Business owners who want to succeed should know how to leverage income using digital technology. Entrepreneurs don’t need to “speak” search engine optimization, but they should know the ways SEO can boost their companies’ sales to accrue more income.
This is Brian Nyagol’s forte. The CEO of Brainverse Technologies is an avid technology enthusiast. In an Africa Tweet Chat conversation, he talked about SEO, artificial intelligence and other ways to maximize online marketing technology and earn more.
“Trends worth pursuing include artificial intelligence,” Nyagol said. “Don’t panic. It’s about using data to understand behavior and patterns. Information you get from your preferred communication channels can tell a lot about your user’s characteristics.
“Personalization is essential,” he said. “When people feel that they are communicating to human beings and people that care about them, they feel safer. Businesses need to communicate in ways that make customers feel they are cared about.”
One of the best examples of personalization is chatbots.
“They can save a lot of revenue for any business,” Nyagol said. “They require no office space and have 24/7 availability. You have no idea what you can do with all the money you will save.
“In addition, Mark Zuckerberg announced at the Facebook F8 conference new ground-breaking features coming up to work with ephemeral content such as WhatsApp statuses and Instagram Stories,” he said. “We all need to take advantage of these.”
Companies can tap into digital marketing tools for steady growth, better SEO and to keep up with competitors. For this, Nyagol has three concepts:
- Google Analytics will help you understand how users visit your website, when, from where and for how long. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram engagement analytics are a big plus.
- Visual Designs. Elegant designs make users stop for a bit. You need to be able to create a variety with speed as a business to avoid design monotony. I use Canva to do all social media designs.
- Campaign and Content Strategy. The output is as good as the process. Use tools like Asana and Basecamp to plan, visualize your strategy and knock off any inconsistencies.
Entrepreneurs should use data to stay on top of customer needs and market trends. Nyagol explained how data is key to any business:
- Data Enabling You to Connect: What time are your users active? When do they engage most with your content? Time of day? Day of the week? Day of the month? Do experimental posting on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and others at different times, days and weeks. Monitor watches, likes, follows, and use human intelligence.
- Enabling You to Understand Users: Experimental publishing with different types of content can help you understand what users engage with more. Monitor reactions, and from that data pick your poison.
- Evaluating Campaign Effectiveness: Social media engagement reports have been a big savior. Mark your work against your vision and objectives. Craft your key performance indicators from what matters to your business. Monitor them from all sources you can. Seek to improve. Set an achievement index.
Nyagol described ways brands can use personalized marketing via social media to maximize conversions with customers:
- Response Rate. When your auto-response says, “We’ll get back ASAP,” please keep that promise. No one loves waiting. Personalization means caring about each customer.
- Post Things They Care About. No one loves being marketed to. It’s boring and tiring. Tell them something that will make them remember your business forever.
- Tell Their Stories. Let people know how your products and services are changing a person’s life. Others will be inspired.
Regular use of social media chats also can build a business’ financial muscle.
“It’s a grand opportunity for brands to showcase their knowledge of their domain,” Nyagol said. “When customers can trust what you tell them, they can buy anything from you. Social media chats can help brands stand out as the best across their field. Exuding information that empowers your clients will surely bring revenue.
“A company like water equipment supplier Davis and Shirtliff uses the many years of experience it has in water and energy to educate and empower its customers,” he said. “You become a leader in your industry when you care.”
Social media chats produce other benefits.
“Depending on a company’s goals, it can use other forms of information crowdsourcing from the public for different reasons,” Nyagol said. “These include learning, improving and creating new markets.”
Entrepreneurs slow to innovate might have personal challenges to overcome.
“Barriers to speedy implementation include fear of failure, one day instead of Day 1 and risk-averse mindset,” Nyagol said. “This even means the things you can forgo to do something for the greater good.
“Know where you are, where you want to go and what you need to get there,” he said. “Get a mentor for this. If you need vision, read Proverbs 29:18: Where there is no vision, the people perish. But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
Nyagol also summed up his simple view of artificial intelligence.
“AI uses data — processed and sanitized information — to deduce patterns and behavior of a parameter in question,” he said. “This includes telling if more people like pizza from Dominos or PizzaInnKe by placing the brands side by side in a post.
“Google analytics is one example of an AI analytics tool you can use to generate insights based on data from your website,” Nyagol said.
When using artificial intelligence, price should not be an object.
“We are lucky that companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have done most of the work for us,” Nyagol said. “Small businesses do not need to get a supercomputer to do all that day’s analysis if they already have them.
“Microsoft Azure cloud computing already has easy-to-use constructs for implementing AI and machine learning that are not very expensive,” he said. “Collecting data is what we should be worried about. It has so many barriers such as privacy laws.”
Overthinking brings unnecessary complications.
“We worry too much,” Nyagol said. “You cannot use AI without data. If we are to develop new insights, be concerned first about data mining: How long we need to do it, and what metrics do we track as dictated by our business KPIs?”