Moving Your Business Online with Zero Audience
A 2020 PWC report shows that the second most crucial factor affecting small and medium businesses in Nigeria and Africa is finding an audience. There is no denying the dynamics of regular businesses are changing as-a-result of Covid-19 and the volatile economic situation of African countries.
The cost of rent and taxes are rising sharply, and for small businesses to grow, they have to consider scaling up their digital presence online even if they have never been online. To start, what kind-of-small or medium brick and mortar businesses can you scale online.
Examples include clothing, groceries, book, gyms, salons, jewel stores e.t.c can scale their business online. Service providers like consultants, software solutions, law services e.t.c are also not left out.
If you are in any of these above categories; these strategies will help you build and grow an audience who would trust and buy from you from zero.
Audience research allows you to find out; the demographic as-well-as behavioural traits of your target market. These are the people who purchase your services or product online. This little research will determine which medium will be fit for you to run your business online.
Select your social media channel.
As of August 2020, according to Sprout Social, there are about 2.45 billion users on Facebook. Africa alone has over 20million users as of 2017. It means that your products can get to more and more users who are willing and able to buy.
All you need to do is know where they are and create content that converts them.
In selecting social media, there are five different channels to focus on for growth.
- Facebook still boasts of the highest number of users. It means you have access to millions of people even outside your home country with an estimated age of 16 – 55 fo users from African countries.
- Instagram – Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook, enjoys a large share of users and a focus on photo sharing housing users who shop for products such as clothes and even food services.
- Twitter – Twitter is an application that allows you to share thoughts in 150 words or less. We have quite a good audience of business owners flourishing here as well.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a networking application that allows you to meet professionals in your industry, especially if you sell your services or product directly to businesses.
- WhatsApp Business – WhatsApp is one of the most powerful tools in this arsenal with recent upgrades that allow you to shop and pay on WhatsApp business.
How then can you use these mediums to grow an audience who would buy from you?
(i.) Invest in content:
Content is the messages you intend to share with your audience using any of the above platforms. For example, if you offer gym services, you may want to consider creating 60 secs to two-minute video showing fitness exercises that people can do to lose a few kilos for free. A law firm can educate their audience on steps to take when an assault has happened or who to report to are contents that can educate your audience depending on your industry.
(ii.) Invest in branding:
Branding is the visual element of business online. For instance, if you have a print business, you will need to create what we refer to as mock-ups which are sample representations showing how your products will look.
Clothing stores can have mannequins or pictures of live models wearing their clothes etc. These give your potential prospects a feel of your brand and its offerings.
(iii) Invest in Structure:
For your business to thrive online, you will need a structure. The structure would involve the experience you want to give a prospect when they approach your social media pages. People expect to be treated well, even though it is not a physical office or store.
(iv) Invest in the optimisation of pages:
To attract the right audience, the profile must speak to the needs of your audience. Most users online add sentences such as I help you grow your business using XYZ services. Others go as far as using highlights of offerings. You need to tell people what exactly you do.
(v) Invest in Integrating payments services:
The potential for growing your small business online is unlimited with Nigerian financial technology companies like Flutter wave and Paystack aiding small and medium businesses with secure payments across Nigeria and Africa. These online merchants allow you to improve payment transactions, carry out invoices, and several other financial enablements and offer free options as-well-as upgrades.
Ecommerce is a booming industry in Nigeria and Africa with projections by Statistica online revealing growth of $9625million in revenue by 2025.
Today is the best time to invest in moving your business online and tapping into the million-dollar growing industry before it is too late.