Your Online Presence is Everything
The Importance of Your Online Presence
It’s not an exaggeration to say the World Wide Web has fundamentally changed the way we do a lot of things—especially marketing. That’s good news and bad news.
On the good news side, the Internet is a dispassionate ally—a great equalizer. You don’t have to have a marketing budget with a lot of zeros to effectively harness its power—not the way you do with broadcast, print advertising and direct mail. With a nominal investment applied strategically and skillfully, you can enjoy a serious uptick in brand awareness, lead generation, consumer response, transactions, and—most importantly—REVENUE.
So what’s the bad news? Oh, phrases like, “it’s a jungle out there” and “looking for a needle in a haystack” come to mind. The digital world is massive. Google alone processes a mind-boggling 40,000+ search queries every second—more than 3.5 billion per day and 1.2 trillion per year. With so many people searching for everything under the sun, it’s a challenge to stand out in the Google sphere.
To do so, you really have to take a 360-degree view of your online presence. While a website is still the cornerstone of your online presence, there are now many other channels that demand attention—including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and other soon-to-be newbies on the horizon. Don’t underestimate their influence. Potential customers actively engage these channels when making buying decisions.
If you want to be persuasive and truly move the needle of public opinion, you must make sure all of the elements of your online personae are ticking four important boxes—get found, look good, engage customers, and nurture ongoing relationships.
In many ways, a company’s online presence is their lifeblood. If you don’t have a firm grasp of all the components, be prepared to forfeit market share to competitors.
For years, most websites have followed a basic content formula: an about us page, team or leadership bios, a list of services, customer testimonials and a contact us page. Design and content usually remained unchanged for long periods of time. Those days are over. If you want people to find your site and keep coming back, it will require your ongoing attention on two fronts.
First, we live in a visually-driven society. Good design isn’t a luxury—it reflects your brand personality, promise and expertise. Bold, attention-grabbing typography and compelling photos are simply the competitive norms. Even when people manage to discover your site the first time, don’t expect them to stick around for very long or come back often if your site doesn’t look fresh, stylish, interesting and up-to-date.
Secondly, your site will never be found by the right people—qualified leads for your products and services—if it isn’t properly structured so it can be quickly indexed and optimized for the various search engines. Content plays a critical role in “getting found” by your target customers.
In the battle for the rankings, Google now rewards sites that offer visitors substantive content. The days of keyword stuffing are over. Now there is a much stronger focus on the quality of content. Although Google has always been silent about the specific parameters of its search algorithms, the company has made it clear that sites fare better when they feature content that reflects expertise readers will find genuinely informative or helpful.
Businesses that want to be noticed must not only refresh their core content regularly, but also produce original content that showcases their expertise. This emphasis has placed increased importance on blogs. Since Google rewards websites with growing page counts, blogs posted once or twice a week allow your site to grow in an organic way that will improve its ranking. Blogs also help build relationships with your customers. This rapport is enhanced when blogs work in tandem with other online vehicles such as Facebook and Twitter.
Social media has literally become word-of-mouth 2.0. If your company is still on the sidelines, you are missing valuable opportunities to connect with customers and grow your business. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ are never far away thanks to the explosion of mobile devices.
About 58 percent of American adults currently own a smartphone—and that number will only continue to grow. That means your Facebook posts, tweets and other social media messages reach followers wherever they are—at work, home, on the golf course, literally everywhere 24/7.
According to Nielson, the average American spends 11 hours a day with electronic media—so there is a huge window of opportunity for your target audience to see posts and tweets about your products and services. Plus, followers are automatically notified when you’ve posted something new.
What social media does best, is allow you to create an engaging voice, face and personality for your brand and business—key components that are absolutely essential when it comes to engaging and nurturing your relationships with existing and new customers.
While Facebook is still the big dog and has the most marketing clout, Twitter’s impact is growing exponentially with 58 million tweets a day—more than 9,000 every second. Every day, 135,000 new users sign up. The Twittersphere is morphing into the world’s most influential global information network—with 284 million active monthly users and 600 million searches every day.
All of the Fortune 100 companies have robust Twitter accounts, and business experts agree that there is no reason every company should not be tweeting at least once a day. Building a coveted base of followers—people you have managed to successfully engage—will pave the path to brand loyalty and valuable word-of-mouth referrals.
Unlike other forms of social media, Twitter users are highly educated. Roughly 16 percent have advanced degrees, and 30 percent hold a bachelor’s degree. They also tend to have higher household incomes and more spending power. With the ability to imbed photos and video, the opportunity to engage followers is no longer restricted to 140 characters.
While it’s tempting just to get something posted, remember, there should be a focused strategy for every post—one that complements or enhances the purpose of your website and business. Create an editorial calendar and plan content topics in advance.
Need help creating and managing an online presence that gets noticed, nurtures customer loyalty and drive sales. Frozen Fire has the people who can make it happen! Reach out to us today.
Frozen Fire is a Dallas internet marketing and video production company that helps companies harness the most powerful aspect of modern marketing—the internet—to engage customers in memorable and meaningful ways. Ways that ignite sales and business growth. Contact us to learn how we can help your business.