By Ajala Samuel Akindele
Having a key and stable digital presence is one of the best strategies to get customers and retain them. Especially in this 21st century, most customers see their first introduction to a business is by discovering the business online. That’s why each and every business needs to have a strong online presence.
But, how can you need to understand how to set yourself apart from every other business that is attempting to reach customers online? Here are four simple methods that will not only increase your online presence but also attract and retain more customers.
1. Create a professional website
You should understand that at this point, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a website. You need a website to make your brand go online, get customers and retain them. Surprisingly, research has shown that only 51% of small businesses have a website. That’s a major concern when you have 97% of consumers searching for products and services online. If you haven’t done so already, then start getting to work on your website. It doesn’t have to be too fancy or complicated. Let your website be simple with pages that showcase your work, a bio, contact information, testimonials, and a blog where you can share your expertise and unique voice.
A well-designed website that highlights your quality and professionalism should be the first step in launching your online presence. These days it’s so easy to create a great-looking website or online store using site builders such as Wix or Squarespace – which require no design or coding knowledge and come with an endless array of templates and design tools to choose from.
Now that there’s no need to hire a designer or site builder to get your business online, it’s easier than ever to go digital.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or updating your existing website, make sure that it’s optimized by making sure that it’s mobile-friendly, loads quickly, includes a click-to-call-button, has updated information (work samples, resume, headshots), is easy on the eyes, and optimize your URLs.
Depending on the nature and size of your business, you may want to take your website a step further and add features like a live chat or create a mobile app. Your website should have four building blocks: Visuals, Responsive Design, Concise Messaging, and Content.
2. Connect your website with your social media
After you have created you need to ensure you connect your website with your social media pages. According to Forbes, it’s important to be active on social media. It can be used to engage and interact with influencers and customers via social media which is one of the most effective ways to grow your online presence and brand.
To avoid spreading yourself too thin, focus on one or two primary social channels that you can easily manage and grow.
In most cases, then you should at least focus on the big four; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. LinkedIn is the preferred choice with 675 million members, it is mainly used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their CVs, while Twitter is excellent at conversations and hashtags. The social networking platform on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets” allow registered users to post, like and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.
Be rest assured that when you do find your preferred social network, spend around 50 minutes every day curating content that you customers would enjoy. You can use tools like Buffer to schedule and manage your accounts.
3. Blogging helps drive customers
After connecting your website with your social media you need to maintain a blog which not only raises your online presence, it assists with defining your brand’s voice and builds trust since you’re creating and sharing useful content. But, you don’t want to limit yourself to just blog posts when creating content.
Having Blogs help to amplify your business, and they’re super simple to set up! Blogging helps you to drive more content to your website for a wider audience reach. We have so many free blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Squarespace, Wix, and many more.
Using Wix for blogging is fantastic and simple as it helps to drag and drop various segments, headers, or other pieces of content onto the site page without any coding experience necessary.
WordPress is one of the most comprehensive blogging platforms available. The user interface is much simpler to use than it used to be and there is a free version available. There are also paid versions with unlimited customization capabilities.
Moreover, Including WordPress, there are other emerging and effective blogging CMS tools like HubSpot that help you create and publish engaging content. Like, if you put your shoes into HubSpot, you can install easy and attractive Hubspot blog templates both for free and paid. It will make your blogging task effortless and will help you to attract visitors through your informative and good quality content.
Other sites like Medium give you the chance to focus more on your writing and less on creating the perfect aesthetic for your blog, by providing pre-designed templates. While publishing on a platform like Medium is not ideal if you want to drive traffic to your website, it can still be a great place to build thought leadership.
4. Do beyond blogging
Aside from blogging which is an effective tool for promoting your brand and retaining customers. Businesses should develop multiple forms of content that their customers will either find entertaining or informative
A good example includes Videos that are uploaded onto YouTube or Vimeo, hosting a podcast, creating an infographic, conducting and releasing a case study, publishing an eBook or White Paper and hosting an online course, workshop, webinar.
5. Creates a connection with customer
It is important to note that attracting someone to your business is easier if you can form a relationship with them first. The question is: Why should someone choose your business over one of your competitors? Research has shown that people are more likely to visit your business if they feel compelled to engage with your brand and learn more about how you can help them.
So you need to use your blog posts to write about topics that resonate with your customers and start by defining the personas of your audience and ensure your content meets their needs.
Remember, people are more likely to share content they connect with on a personal level. So, understanding your target audience will help your content get to more people.
6. Grow your brand personality
Blogging is an effective way to grow your brand personality once you understand how to create compelling content that will suit your audience. Normally, your website should contain easy navigation, intuitive design, and user experience, relevant, authoritative website content, product visuals and descriptions, social media as an extension of the business website and business blog.
So blogging can be a platform to loud your brand to your audience and potential customers. Research shows that some 15% of internet users read or comment on discussion forums such as Reddit, Digg, or Slashdot, while 10% use the blogging website Tumblr.
According to PRO Tip, “One way to build your brand’s personality is to focus on your writing style. Your company blog is a platform to be more personal as opposed to formal. It’s an opportunity to bridge the gap between you and your customer.” it’s time to grow your brand personality.
7. Email marketing
Another tool you can use to get and retain the customer for your brand is Email marketing. Wikipedia says Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations.
As for email marketing, McKinsey & Company conducted a study that found “E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.” The main reason is that “91 per cent of all US consumers still use e-mail daily.” When embarking on an email marketing campaign, optimize it by segmenting your lists like engaged customers and new subscribers, crafting customized messages, sending your emails at the right time for your audience, and analyzing your data so that you know what tactics have been working and which have not.
According to a McKinsey & Company survey that was conducted the study found that “E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.” The main reason is that “91 per cent of all US consumers still use e-mail daily.” When embarking on an email marketing campaign, optimize it by segmenting your lists like engaged customers and new subscribers, crafting customized messages, sending your emails at the right time for your audience, and analyzing your data so that you know what tactics have been working and which have not.”
Do you have any questions about these steps highlighted above? Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us via any of our social media platforms highlighted below.