Evan Goodman

How to set up your business idea online before setting up a physical storefront

Setting up a physical storefront can be a stroke of genius or a sign of madness. The whole world is caught up in the current COVID pandemic and the economy is experiencing unprecedented ebbs and flows – is either a stroke of genius or a sign of madness.  A genius understands that some customers enjoy the entire shopping experience before buying a product, and that having a physical storefront makes sense for their business. Conversely, if you don’t understand your customers, their customers’ needs and emerging trends in your industry, a physical storefront might not be the right choice for you.

Setting up a great eCommerce store is equally as important as setting up a physical storefront, Both should deliver products and services effectively to your customers.. A robust online presence can give your small business a competitive advantage and deliver higher conversion rates than traditional marketing methods, on a much lower budget. Great digital marketing connects you to your customers and lets you track their buying behaviour, meaning that you can tailor your physical storefront, products, and services to fit their needs.

Over 22 million Australians use the internet. Digital marketing means that  you can reach out to a broader audience, improve your brand’s reputation, and set yourself up for success. Keep reading for our top digital marketing tips.

Understand what you are trying to achieve through digital marketing

The first step is to understand what you wish to achieve through digital marketing and identify your goals and objectives – who you want to target and reach. You need to identify and understand your target audience to craft the perfect advertising campaign that ‘speaks’ to them.

Understand the different online channels you can use to build your brand.

Do you understand the online marketing channels you can use to promote your brand? Typical channels include:

  •   Social media marketing – marketing your brand over a variety of social media networks.
  •   Content marketing – creating and distributing relevant content related to your brand.
  •   Video marketing – using video to attract and convert potential customers.
  •   SEO marketing – organising your relevant content so that search engines like Yahoo and Google can match a user’s needs with your website/content.
  •   Search engine marketing – paid search engine optimisation.
  •   Email marketing – reaching your target audience with email campaigns.

You can use all of these channels or a combination of some of them – depending on your target audience. Here is more information on how to find your target audience and how to determine the target audience for your small business.

Be mobile active

91% of Australians own a mobile phone (smartphone), so it makes sense to ensure your digital marketing strategies are mobile-friendly. To ensure your marketing content is mobile-friendly, keep it short but relevant. People use their mobiles to “scan” content. They don’t have time to scroll through pages of information. Create snippets of information that are easy to read and are packed with useful information.

Make use of video content (video advertisements). Video is preferred over written material. Moreover, over 92% of mobile video viewers share video content with others – ensuring increased engagement and conversions through your video advertisements.

Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.

Make use of social media.

In Australia, 1 in 3 minutes online is spent on social media, and mobile phones are the number one way 98% of Australians access social media. When your target audience unlocks their phones, they will likely visit Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you want to reach your audience on social media, run ads on these platforms.

However, not every social media platform is relevant for your business. Choose channels that support you in achieving your strategic goals. For example, Facebook can generate an impressive ROI, while Twitter might be great to enhance lead generation.

Consider where your target audience is interacting online. For example, if you are targeting 60-year-old women, Snapchat might not be your best option. However, Snapchat could be great to target a younger audience.

Consider the channels your competitors use to reach out to their audience.

Use a social media analytics tool like SproutSocial to analyse your followers – their age, gender, and even location data.

Make sure that you project a consistent and trustworthy image across all of your social media channels. Use your analytics to make sure that you are successfully engaging with your market and allowing them to reach out to you in the manner of their choosing.

Pay attention to what your competitors are doing

If your business idea is not unique, you need to know what your competitors are doing – what works for them, what does not work for them, and where they have failed to make an impact. Study their interactions and engagements, check out the ‘look and feel’ of their profiles and what people say about them in their reviews. You’ll need to commit some time to understanding your competitive landscape; this one area that I have noticed with my business coaching clients – they are so focused on creating and building their own business, they forget that they have competitors, which can be a valuable resource.

A bit of research, and getting to understand the digital landscape (particularly for those of us who are of a ‘certain age’ to whom this digital work can seem confusing) can save you a lot of time and money.