The coronavirus pandemic has forced the world to leave its traditional ways and adapt to new techniques in order to survive – be it education or business. The old brick and mortar business is no longer the only essential store if a business wants to survive and grow. It was a matter of choice to have an online presence of a business pre-pandemic period. But since pandemic, it has become a necessity and will be even more so in the post-pandemic world.
The impact COVID 19 has created on the existing business is huge. The ones that are waiting to resume the way it had been are bearing hefty losses already. There are zero guarantees that the old way is going to work since the change in business activities have been embraced by many.
The new businesses can’t even start without having an online presence. Entrepreneurs have been investing more in building an online presence first and then building an office infrastructure. Any new startup gets recognized by their social networking activities and the way they engage with their customers. While it is obvious that the companies providing IT services have flourished, it is important to know that THE ENTRY COST IS ZERO.
Zero cost to enter
Look at it this way. Ten years ago, to start a business you had to build a shop or an office that would sell your product or services. It first catered to the local customers and to expand they took orders via telephone and expanded themselves into new cities. That time the cost to build a shop required money and you had to pay the companies that built a tangible shop for you. Now, in today’s world, your shop or office is your social media accounts. And it doesn’t take money to build those social media accounts. They are free!
Let’s dive into the advertising cost. The traditional ads in newspapers or television required lacs of rupees. While today the advertising cost on social media accounts is nothing. In Rs. 120 you can reach 1000s of social media users in a matter of 24 hours. Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram/Twitter have all these benefits at a very low price. Any business can select the target audience, location, time to run the ads, and real-time insights to monitor your advertising campaigns.
Let’s look into content creation and strategies. Instagram itself acts as a content creation tool – be it photos, explanatory posts, 15/60/600 seconds videos – you name it and Instagram has it. There are so many free apps and tools that help you make content for free. Animoto is a free video making website that helps you create marketing videos in a few minutes. Doodly.com is an affordable platform to create toon videos with an explanation that can help you attract customers easily. There are many free logo-making websites like logomaker.com and free website building websites like wix.com that help you get started for free.
Getting started has never been so easy and affordable for businesses.
Challenges & keys to success
When we look at these three basic factors – zero entry cost, low advertising costs, and affordable content creation platforms – the three of them possess great challenges to the companies providing IT services. Many IT services companies are doing great businesses, having partners, and getting clients easily. The key to their success lies in their approach and their services.
Many IT companies build good websites, few build great websites but all of them build websites for other businesses. So, what does a client look at, when hiring a company to get their website built? Exceptional service. A promise from the company that they will provide better service than they will get elsewhere freely or from other competitors.
Market positioning is an important strategy for any business. Positioning goes way beyond claiming what type of company you are and what services/products you offer. Positioning is fitting yourself in the customer’s minds for all that you exactly stand for and all that you provide. Apple is positioned as an innovation company with cool gadgets than a tech company while there are Dell and HP too as tech companies. Nike is positioned as a high-end sports products company rather than just a shoe company while Reebok and Adidas are there too.
The positioning of a company requires brand-building first. A brand is built when companies talk to their customers more than just what they offer. The big brands talk about every event and social situations. Cadbury talks more than chocolates. They talk about making every moment sweet. Coca-Cola talks more than cold-drinks. They talk about enjoying and making memories with friends. No wonder, these companies have been around for decades while just selling a simple (of course, great) product.
The way to talk today is through engaging. Social media platforms have become conversational and engagement platforms. Active interaction with the customers is the key. With time, the right customers will gravitate towards a company’s social handles when they know they talk about what they stand for. It is basically, walking your talk. Great companies talk about anything and everything – but only what is relevant and drives their goals whether it is profit maximization or gaining increased market share.
Social media strategy
Without a proper strategy, companies can’t be great at marketing their firm. IT companies need to have strategies like any media company or an FMCG company has. When social media accounts get going and people know what you stand for that’s when a company will have successfully positioned itself in the market. That’s when word of mouth marketing will automatically take place. That’s when a company will have grown to a height where customers can come regularly to buy its product/services. And when they walk away as satisfied customers they can come back again.