For most customers in the 21st Century their first introduction to a business is by discovering the business online. That’s why each and every business needs to have a strong online presence. Not only will this increase your brand’s reputation, it will establish you as an authority figure. Both of which can help more customers discover you and the services or products that you provide.
But, how can you stand apart from every other business that is attempting to reach customers online? Here are four simple methods that will not only grow your increase your online presence, but also attract more customers.
1. Optimize Your Website
At this point, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a website. Surprisingly, however, only 51% of small businesses have a website. That’s a major concern when you have 97% of consumers searching for products and services online. If you haven’t done so already, then start getting to work on your website. It doesn’t have to be too fancy or complicated. Keep it simple with pages that showcase your work, a bio, contact information, testimonials, and a blog where you can share your expertise and unique voice.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or updating your existing website, make sure that it’s optimized by making sure that it’s mobile friendly, loads quickly, includes a click-to-call-button, has updated information (work samples, resume, headshots), is easy on the eyes, and optimize your URLs.
Depending on the nature and size of your business, you may want to take your website a step further and add features like a live chat or create a mobile app.
2. Chose Your Social Channels Wisely
You’ve heard time and time again that you need to be active on social media. While engaging and interacting with influencers and customers via social media is one of the most effective ways to grow your online presence, you don’t have to be on each and every social media channel. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, focus on one or two primary social channels that you can easily manage and grow.
In most cases, the you should at least focus on the big three; LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. LinkedIn is the preferred chose to network and generate leads.
When you do find your preferred social network, spend around 20 minutes everyday curating content that you customers would enjoy and use tools like Buffer to schedule and manage your accounts. As a rule of thumb, implement that 80/20 rule during your social media campaign – 80% should be shared content created by others and 20% should be pushing your content.
3. Go Beyond Blogging
Maintaining a blog not only raises your online presence, it assists with defining your brand’s voice and builds trust since you’re creating and sharing useful content. But, you don’t want to limit yourself to just blog posts when creating content.
Businesses should be developing multiple forms of content that their customers will either find entertaining or informative Examples include:
- Videos that are uploaded onto YouTube
- Hosting a podcast.
- Creating an infographic.
- Conducting and releasing a case study.
- Publishing an eBook or White Paper.
- Hosting an online course, workshop, webinar.
When you create unique and quality content, it will be passed around by industry thought leaders in your industry.
4. Don’t Forget Guest Posts and Email Marketing
Despite all the new tools and techniques out there that promise to help grow your online presence, there are two tried and true methods that shouldn’t be neglected; guest posts and email marketing.
Guest blogging, when done for branding purposes and not solely for links, will assist you in earning credibility, help you gain targeted exposure, and increase your website’s traffic. Let’s say that you get a chance to be a guest writer for an established blog or website like Forbes or Entrepreneur. Those sites have more viewers and authority than your website, which is a win-win for your brand. If that audience enjoys what they’ve read, then visit your website and hopefully sign-up for your newsletter or follow you on social media.
As for email marketing, McKinsey & Company conducted a study that found “E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.” The main reason is that consumers still use e-mail daily. When embarking on an email marketing campaign, optimize it by segmenting your lists like engaged customers and new subscribers, crafting customized messages, sending your emails at the right time for your audience, and analyzing your data so that you know what tactics have been working and which have not.
For more information: www.creativerush.co.za