The end of the year is upon us and that means taking stock of all our business activities for the year.
It also means that you need to start developing your online business strategy for 2023.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to products I truly recommend. This means I may earn a commission should you choose to make a purchase using my link. It’s okay, I know you’ll love them too.
Your online business strategy is a plan of action intended to accomplish your business goals.
Every online business must have a stated goal, that is, what you plan to accomplish with the business.
For example, you may want to increase revenue for your business or create a new source of income.
Or maybe you want to establish brand awareness or position your personal brand as an expert in your field.
Whatever it is, just make sure that it exists.
Your strategy outlines all the actions and decisions that you need to take to reach that goal.
So, what’s the first step to developing your online business strategy for 2023?
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STEP 1: Narrow Down Your Target Audience
The first thing you want to do is to narrow down your target audience.
There is no way you’d be running an online business and not drill down on a specific group of people.
One of the steps to developing your online business strategy for the new year is to really narrow down your audience.
The reason for this is that the narrower your target audience is, the faster you will reach them.
When you speak to the right people in your content and create offers tailor-made for them, your business will grow.
But if your target audience is diverse, you’ll be struggling a lot in the business.
Not narrowing down your target audience and having a very diverse one will not bring about the results you are looking for.
All your efforts will be diluted.
If you are selling a product that you think will be good for men and for women of all ages and sizes, who are in different walks of life, you can never come up with customized offerings for them.
I mean, how will you create a product or a service for a man at 60 that will also suit a lady who is 25 years old?
Think about it.
So you want to get specific about who you are serving in your online business.
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STEP 2: Develop Your Messaging Strategy
Your messaging strategy is the set of practices that outlines how you will communicate your value across all your content platforms in order to achieve your business goal.
This process is all about how you’ll talk on all your social media platforms, the tone your content will carry, how you’ll communicate with your customers and potential customers, and so on.
It helps you determine what you would say and how you would say it so that the tone of voice that is used is consistent across the board.
I once shopped for AirPods on a company’s e-commerce website in 2021, the tone of voice on their website was friendly and confident.
A month after I got my Airpods, they stopped working.
I sent a DM to them on Instagram to lay out my complaints, but the person on the other end of the page wasn’t anywhere near friendly and confident.
For one, they responded pretty late and when they eventually did, they said there was nothing they could do, period.
That is a bad, bad way to communicate with people, especially customers on social media.
A good messaging strategy will make sure that you use a consistent tone of voice across all your outlets.
You can define a specific way to convey your ideas to the public based on the tone of voice, language, and core message that you decide to use.
1. Tone of Voice
According to this Acrolinx article, your tone of voice is how the character of your business comes through in your words, both written and spoken.
It’s not about what you say, but rather the way you say it, and the impression it makes on everyone in your audience who reads or hears you.
Why is it important that you develop a tone of voice for your brand?
People like to deal with people. So they like a brand to have a personality they can recognize and bond with.
A few examples of tone of voice could be formal, informal, humorous, serious, optimistic, motivating, respectful, assertive, etc.
Your brand language is the body of words, phrases, and terms that you will use to describe your brand, your offerings, etc.
Brand language is used in marketing to help consumers connect specific words or ideas to specific companies or products.
Your brand language helps define your brand and sets your brand apart from all the others.
3. Core Message
Your core message is like a value proposition.
It’s the main overarching messaging in your business and includes: Who you are and what you do and who specifically you do it for.
Your core message answers the question, “How can you help and why should I hire you over someone else?”
All three parts of your messaging strategy are largely dependent on 1) your business goals and 2) your target audience.
There is no way you can develop a communication style or a messaging strategy if you do not know who your target audience is.
STEP 3: Develop Your Content Strategy
When you have identified your target audience and narrowed them down, and you have developed your messaging strategy, it is now time to start developing a content strategy.
Your content strategy is the action steps that you will take to distribute your content across all your content platforms so that you can reach your audience and accomplish your goal.
If you have done a good job identifying your target audience, this will be pretty easy.
All you have to do next is to figure out the social media platforms they’ll be on and start sharing your content there.
If you want to develop an effective content strategy, you need to start by first breaking down your overall business goal into bits and pieces or into actionable steps.
With these actionable steps, you then start to come up with your content forms and posting frequency.
For example, in my business, I’m all about helping people who want to become business owners online create their businesses or guide them through it.
My goal is to establish a personal brand as a thought leader in the field, therefore, every piece of content that goes up must speak to those people and I must share from a place of experience and deep knowledge.
So I have decided to use content forms that really project that, such as videos and articles, where I can share and share.
An effective content strategy starts by first looking at your business goals and then setting goals for each piece of content that goes up.
So before I share any content online, I’ll ask myself “What is the goal of this article, or what is the goal of this video?”
