If you are a new business or an old local business without an online presence, you better start now. Someone somewhere is always googling for their needs, be it a restaurant, a fashion outlet, gardeners…the list is endless. It is important that you are found online through strategic marketing efforts.
Digital marketing — sum total of your online presence
If you are new to the world of online marketing, you should know that there are many ways in which you can market yourself online, through Google search, email, your website, blog and social media platforms.
Serious about digital marketing?
Here are some ways you can build your online presence:
Do your research, assess your target audience
Before you decide on which is the best platform for your online presence, do your research. Assess who your target audience is and learn about customer behavior. Ask yourself what the best way to connect with them is. What are their interests? What are their preferred modes of communication? Create buyer personas so you can then define your goals and share content on specific platforms effectively.
Create a website
The easiest way to build your online presence is to start a website. Ensure that the website satisfies the needs of a prospective customer. It should have a well-crafted ‘About Us’ section, a ‘Contact’ section, and the ‘Services/Products’ you offer. If you can explain the journey of your business, offers solid testimonials, all the more better. You should also ensure an excellent UX and UI that’s also optimised for mobile.
Try online listings
Find out what platforms are the best to get your listing in. Pick those that are relevant to your business, sector and geographical location. An online listing is essentially your name, contact information, website, photos and address.
How about email marketing?
Start building a list of mail subscribers who really want to hear from you/your business through an email service provider. Of course, it’s important to get it right by seeking permission, segmenting your audience and personalising subject lines. Get an expert to do this for you.
Keep an eye on SEO
If you are not an expert in search engine optimisation, get expert help. Ensure that your website ranks high in search results.
You could use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, blogspot, Snapchat…there are any number of social media channels. You don’t necessarily have to have a presence on every platform. You could opt for one that brings you the most audience and post consistently
Create value for your audience
No matter which online platform you choose, always offer something of value for your prospective customers. Videos on ‘how-tos’, tips, DIY suggestions…something your prospective customer will be happy to understand and use. If you have a cake shop, you could provide baking tips, suggestions on how to celebrate birthdays etc. If you are a furniture store, you could offer decor suggestions that revolve around your products.
Comment, engage, share
The biggest advantage of an online presence is two-way communication. You can engage with your audience, comment on various platforms, discussion boards etc. If you find something interesting, share it with your own audience so you can build strong online relationships.
Track and analyse your traffic
The best way to improve your content and make your online presence strong is by measuring and analysing. Check Facebook engagement by tracking comments and likes; see where your website ranks constantly and find out which keywords are doing well. Google Analytics is a great way to track traffic to your site.
Lastly but most importantly, have patience. Rome was not built in a day, and the same applies to your online presence. You need to put your best foot forward, engage with your audience and wait for your audience to convert.