Everyone knows that you need to have an online presence to succeed in business these days. So naturally, everyone looks to set up on traditional platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. in addition to a well-designed and highly functioning website.
These are all important and should not be neglected, however, it is also key to keep up with the times and not miss the opportunities available through new and emerging platforms.
Whether you are managing these yourself or using a member of staff to manage these, keep all social media and online communications up to date. These platforms are always updating and changing so it is important to keep up to date, not miss new tricks and be as competitive as possible.
1. New Social Media
The new breed of social media is generally targeted more towards a youth market. The youth demographic is looking for something different from their parents’ generation. This is for a couple of reasons, principally they want a space of their own.
Secondly, they want new features and activities from the established platforms. Apps such as TikTok and Lasso are much more challenging and activity-based. Users will post video content of tricks, stunts, and challenges and see if their followers can match or better these.
To capture a section of this lucrative section of the market it is essential to produce high-quality advertising materials. No matter what demographic you are looking to attract it is vital to make all promotional materials as visually engaging as possible.
If you do not prepare high-quality images, then it can be as much of a negative as a well-prepared advert can be a positive.
2. Web TV
With the progressive diminishing of traditional TV as viable medium alternative options are becoming increasingly attractive for content producers, viewers, and advertisers alike.
Virtually anybody can start a channel on streaming services such as Caffeine or Twitch. There are limitless opportunities for comedians, writers, and film-makers, but also to those looking to advertise to this audience.
To fully take advantage of the multi-media opportunities offered by setting up your own channel it is essential to produce professional-quality video productions.
Unless you are in the unlikely position of having a wide variety of video and audio technology skills then you are going to want to employ the services of a professional production company. To source the best possible company you should do as much background research as possible.
Look at examples of their previous work, paying close attention not only to production values but to ensure that the style they employ will fit in with your corporate image. The beauty of these TV platforms is that they are as on-demand as much for the producers as for the viewers, you are not limited to 30 or 60-minute time slots, or particular formats or rules, you can do whatever you like.
3. Financial Platforms
When online trading, it is always good to look for new opportunities. There are new and secure ways of making financial transactions. You can remember how PayPal came about as the in-house payment system for eBay purchases, and now it is used pretty much everywhere.
We can even see whole new currencies emerging, such as Steemit and BitCoin, where you can convert your traditional currencies into these, be sure to use the best bitcoin wallet when making these transactions. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized and not controlled by any government or central bank so many prefer them for this reason.
One of the most important aspects of offering your customers online payment options is a system that is easy to use and functional. Make sure that they are given full information and feedback at every point in the process. Confirmation emails are expected whenever any purchase is completed, this provides reassuring feedback to the customer that the transaction was completed successfully.
Another important aspect of completing transactions is to provide tracking information for packages on their way, this not only lets the customer know when to expect the item but gives you a proof of delivery if anything is claimed to have gone wrong with the delivery process.
Gaining financial or business support is always key. Finding investors is a prime strategy for any business looking to expand. If you can find the right business partner who can offer advice and expertise as well as financial backing this can help take your business to the next level.
This is commonly referred to as Angel investors, and there are platforms such as the aptly named Angel that can help match potential angel investors with appropriate entrepreneurial businesses. One trick to be aware of is matching your needs with the appropriate business Angel.
You should attempt to identify a potential investor who has expertise in an area you are lacking in. If you need some help with exporting a new product into a foreign market then it would be prudent to seek out investors that can guide you in this task and even make introductions to buyers, logistics people, etc.
5. Your Own App Platform
If none of the available digital platforms available completely give you the features you require in running your business why not consider having your app developed.
You can have something bespoke to your needs, it can allow you to have anything in it. It could be an e-commerce app or a simple information provider. Your app could give estimates on work to be done or show virtual examples of how products may work in different situations.
Putting the effort in during the development phase is where you need to concentrate your attention. Once the app is released and out there it is difficult to redeem any goodwill if it is performing below par.
First, you need to know what your customers want and expect from the app. You could make the finest performing piece of software the world has ever seen but it does something different from the intended purpose then it will all be for nothing.
Speak to your customers, either casually, if you have a store, then simply ask what they would want from an app if you were to develop them. You could also take a more structured approach and conduct some customer research, give out a questionnaire, or commission a focus group.
Once you know what your customers are looking for, the next step is developing an app that delivers that. Choosing a developer is a key stage, you need to find someone that you can work with over the duration of a project, as it is not a one-way process.
A good app developer customer relationship is vital to the success of the app development project. Be honest and constructively critical of the process, but congratulatory as well, where appropriate; this will lead to the quickest possible route to a successful product.
Once you and your developer are happy with the finished article it is time for testing. As much as you can be thrilled with the results, it is only when the public gets their hands on it that you find out where the good and bad points really are.
Ensure that the users are aware that the app they are using is a beta version and offer incentives to persuade them to take this up.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.