In a world that's gone almost completely digital, you have to be where your customers are and that's online. Nowadays, consumers prefer to browse and do their shopping online. The main reason is that it's more convenient and seamless. This behavior created an online market that's oversaturated and highly competitive. How does a business, especially a new one, survive in such an environment? The simple answer, build a strong enough presence that will boost your marketing efforts and that will help consumers notice you.
However, that's easier said than done, especially since every business on the market is trying to do the same. Fortunately, not every business has the same strategy or the same approach. That means that you can always find a unique way to truly stand out from other competitors on the market. But, before you can accomplish any of that, you'll still need a strong enough presence that will make things much easier. That being said, here are a few ways to create a strong online presence for your marketing success.
Have a functional website
Your online presence starts with your website. Every marketing effort or strategy that can improve your presence online will be in vain if your website isn't performing well. Websites today are the very core of every business, regardless of their size. That's why it's important to ensure that your website is visually appealing and highly functional before anything else. For example, when focusing on the visual representation of your website, make sure your site contains well-designed visual elements, such as images, videos, infographics and so on.
Also, ensure your website is well-organized and easy to navigate to help visitors easily find what they're looking for. As far as performance goes, your website must be user-friendly, responsive, secure and, most importantly, fast. That way, when your marketing efforts actually manage to lead consumers to your website, you'll be able to provide them with an exceptional customer experience and thus convert them more easily.
Optimize your website
Having a highly-functional website is crucial for your online presence, especially since consumers will promote it further through referrals if they're satisfied with your website's performance. However, consumers have to be able to easily find and access your website in the first place.
For that, you can leverage search engine optimization (SEO). This cost-effective marketing strategy will not only help you improve visibility and awareness for both your business and its website but also improve your online presence, credibility and exposure. Here are a few ways SEO can benefit your presence and marketing campaigns.
- Improve your visibility organically by helping your website and individual pages rank well on search engines.
- Boost the exposure and credibility for your content marketing efforts through guest posting and link building activities
- Ensure customers satisfaction by helping you improve website performance through technical and on-page SEO.
- Give you a competitive advantage on the market by helping you outrank your competitors.
Monitor your efforts
Establishing a strong online presence that will improve the efficiency of your marketing efforts is a long and daunting process. It takes time to build a presence but it only takes a single mistake to ruin your efforts so far. That's why it's very important to monitor the progress of your efforts by tracking important metrics. The fact of the matter is that you cannot always know for sure how your strategies will turn out.
That's why many businesses test and redesign their strategies and approaches. By monitoring metrics related to your business goals, in this case, establishing a strong presence, you can track the performance of your efforts and make immediate improvements if needed. You can also track your marketing ROI in the process to determine if your efforts are paying off. That way, you'll be able to determine if your efforts are bearing fruit or if you need to re-think your strategy.
Build your presence on social media
Social media platforms are essential for any business these days. They are the key to building a strong presence online. Your reputation, awareness, exposure and visibility mostly originate from your social media presence. The main reason is that you're in direct contact with your target audience on social media and everything you do there directly reflects on your other efforts. That's why many businesses start to build their presence on social media first.
You should do the same if you haven't done so by now. You don't need a presence on every network out there, only the ones your target audience is present on. What's more, build an image for your business by establishing a relationship with your audience and by providing them with relevant and valuable content. In addition, once you start building a presence on social media, make sure you remain consistent at all times. If you neglect your audience even for a short while, your reputation and everything you've done up until that point may go to waste.
Build a brand for your business
Many businesses engage in developing a brand. Building a brand is meant to take your online presence to a whole new level. However, not every business is successful in this endeavor because building a brand is more than simply slapping a logo onto your company's name. When developing a brand, you have to be careful not to make a mistake. Otherwise, your audience will simply ignore it. That being said, developing a brand should be done in accordance with your audience's preferences and not your own.
That includes establishing a brand identity with clear company goals, brand promise and core values, that will appeal to consumers. Moreover, developing a visual identity your audience will find engaging. Last but not least, identifying a unique selling proposition that will elevate your brand and help it differentiate from other brands on the market. Building a brand that will boost not just your online presence but your marketing efforts as well takes time and careful planning, so make sure you don't rush the process.
Building a strong online presence that will guarantee your marketing success is no easy task. The highly competitive landscape businesses find themselves in these days makes it increasingly difficult to stand out. However, with a bit of planning and dedication, you can find a way to make your presence work in your favor.
Keith Coppersmith is an Adelaide based business consultant with a Media Management degree. With experience in numerous small businesses and startups, he enjoys giving advice on all things marketing.