Right now, this instant, as I’m typing, there are 2 945 780 589 internet users in the world. No, wait … make that 2 945 780 532 … and climbing.
There are 1 021 920 082 website … a number that grows as we speak. More than one website goes live every single second.
5 252 611 035 videos are being viewed on YouTube – that’s almost as many videos being views as there people on earth. Considering the fact that more than half of the world’s population is under the age of 12, that means a lot of people are watching a lot of videos at the same time!
When you look at internet usage by country, South Africa is 24th in the world. We have 24,909,854 internet users, with a 14% year-on-year growth in internet use. 47% of the country is online. That’s practically half. 35% of the population is under 15 or over 65 years of age – which means that pretty much your entire focus demographic is online.
So what are you doing about that?
Getting online is easy
But it requires focus, dedication, consistency and a clear plan.
First of all, you need a website.
Without a website, you really aren’t online at all. A Facebook page or a free blog may qualify as “a good start”, but neither of these will provide the breadth of information your potential clients need. And neither one creates a professional impression. If you don’t take yourself seriously, which would anyone else? Build an effective website and invest in making the best impression online.
Next, you need optimisation.
Your content needs to be optimised so that search engines don’t battle to find it. Because they won’t try very hard. It’s true that SEO is no longer the gold standard it used to be. The art of “tagging the backend” of websites is a dying one, as regular search engine algorithm changes make it a challenge to keep current, and devalue the role of SEO on a regular basis. Even so, without tagging, without following the protocols that make it easier to find your site, you’re in “stealth mode”, and going in cognito is exactly the result you’ll achieve. This is definitely where you need a professional. SEO experts know how to analyse and interpret the data to create keywords and phrases to get you found in your niche. A really good SEO expert will be able to craft that research in beautifully-written copy AND implement carefully chosen keywords into the website’s back end.
Now you need to get social.
You may not have much time for social media. You may even think of it as a useless fad. But more than 3 billion people around the world disagree with you. If your website is your store front, Facebook is your shopping mall. You can’t afford not to be in it. A great page, with clear, attractive images, and engaging content that entertains and adds value will increase brand awareness, user trust, and website traffic. These factors further boost your search engine results, and ultimately your bottom line. Automation tools and content aggregators can simplify the process. Better yet, find a social media aficionado and have them showcase you professionally.
Tell people about.
Everyone says they don’t read unsolicited emails – yet more than 60% of people do! And the rate for solicited email is even higher. If your content is interesting, engaging, useful and well-written, people will read it. Better yet, they’ll share it. So write something amazing – or hire a great writer to write it for you! And don’t be afraid to tell your clients how much your services will help solve their problems. They need to know.
Spread the word offline, too.
Your business cards, letterheads, corporate signage, branding, vehicle cladding and email signatures should all refer to your online presence on all channels – website, and each social profile you maintain. Your print advertisements also need to include your web address: it’s the easiest way to share as much about yourself as possible, without having to create thousands of brochures all the time. A really smart idea is to hire a designer who can create beautifully-laid out, intelligently placed advertisements – and proofread them, too.
Getting an online marketing strategy in place can seem a little daunting – especially if you’re new to it all. Drop us a line any time, and we’ll be happy to answer your online marketing questions, and get you found.
Oh, and there are now 2 946 290 831 people using the internet right now …