My dear Nigerian Entrepreneur, if you’ve just started your own company in Nigeria, chances are you’re the type of person who is willing to roll up your sleeves and get things done yourself. But there are some areas of internet marketing in which the experience of a professional — administered at the right moment — can really make the difference between a polished, awesome product and a complete mess. You can’t do it all by yourself!
So, here are five important e-marketing services your startup business should consider paying for in order to increase publicity, leads and sales.
Copywriting is no joke. Left to your own devices, you run the risk of accidentally neglecting key points even if you are a good writer.
You won’t have very long to capture new visitors’ attention. The same goes for FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). You understand the product, so it can be difficult to put yourself in the shoes of someone who doesn’t. An outsider’s perspective can really help identify the gaps in your content and then help to create that text.
Okay, so you’re bootstrapping and you don’t have the resources to hire someone to write all the site copy for you. Understandable. But even if you write everything yourself, you should strongly consider hiring a copyeditor. You’ve put months, or potentially years, into creating a product you’re really excited about. Don’t take a chance on diminishing its impact by having typos on your site. You’re likely too close to your own work to notice mistakes, so pay someone else to do it.
3. Facebook Marketer
Facebook is a largely self-serve advertising platform, which means that customers have ample opportunity to create unstructured campaigns that won’t have the best possible ROI, and there likely won’t be an account representative involved to help optimize.
If you aren’t intimately familiar with the platform yourself, hire someone to get you set up. Have them take you through various different segments to target, and get their feedback on images, copy, and landing pages to test out. Work with them to set up a system for monitoring which campaigns are most successful as you mix and match different creative and targeting. If you want to see results from Facebook advertising, you’ll have to make it work for you, and this takes not only work-hours but also some knowledge of the platform.
4. SEO Consultant
Do you know how to structure your URLs so that they’ll be best positioned to garner search traffic relative to your competitors? What about how to populate your meta tags and keywords?
Yeah, me neither. That’s why I work with SEO consultants; getting into this type of nitty-gritty is their specialty. SEO is the kind of thing you want to get right the first time. Changing site architecture to make it SEO-friendly down the line can quickly become a hassle. Spend a couple of hours up front with a consultant who can help you make sure you’ve got everything set up properly. You’ll be glad you did.
5. Email Marketing Specialist
Remember the part about getting things right the first time in SEO? The same thing applies to email marketing. Once you’ve put in the time and energy to design and build an email template, you don’t want to have to migrate everything over to a different provider if you realize your current solution doesn’t scale.
If you think that email might be an important part of your business — whether through newsletters, alerts, or promotional messages — it’s worth it to talk to someone who knows the different platforms and can help you find what works best. Anyone who has had to migrate and clean lists of thousands of contacts will tell you that it’s a task best avoided.
As a Nigerian entrepreneur, you probably have an excellent set of useful core competencies yourself. If you’re strapped for cash, see if you can barter your services. A front-end designer might create a simple personal website for a copywriter in return for his or her services — provided the work hours necessary for each project make it a square deal.
So tell me, what internet marketing services are you willing to pay for, and what have you paid for that you wish you hadn’t? Let us know in the comments below.