In today’s business world, not having a strong online presence is equivalent to not having an ad in the Yellow Pages thirty years ago.
According to a collaborative study from YP Marketing Solutions, the Local Search Association, and Thrive Analytics, your online presence can have a great impact on your consumers.
And 32% of consumers won’t do business with a company that lists wrong contact information on a site or social media page.
Here’s how to win customers with your online presence.
Believe it or not, how you present your brand online influences whether consumers choose to interact with and buy from you.
By using the eleven following tips, you can create a strong online presence in no time.
1) Select Your Priorities
If you sell a great product or offer a phenomenal service but nobody knows about it, your priorities should be:
Or if people know about your product but aren’t talking about it, focus on:
- Customer loyalty
We like to use the graph below to help clients pick goals and KPIs (key performance indicators).
Study your business and ascertain customer pain points to decide what your priorities should be for improving your online presence.
2) Find Your Customers
Once you choose your primary priority, think about your buyers.
You want an online presence geared toward the people most likely to buy from you.
Develop a list of potential buyers and then segment them by their level of interest in your products or services.
This information will help you determine where to spend your time online and guide decisions about creating online ads and sponsored content.
Then, you can segment your contact list to ensure each buyer group receives only the content they’re most interested in.
3) Pick Your Platforms
Is it smart to be everywhere?
Before you join every social media network available, step back and think about the platforms themselves.
Some hold no relevance to your business or customers at all—you won’t ever find your target buyers spending time here.
Cut these platforms from your list.
A few, like YouTube or Vimeo, could benefit you but require a lot of time and effort to work effectively.
Give your attention to the platforms that matter most to your enterprise and your customers, and return to the others as you have time and resources.
4) Optimize Your Website
As previously mentioned, consumers leave your site when it contains incorrect contact information and inaccurate content, so quality control is a priority if you want to enhance your site.
First, examine your content and make sure it’s accurate and up to date.
Next, rate your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).
You want your website to attract people, so include useful and engaging content on your site.
With this kind of content, people can see your business as an entity that understands and cares about them.
Finally, optimize for mobile because people are more likely to visit your website on their smartphones rather than on their computers.
5) Consistency: KEY for a Strong Online Presence
If you want to gain a strong online presence, perhaps nothing helps more than consistency.
Set a schedule for blogs, email newsletters, social media posts, and even online conversations.
Remember to focus on frequency and quality.
This combination will help develop your reputation as a regular provider of excellent content.
6) Develop a Content Strategy
A schedule helps grow your online presence, but it needs to tie to your business goals.
To achieve that, create a content strategy.
A solid strategy should dictate what you write about, how often you write, and to whom you write.
Document the strategy as well—don’t leave it sitting inside your head.
According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, a documented content strategy makes you more effective “in nearly all areas of content marketing.”
7) Connect Your Online and Offline Worlds
Your online presence affects offline sales.
If you don’t believe the statement, perform a test.
Promote a product or event on social media and track how many people enter your store because of it.
The more you integrate the worlds, the more customers you will capture.
8) Look at Your Online Reviews
According to the Pew Research Center, “roughly eight in ten Americans (82%) . . . consult online ratings and reviews when buying something for the first time.”
The survey respondents also share that online reviews …
- Make them feel more confident about purchasing decisions (46%) and,
- Keep companies accountable to consumers (45%).
So to further increase your chances of making a sale, monitor and respond to your online reviews.
Just don’t take it too far and delete negative reviews, as you could do more harm than good.
9) Monitor Online Conversations
Not all customers will write an online review on your site, but they might take to social media and share a complaint or praise.
Millennials are nearly twice as likely to do this, so if you’re marketing to this particular audience take note.
Because of that, you will want to proactively manage online conversations.
Use social media monitoring tools, like our go-to Sprout Social, to help with the task and keep it from taking over your daily work life.
Their Smart Inbox
10) Measure Everything
Social media monitoring tools measure customer engagement, but to measure impact—things like visits, downloads, and online sales—you’ll need to get comfortable with Google Analytics.
It’s also incredibly shrewd to tie your online objections to business goals and outcomes.
We help our clients do this with our Key Performance Indicator exercise and document.
11) Refine and Repeat for a Strong Online Presence
Metrics shine a light on your online presence, revealing how you’re progressing with your improvement efforts.
Beware: this data changes frequently, so be sure to refine your marketing strategy and repeat any steps that are working well.
Welcome this change as a friend, and use the collected data to guide future steps.
Take some time to evaluate your current online strategy, then use the eleven tips shared here to start seeing a strong online presence.
And if you have any thoughts on what best practices work well to strengthen an online presence, comment below.
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Shea Drake is a MarTech writer and lover of technology and how it affects the way people work, live, travel, and play. You can find more of her writings and stay in touch via Twitter @sheadrakephoto, she'd love to hear from you.
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