as you go.
With the digital world constantly changing, don’t be too surprised if you end up transitioning your focus from one platform to another or shift your creative production from full-length videos to 10-second snippets best-suited for Instagram stories.
Continue to test different ad formats, ad text and other aspects. The more you experiment early on in your digital journey, the more you’ll uncover.
Analyze and Rerun
The beauty of digital marketing is that there are so many different data points and data types that you can analyze to improve your digital marketing performance.
Facebook, for example, comes with its own audience insights, page data insights and post engagement data which you can use to compare different post types.
From there, you can determine the more popular posting formats for your page, the types of content that your prospects are more likely to engage with, and so much more.
To stay ahead of your competition, continue analyzing and adjusting your digital strategies for maximum effectiveness.