These days, a strong digital presence is required for any business that wants to bring in or engage with new and existing customers. But what is a digital presence? In short, it’s essentially what people find about your business when doing an online search, including everything from your website to social media, customer reviews, and more.
A recent survey done by Bright Local found that 93% of consumers used the internet to search for and find a local business and 87% read online reviews for local businesses. What consumers find when doing these online searches will impact how and where they spend their money.
When you do a quick online search for your business or industry, what results appear? Do any reviews or consumer recommendations come up? Is your website in the #1 spot? If you have a hard time finding information online about your business, so do your customers. Luckily, a strong digital presence can be created and maintained with a little bit of time and effort.
A user-friendly, well-designed website is the foundation to a strong digital presence (big emphasis on the well-designed)! It takes only .05 seconds for a user to form an opinion about your website regarding whether they will stay on the site or leave, and a whopping 75% of consumers admit to judging a company’s credibility based solely on its website.
A good website has the potential to drive leads, sales, and foot traffic for your business. It’s open even when you’re not and can supply consumers with information about your products and services 24/7.
Broadly speaking, social media is a digital communication tool used to share photos, content, and other information quickly with friends or followers. The most commonly used forms of social media are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Next Door, and WhatsApp are all gaining popularity as well.
When determining what social media platforms to use for your business, it’s best to look at your customer demographics compared to demographics of each site’s users. Focus on the social media platforms that will reach your target audience. Social media is your chance to connect and engage with your customers and other members of your community. You want to make sure you’re using it wisely to connect with the right audience!
Social media isn’t something you create and then let it sit. Make sure you’re updating your pages frequently with posts about your specials, employee updates and highlights, new content or products, etc.
Online Review Management
Online reviews about your business can have a major impact on your digital presence. In fact, 75% of consumers trust a company more based on positive reviews on a business’s Yelp, Google My Business and other social media and review websites. On the flip side of that, 60% of consumers say negative reviews influence them to not use a business.
While you can’t control what people say about your business online, it’s always a good idea to monitor and respond to any reviews that your business receives as quickly and politely as you can – whether it’s a positive or a negative review. A response shows that your business is engaged, attentive, and willing to work with customers to make issues right whenever possible.
Email and/or Text Message Marketing
Email marketing is a tried-and-true tool in the digital marketing arena. It reaches consumers directly and, with sophisticated email marketing solutions, you can even segment and target your email lists based on interests, purchase behaviors or demographics.
The use of text message, or SMS, marketing is on the rise as another valuable tool to reach consumers directly. Text message open rates are typically 98%, making it an effective resource for reaching customers with offers, mobile coupons, inventory updates, etc.
Email and text marketing work great hand-in-hand as tools to keep your customers engaged and keep your business top of mind with your most loyal customers who have opted-in to receive messages and emails from your business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Once you have the basics of your digital presence established, you can start ramping up efforts to drive traffic to your website and socials.
Ideally when you create your website, you or your web team will implement strategies to increase your rankings on Google and other search engines, such as writing keyword-heavy copy and updating your content frequently, filling in your website’s metadata, or utilizing video on your website. These are just a few of the ways to boost your website’s SEO organically with the goal of getting your site to appear on the first page of Google and other search engine results. 75% of users never go past the first page of results, so that’s where you want appear!
Another method is to utilize Search Engine Marketing, or Pay-Per-Click (PPC). PPC allows you to quickly see results by getting your business to the top of relevant search results within hours. You set the budget, what you want your message to say, and customize your ad targeting for whatever works best for your business.
So now what?
Developing and maintaining a strong digital presence can be complex. Luckily, River Valley Media Group is here to help! Whether you’re just starting with the basics or you want to take your digital presence to the next level, we have the tools to help you succeed. Message us today to learn more about what our experts can do to give your digital presence a major boost!