Five things you should be doing digitally to future proof your business

Five things you should be doing digitally to future proof your business
Enterprise Nation
Enterprise NationEnterprise Nation

Posted: Tue 6th Jun 2017

Technology is changing whole industries so don't get left behind. Claire Hoang, Enterprise Nation Adviser member and director of digital strategy and content at Brazen PR, shares five digital things every company can do now.

Are you a business adviser? Become a member of Enterprise Nation to build connections and share your expertise. Benefits of Adviser membership include contributing an advice article and hosting an online masterclass.

It's a turbulent time right now. Retail stores in the US are shutting at a record rate. Brexit and the fall of the pound has lead to uncertainty. Most importantly, technology is changing whole industries.

However, this latter point should be seen as an opportunity not a threat.

Here are five digital actions your company should be considering for the future.

1: Do you know why you're using digital marketing and tools?

I've met a lot of businesses of various sizes who have spoken about using SEO, PPC, digital display and social media, but some are unclear why they should be using them.

I asked a personal trainer why he was spending money on a website once. Was he using the website to take bookings? Did he host videos on there that he was charging people for?

The answer, for him, was to simply have somewhere online with his name, phone number, email and credentials.

His website didn't have more information than that. He couldn't afford to promote the website or host rich content which meant he was getting buried in Google.

Frustrating as he could have saved several thousand pounds by putting that info on LinkedIn with a phone number with Whatsapp for bookings and queries.

I once spoke to a company who sold food stuffs and were obsessed with tracking metrics to their website.

I asked if they were selling their products online and they said no; the products were sold in stores.

In which case why were web clicks their main evaluation metric? Unless there's a reason to track traffic (such as converting online) then surely the main objective would be brand awareness?

Knowing why you're doing something should be the starting point for every company with a digital strategy however small. And, it's not just something large companies can do now either.

2: Are you using social media effectively?

Social media is a brilliant tool for companies, but especially ones that wouldn't have a budget for expensive media campaigns.

Anyone can start running social campaigns with even a few hundred pounds, but again, you must know your objective to use it effectively.

What do you want social to do? Do you want to ultimately convert via an ad? Do you want to raise awareness? Do you want a customer service channel? Do you want to re-position your brand?

How old is your customer group? Are they likely to be on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Whatsapp?

Think strategically and objectively about how to use the platform and you're more likely to succeed.

3: Are you making it easy for people to access your services?

So, you have a killer product, you've just spent time making sure people know about it. Now ask yourself, how easy is it for the user to buy?

Have you got a website which sells the product, but makes the customer fill in a three page registration form before they can order? Have you forced the user to a main homepage and the link to buy is buried four pages away? Is your website mobile optimised? Will they be able to buy on a mobile phone? Do they have to physically pull out their credit card details to buy?

Research by data company Chartbeat showed that you have 15 seconds to engage someone when they visit your site.

If the customer can't find what they want by then, then you'll lose them. Don't make it hard for them to buy your product, it's worth the investment in the long run.

4: Consider emerging technologies

Talking of investment has your company considered emerging technologies like Amazon Skills or Facebook bots?

Investing a few thousand pounds in something new can seem a risk, but if your company can get ahead of the curve, then now's the time.

They may cost a few thousand initially, but if companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple are investing in this area then it's probably a sure thing.

Now is a great time for smaller companies to sign off technology like this as it's still relatively cheap to make, it makes you stand out from the competition and the aim of the technology is to be genuinely helpful to the business

Amazon estimate that by 2020 over 200 billion voice searches will be done a month. Understanding how to make the most of voice search now means that when everyone is doing it, you'll already be an expert.

5: Do you know how to use video to build love for your company?

Brands now have a huge opportunity that didn't even exist 10 years ago; video.

Even as recently as 2005, the only way a brand could get a video made about their brand was to pay an awful lot to a creative agency and then even more for a media agency to get it on TV.

YouTube changed that. It's why 19-year-old influencers can sometimes have more people watching them than watching TV.

Video has now become cheaper to make with a whole host of places to put it; from websites to social platforms.

That means you don't have to just make a 30 second 'ad' anymore.

You can actually make something either helpful, interesting or relevant for the audience. Cleaning tips, recipes, Q&As, challenges, music videos or just beautiful images.

And don't just make something you think represents your brand. Make something your customers would want to watch. You'll build more fans and ultimately customers that way.

Top take out: If you wouldn't watch it yourself, don't make it.

Join Claire Hoang for a live online masterclass on 27 June discussing how to effectively use digital media to your advantage. Non-members can sign up here for £10 and members can register for free by logging in and going to our events page.

Are you a business adviser? Become a member of Enterprise Nation to build connections and share your expertise. Benefits of Adviser membership include contributing an advice article and hosting an online masterclass.

Enterprise Nation
Enterprise NationEnterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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