It doesn’t matter whether you run a multi-million pound business, you have just launched your own startup, or you are a freelance blogger, the chances are that you need a well honed and nuanced online presence to appeal to your market. Being visible online is vital because you could have the best product or service on offer, yet no one knows about it. The important part of getting yourself noticed is the ability to market yourself. The largest platform on which to be visible is the world wide web. While giant billboards, TV adverts and cutesy little radio jingle laden adverts still have their place, it is the domain of the millennial that will really get you and your startup noticed.
Your online presence doesn’t just begin and end with a website. There is so much more that you could be doing online to tap into your potential market. Take a look at how the Internet can help your new business become more profitable and why you should never underestimate the importance of your online presence.
The most exciting part of being online is the ability to tap social media. These multi faceted platforms are utilized globally and have become a millennial’s go to method of communication. If you haven’t explored the world of social, each platform gives you something extra to appeal to the masses. Facebook is a more informal page on which to show off the credentials of your business. People can like your page, leave reviews and recommend you to others, sharing your page allowing you to gain more visibility.
Twitter is a much more personal approach to communicating with your clientele. There is no page as such, but you will find your company voice on this platform. You can post discounts, offers, and link to meaningful and highly readable content. If your followers like what they see, they can retweet or comment. Make it a point of business to respond in a timely manner. Don’t worry about being formal and use the voice of the potential customer to respond in kind. Consider Facebook playable ads to grab the attention of your audience.
Instagram is different yet again in that it is a highly visual platform. Perfectly Holga and Amaro filtered images are displayed to create a grid of photographs from which you can market your wares and services. Using hashtags appropriately will market your business globally. Get the composition of a shot right and pair it with the right hashtag and you could find your image going viral, generating an online buzz and gaining you more followers and greater visibility. Social media platforms shouldn’t be thought of as different marketing tools, and should instead become part of one larger marketing strategy with the aim of directing traffic to your website which you can then convert into sales.
The landing page of your website should represent the face of your business. It’s vital that your branding echoes through your webpages, your social media accounts, and your physical marketing merchandise. Use your creative flair to design your own website if you have the time. There are plenty of drag and drop website builders that have come on leaps and bounds since the dawn of Geocities and Lycos websites that were static and clunky. Now, you can have a fully interactive and intuitive website that immerses your market in aesthetically pleasing visuals and exceptional content.
Get the basics right by checking your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Any content should be concise, readable, informal and target your market. If you are a craft based business and you are designing personalised bibs, tee shirts and sweaters for babies, don’t be formal like an investment bank. Be chatty and imagine yourself having coffee with your young mum pals. Finding your voice is vital if you are to convert hits into sales.
Always ensure that your content is optimised for search engine results. Consider your clientele and the search phrases they might use to land on your site. Embed these into your content and use keywords and meta tags to enhance your online presence. Being on the first page of Google results is vital to hammer home your place in the market. If you don’t know your keywords from your keyboard, it might be time to outsource so another more expert pair of eyes can ensure that your website is fit for purpose.
More prevalent than ever is the threat of cybercrime. Just because your website uses encryption doesn’t mean a hacker cannot utilise a piece of spyware and steal your customers’ sensitive payment details and home addresses. To combat this threat, you need to use a specialist firm that will take your company information, look closely at your sales goals and business vision, and work with you to implement a cybersecurity plan. If you have a staff team, ensure that they undergo cybersecurity training, and ensure that you backup your data daily, so if the worst should happen, you can carry on trading without any downtime.
Having your own blog for your business is a solid way of generating another online stream to feed your e-commerce pages. However, a blog is also an excellent platform from which to link to other relevant content online and from which to network. If you gain a large readership, other firms might be keen to get in on the action, asking you to advertise their wares on your pages in return for either getting a chunk of their sales should it be generated through the link on your blog, or by a reciprocal link on their blog.
You can also guest post on industry leading blogs. Sites like Medium, Mashable, and Gizmodo have extraordinary levels of readership. If you’re keen to tap into this and develop your market, this could be the perfect place to market yourself through an informative, entertaining and relevant post.
Being visible online is vital if you are to make a success of your business in the twenty first century. Your industry will already have well established players that you need to compete with. Utilise the power of the Internet to establish yourself as a worthy rival.