How to Improve Your Online Presence
According to Adaptive Marketing, 97% of consumers use the internet to find a business and that is why having an online presence is important.
It helps consumers find your brand before they are aware you exist, and it helps them learn about your reputation before making a purchase. Eventually, all this information will play a role in your customer's purchasing decision.
Online Presence Definition
An online presence can be defined by how easy it is to find a brand or company online. It is important for building your brand's reputation, increasing brand awareness, and providing visibility to your products or services when users are searching for related keywords.
How to Improve Your Online Presence
1. Build an email list.
One of the top ways to build your online presence is to create and grow an email list. An email list will enable you to engage with current and potential customers on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
2. Master SEO.
With algorithms changing every day, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best tactics to build your online presence and showing up online when people are searching online.
SEO can be divided into two categories -- on-site SEO, and off-site SEO.
On-site SEO is all about the content. You will want to use keyword research, include internal and external links, and create educational content that likely matches your target audiences' search queries.
With off-site SEO, you will pay attention to the more technical side of things. For example, you will want to make sure your site is set up correctly, has simple URL structuring, and loads quickly. Additionally, off-site SEO also includes building credibility with backlinks.
3. Create value.
Overall, your brand or company's goal is to make money. But before you can make money, you have to create value and be customer-centric.
One way to create value is to provide educational, free content online. Not only is this helpful for your customers, but it will also improve your online presence.
Then, brainstorm content that would answer their questions. What information would help your customers? This will be the basis for your content strategy.
Another way to create value online is to give advice. You could do this through guest posting, responding to comments, or appearing on a podcast. Wherever your customers have questions, you should be answering them.
4. Be active online.
To show up online, you must be active online. This includes consistently posting to your owned properties, including your website and social media accounts.
Additionally, you should be active in other areas, as well. For example, you should engage with followers and subscribers on social media. If there is something that everyone is talking about in your industry, you can engage in the conversation.
5. Analyse your results.
Once you get started with a few tactics to build your online presence, it is critical you analyse your results. I would suggest testing your strategies, so you learn what works and what does not.
Keep in mind that these are long-term strategies. Some may take time to produce results. Additionally, some may be harder to track, like brand awareness. But that is okay -- just because results may be hard to track does not mean it is not worth doing.
6. Adopt new forums.
When new social media or popular websites emerge, be an early adopter. There are many benefits to being an early adopter.
First, if you are an early adopter, there is less competition. Second, most of these websites start out free and have high engagement rates.
To be an early adopter, make sure you are always in "the know.” Read industry news and research new, up-and-coming sites.
7. Have a social media presence.
Being on social media is a necessity today. In fact, in 2019 there are now 3.2 billion people on social media globally, so social media is a key tool for reaching your intended audience on whichever platforms they prefer.
Having a presence on social media instils trust in your current customers and prospects. Personally, if I see that a company does not have a presence on social media, I lose trust and feel unsure if they even exist.
Plus, social media is a great way to build your credibility and reputation and showcase your brand. When potential customers are researching your brand, the first place they will look is social media to see what you are putting out there and what people are saying about you.
8. Build a website.
To show up online, you have to have a website. Besides social media, one of the first places people will go to find out more about your company is your website.
Your website is where you can show off your brand through colours, fonts, text, video, and images. You will appeal to your buyer persona's pain points and present a solution to their problem.
9. Produce content.
The more content you produce, the more opportunities you have to show up online. Having an online presence is all about showing up in search engines, on social media, and sites like YouTube.
To start producing content, strategize what places you want to show up online.
Prioritize the sites your customers are active on (based on customer research) and start brainstorming content that is best suited for those mediums.
For example, with YouTube, you will come up with video ideas -- whereas on Instagram, you'll come up with photo and caption ideas.
10. Personify your brand.
Building an online presence is a lot like building a brand. One tactic many companies use to build a brand is to personify their brand. Having a clear brand helps users relate to your company and makes them want to engage with you, whether through a social media comment or by signing up for your email newsletter.
11. Experiment with online advertising.
A faster solution to building an online presence is through online advertising. If your ad shows up in the top search results, you will build brand awareness and increase your visibility online.
You can advertise on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Additionally, you can look into social media advertising. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are well-known for their advertising options.
Before you begin advertising online, brainstorm what you want to promote. Do you want to promote a certain content offer? Alternatively, perhaps you want to advertise your email newsletter?
12. Research influencer marketing.
To stay active in your community, it's important to engage with the most popular figures in your niche. For instance, if you sell hardware products, you might consider researching hardware influencers on YouTube and Instagram. Many consumers look to influencers for their honest reviews and promotion before purchasing a product.
Additionally, influencer marketing will get the word out about your brand online. The more people are talking about you, the more often you will show up online.
13. Be competitive.
When you are building an online presence, remember to be competitive. Look at what your competitors are doing and discuss whether that is a good strategy for your business, as well.
You can also use your competitors to see what they are missing. Is there a gap they are not filling? What information do customers want that your competitors are not providing?
Researching your competitors should give you ideas for content and strategies. You will not be able to compete with or one-up your competitors if you aren't sure what they're doing.
14. Develop relationships.
Developing relationships with those in your industry is an important way to build your online presence.
For instance, if you have a relationship with blog writers or podcasters in your industry, they might feature you in their content. Perhaps they will ask you to guest post or appear on their podcast.
Forging relationships with others in your industry will ultimately help you show up online.
15. Show up where your audience is.
To show up online, you must figure out where your audience is. If your audience is on Instagram, but they are not on Twitter, you shouldn't be putting all your efforts into Twitter. On the contrary, you should be focusing your content and promotion strategy on Instagram. If you show up where your audience is, you will build a strong online presence that customers can't ignore.
Lastly, building an online presence includes a lot of tedious tactics.
These marketing strategies can help you build your online presence, create brand awareness, and develop a strong reputation. Building an online presence requires effort, but over time it will pay off with increased sales and better brand awareness in your industry.