Being online and growing your business online

Establishing an online presence can take various forms, but to simplify, do you have a website?

If you are looking to sell online, that’s where you should start. Websites serve as digital shop windows, going beyond displaying products or services. Investing in a website can help you attract and connect with customers, build trust and credibility, and stand out from competitors.

There are different ways to get a website for your business. You can hire a specialist agency to create a brochure or e-commerce site. Alternatively, you can build your own using free or low-cost online options, depending on your technical skills. Existing e-commerce websites are also available, allowing you to list products or launch an online store. Your choice depends on your objectives, budget, and target audience. 

Define your target audience

Define your goals and understand your audience before diving into online marketing. Creating buyer personas, fictional characters with characteristics similar to your customers, helps tailor your marketing campaigns.

Research your audience through tools like Google Analytics or by observing social media behaviours. If unsure, ask your staff or directly survey your customers. Questions could cover demographics, career, lifestyle, pain points, objectives, and media preferences.

Next, create a marketing strategy.

Armed with all that research, you can now start considering how to advertise to and create content for your target audience. This marks the beginning of your digital marketing strategy and the growth of your business online.

While some businesses focus on inbound or outbound marketing, many more use a combination of the two. But what are inbound and outbound marketing? What do they look like? And how can these strategies benefit your business?

Inbound marketing acts as a magnet. This approach relies on high-value content to attract your audience, meeting their needs, nurturing lasting relationships, and investing in long-term lead generation (turning your audience into customers).

Inbound marketing can help build trust and credibility with your audience, but it requires a significant amount of time and resources. You’ve likely encountered inbound marketing in the form of blogs, downloadable ebooks, opt-in emails, and organic social media.

Outbound marketing operates like a megaphone. This approach relies on advertising, being interruptive, and placing your products or services in front of your target audience to secure a sale. Unlike inbound, it’s not a long-term commitment.

With the right approach, you can achieve almost immediate results, but success depends on the persuasiveness of your advertising. Outbound marketing is evident in TV ads, billboards, YouTube ads, and sponsored social media posts.

In addition to considering the types of inbound and outbound marketing that could benefit your business, you also need to assess the sustainability of these channels. Creating content for inbound marketing takes time, but don’t be deceived into thinking outbound marketing is quicker. Managing and adjusting paid social campaigns, creating graphics for ads, and budgeting are also time-consuming (unless you’re outsourcing – in which case, you’ll need to consider the costs).

Learn more

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