Regardless of how you feel about digital presence, your customers are online, and it’s up to you to reach them (or not).
Building a digital presence is now more crucial than ever: as the world is still reeling from the pandemic, more and more people work, meet, and socialize online, and this is a great opportunity to build and grow your brand digitally.
But what is digital presence? Essentially, it’s how your brand or business appears on the internet. Your website aside, your digital presence may also include your social media accounts, Google locations, media mentions, and the like; the better and bigger your digital presence, the more likely you are to attract and retain a large, loyal customer base.
In addition to having an online presence, you need to have a strong and creative digital presence offering great customer experiences, connection, and engagement.
It’s no longer enough to park a website on the internet and hope people will find you; these days, it’s all about being proactive and improving your search result rankings, standing out from the crowd on your social media accounts, and delving into the murky waters of content marketing (yes, bloggers and YouTubers are the new Mad Men).
So how should you start building your digital presence? Let’s take a quick look.
As a business owner, you probably already have a website out there. However, it’s not enough to just have a basic digital calling card anymore; your website needs to be visually engaging, easy to use, and, most importantly of all, mobile-friendly.
Increasingly, more and more people are searching and browsing on their phones, and your website must be optimized for mobile to provide a good experience.
Active Social Media Accounts
If your website is your virtual calling card, your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media pages are your virtual reception and showroom.
Social media is an excellent tool to communicate what your brand or business is all about, give people a perception of you and what you do, and connect and engage with them in real-time.
Think of it as a virtual reception lounge: what first impression is your brand or business going to leave? How are you welcoming and communicating with your customers? Search engine results aside, social media platforms are the next thing people check when researching your business.
Not having any social media accounts may leave them questioning your legitimacy – after all, why wouldn’t businesses want to talk to their customers directly?
Media Mentions and Reviews
A great way to boost your digital presence is utilizing media mentions, blog features, and reviews.
While most of these are outside of your control, you can proactively reach out to journalists covering your industry with well-written press releases, talk to bloggers in your niche and see if you can collaborate, and entice your customers to leave reviews for you by offering freebies or other goodies, digital or physical.
When a brand or business has a certain buzz going about them independently of their own media channels, it adds credibility, boosts visibility, and helps you build trust.
Last but not least, you should set aside a portion of your budget to Google and social media ads.
No matter how stellar your content and how dazzling your website, in this day and age or oversaturation standing out organically is extremely hard, and it’s worth investing in some paid ads here and there to boost your visibility online.
Don’t carpet-bomb your social media accounts with ads, however: treat them like boosted posts instead and make sure they offer a certain value rather than merely pushing a product or a service.
Creating, cultivating, and maintaining a strong digital presence can be a daunting task if your company doesn’t have a marketing department, but it can be done. Check out our social media how-to and our content marketing tips to get started!