WHY DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEED AN ONLINE PRESENCE?
In this digital age, your online presence as a business is essential to your competitive advantage. According to The Next Web’s 2019 statistics, on average, the world’s internet users spend 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day. But there’s much more to just having an online platform.
Consumers expect businesses to be responsive, accessible and engaging. Businesses who still rely on traditional marketing models (tv and newspaper advertisements, word of mouth) often leave their online platforms outdated or underutilised. We’ve got a few reasons why investing in your online presence is important for your business:
If they don’t see you, they don’t know you.
It is crucial to ensure that your online channels are accessible, user friendly and engaging. From a customer perspective, your business credibility is matched by your ability to create content and provide information regularly about your business activities. Content creation may be related to your journey as an entrepreneur, industry trends, marketing your service/product as well as content that relates to your intended customer or audience. This includes video blogs, photos, written blogs, collaborations with other businesses, sponsorships etc.
Interactive website design is also important to capture the attention of your customer, and will initially inform your customer your professionalism, the tone of your brand, and level of customer service from the way you present your services and products.. More successful websites and social media platforms are user-friendly, interactive and responsive to customer queries. On the other hand, outdated information and poorly designed websites discourage customers from getting to know more about your business
Don’t forget, your company information and details should also be readily available on your website and social media platforms. Customers are not just looking for your information, they expect to find it!
The power of online reviews
According to Forbes, online reviews have shown to impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions Additionally, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. (Erskine, 2017) Such a platform allows businesses to engage with their customers about their expectations and preferences, quality of service delivery, product quality and even providing recommendations for new product ideas.
It is important for businesses to respond to their customer reviews, as it reflects that they value customer contribution and customer feedback and are willing to put recommendations into action. And while negative reviews can often be discouraging, this provides the opportunity to engage with your customer, build relationships and improve your product offer or service.
Cost-efficient marketing via social media
Social media is the most effective platform to increase online visibility, even better is that it’s cost-effective. HubSpot reports that 84% of marketers were able to generate increased traffic with as little as six hours of effort spent on social media per week. Compared to traditional marketing strategies like tv advertisements, magazine features and the like, social media marketing is most effective because consumers are most active online via social media. According to MarketSherpa, online adults aged 13-34 are 95% most likely to follow a brand via social networking. As a business, you have the ability to showcase your personality as a brand by providing meaningful and valuable content for your intended audience.
Consumers are more receptive to social media marketing as it allows them to converse and engage with other consumers about your business and your brand. Key information about your consumer or intended audience can be identified through their social media followings and profiles. Identifying how to extract information will be helpful towards your efforts to increase online visibility. All this can be done at low cost for your business when building your social media profile.
So don’t be afraid to get creative with your marketing activities. Understand your customers and build an environment that allows your customers to engage with you on a personal level!