It is essential for any business that they properly utilise the internet, whether your business operations take place online or not. Even physical stores or in-person services need to be online in order to stay relevant. Consumers and potential customers need to have that digital experience regardless of whether they ultimately walk into a physical location at the end of it. How often do customers stumble upon a new store or restaurant compared with how many find these establishments via the internet? Whether it is Google or Instagram or Facebook, your business needs to have a presence if you want it to thrive.
Thriving businesses flourish by generating engagement and connecting with their customers. And a Salesforce survey has found that 85% of consumers conduct research online before they make a purchase with around 38% of these using social media. So, to increase brand awareness and attract new customers, companies need to carry out an effective online strategy.
Why is it so important?
The internet offers you the opportunity to grow your business and broaden your reach beyond your geographical limitations. Using a digital platform, you can communicate with customers and educate them on your brand, emphasising what unique features you offer over your competitors. And your competitors are all online so by not utilising the internet you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. Opening up communication also allows you to engage with your customers on a more personal level and this can encourage brand loyalty because they will start to feel connected with your business as an individual.
Having a digital presence is essential for raising consumer awareness, building credibility, and establishing your business in the minds of the public. Consumers are reluctant to part with their money unless they trust you as a company – reviews from previous customers, contact details and a professional website will all help persuade potential clients. If consumers cannot find anything online about your brand, then they will likely question your legitimacy and will probably go for a different business that does have a solid online presence.
Building a strong presence
The most important step for boosting your digital presence is to create a professional, accessible website. You can create this yourself but to make sure it looks professional and is user-friendly, then it is advisable to hire a professional web developer who can program it correctly – a malfunctioning website can cause a serious lack of business. A website is probably the first thing that potential customers will see, and it needs to inspire them to purchase your goods or service. First impressions count.
Once you have your website established you can branch out from there and work on SEO, social media accounts and blogs. These tools will all require constant attention and updating, you need to keep creating engaging and original content to maintain your relevance. Social media, blogs and other platforms are great tools to help drive people to your website where you will present the most valuable information about your brand.