4. Website optimization
A clean, modern site with readable fonts can signal consumers that you have a credible brand. But a visually well-designed site is only one success factor in building an online presence. Website speed, mobile responsiveness, and link building are some of the “other factors that contribute to a highly optimized site.” Consider website builders like Shopify that include analytics and provide free personalized optimization tips based on your site’s performance.
5. Paid advertisements
Digital advertising can be an effective marketing strategy to strengthen your online presence. Social media ads, in particular, can generate a high return on investment with a limited budget.
Ads should be viewed as an ongoing investment, with the goal of building awareness of your product or service over time. Consider allocating a marketing item in your annual budget to ensure the continuity of your online presence. You might find that paid ads lead to higher website traffic, higher lead engagement, or sales conversions.
6. Thought leadership content
Producing original content about your business can help build trust among consumers over time. It is not enough to just focus on selling your product or service; customers need to understand its uses and value.
Depending on the brand, the thought-leadership content can be video tutorials, blog posts, or public speaking. If you’re not sure where to start, consider the different scenarios in which your product or service solves a problem, then create content to tell your story while presenting solutions.
Best practices for maintaining an online presence
When running a business, strengthening your online presence can often be last on the priority list. Supply chains, manufacturing and compliance can often dominate a small business owner‘s workday, especially those who are in the start-up phase.
Considering the time and resource constraints of entrepreneurship, creating an online presence should be streamlined to ensure continuity. Here are some options to consider.
- Job planning: Social media management tools, such as Hootsuite and Later, allow users to schedule posts to various platforms. Try to create your content calendar at the start or end of each month. This approach allows you to build systems to maintain an online presence while protecting your time to focus on critical business operations.
- Interact with prospects online: Streamlining your content calendar frees you up time to react to comments, shares, and product reviews on social media and other online platforms. Respond to questions, comments, and concerns to let prospects know that “your brand” is all about credibility and accountability. In addition to social media, you can include a feature on your website that allows customers to leave reviews and display clear contact information for future inquiries.
- Embed a social media feed on your site: Daily website updates can be time consuming, even for the seasoned marketer. Building an online presence is all about working smarter, not necessarily harder. Integrating a social media feed on your site can ensure a constant flow of new content relevant to your brand. Flock ler cites increased site time, greater social media following, stronger engagement, and more sales as the top four benefits of a website integrated social media feed.
- Review of analyzes: Evaluate your website’s performance on a monthly or quarterly basis. You may be able to determine which products, videos, and blog posts are performing the best. Determine if your time on site has increased or decreased since last quarter. Downloads and abandoned cart metrics are also good performance indicators. For example, a high performing piece of content could be refreshed to maintain momentum. If a product is continually added to a cart but abandoned, consider sending payment reminders and creating an emergency with a countdown timer. Use analytics to make smarter decisions and adjust your strategy.
The goal of building an online presence is to build brand confidence and credibility, which requires patience, consistency, and persistence. There is no “one size fits all” approach that will work for all small business owners. But with the help of analysis and customer feedback, entrepreneurs can adjust their strategy and refine their focus to market their business.
Ashley Powdar is the Employer Content Manager for the AARP Financial Resilience Team. She works with participants in the organization’s Employer Engagement Program to promote the value of a multigenerational workforce. She also assists and reports on issues that affect small business owners.