Kayleigh Alexandra is a writer and campaign designer for MicroStartups, a website focused on helping charities and microbusinesses. After years working in the sustainability, marketing and creative industries, Kayleigh now loves to devote her time to supporting other businesses to grow and thrive. Visit her blog or follow her on Twitter @getmicrostarted for the latest news, tips and advice for startups and solopreneurs.
10 Things You Should Be Getting Out of Your Digital Presence | Extraordinary Business
Most businesses are aware that they need a website and a strong digital presence if they want to be competitive. But what exactly should you be getting out of your digital presence? Here are 10 key ways you should be benefiting right now.
1. Greater Visibility
First and foremost, having a strong online presence will simply make you more visible online. Being found online is one of the main reasons to have a digital presence, and this should be happening in a number of ways.
Your website should be showing up in organic search results (if you are investing in SEO), but you should also be boosting your visibility on the social web. In short, when people search for your company, what you do, or the products you sell, they should be able to find you.
If you are not taking advantage of greater visibility, this is definitely an area you should be focusing on.
2. More Trust in Your Brand
Once people come across your website or social accounts, the relationship-building phase begins.
Your website and social presence should build trust, and everything about your website and online presence will be involved in this – which includes the information you provide in the form of your blog posts and web content, the customer service you offer, and factors like the speed of your site, the navigation, and how user-friendly it is.
If you have launched a new website, it’s worth getting it audited to make sure it is functioning as it should be. Make sure pages are loading fast to provide a good experience to visitors to build trust more effectively.
3. More Credibility
A solid web presence increases your credibility. Having no website is a big mistake, but more than just having a website, you want to have one that shows you are a serious and professional business.
A strong design will boost your credibility. So too will copy that is clear, well written, and communicates your core message. You will also boost your credibility when:
- Your website appears in search results, especially in the first few results
- You get more followers and interaction on your social channels
- You are seen to engage with customers on different platforms
4. More Marketing Leads
You should be generating a steady stream of leads via your website. Perhaps not when you first launch, but certainly after a while. Ideally, your website should become a lead-generating machine.
Inbound marketing is important for many businesses, large and small. Driving targeted traffic to your website is just the start, and you need to make sure that traffic converts.
Start by signing people up to your email list, then you can target them with personalized messages and turn them from interested targets into customers.
5. A Stronger Brand Image
A strong digital presence will help you build a stronger brand. When your logo appears in numerous places online, when people comment about your products and services, and when you build more online reviews, this is exactly what you are doing. You can also improve your brand image:
- When you interact with people on social media
- When your name appears in high-quality guest posts
- When you answer queries in forums
This is all part of building your brand via your online presence, and over the months and years your brand should continue to become stronger. This is especially important if you have acquired an established business which is in need of a brand reboot. A strong brand strategy and a unique online presence will help you to overcome a flagging brand image. Check out this Aepiphanni blog post, “Branding lessons you can learn from America’s best companies”.
6. Lower Marketing Costs
With an online presence, you should be able to reduce your marketing costs by spending less on expensive print ads and more on affordable social ads or an AdWords campaign.
Creating content is free (to a point), and email marketing is both cost-effective and powerful. Using these techniques, you can drive huge growth without spending a fortune.
7. More Engagement
A successful online presence means you are engaging with your prospects. Don’t just create a website and leave it. Don’t just post social updates that no one will read. Get involved, answer questions, join in conversations, leave comments, seek out Twitter chats, and engage with your target customers in as many places as possible.
8. Owning the Conversation Around Your Business
Even if you have no website or online presence, people will still be discussing your brand. The problem is that you won’t be involved in the conversation. When you have an online presence, you can influence the conversation via reputation management.
Do this by seeking out conversations around your brand and products with a social media managing tool like Hootsuite. Whether you encounter praise or complaints, find the comments and react.
When a customer complains to the world in general via social media, you can be there to respond and offer a solution. This will affect how everyone sees you and help to build a more positive image.
9. Better Customer Service
With no website or digital presence, you are limited to phone calls and letters for your customer service. That’s not good enough today.
You need to be available via email, live chat, social media, Skype, and more. You need to be where your customers are. Don’t force them to visit your website, look up your email, and then get in touch. Make it easy to contact you directly via Facebook, and make sure you reply to their questions immediately.
10. More Sales
All of the above should mean more sales for your business. A better website, good communication, strong brand image, more engagement, and more trust should all translate into a sales boost.
By not having a digital presence, and not investing in improving it, you are missing sales— guaranteed.
In this day and age, businesses need a strong digital presence to survive and thrive. There is no point in letting your competitors get all that extra business while you struggle offline.
If you have not invested in a strong online presence, now is the time to start. And if you have launched a professional website and built an online presence on other platforms, make sure you are taking full advantage of all the benefits it brings to your business.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for articles featuring startups, entrepreneurs, charity insights, content, and artistic topics. Follow them on Twitter @getmicrostarted.
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