Why every business needs a strong digital presence
What is a digital presence?
Digital presence refers to the online visibility, popularity, engagement, and reach of a brand.
With all the digital marketing tools available and the fact that so many people use the internet to buy things or do research, every business needs a strong digital presence going into 2021.
The days of operating a business without having a website are long gone.
If people can’t find you on a Google search or find your information online, many of them will find another business.
Trends have been pushing businesses more and more online for years but now with COVID exacerbating the need for remote work and digital interactions, it’s more important than ever to have a strong digital presence.
The best time to start is now as every day more and more companies are competing online.
Benefits of having a strong digital presence
Having a strong presence online can make and break businesses these days.
There are so many benefits to having a digital presence:
- Industry recognition and thought leadership
- Stronger brand awareness and visibility
- Better inbound lead generation
- Increased revenue
- Cheaper cost per lead
- More website traffic
- Organic growth
Digital marketing is measurable
You can track different metrics from website visits, to bounce rates, to conversions, to social media analytics.
What you can measure you can manage and adjust for.
You have a lot of control over the variables that contribute to your success like content creation and publishing frequency.
Engage with people at different stages of the buyer’s journey
Without a website, no one in the awareness or interest stage of the buyer’s journey is going to be able to find your specific brand.
But if you have a digital presence and content that’s made to address those people, you have an advantage.
You want to be able to capture people who are beginning to get curious as well as people that are ready to make a purchase.
Five major keys for establishing and maintaining a strong digital presence
1. Have your own website
Having your own website is step number one to building a strong digital presence and your website should be the hub for all your most critical functions and resources.
Your website is a digital asset that’s completely under your control.
According to the SBA, 36% of small businesses do not have a website as recently as 2018/2019.
Social media accounts can be suspended, banned, and deleted. Sometimes social media platforms disappear (Vine) or lose popularity (MySpace).
You can’t rely on someone else’s platform to run every aspect of your business.
You want to take advantage of other platforms for visibility and engagement, then drive them back to your website.
Stanford University did a study showing that consumers judge the credibility of a company based on the design of their website. Imagine what the judgment is like for a company that doesn’t even have a website at all.
Think of your website as your online front desk. People should be able to find and get any kind of information they need.
All your resources should be simple to identify and easy to navigate.
Having a website is one of the most fundamental aspects of building your digital presence.
2. Communicate with your target audience
Having an online presence is about more than just having a website or profile set up. It’s about actually communicating with people.
Whether you’re writing blog articles, social media posts, emails, or otherwise, get used to writing a lot of content online. It’s one of the main ways to communicate and connect with people online.
Podcasts and video marketing like YouTube are another important way to communicate with people online.
54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands and businesses they support according to Hubspot.
Podcast listeners have grown 37.5% in the past three years. For the first time in 2020, over 100 million Americans listen to at least one podcast every month.
Give people chances to leave reviews/feedback.
Simply by having reviews up you can help increase your sales and the trust that customers have in you.
According to the Spiegel Research Center, you increase the likelihood of a sale by 270% if a product has 5 or more reviews.
3. Make sure people can engage with you
This somewhat ties into communicating with people as well as having a website.
However think about this in a more practical sense.
Your job is to make sure it’s optimal for someone who has come across your content to easily:
- Contact you
- Sign up for demos
- Make purchases
- Schedule or request meetings
- Subscribe to more content
- Opt in to lead magnets
Making sure your profiles on social media are optimized should help with making it a smooth process for interested parties to reach out to you. Whether that’s the links in your bio or your DM settings/notifications.
If you’re a business with a Google My Business listing makes sure it’s up to date with all the relevant information and necessary links for easy functionality.
With platforms like Google and social media allowing people to interact directly with businesses and brands without necessarily going to their website, you need to confirm your accounts are properly set up.
Take advantage of any features that allow your customers to engage with you more directly and more easily.
4. Consistently create new content
Part of being successful with digital marketing is to maintain a frequency of publishing new content for things like your website and social media.
You can’t succeed in organic marketing without bringing fresh and original content to people regularly.
Whether it’s social media posts, YouTube videos, podcasts, or blog posts, if you commit to creating a certain type of content, be consistent.
It takes on average 5 to 7 brand impressions for a customer to remember your brand.
Not to mention the algorithms behind Google and social media platforms favor consistent content creation, not sporadic publishing. You can’t just create one piece of content, sit back and relax as customers come in.
You have to show up consistently and make multiple impressions before people will even start to be consciously aware of your brand.
5. Form an online community
The final piece of successfully building your digital presence is to form an online community.
Social media is called such for a reason. It’s about real human interaction.
Don’t forget to go out there and actually be social!
If you’re successfully brand building and following all the above stops, over time you should naturally form a community.
Don’t get caught up thinking you need a formal community or user group with an official charoom or slack channel. But there should be a group of people that regularly engage with your content and ideally your ideal customers should fall into this group.
The importance of a strong digital presence
Digital marketing is getting more and more important every year as humans become more connected with technology.
It’s no longer an option for most businesses to ignore the importance of being active online.
Almost all businesses need to have a digital presence in 2021 and beyond. The benefits are too good to pass up and for most businesses it’s already necessary to compete at all.
Don’t forget the 5 keys of building a powerful digital presence:
- Have your own website
- Communicate with your target customers
- Make sure people can engage with you
- Consistently create new content
- Form an online community
As technology improves and culture shifts, expect more people to make consumer related decisions online and expect digital marketing to become more competitive.
For help with establishing or growing your brand’s digital presence, click here and schedule a call with us to discuss your options.