How to Develop a Strong Online Presence for Your Business
A strong online presence is no longer optional, but a requirement to survive as a business. Consumers are taking to the web to purchase goods and services, ranging from household staples to entertaining novelties. Failure to adapt to this particular digital trend can prove fatal to a business. Worldwide eCommerce sales are growing at a rapid pace, climbing up to almost 9 percent this year, or up to 2.4 trillion dollars. Moreover, statistics foreshadow a very promising projection of web-based sales in the next several years. There is no arguing the fact that consumer behavior has changed dramatically over the past decade, primarily the transition from brick and mortar stores to eCommerce. Here are five tips to improve your online presence:
Engage Customers in Social Media
In 2012, statistics showed that the average web user had at least three active social media accounts. Today, the average has more than doubled. What does that mean for a business? Brand exposure. By having verified and official social media pages and accounts for your business, you create another platform where customers can reach you and where you can interact with them.
Get a Website
With content management systems, like WordPress and Wix, you can easily craft a website. Unfortunately, these platforms lack the flexibility and customization needed for your business to stand out from the rest of the competition. This leaves you with two other options, to either hire web designers and developers to design and maintain your website or to learn everything yourself and build it from scratch. The latter appeals to those who are cash-strapped and have plenty of time and energy to learn a new craft. Learning HTML and CSS is often the traditional route taken by aspiring web developers and business owners in need of a website.
Establish Yourself as a Leader
Being at the forefront of your industry is what gets attention from the public. Consumers and businesses look to Google when it comes to search engines while NASA is the benchmark for anything and everything regarding space exploration. Being a leader in your industry starts by being consistent in creating value. Your content should only be informative and engaging lest be labeled useless spam by its readers. Whether you post on Instagram or run a blog on WordPress, make sure to attain credibility and authority in your respective industry.
Focus on One Product Line
While Google can get away with dipping their fingers in different pies, you probably don’t have the resources to be all over the digital space. Being everywhere online sounds like a viable tactic but it can actually destroy your brand rather than help build it. For instance, if you are using too many customer acquisition channels, you might slack off on your weekly social media posts, which could be seen by your followers as neglect or your brand’s inability to maintain constant communication with its customer base. Focus on one product or service line until you have enough resources including money and manpower to expand to new sources of revenue.
Be Active in Forums
Forums and message boards, such as Reddit, are a great way to engage customers in a more casual setting. People are more laid back and more open when they’re on forums. It’s anonymous and easy to participate. Be active in forums that are related to your niche. You can also comment on blog posts to offer expert advice and, in most cases, redirect traffic to your website through a link.
Creating a web presence that is strong and wide-reaching takes time. You get out of it as much as you put into it. Having a strong online presence is actually a long-term investment that makes sense, especially in this increasingly digital world.