Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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AFRINIC 27 MEETING

Online Branding Strategies That Work for Small Businesses

1.       Social media marketing

Social media is the best thing that could ever have happened to small business branding online. Both big and small companies create pages on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Minimal costs are associated with this. What these companies are doing is social media marketing. Profiles for businesses can be created in the appropriate social networking sites, after which, the owners start connecting with both established and potential customers. The key to success in social media marketing is participation. You need to be in there, and participate on a regular basis.

 

2.       Search engine marketing

Search engines are the biggest tools online, that can be used for business branding purposes. The great thing about search engines is that they drive highly targeted customers. Therefore, focus majority of your traffic-building strategies on driving search engine traffic.  This is referred to as organic traffic.

 3.       Blogging

Do not underestimate the power of blogging as a small business branding method. Search engines love blogs because of their ever current content. Blog for your business to achieve desired success.

 

4.       Pay per click advertising

Invest in marketing in order to build a brand online. Invest in a pay per click system, where you pay for every lead sent to your blog/website. Start with Google – set a budget and bid, select keywords and write a quick ad. Now you’ll be there when some “Googles it!

 5.       Article marketing

Article marketing is where you write short articles that are distributed throughout free article marketplaces. This is commonly used as a traffic-building strategy and quite effective in building brands online.

 

6.       Contests

People love contests and some of these are sponsored by businesses.  Build your own contests and watch your brand strength increase.

 7.       Promotional Giveaway

Give away products or promotional items on social media attract a lot of attention and traffic. Clients and potential clients are always eager to participate in competitions, etc. Pop the question about the product on whatever platform, even radio programmes, many would respond in the bid to win the prize.  Even on twitter, when people are asked to, “Retweet upon receipt,” many would respond to the challenge.

Concluding, every business owner should know that business branding takes time. There is no magic pill or overnight solution to business branding. It could take ages for the desired success. Patience, endurance, persistence and hard work are required to make success of any business.  

INTERNET BRANDING STRATEGY FOR SMALL SCALE BUSINESS

Internet Branding is a word often associated with online marketing. You must have heard it, but what does it really mean? Can branding help drive more traffic to a business website and create a number of rabid fans and buyers?

A brand can be defined as a “trade-name, trade-mark, line, label, make, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” And over time, this image is associated with a level of assurance, credibility, quality and satisfaction in the mind of the customer.

The brand of a seller can differentiate that product/ service online and separate that organisation from the crowd. To have a wider outreach in this technological age, with so many websites and Internet marketers all vying for customers, it is important to differentiate one’s offer (a Unique Selling Proposition) from that which is offered by the competition. You need a domain name, preferably a .ng domain name to place your brand online. You need a very strong domain name that speaks for itself.

The advent of the Internet has highlighted that the era of small business branding platforms, the reign of TV, radio, and newspapers, is over. All businesses now gravitate towards the internet when it comes to business branding and marketing.  Business owners need to reach out to the bigger market. The many Social media platforms have provided the needed avenue for many small scale businesses to engage their prospective patrons. The larger businesses have also caught the bug and have joined the social media platforms to market their brands. They have realized that people are drawn to the social media platforms and have established a presence on those platforms.

Establishing a presence on the Internet is important even if you have a physical store. Online marketing provides lots of opportunities .The outreach is more. It has become necessary to create an interactive, regularly updated site or blog on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Being active on social media sites will not only increase brand awareness, it will also boost search engines rank of a business website.

Product Branding Strategies and Tips for Small Business

1.          Use of the power of the Internet to promote a brand

With the Internet, the small business entrepreneurs don’t have to spend much to advertise and market their products. The best avenue to increase brand awareness is the Internet.  With little or no budget, it is possible to  take advantage of Internet resources for product branding campaigns.

2.          Unique Selling Proposition   

It is advised that brand awareness can be increased and strengthened by focusing on one to two features of a business or product.  For product/business branding, SMEs are advised to identify the best and most saleable feature of their product and use that to formulate the product branding strategy.

  3.          Promoting the business

Up-to-date contents should always be available on the company website as it is a strategy to increase brand awareness.  There are several tools and platforms to launch advertising and marketing campaigns on the Internet to strengthen a brand and its online presence.  The internet is a great influential avenue to promote a product and establish a brand.

 4.          Leverage on social networking media

Most people have their own social networks so product branding is highly recommended to be carried out on social media platforms. 

 5.          Consistency in promoting brand online

The best product branding strategy is to ensure that expectations exceed the target market. Have events (promotions, awards, competitions, etc) that keep the brand in the news for positive image.

To build a powerful/strong brand on the Internet, ensure a niche market is created for your brand. Host your website locally to ensure short time frame to resolve challenges. Every business should aspire for strong online presence, portraying the brand as trusted and reliable. With a strong brand, you can enjoy greater recognition and profitability.  It must be noted that the Internet provides a good leverage to a small business for promoting its brand. For your online presence, register your preferred available .ng domain name to ensure you can promote your brand online.

Innovation: Use of Domain Names

Is it possible that the cause of failure of some businesses is the way they are managed and the type of tools adopted in running these businesses? It is reported that as of date, there are over 1billion websites online and the figure keep growing every second. Some of these websites are active whilst some are inactive.

