5 Easy Ways to Build Your Online Presence
What is your first move when seeking out a new product or service? Odds are it’s a quick online search.
Whatever the size of your business, having an online presence is a necessity in today’s world. Establishing a digital footprint for your business not only makes you more accessible, but it allows you to better target your primary audience.
A strong online presence builds trust, and ultimately helps you sell your brand and your products! And one of the greatest advantages of building your brand online is that much of it can be done for FREE – or at very little cost.
Know your audience. Dust off your business or marketing plan and reacquaint yourself with your target audience. When you know who you are marketing to, where they spend their time and what their challenges are, you can better position your messaging and presence to focus directly on those people you want to reach.
Know yourself. Have a clear picture of who you are, what you do and how you do it before setting off to establish a digital presence in the world. Consistency is key when it comes to building a strong, recognizable brand.
Establish your objectives. Your marketing plan will also be handy when developing one or two very clear, measurable objectives for your online strategy. Remember that your marketing objectives should tie back to your business goals. Do you want to increase online sales? Generate 30% more leads through your website? Start a blog and establish a regular monthly schedule for publishing new content?
Tools for Building Your Online Presence
1. Website– If you don’t already have a website, you should. Not only does your online presence start with having a website but most of your online efforts should ultimately be driving more traffic to your site. Your website doesn’t have to be complex or flashy, just clean, professional and consistent with your brand. And don’t worry, it doesn’t have to break the bank - there are plenty of user-friendly and cost-effective options available.
2. Google-Related Products– Leverage free Google-related products like your“Google listing” which helps your business show up in Google searches and maps. Building a brand page on Google+ and linking it to your website also does wonders for establishing authorship and search rankings.
3. Social Media– The options may seem overwhelming but don’t worry, not all social media channels will be the right fit for your purposes. Start with one or two channels that align with your brand and your audience and build from there. When you post engaging videos or content content that is relevant to your audience and demonstrates your brand personality, you gain more exposure for your business, drive more traffic to your site and build connections with your followers. If you need help getting started, see:
4. Content Marketing– You may already be using content marketing without realizing it. Using informative content that is timely and relevant to your audience is content marketing. Whether it is linking to an established news source, a webinar, a download link for an ebook, a blog post, etc., content can help establish your online business as an authority, drive more traffic to your site and gain the trust of your audience. Start paying attention to which info really resonates with your followers and build on that momentum by developing similar content. Create calendars and research automation tools for scheduling content around trade shows and conferences, book launches, etc., and next thing you know you’re developing a content marketing strategy!
5. SEO– While some businesses spend a good bit of money on SEO, you don’t have to. By understanding some basics about Search Engine Optimization, you can create a search engine-friendly website, improve your organic search rankings and add more value to your online efforts by just investing a little bit of time.Check out the moz.com Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
Remember, when beginning to build your online presence it’s best to KEEP IT SIMPLE. Establish your objectives and then decide what tactics you’ll employ to support those objectives. As you go along, measure what works and what doesn’t and make the necessary adjustments.
A solid online presence for your business will not only widen your audience and help you build loyalty, but it can also turn your leads and buyers into repeat buyers. When a customer has a positive relationship or experience, they’ll stick around and better yet, they’ll tell their friends. Best of all, those friends & referrals will be able to find you easily because you’ve built yourself a strong online presence!