The 21st century spells rapid changes in the way businesses are conducted and on how businesses behave in a constantly changing business milieu. Economic turmoil and economic fluctuations dictate a more proactive approach in dealing with the 21st century challenges companies and enterprises face. Coupled with technologies and technological innovations that have profound impact for the conduct of businesses in a highly globalized and technology-based economies, business owners must be ready to institutionalize digital integration for them to thrive and if they still want to be relevant and if they want their brand to stand out in today’s highly digitalized and globalized businesses and enterprises.
The keyword for companies in this era is “reinvent”. Reinventing does not necessarily mean finding something new but rather making new out of the old. As business owner, you don’t need to reinvent the proverbial wheel of digital innovativeness, what you should do is adopting available digital tools and techniques that better suit your particular company or enterprise.
Here are some practical and common digital trends that enterprises and e-commerce businesses can use and utilize to stay on track of the competition and for them to be highly competitive in today’s global economies:
1. Websites aren’t enough. Rank high to be seen.
That’s the ugly truth. Before, businesses and enterprises are satisfied and contented by the fact that they have an existing website. Truth be told, there exist hundreds of millions if not billions of websites in the internet. This means hundreds of thousands of the same services or product niche as you have are competing for the same client or consumer. To be seen, websites must rank high and ideally placed on the top part of the first page of a search engine’s results page (SERPs). Ranking means might on search engines. And how would you rank and be on the first page? By optimising your site through search engine optimization (SEO).
2. Use social media platforms.
People are social creatures. Let’s face it; people are constantly interacting and soliciting advice or tips online through friends, links and contacts on different subjects and themes on the myriad forms of social sites and platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms are out there waiting for you to use them. Build your reputation and connect with potential clients through available social media platforms that are compatible with your business type.
3. Use blogs and blogging platform.
Integrate blogs on your website. Blogs lets you open-up to wider readership. When you blog, it lets you speak and convey information to people looking for your brand, service, products or offerings and lets you give helpful information they may need while letting you to subtly promote your own brand. It makes you more accessible and lets you connect readily with all sorts of people.
4. Integrate and add forum to your site.
A forum lets you talk directly to potential clients or would-be consumers. Especially for individuals seeking opinions from other users, a forum pools people together talking about a particular thread of thought or talk. With this, you can manage the throwing of ideas and lets you tell them of your brand, service, product or other offers which can be of help to you as you target consumers. Of course subtlety is needed and a finesse to be not-too-obvious in promoting your brand.
5. Advertise online.
Using Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is one way of advertising digitally and has proven itself to be very cost-efficient way to make known your brand, business or enterprise. Online ads shows on online searches or queries key-in by online searches. Online digital ads make it possible for a targeted audience; your ads only show for people doing related search queries or related niche. With pay-per-click (PPC), you only pay for ads clicked and visited by actual users online hence cost-effective and cost-efficient for you. Advertise on social media sites too. Social media, like the social king Facebook has more than 1.6 billion active users spread around the globe. Imagine the opportunities lost if you’re not into social media advertising.
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6. Use Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
A CRM solution offers brands, companies and businesses to strategically manage the interaction and relationship with clients and customers. Manage your clients’ contact info, client billing, addresses and more relevant data. With just 1 search query you can know anything of import regarding a particular customer letting you customize and personalize your dealings with clients, addressing concerns fast, efficiently and effectively.
7. Use Content Management System (CMS).
A CMS is an application that lets you publish, edit, modify, organize, delete, and maintain content from a central interface. CMS provides for a systematic exchange and flow of information for users. In particularly large groups, organizations or corporations CMS permits scholarly exchange that increases delivery rate of answers to complex logistical and other critical concerns, questions or exchange of information thus increasing work efficiency and effectiveness.
8. Manage your online community through digital community management.
Ok, you may now have forums, blogs and social media accounts. Now what? Is it enough? Do you just stop and let it take its own course? These are questions you need to answer. And lest we forget, these two other important questions: 1. Are you focusing on the discussions of those online communities? 2. Is there someone dedicated for your brand’s digital community? Online digital communities are like cars, once you start your car, it won’t run unless you step in to pump gas to your engines. Afterwards, you need to steer your car. Unless you want an accident you must to these things. Online communities are like that. Someone must be a dedicated driver that steers the exchange of thoughts and ideas and someone to step on the breaks if needed. That’s where community management steps-in. Community management helps in maintaining the health of digital communities.
Exclusivity is a thing that has past. Inclusivity is the forward looking stanch of modern-embracing brands, businesses and enterprises.
The requisite for your business to be forward-looking and full adaptive with the digital era is to use digital tools, methods and platforms. For baby companies beginning their first steps on considering a digital transformation strategy, there are 3 key areas they must do. First, start considering the need to refurbish your website (if you still have none, then it’s time to have one ASAP), revisit your use of social media platforms and integrate metric tools and learn to use social insights. Second, familiarize and begin using online digital marketing tools and techniques, utilize content marketing and create usable content and also allocate for the distribution of your website’s content across multiple digital platforms including social media platforms.
Finally, you should begin to critically evaluate which services you offer can be digitized to lessen operational and manpower costs or which needs digital technology to better serve your clients and enhance customer experience.