Why do we communicate with others? For two reasons (mainly)… to inform and to persuade; when you come to think of it, these two reasons are the driving forces of all web enterprises.
Like every other business a web enterprise should have its marketing strategy in place. This is where information comes in. Just like a product/service is at the core of a well designed marketing strategy, information should be the core of a web enterprise. Here’s why…
Look Around You
The Worldwide Web has opened up avenues for research, marketing, finance, weight loss, beauty…basically for everything that encompasses life as we know it. The most successful web enterprises around you are those that inform and then there are others that persuade (but that’s the topic for another blog post).
Take the case of Justlanded.com, a website that is a treasure trove of information on everything expatriates need to know about moving/traveling to another country. It has information on money, banks, renting/buying property, medical insurance, health and education and that is its USP…information. Isn’t that the first thing people look for when moving abroad.
Or take the case of Naukri.com, India’s first online job portal that has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception. Along the way its founder Sanjeev Bhikchandani has inspired many more people to establish an enterprise built around the provision of information. The idea for such a business worked simply because he was quick to realize that the one thing people like to stay “informed” about is jobs.
Look around you…What’s the information gap that you can service?
People Need Answers
Why do people use the internet? Primarily because it is the most powerful source of information which is within their reach at the click of a button is what most people would say. I would say it’s because they are always looking for answers to their questions.
An information search is always driven by a question that the user has. Justdial.com and Sulekha.com are nothing but online databases of businesses across India. A colleague whose daughter got married recently said Justdial.com was a virtual life saver when it came to gathering information for the wedding. She said she found everything there…florists, henna designers, makeup artists and stylists, all that she needed simply popped up on the screen thanks to the online database.
Another information rich website that comes to mind is Expatfinder.com; reaching out to expatriates scattered across the globe, the website has useful “how to articles” and resources that help expatriates make better decisions with regard to making a “green” move, maintaining work-life balance, bringing up kids and what not.
Transitions Abroad is another website that caters to the expatriate community but the differentiating factor is that it has a number of articles written by expatriates themselves, thereby drawing from first hand experiences. They have resources targeted at senior expatriates, volunteers looking for opportunities abroad and job aspirants which make the website a resource hub for different types of people.
Creating Value for Others Is the Key
No matter what business it is that you do, creating value for others is important. The others in question include customers, employees, stakeholders and sometimes even competitors.
Virtualtourist.com, is a website that has first hand reviews of restaurants, hotels, stores and tourist locales across the globe. Travelers let others know how to get to a place, money changing tips, dress codes (if any), how not to get ripped off and the like.
Ventures that simplify tedious tasks and provide information about the options that one has get the thumbs up from their customers. That’s why a venture like MakeMyTrip.com has been successful. Helping people make their travel plans, book tickets, cancel and reschedule all within minutes without moving out of their homes and offices is their USP.
Take another instance of a travel based venture…If you were looking for travel information on India your search would throw up a number of options but what if you were looking for a plantation stay? Would that information be easy to find?
Namastay.in, is a one stop resource that lists plantation, farms, bungalow and resorts with a difference, all catering to the discerning traveler who wants an authentic Indian experience. A virtual God send for property owners wanting to grab a slice of the tourism business without handing over their property to a hotel group.
Helping a certain class of people garner information peculiar to them is another lucrative web enterprise opportunity. JAM, an online magazine targeted at Indian youth is unique in the sense that it provides information about on campus happenings, events, trends and jobs for the youth. A platform that helps many an aspiring young author publish their works, it creates and delivers value of its own.
As a webpreneur your biggest task is giving people information that they need or could possibly need. If you identify your niche well to begin with persuading people to come to you automatically becomes unnecessary.
The underlying fact is that information will never go out of style. People will always seek it, value it and create it. As a web enterprise, your biggest USP should be “information”, it beats everything else. In the beginning and in the end it is content that counts.