Tuesday, 16 August 2022

In Technolgy

Digital Strategy: A Business Model is important for your Company Website

South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt, the largest economies in Africa, thanks to the Covid19 pandemic, have over 50% of their population using the internet. The increase of internet users in Africa means every business in Africa needs to have a deliberate business model built around their website and a clear digital marketing strategy.

 

Many create wonderful websites for their businesses, but these websites just become trophies and never really work for them. This is because they forget to have a business model for them to work. A great website is one that has a business model that makes the website work for the business it is built for.

 

How can you make sure that your company website works for your business? 

 

Having a digital marketing strategy already in place will make sure that your website has the correct content, so people will come and stay long on your website. Planning is key and without it, you will fail to keep customers. The internet is all about retaining visitors and not just attracting them. Your retention rate is dependent on your engagement with new audiences.

 

Take for example, GetAProfile.co.za, a company profile designing business based in South Africa. Their website is a tool they showcase their recent works, with articles published having attachments of the client's profile in question. They promote their website in business magazines in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, and Ethiopia, to target new investors from these countries. Their website has contact forms that send directly to the sales team (CRM application). 

 

GetAProfile.co.za does its advertising is done on social media, with customer enquiry forms creating leads for the sales team who then invest time into converting the leads. Clients are served remotely, and some in office. They deliver their service, then write a short article to publish on their website. They inform the customer of this, and the customer, out of and appreciation, sends the link to their friends and colleagues. More visibility they are enjoying the growth and effectiveness coming from using a good business model for their website.

 

This is a business model that GetAProfile.cco.za chose to use for their business. Every business must create their own business model, suitable to their approach and for their target market.

 

Investopedia defines the term business model to refer how "a company's plans to make a profit". It identifies the products or services the business plans to sell, its identified target market, and any anticipated expenses. Business models are important for both new and established businesses. The whole purpose of having a website in the 21st century is to use it as part of that process of making profit, customer management, and operations.

 

Unless the business model of the company includes the use of the website, then there will be no need for having one. The website is there not only to look nice or be contactable, but to participate in the operations of the business in question, ensuring success.

 

A business model built around a website helps to focus on centrally communicating with the target audiences and getting them to consume your products and services.

 

No matter the type of website – recruitment agency, community association, accounting firm, construction company, banking and finance, law firm, non-profit organisation, training consultancy, or hospitality and tourism, the key is to have a well-coordinated business model that engages new visitors to become part of the digital strategy of the business, using the website. All institutions are businesses, whether profit making or non-profits making. 

 

A digital marketing strategy for a company website is very important because it helps shape marketing and business objectives – profitability, visibility, and continuity. A business must be profitable, and the website is used to start or participate intensively for that agenda. A business must be visible, and a company website helps increase visibility by targeting more audiences with content on it and using digital marketing to engage them. A business must never stop operating, it must be everlasting, and a company website that has the habit of getting more customers will be able to weather any storm of economics or market dynamics as it grows. 

 

A Digital strategy focuses on using technology to improve business performance, whether that means creating new products or reimagining current processes. It specifies the direction an organization will take to create new competitive advantages with technology, as well as the tactics it will use to achieve these changes. Create one for your business, as you develop your website.

 

Whilst there are many types of business models, the common one for most company websites is to have a Bricks and Clicks business model which centralise growth using a good digital marketing strategy. This model is designed for a company which has a physical and an online store or customer office. The customer can either purchase the product or service in-store or they can order it online and collect it directly from the store/customer office. This model offers the company a larger customer base to target as they are doing business online and offline. 

 

An effective Bricks and Clicks strategy is one where the business uses the website to provide enough content for visitors to decide to consume its products or services, backed by a good digital marketing strategy. 

 

Important to note, is that a website is not just a marketing tool, but an actual operations tool, and must be accounted for as a cost and not an expense. When having a website developed, many businesses just treat it as an operating expense, when in fact, it is a cost of selling products and services of the business. A website is a literal company asset, and that can only be realised if the company uses the website as they intended.

 

In building a website for the business, you must consider the Digital Marketing Strategy, SEO, SEM, Content Creation, Photography, Email Marketing, Lead Generation, SMS Marketing, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Google My Business, Social Media Management, all working together to contribute to your business model. 

 

Every website needs a clear, simple, and easy to follow digital marketing strategy, as GetAProfile.co.za has, to effectively reach their target audience, convert them into customers, retain them as loyal clients, and convert them into advocates for more business to come.

 

Some business models may not be as that of GetAProfile.co.za mentioned above but can be based on one happy customer after another (referral), as is the case of GetAPlan.co.za. GetAPlan.co.za is a strategy consulting firm that creates bankable business plans and other research-based reports for business owners in South Africa. Just like GetAProfile.co.za, GetAPlan.co.za has a website, and showcases its services. It however does not profile clients, but just focus on publishing articles of opportunities in the various markets. 

 

Even referral businesses need a website and a solid digital marketing strategy.

 

Over 80% of its clients have come from the few happy clients the business started off with at the beginning of 2021. One happy client introduced them to the next, and the story goes on. This journey begun with doing the basics of Digital Marketing of firstly having all relevant channels on social media, a good website, a clear advertising message, good adverts, scheduled communication, and consistency, to then create conversations and enquiries, to just get the first customer. 

 

As customer acquisition happened, GetAPlan.co.za delivered service, and the happy customer became an advocate. The advocacy has made GetAPlan.co.za help raise R400 million in capital for businesses operating in South Africa alone, within a 12-month period.

 

Business today is about the Digital Marketing Strategy backing your business model, all operating around your website, as is the case of GetAPlan.co.za and GetAProfile.co.za.

 

Question is, do you have a business model for your website, or it is just a nice to have?

 

Sources: Small Business Site, Statistica, Life Ray, GetAProfile, GetAPlan

Cabanga Media Group (Pty) Ltd is publisher of thoughtful business magazines in several African markets, whose titles include Cabanga Magazine in South Africa, Moakanyi Magazine in Botswana, Mufakir Magazine in Egypt, Fikiria Magazine in Kenya, Yaada Magazine in Ethiopia, Ironu Magazine in Nigeria, and Ganizo Magazine in Zambia.