Nigeria has a large percentage of this growing figure, on the Internet and of course the number of Nigerian websites, using  .ng domain names, is growing steadily.

The importance of online identity has given birth to a global community being supervised by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is charged with several responsibilities; one of which is the re-delegation of Top Level Domains (TLDs), be it generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) or country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD).

While some businesses have become innovative in their conduct, some other business owners are still relying on the old ways for their operations. The old ways of business management can be tough, taking longer hours, with many uncertainties and risks with the limited rewards .Fortunately, there are countless modern tools, application and software platforms available for running online businesses. For an online business, a domain name is required to give the business owner an identity on the global space. Putting one’s business online can provide a wider reach for the business, bringing the business and its benefits nearer to the customers.

To really be a successful business owner, it is necessary to embrace technology. To bring your business online, register a befitting domain name and put your business online.

For a Nigerian business owner, it is always advisable to register your .ng domain name, recognizing the need for Nigeria identity online on the cyberspace.  

Why is it good to register your .ng domain name now!

     Businesses within Nigeria with the .ng domain string are ranked first in the search engine optimization (SEO).

     It gives your clients a sense of reliability and reachability.

     It is affordable and conserves foreign exchange.

 

You can buy your .ng domain name from any of the NiRA Accredited Registrars via the link: www.nira.org.ng/accredited-registrars

.ng Registry convenes meeting of relevant LEA and stakeholders

In the last edition of the NiRA e-newsletter, we stated that NiRA had taken concrete steps to deal with the menace of abuse within the Internet ecosystem, by creating a desk for dealing with Internet Abuse within the .ng ecosystem. Nigerians have responded positively with varied tales. NIRA has commenced investigations into those cases within its purview.

As part of its efforts, NiRA convened a meeting of representatives of relevant law enforcement agencies (LEA) and stakeholders on the need to collaborate to curtail the menace. Agencies represented include the Nigeria Police through the Lagos State Police Command, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Special Fraud Unit, ngCERT, Central Bank of Nigeria Plc, etc.

At the inaugural meeting, The NiRA President highlighted the high rate at which crimes were becoming engrained in the national life, using .ng domain names and reported that NiRA had received over 300 complaints on issues of Internet Abuse ranging from Domain Name Abuses to theft of individuals’ personal details and of course, Financial  Fraud.

Participants reviewed the Internal Procedural process developed in-house by NiRA to deal with the incidents of abuses, taking note of the areas of cooperation and collaboration with the various agencies present. It was a huge success as the law enforcement agencies expressed their willingness to collaborate to tackle the identified abuse in the Internet ecosystem and protect Nigerians. Henceforth, the group will meet quarterly, having identified other stakeholders whose involvement is crucial to the success of the programme

 

If you are privy to any form of abuse using .ng domain names, do send your email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Five Reasons Why You must always Backup Your Website.

You must have heard a lot of talks about the importance of taking a backup of the contents of your hard drive, just in case something should happen to your computer. There are few things more painful than knowing that all of your precious files have been lost forever. The same holds true for websites. It seems like every day there is a new headline about the latest high profile website crash and server outage. Unfortunately, website and server threats are very real. Backing up your website helps you to safeguard against those threats and data loss. It is strongly recommended you take a backup of the contents of your website every time there is an enhancement to the contents of your website. Find below, five main reasons why a backup of the content of your website is important. 

1. Website Hackers

Unfortunately, hackers and scammers have become commonplace on the web. While the aim of hackers and scammers may be to steal credit card numbers and other sensitive information, often people hack websites merely to prove themselves, deface websites or just to cause trouble. For every online website, there is always the chance that it may become compromised. For every compromise, you might wish to restore the last backup as it might be a safer restore option.

2. Computer Catastrophes

Storing a copy of your files on your computer is a good idea, but should your machine crash, get lost, or fall off a cliff, then your files will be gone with it. Backing up your files remotely is a more practical option in the event that something happens to your machine.

3. Updates Gone Wrong

Regular updates refer to updated features and increased security, but they don’t always go as planned. This is why WordPress always tells you to perform a backup before carrying out any system update. Websites have multiple components, including plugins, themes, software, and back-end programming. An awry update to any of these can take an entire website offline for any amount of time.

4. Employee Errors/Mistakes

The truth is that people make mistakes and can make mistakes. It’s perfectly possible that an employee or contractor might click a wrong button or delete a necessary file by accident. When you backup your files, there’s less chance that human error will mess up your operations.

5. Minimize the Damage

Say you log onto your website one day, only to be greeted with an unfamiliar error page. You try again and again, but it still doesn’t come up. You get a sinking feeling in your stomach as you realize that something has gone wrong. You could either a) Go into an all out panic as you try to figure out what went wrong, and whether or not you’ve lost all of your precious content, or b) Become a bit annoyed that you may have to spend some time reloading your website, but you won’t have reason to go into an anxious tailspin.

It is advised that you backup the contents of your website after every enhancement, using the grandfather-father-son method.  The backup files must be the same as you never know the crucial day/date when the backup files would prove to be a life-saver.