Websites are not enough anymore. And it’s been like that for a while.
A brand needs to be engaging, interactive, and social. This means being in many places at the same time, managing interactions with customers, providing useful information for potential buyers, and starting conversations around topics revelant to your industry.
We know this is a lot to ask, so we’ve compiled some major questions and tips for building your digital presence. Keep them in mind as you go forward with your online marketing strategy.
Table of Contents
What is Digital Presence?
The digital presence of a company is the concept that its value is measured by how often and in what quality it shows up on the internet. This often includes how they interact with their followers on social media, the quality of reviews they get from their buyers, the advertises they create online and – most importantly for small businesses – their services/products listed on Google My Business.
It may be tough to comprehensively organize a firm’s entire digital presence, as it might cover much more than that, including emails campaigns sent to client’s inbox, private conversation on WhatsApp and Telegram groups, and even mentions of your brand in other businesses’ websites.
In all cases, digital presence is where we can find you online, and figuring out whether these encounters are beneficial or harmful is what distinguishes the quality of it.
Why you should work on your digital presence?
An active and well-maintained digital presence ensures that your brand is being seen by possible prospects, which increases your visibility while also laying the foundations of trust and credibility.
Through it your potential clients will be able to find you easier, whether on social media or on Google by simply searching for keywords related to your business, thus creating more opportunities for conversion, be it sales, subscriptions or other relevant metric.
Getting the right exposure on the internet also means having the opportunity to build a digital community of people who are interested in what you have to offer. By maintaining your social media accounts active, for example, you increase your online visibility while also getting critical feedback from followers.
What’s more, digital presence proves to be a great indicator of digital marketing success. For instance, you can measure the engagement your digital ads get from your target audience, which can offer information on what works and what doesn’t in terms of paid ads.
This is your key to attracting more new customers and engaging with the old. Your digital presence is what will keep you relevant through time, as it’s not subject to change, even if something does happen with your physical location.
How to improve your brand’s digital presence?
There’s just no singular way to start building a digital presence. The alternatives are so many that it can easily drive an uninformed person to give it all up. But that’s not you, right? ;-D
To work with digital marketing is to experiment many different approaches to solve a single problem, and each solution will expand your digital presence. For instance, to start a conversation with a prospect you could:
- Build a contact page on your website;
- Use a chat bot on your webpages;
- Make a one-time offer through a landing page;
- Start a topic on social media;
- Livestream about something your brand is passionate about…
So let’s start with the basics. Digital Presence 101.
Every business need to have their own website or blog.
They are like a corridor with many doors, each one of them a URL leading to a service, product, blog post or landing page for users to engage with your brand.
This will be the launch pad for you to start building your reputation and reach different audiences. Having a website with searchable content that is indexed by Google and, moreover, having it optimized for mobile navigation is key.
Moreover, a website is a focus point for all your digital marketing efforts. From there, you can:
- create useful content to drive organic traffic on a blog;
- promote your products/services in every fashion imaginable;
- build landing pages to close the deal on any prospecting leads;
- tell a bit more about yourself and brand so people can identify with you.
Although having a website opens up many doors, you have to implement content marketing strategies to engage with your audience, staying in touch and creating a relationship between you and them, and there’s no better place to engage with your audience than social media.
Not every social media platform is suitable for your business.
Of course, the more the merrier, since people will be able to find you in different places, BUT for small businesses that are just crawling towards a digital strategy here’s some food for thought:
Each social media platform has its own audience with their own interests and demographics. Figure out what are your audience’s interest and demographics and then create an business account on that particular social media.
- If your audience is more business-focused or you are a B2B company, for sure Linkedin is the right social medial platform for you. Its highly engaged audience will let you stay in touch with your current clients and potential business partners.
- People with a high interest in visual arts such as illustrations and drawing are bound to gather on Pinterest, where they can create folders with their favorite art pieces and share them with their friends.
- And, yes, Facebook is the one that often comes to mind when talking about social media, but in the last few years their audience has changed quite a bit, focusing on users aged 25-34, many of them with kids and jobs.
- On the other end of the spectrum, we have TikTok, a video-sharing social media that has been trending for quite a while among Generation Z (16-24 year old) girls.
To sum up, social media is a great platform for your company to reach larger audiences or niche groups that could be interested in what you do and/or the services you offer.
Choose it wisely.
Google My Business
No matter what size or industry you are in, Google My Business is the place to manage a good chunk of your online presence.
Google My Business is a free service that helps your business attract customers and grow its visibility. It provides you with a simple and quick way to create a digital presence on Google Search, Maps, and other Google properties.
The platform also enables you to post photos, ratings, reviews, addresses of your business in local search results, reviews, events and more. It can be used to create a listing for your products and services by including the relevant information such as operating hours, website links, and even answer private conversations from Google users.
Not having a google business page is pretty bad for your business, as it helps to keep google users engaged in the services that you are offering. For instance, if someone wants to hire a service offered by you but they can’t find your google listing, they will probably move onto another search result where they are more likely to find what they are looking for.
We’ve all stumbled across many ads while searching the internet. Where do they come from, though? Well, that depends on where you find them.
The most popular paid ad platform is Google Ads. It is a PPC (pay-per-click) platform that allow you to manage ad campaings, creating custom ads for targeted audiences with the possibility of advertising for different demographics, geolocations, devices and much more.
Most of these custom setting are also available on other PPC platforms such as Facebook, Amazon, Linkedin and other services.
PPC platforms all operate under the same rules: you create an ad to be shown on their respective media (Facebook Ads for instance, allows you to advertise on Facebook and Instagram) and you only pay if/when people click on it.
Each time someone clicks on your ad, you’ll pay a CPC (cost per click) that depends on how much your competition is willing to pay for that same click. So PPC functions as an auction. An account that’s willing to pay more for a single click on their ad will have higher chances of getting it.
PPC requires some intense budget management, but it sure pays off in the short term if you’re doing it right.
PPC Management Agencies will research and find the best keywords to include on an advertisement, and create ads for various niches in order to help you get the results that you want.
Did you think you could stop there?
As Bob Dylan once said, “the times are a-changin”. Any entrepreneur that wants to keep up with these rapid shifts in consumer behavior cannot ignore the power of digital marketing.
Always remember that digital presence is a fluid state of what works for your brand. Keep on trying new tactics as old ones fail to show good results and improve upon those methods that are driving quality metrics for your business.
To build a digital presence is a continuous task, one that requires time and clarity. The best way to achieve this clarity is through data-driven decision-making. So, do your research on the subjects you want to better understand.
Digital presence is an integral part of your brand value, which you build through digital marketing activities such as building a website, engaging with customers on social media and improving visibility by creating a Google My Business account and adversing on PPC platforms such as Google Ads.
Whether you are a solo entrepreneur or a business team, be mindful that having an online presence is, now, more than ever, a necessity. There is a lot of ground to cover and if you are not focused on your objectives it’s easy to get lost.
If you don’t know how to begin, give us a call! We are SomneoX, a digital marketing startup with experience in kicking off local businesses’ online presences and curating personalized digital marketing strategies.