“A thriving business feeds on generating engagement,” wrote Goran Paun in his 2020 Forbes article, Build a Brand: Why A Digital Presence Matters.
There are few things more important in business that connecting with consumers and remaining relevant. The question is, how do you do that? Well, in the modern world we live in, mostly, it’s through the plethora of digital technologies and platforms on offer – it is on these that your audience spends the majority of their time, with the average Brit currently spending a whopping 386 minutes a day online.
What is your digital presence?
While your digital presence is, of course, referring to your business’ website, it also extends beyond that. We’re talking about the conversation which exists around your brand online, the content that you push out on social channels, what the media is saying about your brand, and reviews customers leave. Your digital presence involves your digital reputation and your digital footprint too.
Fostering a positive digital presence isn’t just a task for B2C businesses; the success of B2B and B2G organisations will also hinge on a well-rounded digital strategy. A report by Salesforce found that 85% of consumers research a product online before purchasing with 74% of research being conducted on a company’s website and 38% on social media.
With the marketplace becoming increasingly saturated and difficult to permeate, we want to use this blog to detail why you need to improve your digital presence (or establish one if you haven’t already) and how to do so.
Showcasing your ability, products and services
For many businesses, what consumers see online is the shop window – is it enticing when someone walks past or is it bare, undescriptive, lacking attention to detail, and a far cry from competing with that of fellow businesses?
By establishing a well-developed, considerate online presence, you can successfully showcase all of your business’ best traits. Use it as an opportunity to point your audiences towards case studies, portfolios, additional research material, and value-added content that will, ultimately, assist your brand in standing out as a thought leader within its industry.
Make it easier for your business to be found
Just like an OS map would lead a customer straight to your front door, an effective digital strategy that focuses on presence will allow for them to find you at the click of a button. Your audience will, in most circumstances, opt for the business that regularly appears right before their eyes. By enhancing your presence online, you can reduce the time it takes people to find you, which, in turn, should increase your chance of success with new (and existing) customers.
An opportunity to market your brand
Consumers want to know more about your business and what makes it tick. While delivering this may seem complex, in fact, it can be achieved fairly simply through consistent messaging that is utilised across your digital space. The beauty about of most of the digital sphere, particularly when ‘getting started’, is that it’s free at least initially. Get your brand name out there, make small waves in the first instance, and then begin to generate more powerful traction through paid activity.
The consistency we mention above extends beyond tone, language, and style to include your actual online activity. Are you posting on social channels on a daily basis and engaging a community? Are you regularly updating your blog space with topical, relevant thought leadership style content?
So, now you know the importance of a digital presence, it’s worth gaining a better understanding of how to achieve one for your business.
Making your website more engaging
Were you aware that 56 per cent of internet users will not trust a business that doesn’t have a website? It really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise – considering it is many people’s first port of call. That said, just because you’ve got a website doesn’t mean you’re automatically in control of an optimised digital presence. Your website needs to be user friendly, straightforward in content and messaging without lacking detail, and designed to deliver. Similarly, 54.4 per cent of all internet users are working from a mobile device so it’s important to ensure that your site is mobile friendly, otherwise you could be missing out on half your potential custom.
Develop your social channels
Social channels are the perfect place to establish and nurture a relationship with customers. Conduct research and competitor analysis to better understand the social media platforms likely to generate success for your brand. While you should not use the same content across all platforms, for example Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s important to remain consistent in your messaging, so users can easily recognise you.
Call upon the help of SEO
Without bogging ourselves down in detail, if you want to establish a strong digital presence, you’ll need to get your SEO in order. Ranking for terms relevant to your business’ offering online is essential if you want your business to be found. For example, if you’re working in the public sector and looking to appear for terms like ‘public sector tenders’, then you’ll need to ensure your website and individual pages are optimised towards said term. There are, however, several different facets to SEO, which include technical, onsite, offsite, and content. There a host of guides online that will teach you the basics, including Neil Patel, SEMRush, and HubSpot. Alternatively, you may wish to speak to an SEO specialist for further advice on next steps.
Turning on paid
SEO and paid activity will work in conjunction with one another, but PPC (pay-per-click) and additional paid advertising is essential for businesses that are trying a more aggressive approach to targeting a particular audience. Get an understanding of your search engine optimisation and then consider your next steps in regard to paid.
So, there you have it, why your digital presence is crucial, regardless of what your business does and what it’s looking to do.