The Serbian National Internet Domain Name Registry Foundation (RNIDS) and the company Madnet, in partnership with the Pančevo Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, organised a one-day free educational workshop on 28th November 2017, for business-owners from Pančevo and the surrounding area. This event was another in a series organised by the RNIDS Foundation across Serbia, and was hosted by Madnet, an accredited registrar for Serbian ccTLDs, whose owner and director Nenad Orlić kicked off proceedings by greeting all those attending.
During four talks, some 80 entrepreneurs and other interested individuals had a chance to hear about the potential of the Internet, and how it could help them launch a new business or develop an existing one.
What are the basics of an Internet presence?
“Those who think they own their social network properties are gravely mistaken,” Predrag Milićević, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer with RNIDS, began his talk. “Anyone who believes that anything at the address facebook.com belongs to them should look into who owns that domain. Because the owner of the domain is the owner of what’s on it.
Every social network has an owner, who at any time can change the terms of service and suddenly leave the proud ‘owner’ of a fan page deprived of everything they had on the Internet,” said Milićević, citing the example of an author and artist in the US who lost everything he had been working on for the last 14 years when Google, without any warning, deleted his blog and personal account. “The right time to register a domain is the moment the business idea comes to you. Any time after that could be too late,” Milićević warned, advising the audience to protect their business ideas by registering an Internet domain at the earliest opportunity.
Dragan Varagić, blogger, online strategist, professional speaker and e-business consultant, stressed that a company website should be the foundation of everyone’s Internet business. “The most common mistake made by entrepreneurs is that they spend almost their whole budget on having a website made, but forget that they need to promote that site too in order to get visitors and make sales through it.
The technical side of creating a site and content for it should not comprise more than 30% of the total budget for the site! The remaining 70% should be invested in promotion and marketing,” said Varagić. He especially emphasised the importance of content and explained how content could be categorised into four basic types: informative, promotional, sales and combined. Depending on the objectives you have set for your business, these types of content should be used (or combined) on your company site, Varagić advised.
Social networks and advertising
Miloje Sekulić, founder and owner of the Homepage agency and member of the RNIDS Board of Governors, agreed that content was paramount for business, but reminded the audience that it also needed to be published on the social networks: “The streets and cafés are where we hang out – and it’s the same on the social networks. We work in offices and we buy in shops – and it’s the same with our websites. The social networks is where people are, websites are where they come.”
This is an important principle we need to have in mind when laying the foundations for our online business. Sekulić made special emphasis of this principle: “Our immediate and extended family, our friends from high school, our colleagues from work – they are all micro-social networks of ours. This should remind us that social networks are founded on people, and that in business we need first and foremost to concern ourselves with people and their needs, and only then with technology.”
But it is precisely this concern for people that is the hardest part when it comes to promoting your business and advertising online. Amidst the sea of information people are exposed to on a daily basis, it is very difficult to get the attention of your potential customers. Especially when we consider that the average human attention span is eight seconds at best – less than a goldfish. In a single second on the Internet, more than 40,000 Google searches are conducted, 15% of them completely new,” said Jelena Ožegović, RNIDS Marketing and Communications Associate in her talk.
Buyers go through a decision-making process, beginning with the moment they realise their need for a particular product or service, right up to the point of the actual purchase, whether online or offline. In each of these decision-making stages we can communicate with the customer in different ways. “That is why goal-setting and planning is perhaps the most important aspect of all the promotional activities a business engages in,” Ožegović said.