4 Must-Haves for Your Digital Experience
The first contact most customers have with any business is through the Internet, making it crucial for business owners to know and understand what kind of first impression they’re making. If you leave it up to the search engines, that first impression is mostly out of your hands, and if you don’t show up at all, you’re virtually invisible. The only way to ensure a good first impression, increase visibility and drive more people to your business is by having a robust online presence that you control. But where do you start?
Setting Your Goals
Having a quality website is the essential first step to building an online presence. From there, you need a plan based on your goals that informs your digital strategy. Your goals should be based on where you are in your business and what you want it to accomplish, which might include:
- Improved customer relationships
- Improved search engine rankings
- Increased website traffic
- More leads and increased revenue
- Et cetera, et cetera
Once you establish your goals, you can begin to implement the components of your digital strategy that will help you achieve them.
Key Components to Build Your Online Presence
Creating a digital marketing strategy can be a significant undertaking, but it can be done with the help of a digital marketing expert. The other option is to piece it together incrementally, which may be a more practical approach for small businesses with limited resources.
- A Quality Website
Your website is the core of your online presence. If it does nothing to attract or keep visitors coming back, it’s really nothing more than an electronic brochure that will be tossed in the digital trash heap. Make sure your website is aligned with your brand and features compelling content to create an immediate and lasting impression. On top of that, be sure your website is “responsive” and adjusts to various types and sizes of devices including desktop computers, mobile phones and tablets. If you’re just getting started, there are a multitude of website builders out there—some of which are even free to use.
- A Professional Blog
To have an impressionable online presence, you need to present your business as an authority in your industry: a resource of information with value-added content that keeps them coming back for more. By maintaining a blog that you properly promote, your content can be shared among your communities and target market, increasing traffic to your website.
- Social Media Engagement
Nothing can expand your online presence and digital influence more effectively than an active social media presence. Take advantage of free access to your communities and target market through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media sites. Remember: It’s important to be a contributor to your social media communities and not a promoter.
- Content Marketing
The absolute key to building a strong and lasting online presence is content. It’s the primary reason people are on the Internet. Creating relevant content can increase engagement with your website and social media profiles. And with programs like MailChimp, you can selectively push your content to targeted email lists while tracking their interactions with your brand. The more you learn about your audience, the more you can tailor your content to their interests.
In building your online presence, you may have checked the boxes by creating a website and a Facebook page. That’s a great start, but your audience may still have trouble finding you. Building a complete digital marketing strategy will create a dynamic interaction between your website, social media and email campaigns—and bring you closer to your audience.