If it doesn’t fit into my overall business goal, I won’t share it. That’s how you want to think when you’re developing your online business strategies for 2023.
Another thing an effective content strategy needs is an authentic brand story.
So come up with your brand story and weave it into your content using the steps that I spoke about in this video.
STEP 4: Create Your Marketing Toolset
Your marketing toolset contains tools and resources that you’ll use to market your online business and get it right in the faces of your target audience.
Each tool in your marketing toolset serves a unique purpose and helps you implement your marketing strategy very quickly.
The truth is, there are hundreds of tools available out there for use, but it won’t do you any good having all of them or trying to use all of them.
You just need to pick a few that you know will be highly beneficial and will help you accomplish your business goals.
The following are a few tools that you can include in your marketing toolset.
1. Marketing Analytics Tools
Marketing analytics tools help you to measure your progress, collect data and use this data to carry out more marketing tactics.
An example of this is Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a platform that collects data from your website and app to create reports that provide insights into your business.
It helps you to understand your users’ journey by looking at your data across your website and apps.
Once you have a property- a website or an app- all you need to do is to connect it with Google Analytics and start setting up what you want to see. Google Analytics is free to use.
2. Landing Pages
Landing pages are optimized website forms a company creates for specific marketing campaigns.
Many modern companies create landing pages to build brand awareness, generate leads and make sales.
For instance, if you have a course on sale, you can simply direct people to the landing page of that course using any promotional method, such as an ad or a link on your website, etc.
By using a digital tool, you can create your own landing pages using templates and graphic designs optimized for online engagement.
An example is Leadpages. Leadpages help small businesses connect with an audience, collect leads, and close sales. Easily build websites, landing pages, pop-ups, alert bars, and beyond.
Other examples of landing page tools are the ones offered by your email service provider.
Personally, I like to use a page on my website to create a landing page, it costs less and it drives traffic to my website.
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3. Website Builders
As an online business owner, part of developing your online business strategy for 2023 may include developing websites for new business ideas, or even for clients who want your web design services.
You need a website builder as in your marketing toolset if you want this to be seamless for you.
There are many website builders out there, but the most used ones are WordPress and Squarespace.
In this blog post, I spoke about the difference between the two.
You absolutely need one for your business and it should be part of the process of developing your online business strategy for 2023.
This is because a website is the home of your business, the focus of all your marketing efforts.
If you don’t already have a website, you can reach out to me for my black friday website development package.
4. An Email Service Provider
A good email marketing platform will help you achieve your business goals quickly.
According to my blog post here, one of the best things you can ever do for your online business is to set up an email marketing system as soon as you start.
The benefits of starting an email marketing platform is that it helps you build your own database of potential customers early and you won’t have to rely on social media platforms.
An email marketing system is also a good way to build a community around your business.
When people join your email list, they’ve been prequalified as potential customers and you can continue to build trust by sending emails.
People won’t just give you their email addresses from the goodness of their hearts. You need to bait them.
You can use freebies or lead magnets like ebooks, free webinars, free reports, etc. as bait.
4. Content Creation Tools
Since your business is predominantly online, you need content creation to help you scale.
Therefore, you must have content creation tools in your marketing toolset.
Canva is your best bet for graphics design. Canva is a design platform that helps you create social media designs, banners, landing page designs, etc.
The best way to use Canva is to subscribe to their pro plan, so that you can have access to many templates, pictures, and so on.
On Canva, create different templates for all your designs. Templates for Instagram, YouTube thumbnail, newsletter banner, Pinterest pins and so on.
You need to add a lot of video content as part of your online business strategy.
There are tons of video editing tools, like iMovie, FilmoraPro, Adobe Premeire Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Davinci Resolve, and so on.
These are big softwares that will help you achieve the quality of videos that you need.
There are also smaller apps like Capcut and Inshot for the same purpose.
5. CRM Platforms
A customer relationship management platform (CRM) is a technology that allows you to manage all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers.
A CRM system helps you to stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.
CRM tools can now be used to manage customer relationships across the entire customer lifecycle, spanning marketing, sales and customer service interactions.
A CRM solution helps you focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people — including customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers — throughout your lifecycle with them.
6. Project Management Tools
Project management tools help to manage your business workload by bringing all your information into one centralized hub and keeping the communication flow simple and straightforward.
It can also do much more than that. For example, one tool that I use is Airtable. It helps me to manage my content, create content calendars, track customer progress and so on.
Another project management tool that I love is Trello. Trello allows you use boards, lists and cards to manage your work, organize tasks, and build team spirit—all in one place.
Start with these tips and start developing your online business strategy for 2023.
Remember, the earlier you start doing so, the easier it will be for you in the new year.